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Hi! I'll take the GRE General in a couple of days and I have no one here to help me rating my training essays. I was hoping that you guys could help me this time. I'm confident that I can go on knowing what I have to improve.




To understand the most important characteristics of a society, one must study its major cities.
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.
It is true that we can observe and analyze several characteristics of a society by studying its major cities: there will be a variety of traditions, religions, economic statuses, education backgrounds, just to mention the first things who come to mind. 
However, the picture we take when we limit ourselves only to major cities may not be precise, even if we want to understand only the most important characteristics of a society. For example, the greatest part of the industrial activity in Brazil is in its major cities. So, following the idea suggested by the topic, to know if Brazil has a develped industry we would just have to analyze the major cities. However, it's unlikely that someone will observe the same industrial activity in many minor cities far from the bigger ones. It can simply not exist. When I was younger, I used to live in a very small city and my grandfather had to trave 1 mile everyday to bring water from the closest river. How can a city like this have any industrial activity? And many cities in my country are not very much different from this one where I lived. This is one good reason to study cities with different sizes: some countries (societies) are too large to be represented by a few cities.
Another problem of assuming as true what is stated in the sentece is related to the misguiding evidence that the government use to give to reinforce their effectiveness. A good and current example is the propaganda made by the president of the country where I live (Brazil, the largest country of Latin America). Last month she gave a speech on television saying that Brazil grew more than even during her government and that we shouldn't be worried about the bad things the opposition parties were saying; she claimed that the investment in education tripled and the support the the public health system doubled within one year of government, and that the whole country was feeling the effect of these changes. But my parents live in a small city and everytime I go there I feel that things didn't change at all! There are no colleges, no technical schools neither better service at the hospitals. I made a quick research and found a webpage that showed the government's investment by city: 95% of the federal investment was done in 27 major cities, usually cities with more than 1 million inhabitants. This is why I didn't feel the difference.
There is also one more important indicator of a society that could be interpreted in a wrong way if we are limited to analyzing major cities: employment. Last year, on labor day, due to the political crisis Brazil is passing through, almost every newspaper said that there are only a few cities in Brazil where the employment rate had increased significantly, and among them were every major city. What they failed to mention is that the situation of the employment in our country is stable and much better than it was 5 years ago: almost nobody is unemployed in small cities. There are some problems related to employment, mainly about sallary, but one cannot say that finding a job is an issue in Brazil. Using a small number of cities to talk about a whole country doesn't help us understand the whole picture in this case. This is why I don't agree with the statement.
The following is a memorandum from the business manager of a television station.
"Over the past year, our late-night news program has devoted increased time to national news and less time to weather and local news. During this period, most of the complaints received from viewers were concerned with our station's coverage of weather and local news. In addition, local businesses that used to advertise during our late-night news program have canceled their advertising contracts with us. Therefore, in order to attract more viewers to our news programs and to avoid losing any further advertising revenues, we should expand our coverage of weather and local news on all our news programs."
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 these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
The author of the argument tries to bridge the increasing of time devoted to weather and local news to the attraction of more viewers and not to lose any further advertising revenues. 
One of his arguments is that most of the complaints received from viewers were about the station's coverage of weather and local news. However, he does not say if they received many complaints. Let's suppose that they received only three complaints during the year and two of them were of this kind. It is true that, in this case, most part of the complaints are about the coverage of weather and local news, but I belive that everyone agrees that three complaints during one year is not something to be worried about. Also, he fails to mention if a considerable part of their viewers (not only the ones who made complaints) are satisfied with their current program. If they do change the schedule and devote more time to weather and local news, nobody garantees that the greatest part of their viewers will be happier.
Another argument made is that increasing the time to weather and local news will avoid losing any further adversiting revenue. The author does not explain in any logical and convincing way how these two things are connected. There are many reasons for which local businesses can cancel their advertising contracts with them. For example, if they are passing through a financial crisis, it is perfectly conceiveble that they will try to save money. Or maybe they believe that it is better for them to expose their products at another bigger media enterprise. It is also possible that after some time of advertising, they don't think that sales increased, so it is a waste of money to keep the contract. It is even possible that the action proposed by the argument has the opposite effect: linking this paragraph with the second, what if the greatest part of the viewers doesn't want the change? They will stop watching and, as a consequence, the advertising won't be as effective as they should. Knowing that, local business can also cancel the contract.
Another thing that the author says is that restoring the time devoted to weather and local news is necessary to attract more viewers.. There is also a lack of connectedness here, he doesn't explain why this will happen. This may be true, maybe they will attract more viewers. But what if the audience in general doesn't care about the weather? Suppose that the city has ten times more young people than adults and that they prefer to watch sports. They won't  be an addition to the program's audienc. Before doing such a thing, they must know what is their target and if the audience is likely to accept the new change. The impression I have is that the program doesn't know who they are dealing with, as if they just think about the profit, and this is due to the lack of care of the author.
A good suggestion is to make a deep and detailed research on their audience preferences, so they won't be limited to only one isolated and unreliable number, which is the portion of complaints liked to the time devoted to weather and local news.
Thanks in advance! :)


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