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Please help me rate my argument essay

This topic has 3 member replies
bimmer116 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Please help me rate my argument essay

Post Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:12 pm
Hi guys,

First time post here but a long time reader. Long story short I have my exam this sat and wanted to see where I stand on the AWA. If you guys can please help me rate my essay I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,

Mike

Topic 490: The following appeared in the editorial section of a daily newspaper. "Although forecasts of presidential elections based on opinion polls measure current voter preference, many voters keep changing their minds about whom they prefer until the last few days before the balloting. Some do not even make a final decision until they enter the voting booth. Forecasts based on opinion polls are therefore little better at predicting election outcomes than a random guess would be." Discuss how well reasoned . . . Etc.


The effectiveness of using presidential election opinion polls as forecasts of the election out come has become a hotly debated topic in the United States as of late. Some believe that the forecast offers the public a general idea of the election outcome while some others perceive the opinion poll as rather ineffective for its intended purpose. In the preceding statement, the author states that due the undecisive natures of the voters, forecasts based on opinion polls are therefore no better at prediction the outcome than a random guess would be. Though his claim may have merit, the author presents a poorly reasoned argument, based on unsupported assumptions and reasons. Until the author can provide support for these details, readers should not proceed with his recommendations.

The primary assumption that the author makes is that he assumes the sole purpose of the election poll is to predict the outcome of the elections. There are ,in fact several notable usage for the election poll other than for forecast. According to the most recent issue of TIMES magazine, they mentioned that while notable for its ability to forecast election outcomes, election polls often bring awareness to the voters to participate in the voting process. If the author were to acknowledge the other usages of the election poll while making the its primary role as a election predictor, he can better support his claim.

In addition, the author stated that many voters change their mind about who to vote until the last few days before the balloting. This is simply claim without support, many voters are staple voters of their party, for example in the recent poll done by the economist magazine, 70% of would be voters already made up their minds of who to vote a month ahead of the actual election. The author should provide more data or cite polls that prove his claim that many voters are undecided.

Furthermore, the author discuss that some voters do not even make a final decision until they enter the voting booth. While this may be true, the portion of voter that behave this way are not the majority. In the same survey done by the economist it was stated that only 5% of the to be voters have not yet made up their mind and might not be decided until the election day. The author should note that although some people are still undecided the proportion of these people to the whole voting population should be taken into account.

In sum, the author’s illogical argument is based on unsupported reasons and assumptions that render his conclusion invalid. Until the author fix his flaw in reasoning and further explicate his assumptions and provide evidentiary support, his poorly constructed argument will likely convince few people.

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bubblehead0922 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:55 pm
Please rate my writing with the concern mentioned above.

The editor contends that forecasts based on opinion polls have little better value in predicting election outcomes that a random guess would be, because many voters are indecisive. This argument is poorly constructed with unsubstantiated assumptions, vague terms, and illogical reasoning.

To begin with, the most conspicuous flaw is that the argument draws its conclusion based on an unsubstantiated assumption. It would be true that there are voters who may changes their preference until the last minutes of the balloting. However, the author fails to establish that these indecisive voters contribute to the opinion polls. Clearly, it is reasonable to believe that the voters who are uncertain about their decision on the election would be reluctant to involve in the opinion polls. Therefore, without any evidentiary support on how indecisive voters influence the results of opinion polls, it is invalid to doubt the accuracy of the forecasts of presidential polls.

Furthermore, this argument unfortunately involves some ambiguous terms in its contentions. The author claims that many voters keep changing their minds until the last few days before the balloting and some do not even make a final decision until they enter the voting booth. Many and some could mean 100 or 100,000. The editor neither defines the actual amount of indecisive voters nor mentions whether the proportion of these voters is great enough to change the result of presidential election, leading the conclusion unwarranted.

Finally, the demographic characteristics of those indecisive voters are never provided. Since the result of presidential election is composed of votes by states rather than individuals, the opinion of majority in each state is more important than the opinion of each individual. For example, the voters who change their minds back and forth may more likely come from rural areas of certain states with low education backgrounds. As a result, the possibility of such indecisive voters in affecting the result of the state vote may only, if not at all, occurs in a few states that hold minor number of votes. The reasoning of this argument is vulnerable to the criticism that the demographic feature of the indecisive voters result in little impact of such voters on the result of presidential election.

In sum, the reasoning of this argument is illogical and far-fetched. To better evaluate its conclusion, the author should provide some concrete information on the demographic feature of these indecisive voters and whether the proportion of such voters can affect the result of presidential election. The argument would be strengthened, if the author were to concede that the forecasts based on the opinion polls might not always be reliable due to the way of opinion polls conducted, rather than strongly stating that they are little better at predicting election outcomes than a random guess would be.

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bubblehead0922 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:03 am
Can someone please help me with my confusion on this prompt?

I face a dilemma here. In this argument, the author contends that forecast based on opinion polls has no better predicting value on election outcome than a random guess. It seems to be true according to the latest presidential election. But I read it somewhere saying we have to go against whatever the argument concludes. I feel that I could only attack the illogical reasoning of this argument rather than its conclusion. Can I agree with its conclusion but attack its illogical reasoning in my AWA writing?

Thx for your time in advance.

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arora007 Community Manager
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Post Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:11 pm
Mike the essay is almost flawless. The idea - organized. The language - well balanced. The use of indicator words(picked up by the software "In addition," , "Furthermore," , "In sum," etc. ) - correct. A few spaces of indentation is all what I would have liked to add to each paragraph. I guess I will rate you a 5.5 if not a 6.

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