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  1. First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to read my essay! Now, to the essay: Woven baskets characterized by a particular distinctive pattern have previously been found only in the immediate vicinity of the prehistoric village of Palea and therefore were believed to have been made only by the Palean people. Recently, however, archaeologists discovered such a "Palean" basket in Lithos, an ancient village across the Brim River from Palea. The Brim River is very deep and broad, and so the ancient Paleans could have crossed it only by boat, and no Palean boats have been found. Thus it follows that the so-called Palean baskets were not uniquely Palean. Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument. The argument is flawed as it assumes that the baskets were built in the site in which they were found and therefore couldn´t be Palean. The argument points to the characteristics of the river as a hurdle that could only be overcome with the help of a boat. Such boats, would appear, were wanting in the Palean community and therefore the transportation of the baskets was not be feasible. However, the underlying assumption for this part of the argument is that only the Paleans would transport their baskets. Evidence of boats belonging to the Litho community or other communities on the river would weaken the argument, as the basket could be a good traded between the communities in boats not owned by the Paleans. Evidence that Palean people married into Lithos families would also weaken the argument at hand. If a Palean person had moved to Lithos after marrying and weaved with the same patterns learned in her original community, the technique could still be considered Palean. The definition of what it means to be Palean would have to be more specific so as to outright reject belonging to the Palean community after marrying into another community. The argument also fails to explain whether it was only one basket or more that were found. Given that the villages were facing each other across a river it is feasible that one of the Palean baskets was lost to the river and the current carried it to the other shore. Evidence of a large number of baskets and materials to build the artifacts could strengthen the argument, however such information is missing. The evidence described above would discard the argument that baskets are not Palean.
  2. I'm taking the GRE for the first time in a few days, and I would really like it if anyone could help critique my essays. I have no idea where my essay scores lie on the GRE scale from 0-6, so if anyone has any advice or comments, please let me know! I would really like to improve as much as I can in the next few days, if possible. Anything is appreciated! Prompt 1 (Issue Task): The best leaders are those who encourage feedback from the people whom they lead. Essay 1: Leaders throughout history have all lead in their own way. Some do their best on their own, while others create the best solutions with their people by their side. Regardless, understanding the minds of citizens around you is a key aspect to governing. If you stand as a leader, it is important to encourage feedback from people around you. This will not only allow the people to feel involved in decision-making, but it will also provide different perspectives. Having more than one idea on an issue can lead to better governing in that it will give the leader a look from multiple angles. If a leader were to decide how to resolve all issues alone, it may be more difficult for the leader to succeed by reducing the likelihood of a problem being solved in the best way. Encouraging others to give their opinions on an issue will also create stronger future leaders. Great leaders should be able to share their wisdom and power with others while holding the ability to maintain a firm leadership on their own. If a powerful person is in charge and asks those around him to use their minds to help resolve an issue at hand, the people will grow in intelligence and confidence as a whole. Although having opinions of others can prove to be beneficial a lot of the time, there are also times where it is appropriate for a difficult decision to be made alone. Sometimes having different viewpoints from many people can make a decision more challenging. Hearing what others have to say can add bias to a solution, and sometimes the direction that the majority votes towards may not always be the best. If a leader is leaning toward one side, but the people are leaning toward the other, this may negatively impact the leader's decision. It is important to note that if someone is in charge, they are in charge for a reason, and the people must be able to trust their leader's judgement. Some of the world's best leaders lead alongside with their people. It is important to be wit others. Prompt 2 (Argument Task): The following was presented as part of a business plan by Apex Corporation. "To answer the increased demand for artisan coffee, Apex Corporation is releasing a new line of coffee, "Gourmet Select." Apex Corporation will first introduce the coffee into major supermarkets, where it hopes word-of-mouth advertising will sustain sales. After a few months Apex Corp. will run an advertising campaign aimed at television and radio while simultaneously releasing the brand to several major chain restaurants. Based on this strategy, Apex Corporation hopes to make "Gourmet Select" one of the top sellers in the coffee market." Essay 2: Many companies attempt and fail at making a new product a success, and oftentimes, it is the business plan that is responsible. Apex Corporation's business plan is weak and flawed in several ways. Firstly, an increased demand for artisan coffee will not necessarily be solved by introducing "Gourmet Select," a new line of coffee. Buyers may not want a new product but rather, more of an original product. Gourmet Select may not bring the same taste or be of the same quality as those products that consumers are already used to. Releasing a new line of coffee does not mean that the demand for artisan coffee will be met. Furthermore, the next step in Apex Corporation's business plan is a poor step because sustaining sales can require more than simply word-of-mouth advertising. Introducing Gourmet Select to major supermarkets may help sales increase a little, but there's no telling how much it will help sales. Relying on customers to spread the word of a new line of coffee is at the very least naive. If customers dislike the new coffee product, they may advertise the product negatively. Many factors of the new coffee line such as quality, taste, and smell must all be stellar for Apex Corporation to be confident in selling their coffee through word-of-mouth, but there is no way to know this through the presented business plan. Finally, advertising on the television, on the radio, and through major chain restaurants may increase sales, but it does not guarantee that Gourmet Select will become one of the top sellers in the coffee market. The product itself must prove to be of top quality in every aspect to make its way to the top of the coffee market, but this business plan mentions nothing of the product's quality. This argument should include reviews on Gourmet Select in order to predict how it will sell in the public market. Due to a number of flaws and weak assumptions, it can be concluded that this business plan will fail. Apex Corporation should review and improve each step in this strategy for a chance to make Gourmet Select a success.
