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Take a look at my argument essay? (plz!)


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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.


The author of the above letter makes the unwarranted assumption that prohibiting skateboarding will result in Central Plaza’s (“the Plaza”) return to its previously high levels of business. The store owner’s reasoning for this argument is that the increasing number of people skateboarding in the Plaza is the direct reason for a decrease in the number of shoppers frequenting the plaza, which has resulted in less business. Additionally, the author makes the implicit assumption that the skateboarders have been littering and vandalizing the plaza. However, the author does not address the questions necessary to validate the prohibition of skateboarding in the Plaza.

First, the letter argues the that the shoppers have stopped coming to the Plaza over the past two years because they do not like the skateboarding scene. Perhaps, the skateboarders are disruptive and cause chaos in the Plaza. However, this cannot be confirmed unless the author first evaluates the other possible reasons for a decrease in shoppers. For example, a new plaza could have opened up nearby, which attracted the Plaza’s usual shoppers. This would in turn result in less shoppers at the Plaza. Another possible reason is there could be construction around the Plaza, making it hard or a pain for shoppers to get there. Thus, the author must ask the question of what else could be decreasing the number of shoppers before assuming it is the increase in skateboarding. This can be done through surveying the nearby communities or surveying the past shoppers.

Next, the letter states that the storeowners believe the decrease in their business is due to the increased number of skateboarders, who are driving away the shoppers. In order to validate this statement, one must ask the question of what else could be decreasing business. Similarly to the above reasoning, there is a plethora of other possibilities for a decrease in business. For example, the stores could simply be outdated and no longer attractive to shoppers. Moreover, the stores could have raised their prices two years ago, resulting in less business. If prices have stayed the same and the stores have continuously updated their inventory, then this would strengthen the decision to prohibit skateboarders in the Plaza. However, the author must first carefully analyze why their is a decrease in business.

Finally, the letter implicitly states that the increase in litter and vandalism is a result of the skateboarders and, therefore, prohibiting skateboarding will solve the issue at hand, resulting in the return of shoppers. This assumption is unwarranted because there is no concrete evidence that the skateboarders are the culprits. Frankly, it is unfair to assume the skateboarders are littering and vandalizing without any concrete evidence, such as video footage. The Plaza should enforce night security or install video cameras to catch the individuals in the act. If the skateboarders are caught in the act, then prohibiting them becomes more valid. Notably, the vandalism and litter may not be the reason why shoppers have stopped frequenting the Plaza. With the present lack of evidence, prohibiting skateboarding will not surely fix the littering/vandalizing issue and a clean, non-vandalized Plaza may not attract back customers.

Overall, the letter fails to provide substantial evidence that prohibiting skateboarding will increase the Plaza’s business to its previously high levels. The author must first decipher why there is a lack of shoppers, perhaps by surveying the nearby communities. Next, the author must rule out the other reasons for a decrease in business. Finally, the author must provide concrete evidence as to which individuals are responsible for the littering and vandalism in the Plaza. If the answers to these questions point to the increase in skateboarding, then prohibiting skateboarders will likely result in an increase in the Plaza’s business, warranting the store owner’s plea.

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