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## Analysis of an Argument - Please rate

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mehravikas Legendary Member
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#### Analysis of an Argument - Please rate

Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:50 pm
The following appeared in an announcement issued by the publisher of The Mercury, a weekly newspaper:

"Since a competing lower-priced newspaper, The Bugle, was started five years ago, The Mercury's circulation has declined by 10,000 readers. The best way to get more people to read The Mercury is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle, at least until circulation increases to former levels. The increased circulation of The Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper."

The author concludes that the decline in the sale of The Mercury's newspaper is due to the low priced newspaper, The Bugle. The author's line of reasoning is that the best way to increase the circulation of The Mercury's newspaper is to reduce its price below that of the Bugle, and the increased circulation will also attract more businesses to buy advertising in the paper. The author's reasoning is questionable for several reasons.

First of all the author's reasoning is based on a questionable assumption that the decline in the sale of The Mercury's newspaper is only because of a competing low price newspaper in the market. The author does not mentions how wide is the price gap between the two newspapers or to be precise is cost the only factor which has led the consumers to opt for a low priced newspaper? Moreover considering the narrow variation in the cost of the newspapers in the market, the truth of this claim is highly unlikely.

Secondly the author assumes that by reducing the current price of the newspaper, The Mercury will be able to compete with The Bulge. Again, however the author ignores the other critical factors which might have led to a decline in sales in the last five years. Also, the author does not consider whether the decline has been overall or the sale is affected only in some parts. It seems equally reasonable to assume that sales have only declined in some areas of the country, where the marketing of The Bulge has been aggressive than the marketing of The Mercury. If this were so, it would long way to explain the reason of decline in sales.

Finally, the author fails to consider the news coverage, the most important part of any newspaper to be successful. It could be a case, that the news, stories, encyclopaedia of The Bulge is better than that of The Mercury. If this were so, then reducing the price of The Mercury will not help in an increase in the circulation since the consumers would be interested in the content of the newspaper rather than its cost. Because the author's argument lacks the validity of the sampling method used to conclude the declension in The Mercury's sales, it is impossible to assess the persuasiveness of the argument.

In conclusion, the argument is unconvincing as it stands. The author would have to provide additional evidence that the news contents of the The Mercury are at par with those of The Bulge. Before coming to any conclusion and further decision regarding reduction in prices, the publication should also survey to get the additional evidence that what makes readers to switch to The Bulge. Without this additional evidence the argument does not supports the assumption pointed out by the author.

mehravikas Legendary Member
Joined
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Posted:
1161 messages
Followed by:
1 members
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Test Date:
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Target GMAT Score:
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Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:22 pm
Thanks Sanjay....for pointing out the mistake

sanjaysmart wrote:
mehravikas wrote:
The following appeared in an announcement issued by the publisher of The Mercury, a weekly newspaper:

"Since a competing lower-priced newspaper, The Bugle, was started five years ago, The Mercury's circulation has declined by 10,000 readers. The best way to get more people to read The Mercury is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle, at least until circulation increases to former levels. The increased circulation of The Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper."

The author concludes that the decline in the sale of The Mercury's newspaper is due to the low priced newspaper, The Bugle. The author's line of reasoning is that the best way to increase the circulation of The Mercury's newspaper is to reduce its price below that of the Bugle, and the increased circulation will also attract more businesses to buy advertising in the paper. The author's reasoning is questionable for several reasons.

First of all the author's reasoning is based on a questionable assumption that the decline in the sale of The Mercury's newspaper is only because of a competing low price newspaper in the market. The author does not mentions how wide is the price gap between the two newspapers or to be precise is cost the only factor which has led the consumers to opt for a low priced newspaper? Moreover considering the narrow variation in the cost of the newspapers in the market, the truth of this claim is highly unlikely.

Secondly the author assumes that by reducing the current price of the newspaper, The Mercury will be able to compete with The Bulge. Again, however the author ignores the other critical factors which might have led to a decline in sales in the last five years. Also, the author does not consider whether the decline has been overall or the sale is affected only in some parts. It seems equally reasonable to assume that sales have only declined in some areas of the country, where the marketing of The Bulge has been aggressive than the marketing of The Mercury. If this were so, it would long way to explain the reason of decline in sales.

Finally, the author fails to consider the news coverage, the most important part of any newspaper to be successful. It could be a case, that the news, stories, encyclopaedia of The Bulge is better than that of The Mercury. If this were so, then reducing the price of The Mercury will not help in an increase in the circulation since the consumers would be interested in the content of the newspaper rather than its cost. Because the author's argument lacks the validity of the sampling method used to conclude the declension in The Mercury's sales, it is impossible to assess the persuasiveness of the argument.

