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Please evaluate Analysis of Argument... thanx in advance...

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KhehraGMAT Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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15 Jan 2008
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Please evaluate Analysis of Argument... thanx in advance...

Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:54 am
********************************************************
The following appeared in the editorial section of a Bedford Falls newspaper.

" A recent nationwide study of high schools reveals that the percentage of students who graduate on time is higher for private schools than for public schools. For this reason, Bedford Falls parents who want their children to graduate from high school on time should send their children to private schools. "

Discuss how well reasoned.....
********************************************************

Author argues that parents should send their children to private schools instead of public schools as the percentage of students graduating on time is higher for private schools. Author's argument is flawed on many accounts and could be bolstered if he provides more details about the statistics.

First of all, author doesn't tell us the source of the nationwide survey. If the survey was done by American Association of Private Schools (AAPS), results can hardly be treated as fair. Since parents can be easily influenced by such statistics, private schools have strong financial incentive to skew results in their favor.

Second, even if survey was done by an independent and unbiased body, survey doesn't reveal the actual difference between the graduation rates of public and private schools. It is possible that the graduation rate for private schools has been declining for a number of years, public schools have been improving their rate for the last few years and the actual difference is only a fraction of a percent. Author's argument wouldn't much water in such a scenario.

Third, author assumes that everyone can afford to send their children to private schools. However, while public schools provide virtually free education, private schools charge on an average $10000 per year, according to a report released by the Department of Education last year. Also, public school are available in almost every town and city. Private school are fewer in number and thus may not be available in a particular neighborhood.

In sum, author's argument would have been more sound if he had provided more details about the survey. It would help to know the source of the survey and also the actual differences between the rates of public and private schools. Author also missed the mark when he doesn't consider affordability as one of the criteria for school selection.

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VP_Jim GMAT Instructor Default Avatar
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Post Tue May 06, 2008 7:19 pm
Hi KhehraGMAT,

The structure and format of your essay look great, and the points you make are very well reasoned, so good job!

However, I would suggest more proofreading before you submit the essay, to make sure that you catch any and all grammatical errors. But I would guess that this essay is probably at least a 4 (and maybe a 5) on the actual test, so if that's what you're aiming for, you're on the right track!

Hope this helps!

_________________
Jim S. | GMAT Instructor | Veritas Prep

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