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Grade first try at a Argument Task and Issue Prompt


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I would appreciate any feedback on my Argument TAsk and Issue prompt essays for the GRE. If you are tight for time even some pointers instead of completely grading them would be welcome! Thanks in advance, I appreciate your help. 

Issue Prompt:

To be an effective leader, a public official must maintain the highest ethical and moral standards.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.


To be effective leaders, public officials must maintain the highest ethical and moral standards. 

A person without high ethical and moral standards does not have an adecuate framework within which to make judgments in the best interest of the good of others. Ethical and moral standards like not stealing, taking bribes, telling the truth or even as seemingly trite as arriving to a meeting are invaluable in order to use public funds to further the interests of society. As a result, people without high ethical and moral standards are often just engulfed in trying to aplacate their ego or fill their pockets. A person in public office is often charged with creating provisions for limited resources to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. Wether this is the mayor of a city who is creating social housing projects, improving public spaces or creating a healthy environment of citizens to enjoy fullfilling lives or a Minister of national defense in charge of ensuring and promoting the safety of the entire country. It is the highest ethical and moral standards that enable public officials to be effective leaders, making decisions for the well-being of others and holding others as more valuable than themselves.

Furthermore, public officials are often in the public eye, appearing on the television, radio and social media, their lives are exposed for the world to see. Their example will be followed by those watching them. Children and adolescents often looking up to these public figures are taking note of their behaviour, how they are portrayed to treat their peers, co-workers, subordiantes and families. It is evident that their leadership will contribute or hinder the funcioning of society.

However, it can be said that people like Hitler, responsible for heneous acts of genocide, were great leaders and did not have high ethical or moral standards. It is important to qualify this argument that leaders that will furthe public good and use their positions of leadership for positive change must have high ethical and moral standards.

In conclusion, public officials, effecitive in achieving what they are intedend to do, look out and further the public good, who will also be a good example and further the correct funcionting of society must have the highest ethical moral standards.  


 Argument Task:

The following memorandum is from the business manager of Happy Pancake House restaurants.

"Recently, butter has been replaced by margarine in Happy Pancake House restaurants throughout the southwestern United States. This change, however, has had little impact on our customers. In fact, only about 2 percent of customers have complained, indicating that an average of 98 people out of 100 are happy with the change. Furthermore, many servers have reported that a number of customers who ask for butter do not complain when they are given margarine instead. Clearly, either these customers do not distinguish butter from margarine or they use the term 'butter' to refer to either butter or margarine."

Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.


Customer satisfaction should be the first priority of a manager of a chain of restaurants. This does not seem to be the case for Happy Pancake House restaurants, who are making decisions based on the happiness of the owners and the bottom line and not the happiness of the costumers. It is clear that the conclusion arrived at by the manager that the change from butter to margarine has had little impact on the customers, is unwarranted based on the evidence provided in his memorandum.

The manager explains that 2% of the customers have complained, and while this is 2 of 100 customers, Happy Pancake House, given that it has restaurants in the southwestern United States, is likely to have more than 100 customers. If the chain has 10,000 customers then the number of unsatisfied customers is already 200 people. Therefore, it is important that the argument presents the total number of customers that do frecuent the chains where this change has taken place to be able to determine with more precision the  number of unsatisfied customers in order to make a more accurate conclusion about the impact of the change on customers.

Furthermore, it is unclear wether or not the servers have been requested to report every instance when a customer has expressed his or her dissatisfaction with the change. It is likely that only the servers who are experiencing consistent complaints from customers report the cases to their managers. For the argument to be strengthened we would need to know that all the servers have been given explicit instructions to repot any case of customer disatisfaction related to the change from butter to margarine. Furthemore, we would need to know that there have been systematic and intentional efforts to gather and sistematize the instances of disatisfaction to determine that there has in fact been little impact on customers. 

Lastly, the manager assumes that because Pancake House patrons do not complain upon being given margarine instead of butter is because they don’t distinguish the difference when there are many other reasons that could account for them not complaining. For example, they could rightfully assume that the Pancake house does not have butter, they could feel bad complaining to waiters who are often paid minimum wage and have very limited influence on store product stocking policy, they could be busy and need to go or a plethora of other reasons. What is probable is that if they do prefer butter over margerine they could choose to go to a restaurant that does offer it.

In conclusion, the manager’s memorandum makes unwarranted the conclusions based on limited evidence that customers have been minimally impacted by the change of butter to margerine. Clearly this blattant disregard for evidence based conclusions demostrate a lack of regard for the interest of customers and is clouded with greed, since margarine is more inexpensive than margarine and what the change likely means is that the store makes a higher revenue, albeit in the short run.


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