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Help with AWA practice Please!


mystique00713
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Hey; 

   I am practicing for the AWA portion of the GRE could use so help to improve my writing. Any pointers Would be greatly appreciated. 

The following appeared as a letter to the editor from a Central Plaza store owner. 
  
"Over the past two years, the number of shoppers in Central Plaza has been steadily decreasing while the popularity of skateboarding has increased dramatically. Many Central Plaza store owners believe that the decrease in their business is due to the number of skateboard users in the plaza. There has also been a dramatic increase in the amount of litter and vandalism throughout the plaza. Thus, we recommend that the city prohibit skateboarding in Central Plaza. If skateboarding is prohibited here, we predict that business in Central Plaza will return to its previously high levels." 
  
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation. 
 
 

In the argument above, the author states that the prohibition of skateboarding in Central Plaza would bring business up to previous levels. However, there are still many questions that are left unanswered by the author's statement in order for it to lead to the predicted result.  The statement does not answer if skateboarding is truly the cause of a decrease in business in the central plaza and there is no data or research done to support the author's statement. Finally, the author fails to answer the question that if the action of a prohibition of skateboarding in Central Plaza is taken, will this actually lead to higher business levels? 
 
  First, The author fails to ask if the increase in skateboarding is the actual cause of the declining business in Central Plaza?   It may be that there are other factors that are contributing to the issue which the author is not considering. For example maybe people out of town on vacation for certain season of the year, this could contribute to the decline in business at the Central Plaza.  In addition, it could also be that people are moving because of a higher cost of living in the area. There also may be other plazas around and there could be an increase in competition that is taking customer's away from Central Plaza as well. 
   Another question that is left unanswered by the author would be, is there data to support the author claims that skateboarding is indeed the cause of the decrease in business?  The author could have taken the time to create a survey and have data generated to back their statement.  In this case, there is no indication that the author has any type of research to support this claim. Without data or any other evidence to support the prediction, there is no certain way to claim that skateboarding is indeed the sole cause of the decrease in business in Central Plaza. 
    Finally,  one last question the author's claim does not answer is, will prohibit skateboarding in Central Plaza actually cause the business to return? Because there are so many unanswered variables that could contribute to the declining business levels and the author did not discuss them.  There is no clear way to know for certain what the outcome of the prohibition will be. The only way to know for certain that the prohibition of skateboarding will bring business levels up is if the data and research are available to support this claim.   
   In conclusion, there is no way to predict that a prohibition of skateboarding will bring business back for sure because it is not entirely clear that skateboarding is the sole reason for the decrease in business. Secondly, there has not been enough data collected to confirm that the skateboarders are the reason that customers are not shopping at Central Plaza as frequently as in previous years. Finally, a prohibition of skateboarding in Central Plaza does not guarantee that business will increase to previous levels. 

 

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Hey! I'm taking the GRE tomorrow (for the first time) so take this with a grain of salt.

However, something that caught my eye here: you are very much data and research based, but that seems like a far stretch. However, the problem for shop-owners etc is not skateboarders themselves, it is the increase in the amount of litter and vandalism. A far easier solution could be making sure there is signage about littering as well as bins. CCTV. Etc. Essentially, I think you can benefit from thinking a little bit longer about the implications of what the argument is saying. It looks like it's about skateboarders, but really it's about problems with littering and vandalism, but you haven't really touched that in your response.

Finally - edit! You've got a fair few commas missing and clumsy sentences (e.g. 'Another question that is left unanswered by the author would be, is there data to support the author claims that skateboarding is indeed the cause of the decrease in business?' - what are you trying to say here?) Use all the time you have, and make sure you dedicate a couple minutes for proofreading at the end.

Good luck!!

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