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Please grade my argument and/or issue task


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I started doing the Magoosh study plan and I'm planning on taking my GRE sometime in August. These are practices I did by timing myself. First one is an issue task and second is argument task. If you could please review and grade them honestly! I got a bit sidetracked and ran out of time (my main weakness) so I haven't had the chance to proofread but I wanted to post them as is. Thank you!!



Issue Task 

The increasingly rapid pace of life today causes more problems than it solves.


Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.


Modernization comes in waves, each time bringing new ideas and solutions to society. While this is a common pattern throughout human history, recent generations show exponential increases in the pace of living. Technology, such as the Internet, has surpassed its preliminary stages as a new invention and become a necessary tool and addiction for living in our constantly moving modern society. As a result, the rapid pace of life characteristic of modern-day society robs individuals of human interaction and enjoyment of life. 


As society progresses, we rely more and more on machines and technology to make our lives more efficient. A commuter rushing to work can check their cell phone for information on the quickest bus or train route to get there on time. When a bus does not arrive on schedule, a city dweller will fervently refresh their bus tracker app, cursing technology for the delay. Although they seldom ask a bus station worker or a fellow commuter about the reliability of these applications. Human interaction has been replaced with reliance on technology which tells us everything we need to know. Most information we need can be found online within seconds. From bank balances to the ailment we are suffering from, there is an app we can rely on and which will provide that information more readily than a human being, such as a bank teller or a doctor. The fast-paced lives we live promote efficiency at the cost of cutting out extraneous human interactions and replacing them with computerized results. 


Our lives move so quickly that we find ourselves constantly moving. From one commitment to another, the same technology which helps us save time also encourages us to pack activity into every moment of our waking hours. Wielding a bus tracker, the city dweller has a few minutes to order coffee at Starbucks — paying with an app stored on their cell phone — before speedwalking to the bus stop. This can be very stressful. Any hiccup, whether it be a delay with the bus, malfunctioning coffee payment app, or human error from walking too slowly, can result in a catastrophe. By over-scheduling our daily lives, we set ourselves up for added stress and anxiety. The very technology we rely on to keep us grounded in this fast-paced world fails us time and again, because it cannot accommodate for the random events that occur in the real world. The unpredicability of our worlds cannot be accounted for with technology and so we begin to dread the unknown. We are set up to fail when we rely on technology which cannot account for these deviations. 


On the other hand, progress results from moving quickly and with purpose. As the pace of living increases, we are required to invent solutions to regulate our world. Creativity is a necessary by product of a rapid paced lifestyle. If society never progressed, there would be no need for bus tracking applications. The buses would arrive at random, commuters would wait, and be fired for being inevitabily late. Companies would have consistent turnover and be more focused on maintaining a workforce than inventing new ideas and promoting their existing workers.


The rapid pace of life leads to a multitude of problems, involving added stress and the neglect of human interaction among our daily lives. Although the increasing pace of life comes with progress, we cannot allow progress to dominate over the value of the human experience. As a result, the rapid pace of life causes more problems in our society than it solves. 




Argument Task


A recently issued twenty-year study on headaches suffered by the residents of Mentia investigated the possible therapeutic effect of consuming salicylates. Salicylates are members of the same chemical family as aspirin, a medicine used to treat headaches. Although many foods are naturally rich in salicylates, food-processing companies also add salicylates to foods as preservatives. The twenty-year study found a correlation between the rise in the commercial use of salicylates and a steady decline in the average number of headaches reported by study participants. At the time when the study concluded, food-processing companies had just discovered that salicylates can also be used as flavor additives for foods, and, as a result, many companies plan to do so. Based on these study results, some health experts predict that residents of Mentia will suffer even fewer headaches in the future.

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the prediction and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the prediction.


The reduction in headaches among a population of residents from Mentia is attributed to the increased consumption of salicylate during the previous twenty years. The author of the argument cites the study wherein they based these claims as support. However, the validity of this argument is questionable, given the existence of a few major assumptions. While the conclusion of this argument may be true, there are a few changes which may strengthen its logical progression. 


