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Pls rate First Argument EssayASAP - Exam in a week's time...

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zagcollins Really wants to Beat The GMAT! Default Avatar
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Pls rate First Argument EssayASAP - Exam in a week's time... Post Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:52 pm
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  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    The following appeared in a memorandum from the business department of the Apogee Company:
    "When the Apogee Company had all its operations in one location, it was more profitable than it is today. Therefore,the Apogee Company should close down its field offices and conduct all its operations from a single location. Such centralization would improve profitability by cutting costs and helping the company maintain better supervision of all employees."
    Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.

    My response:

    In this argument, the author concludes that the Apogee Company was much more profitable than it is today. The author believes that decentralization is the chief cause behind the decline in profits. He suggests that closing down field offices and reverting to centralization will help improve profitability. The reasoning behind this argument is hackneyed and fails to convince me for several implausible reasons.

    First and foremost, the argument fails to pinpoint the exact reason behind the decline in profitability. The author creates a logical fallacy by stating that decentralization is the main reason behind the decline in profits. Is this is the sole cause of declining profits? There could be other causes such as employee inefficiency, lack of customer satisfaction, change in company goals and policies etc.The author needs to provide facts and figures that would complement his claims. He commits an error of causation whereby he assumes that declining profits is the outcome of decentralization.

    Second, the author assumes that the removal of field offices will help improve profits. The author fails to take into account the fact that removing field offices will involve extensive traveling for sales executives. This could result in time wastage, increased traveling costs and lead to employee inefficiency. A thorough cost benefit analysis is required to prove the assumption that decentralization will improve profits as opposed to centralization that leads to decrease in profits.

    The nature of the argument is weak. To strengthen this argument, the author must provide a thorough cost benefit analysis and rule out other factors that could affect profits of the
    company adversely.

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    VP_Jim GMAT Instructor Default Avatar
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    Post Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:02 pm
    Hi zagcollins,

    Great job on the essay! My only recommendation is to lengthen your essay a little; the conclusion in particular seems a bit short, and I'd like to see a third body paragraph pointing out another assumption the author made in his argument. This will really strengthen your essay and help you support your points.

    I'd give this a 5. Good luck, and hope I gave feedback in time for your actual exam!

    _________________
    Jim S. | GMAT Instructor | Veritas Prep

    zagcollins Really wants to Beat The GMAT! Default Avatar
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    Post Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:45 pm
    thanks jim...yes, your feedback is on TIME and totally priceless! Very Happy thanks mate....cheers!

    smartm0ve Just gettin' started! Default Avatar
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    Post Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:58 pm
    Hi, it would be helpful, if someone can provide feedback on my argument essay.
    i am using template provided by myohmy and this is my first essay. Thanks in advance.

    “When the Apogee Company had all its operations in one location, it was more profitable than it is today. Therefore, the Apogee Company should close down its field offices and conduct all its operations from a single location. Such centralization would improve profitability by cutting costs and helping the company maintains better supervision of all employees."

    Author of preceding argument mentions that Apogee Company was more profit able when all it's operation were managed by one central location. Currently it operates from several locations. Author claims that Apogee can improve profitability by centralizing it's operations and closing down field offices. This would result in reduced cost and help in better supervision of it's employees.
    Though his claims may well have merit, author represents poorly reasoned argument based on unsupported premises and questionable assumptions and based on solely evidence that author offers, we cannot accept argument as valid. There are many gaps and loops since argument lacks evidentiary support. It is result for hasty generalization. There are several factors that contribute to a weak conclusion and flawed argument.

    Primary issue lies in author's assumptions that remain unproven. Author is assuming that in past, company was profitable because it was centralized. Author applies this analogy to present situation. Author relies on assumption that solution that was profitable in past, still remains valid. It could be possible that company has expanded recently and has bigger consumer base in several different locations. If so, company might need to have field offices in several different locations to increase it's sales and to provide better customer support. If this is the case, then company might not benefit by centralizing it's operations.

    Secondly, author is making assumption that, centralization would help in cost cutting and in maintaining better supervision of employee. It could be possible that cost of closing down existing field offices and centralizing all operations is much higher and company might not benefit much out of it. Centralization has several drawbacks, for e.g. if company has all it's operation in one single location and there is major flood or earthquake or terror attacks then company's profit will be affected most. If company has several different locations then issues at one location might not impact company's profit much. Thus author weakens his argument by making assumptions and failing to provide link between centralization and improve profitability.

    Though there are several issues with author's reasoning that is not to say that entire argument is without any base. Argument can be made more logical if author provides details on how centralization would help in cost cutting. Author can strengthen this argument by providing statistical data related to cost of closing down offices and centralizing operations. Argument can be improved significantly by providing examples of how centralizing would help in supervision of employees.

    In sum, above poorly reasoned argument is based on unsupported premises and unproven assumptions that render conclusion invalid. Though argument may appear appealing at first, on closer scrutiny, argument falls apart on many fronts. If author wants to change reader's opinion on this issue, he would have to largely restructure this argument, fix the flow in logic, clearly explicate assumptions and provide evidentiary support. Without these things, argument will like convince few people.

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