In conclusion, the argument is unconvincing as it stands. The author would have to provide additional evidence that the news contents of the The Mercury are at par with those of The Bulge. Before coming to any conclusion and further decision regarding reduction in prices, the publication should also survey to get the additional evidence that what makes readers to switch to The Bulge. Without this additional evidence the argument does not supports the assumption pointed out by the author.
Hi Mehra Vikas, I think that the other voter has been unduly harsh by giving you a score of just 3. I think that you have addressed the 'Argumentum Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc' adequately as is the case with the analogy. However, yoiu have missed the statistical fallacy in the stimulus. A decline of 10,000 can be either large or small depending on the total number of people who read this paper before the cheaper paper started. If the total readership i9s in millions, the conclusion is quite valid because the decline is small and does not warrant such wholesale changes. However, if the number of people who read the newspaper before the cheaper alternative started out was small, the argument is quite valid. The author's use of evidence is quite inadequate because he has not mentioned what the total readership was before the 'Bugle' was launched.
Lastly, your essay provides a bit of comic relief when it refers to the Bugle as the 'Bulge'. LOL.

sanjaysmart Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
20 Oct 2008
Posted:
28 messages
5
Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:00 pm
mehravikas wrote:
The following appeared in an announcement issued by the publisher of The Mercury, a weekly newspaper:

"Since a competing lower-priced newspaper, The Bugle, was started five years ago, The Mercury's circulation has declined by 10,000 readers. The best way to get more people to read The Mercury is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle, at least until circulation increases to former levels. The increased circulation of The Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper."

The author concludes that the decline in the sale of The Mercury's newspaper is due to the low priced newspaper, The Bugle. The author's line of reasoning is that the best way to increase the circulation of The Mercury's newspaper is to reduce its price below that of the Bugle, and the increased circulation will also attract more businesses to buy advertising in the paper. The author's reasoning is questionable for several reasons.

First of all the author's reasoning is based on a questionable assumption that the decline in the sale of The Mercury's newspaper is only because of a competing low price newspaper in the market. The author does not mentions how wide is the price gap between the two newspapers or to be precise is cost the only factor which has led the consumers to opt for a low priced newspaper? Moreover considering the narrow variation in the cost of the newspapers in the market, the truth of this claim is highly unlikely.

Secondly the author assumes that by reducing the current price of the newspaper, The Mercury will be able to compete with The Bulge. Again, however the author ignores the other critical factors which might have led to a decline in sales in the last five years. Also, the author does not consider whether the decline has been overall or the sale is affected only in some parts. It seems equally reasonable to assume that sales have only declined in some areas of the country, where the marketing of The Bulge has been aggressive than the marketing of The Mercury. If this were so, it would long way to explain the reason of decline in sales.

Finally, the author fails to consider the news coverage, the most important part of any newspaper to be successful. It could be a case, that the news, stories, encyclopaedia of The Bulge is better than that of The Mercury. If this were so, then reducing the price of The Mercury will not help in an increase in the circulation since the consumers would be interested in the content of the newspaper rather than its cost. Because the author's argument lacks the validity of the sampling method used to conclude the declension in The Mercury's sales, it is impossible to assess the persuasiveness of the argument.

In conclusion, the argument is unconvincing as it stands. The author would have to provide additional evidence that the news contents of the The Mercury are at par with those of The Bulge. Before coming to any conclusion and further decision regarding reduction in prices, the publication should also survey to get the additional evidence that what makes readers to switch to The Bulge. Without this additional evidence the argument does not supports the assumption pointed out by the author.
Hi Mehra Vikas, I think that the other voter has been unduly harsh by giving you a score of just 3. I think that you have addressed the 'Argumentum Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc' adequately as is the case with the analogy. However, yoiu have missed the statistical fallacy in the stimulus. A decline of 10,000 can be either large or small depending on the total number of people who read this paper before the cheaper paper started. If the total readership i9s in millions, the conclusion is quite valid because the decline is small and does not warrant such wholesale changes. However, if the number of people who read the newspaper before the cheaper alternative started out was small, the argument is quite valid. The author's use of evidence is quite inadequate because he has not mentioned what the total readership was before the 'Bugle' was launched.
Lastly, your essay provides a bit of comic relief when it refers to the Bugle as the 'Bulge'. LOL.

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