Please rate my first attempt at a GMAT essay (AWA). My template style is essentially intro, paragraph with 1st flaw, paragraph with 2nd flaw, and 3rd paragraph with flaw and lastly the conclusion. Within each flaw I list a way to strengthen the argument.
Essay: " As violence in movies increases, so do crime rates in our cities. To combat this problem we must establish a board to censor certain movie, or we must limit admission to persons over 21 years of age. Apparently our legislators are not concerned about this issue since a bill calling for such actions recently failed to receive a majority vote."
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Find five flaws
1) Correlation does not equate to causation
2) Assumes crime is only committed by person under age 21
3) Assumes if board were to censor movies that it would decrease crime rates
4) Because bill did not pass does not mean legislators don't care
5) Assumes crimes rate are only driven by violence in movies
Pick 3 of the most important flaws ( I chose 1,2, and 5)
The conclusion of the argument states that legislators are not concerned about the issue pertaining to increased violence in movies and increase crime rate in the city. Since a bill calling for action to combat the problem has recently failed to receive a majority vote, it has been concluded legislators do not care about the issue. As the argument stands, it is flawed for the following reason: correlation does not equate to causation, argument assumes the crimes are committed by people under the age of 21, and also assumes crimes rates are driven by the violence in movies.
First the argument contends that correlation equate to causation. In this case violence in movies correlates with the crime rate. Consequentially this mistake is the most critical flaw present. There is no evidence that proves the relationship between the two variables exists. On the other hand, to strengthen this argument, the author could have presented an example in which the legislation of a similar bill had passed within a city that demonstrated a decrease in the crime rate.
The second flaw of the argument suggests the only people committing crimes are below the age of 21. Without evidence to support this assumption, had the bill had passed, crime rates would have remained or increased if the majority of the crimes are committed are by people who are over the age of 21. It is true, that if statistical data had been shared that most of the crimes committed were by individuals below the age of 21 that the argument would be strengthened. Conversely statistical data was not present, hence the flaw within the argument.
The third flaw of the argument suggests crime rate are driven by the violence in movies. Crime rate are inked to poverty, population size, and employment rate. Perhaps increased crime rates are responsible for the increase of violent movies. To strengthen this argument, the author could provide evidence that a decrease of violence in movies has led to a decrease in crime rates.
Consequentially as the conclusion, legislators are not concerned about the issue that pertaining to increase in violence in movies increases crime rates, stands the argument is flawed. With the recommendations mentioned the argument could be sound, however, as it stands it is significantly flawed.
(I felt that my 3rd flaw was a bit of a stretch and rephrase of what was already mentioned with the correlation=causation flaw. Also after speaking with my wife, she pointed out that I didn't specifically address the flaws of the conclusion, but of the premises.)