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GRE Argument Essay Evaluation


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If someone would be kind enough to read the two argument essays provided below and give a score out of six. This way I can see where I am standing as far as the AWA is concerned.:)



Argument 1

The following appeared in a memo from the director of student housing at Buckingham College.
"To serve the housing needs of our students, Buckingham College should build a number of new dormitories. Buckingham's 
enrollment is growing and, based on current trends, will double over the next 50 years, thus making existing dormitory 
space inadequate. Moreover, the average rent for an apartment in our town has risen in recent years. Consequently, 
students will find it increasingly difficult to afford off-campus housing. Finally, attractive new dormitories would 
make prospective students more likely to enroll at Buckingham."
Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the 
evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.


The piece of memo provided lacks evidence in terms of the housing needs of the students of Buckingham College. First
and foremost, more light needs to be shed upon these housing needs. For example the needs might be of provision of food
which would be related to the college mess rather than the dormitories. It could also be that students require more
bathrooms due to the excessive sharing and in-availability due to their large population.

Secondly, there is no guarantee that the enrollment of the college will double over the next 50 years and there are
countless reasons. For instance a college opens up in the near future and the intake of students increases there meaning
the enrollment of the Buckingham college would face a severe jolt by the hands of the new competitor. Another possibility
could be of students opting to study out of town due to fact that the quality of education has drastically increased 
elsewhere as compared to Buckingham college.

The construction of new dormitories does not guarantee the increased enrollment of prospective students to the college.
One reason could be that the college increases the housing fees for the students in order to sustain the added expenses
of the new dormitories. Also due to the fact that the provision of new dormitories might lead to the need of more 
classrooms and a larger teaching faculty due to the expected increase in the number of students. This in turn would
make the parents of the prospective students have second thoughts. Thus, the enrollment of students is not directly 
linked to the quantity of dormitories and the argument fails to analyze and point out other, possibly more 
contributing factors.

Argument 2

The following appeared in an article written by Dr. Karp, an anthropologist.
"Twenty years ago, Dr. Field, a noted anthropologist, visited the island of Tertia and concluded from his observations 
that children in Tertia were reared by an entire village rather than by their own biological parents. However, my recent 
interviews with children living in the group of islands that includes Tertia show that these children spend much more 
time talking about their biological parents than about other adults in the village. This research of mine proves that 
Dr. Field's conclusion about Tertian village culture is invalid and thus that the observation-centered approach to 
studying cultures is invalid as well. The interview-centered method that my team of graduate students is currently using 
in Tertia will establish a much more accurate understanding of child-rearing traditions there and in other island 
Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.



The account of Dr. Karp fails to justify the fact that Dr. Field carried out his work 20 years ago during which the 
upbringing of the children in Tertia islands might have changed drastically. May be twenty years ago, children were 
acutally brought up by the the entire village due to the fact that the parents were busy in social work. Gradually as
time passed, the biological parents realised that they must give more time to their children and thus changed their 

Also the children of Tertia talking more of their biological parents does not imply that they were neccessarily brought 
up by them. It could also be that they were taken care of at a very young age by the villagers and as they grew up, their
biological parents started spending more time with them so they could recall them and recognize their status in their
early lives.

Lastly the interview-centered method of understanding child-rearing traditions faces many questions. Firstly, how many of
the total population of Tertian children were interviewed. Secondly, how many of the children were mature enough to give
accurate accounts of their childhood and biological parents. Lastly, if true, how does the multiple accounts of the 
biological parents by the Tertian children provide evidence as to who they were actually raised by. There could be a
possibility that the villagers who reared them constantly mentioned their biological parents to them from an early age
to make them more familiar to them once they become mature and are eventually reunited wth them in the future.

Therefore all missing evidence provided above clearly weakens the argument provided above.

Edited by abdkh93
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