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hopefulPA2B

Could you please evaluate my GRE argument essay

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So, this was my first go at it, so it'll probably be easy for you to grade. Having said that, I know I need to work on getting more length within the 30 minute time frame. I'm more interested what you think about how fluid the essay is and what assumptions you think I missed or also could have focused on. Also, here is some grading criteria that might help:https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/argument/scoring_guide. Everything else is here below. Thank you in advance!

The prompt:

The council of Maple County, concerned about the county's becoming overdeveloped, is debating a proposed measure that would prevent the development of existing farmland in the county. But the council is also concerned that such a restriction, by limiting the supply of new housing, could lead to significant increases in the price of housing in the county. Proponents of the measure note that Chestnut County established a similar measure ten years ago, and its housing prices have increased only modestly since. However, opponents of the measure note that Pine County adopted restrictions on the development of new residential housing fifteen years ago, and its housing prices have since more than doubled. The council currently predicts that the proposed measure, if passed, will result in a significant increase in housing prices in Maple County.

 

 

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.

 

 

My essay:

The preceeding argument states that housing prices in Maple County will significantly increase if restrictions on housing developemnt are placed on the county’s farmland. This premise is not valid, as it relies on too many unsound assumptions.

First, by believing that the housing prices will increase as they did in Pine County, the argument assumes that Maple County has to be similar to Pine County. Perhaps, the houses built in Maple County would be more affordable for the people there, than in Pine county. Because the argument paragraph neglects to state similarities between the two counties, the reader has no way of knowing how one county could follow the same trend as another, ultimately having same effect from the restriciton. To strengthen the premise, the author should describe to the reader the similarities Maple County has to Pine County, and the people there, reenforcing why the housing prices would rise.

Another assumption that the argument fails to recognize is how things may change over time. It is stated that the housing prices in Pine County more than doubled from the same restricitons, but this was over 15 years ago. Therefore, the author believes that what was true fifeteen years ago, is true today. Even if we treated these counties as equal, this is an obvious fallacy because maybe the economy is better today for Maple County than it was back then for Pine County, and thus, the effect may favor more to that of Chestnut County, only increasing moderately. To make the argument more believable, the author must give reasons why the economics of today are similar to the economics fifeteen years ago for Pine County.

In conclusion, the author relies on several unwarranted assumptions to prove that the predicted result of Maple County’s plan will be similar to that of Pine County’s.

Edited by hopefulPA2B

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I'd say this is a little stronger than your issue essay - 4? 4.5? - but lacking in concrete examples. You note the flaw in the reasoning - the basis of the argument in the straightforward comparison between the two counties, but then you simply say that that's a problem over and over without giving any examples beyond saying that there probably are examples, or addressing the counter of Chestnut county. The 15 year thing isn't convincing either - that's a good time frame to assess that kind of thing. The question is interested in the consequences of a decades-long process. 

You could have talked about Pine county being closer to a big city or good transit links to a big city, having had a new factory open, driving up demand for housing and prices, etc, when you talk about better economy. Or, even better (I think) brought up real world examples of divergence in real state prices. "Major metropolitan areas, such as New York and San Francisco, have seen housing costs double and triple over the past ten years, while homes elsewhere across the country have lost their value due to the financial crisis of 2008." etc. Apparently, no one will check whether this stuff, as you write it, is accurate, it just kinda has to make sense. 

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Thank you TK2! Great insights. It's so so difficult for me to think of so much and write it all down in just 30 minutes. I'll need to spend more time writing/practicing. I'll post more here. Thanks again.

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