We cannot state that the consumption of salicylates caused the reduction of headaches for residents of Mentia because the study is correlational. There may be another factor influencing the rate of headaches experienced by participants in this study. Perhaps the participants in the study experience an abnormally high incidence of headaches as compared to the general population. Thus, the study sample is not representative. One way to remedy this issue is for the researchers to use a comparison control group for the duration of the study, evaluating the incidence of headaches among those participants as compared to the participants consuming salicylates. Then they can affirm that salicylate consumption leads to a reduction in headaches. 


Given that the study began twenty years ago, it may be that age is a factor in experiencing headaches. The original study population was twenty years older at the end of the study than at the beginning. Younger people may experience headaches more frequently, depending on the various stressors in their lives. After retirement, for example, an individual has more time to relax and do enjoyable things. The author should provide information on the typical pattern of headaches throughout the lifetime as well as the age of the participants in the study. If headaches generally double in frequency each year after age 50 and the study evaluated participants from 50 to 70 years old, then it is likely that the observed changes in headaches are independent of participants’ ages. In that case, this information further supports the argument. 


Finally, the argument does not explain how any of the variables were measured in the study. Nor do they explain the sample of residents of Mentia. The vague description of the study weakens its plausability because the author does not describe anything more than the results. If the researchers chose participants of all ages, required them to consume a certain amount of salicylates and log their headaches daily, then we know that the study is both representative and uses quantitative and qualitative measure. This information supports the argument because it shows that the study follows certain scientific guidelines. However, if the researchers asked participants to ballpark the number of headaches they experienced over the last twenty years and did not evaluate individual changes in salicylate consumption, then their claims lack validity. 


The argument relies on a few major assumptions, which bring the validity of these claims into question. To improve the logical flow of the argument, the author must add a more detailed account of the specifics of the study. In addition, the author assumes that correlation leads to causation. While it may be true that the correlation between salicylate consumption and the reduction in headaches is a cause and effect relationship, we cannot know this for sure without employing certain scientific measures. Finally, the study is twenty years old and it may be that the conditions in Mentia have changed since then. For this reason, the argument has many flaws which should be addressed to strengthen its conclusion.

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Issue essay:  I would recommend focusing more precisely on the question, in this case by noting both the problems a fast-paced lifestyle solves and the problems it causes. Your essay seemed to focus instead on the benefits and drawbacks of technology. I also note a syntax error in paragraph two - the sentence beginning with "Although" is a fragment.


 I think your second essay is better, and hits all the main arguments.

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Issue Essay:

I agree with the above poster that you do not seem to have a precise response to the actual question/issue but instead, are just writing several tangentially related thoughts. You have the prompt in your post and I just want to highlight a few key phrases:


Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.



Overall, I think you can improve this essay by being more explicit in "the extent in which you agree/disagree" and then use your current paragraphs/examples to support your agreement/disagreement. Your current essay does come up with several good ideas that are for/against this statement, but you do not tie these ideas/examples with your position on this issue. I would ensure that you clearly state your position at the beginning and then give examples. Also a few notes:


In Paragraph 1, I find the combination of "modernization comes in waves" and "exponential increase" confusing, because the latter implies constantly accelerating growth while the former either implies periods of growth and decline, or periods of growth followed by periods of non-activity.


In the body paragraphs, I feel you get a little side-tracked by writing about technology and apps contributing to problems due to lack of human interaction. However, the prompt is about the increasingly rapid pace of life, not technology/apps. I think it's fine to use lack of human interaction due to technology/apps as evidence of a problem that the increased pace of life causes but I think your body paragraphs veers too far off topic. That is, you have two paragraphs developing this idea when I think since the main topic is the pace of life, you should have at least two different ways the increasingly rapid pace of life causes more problems.


Argument essay:

I think your response here is much stronger and more on topic! I just have one thought though:


You say that the argument presented may not be valid because it contains assumptions. This is an incorrect statement, because arguments are generally a logical conclusion that you arrive at from a list of premises and assumptions. I think you should focus on the fact that the assumptions may not be correct (and show why) and how an incorrect assumption can break down the argument. You do this in your body paragraphs, and that's great. I just think you should rephrase your introduction and conclusion so that you are questioning the validity of the assumptions, rather than the existence of assumptions.

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