  3. In surveys Mason City residents rank water sports (swimming, boating and fishing) among their favorite recreational activities. The Mason River flowing through the city is rarely used for these pursuits, however, and the city park department devotes little of its budget to maintaining riverside recreational facilities. For years there have been complaints from residents about the quality of the river's water and the river's smell. In response, the state has recently announced plans to clean up Mason River. Use of the river for water sports is therefore sure to increase. The city government should for that reason devote more money in this year's budget to riverside recreational facilities. Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on the assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted. My response: Although it may hold true that the Mason City government should devote more of its budget toward maintaining riverside recreational facilities, the author of this passage does not present a cohesive argument in favor of this notion. Even though Mason City residents seem to enjoy water sports like swimming, boating, and fishing on paper, it cannot be concluded that cleaning up the river will undoubtedly lead to increased usage of the river--there are many factors to be considered. At a first glance, it is logical to conclude that because Mason City residents seem to enjoy water sports, all that is needed to prompt them to grab their swimsuits and head to the river is a noticeable improvement in the water quality and smell of the river, and that it is for this reason that the government should spend more on maintaining riverside recreational facilities. However, upon closer inspection, it seems that this argument relies on a correlation rather than a causation. It may be true that Mason City residents enjoy water sports, but this in no way guarantees that residents will be prompted to use the river even if the river is cleaned up. Mason City could, for example, be located in a climate or geographical area that does not favor water sports. The river could be exceptionally cold, or the city could be located in a part of the country that has very few sunny or warm days; this would deter the residents from engaging in recreational activities in the river even if the water were dazzlingly clean. Similarly, the river could be rocky, dangerous, or full of rapids, further deterring the residents of the city from using the river for recreational activities. Simply stated, the fact that the residents respond favorably to water sports in a survey implies correlation rather than causation; it does not guarantee that cleaning up the river will lead to a marked increase in the usage of the river or of riverside recreational facilities. Along a similar line of reasoning, the argument is inherently flawed because it does not fully guarantee that the proposed timeline for increasing the money spent on maintaining recreational facilities will coincide with the separate plan to clean up the river. The argument only states that the government has recently released plans to improve the quality of the river water; it does not guarantee that this will be accomplished in the same fiscal year as the plan to reallocate more funds to maintaining riverside recreational facilities. The argument, therefore, relies on the assumption that the river will be fully cleaned this year, the same year that the money is spent on maintaining recreational facilities. However, there is no proof that this will happen. It can thusly not be concluded that residents will have any more reason to use the river, even if more money is spent on facilities, because the plan to clean up the river may or may not come to fruition this year. Lastly, the argument is flawed because it relies upon the assumption that the poor quality of the river water is completely fixable—however, this may or may not be true. It is entirely possible, for example, that Mason River is the receptacle for waste flow from a nearby industrial area separate from Mason Cty, and that cleaning up the river is entirely outside the local government’s control. This would preclude the Mason City government from cleaning up the river at all, which would do nothing to quell the residents’ concerns about the appearance and smell of the river. Increasing spending on riverside facilities, then, would be unwise, as there would be no guarantee that use of the river would increase. Upon first glance, the author of the argument presents a case that loosely suggests that the Mason City government should increase spending on maintaining riverside recreational facilities because it can assume the river will be cleaned and use of the river will increase. However, upon closer examination, it quickly becomes clear that the argument is inherently flawed. Cleaning up the river in no way guarantees use of the river will increase, as Mason City could be located in a region which precludes use of any river for waterspouts altogether. The argument does not address the concern that the plan to clean up the river will come to fruition in the same fiscal year as the plan to increase spending on facilities. Finally, the argument fails to take into consideration the possibility that the quality of the river is beyond the control of the local government. For these reasons, the argument is inherently invalid and should be readdressed and made to consider these issues. Thank you in advance!
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