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Request for a Critique of my GRE Argument Essay


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Hello, I would be very grateful if somebody could offer some constructive feedback and a score estimate and to my third timed argument essay. I will try my very best to critique and grade any essays that you are working on in order to return the favor. Thanks!


The following appeared in an article written by Dr. Karp, and 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 cultures.


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.


Dr. Karp’s results from his in-field interviews with Tertian children are antagonistic to the results from Dr. Field’s observational results of Tertian family dynamics. Dr. Field observed that Tertian children tend to be raised by an entire village rather than by their two biological parents; on the other hand, Dr. Karp’s interview method suggests that Tertian children are primarily raised by their biological parents. Although Dr. Karp’s interview method seems promising, his results are weak for several reasons.


While Dr. Karp’s suggestion follows a logical pathway from his interview results, he fails to answer several questions that could potentially strengthen or weaken his argument. Without answering these questions, his claim is merely a hypothesis. For one, Dr. Karp does not answer why Tertian children talk about their biological parents more than other members of the village. While the children may be raised by the entire village, they may spend their nights in their primary family’s living quarters; therefore, they may go to sleep hearing their family’s stories and eating food cooked by their parents. As a result, they may care more for their biological relatives simply because they spend their nights with them. Even so, this does not prove that the entire village does not care for the village children during the day.


Additionally, Dr. Karp does not elaborate on the social status of the Tartian children that were interviewed. If Dr. Karp solely interview children from a royal bloodline, these children may have a sense of pride emanating from their biological heritage. Therefore, those children that were interviewed would have been more vocal about their biological parents, rather than other adults in the village. It may also be true that children with royal heritage are primarily raised by their biological parents in order to keep bloodlines pure or in order to maintain distinction from the rest of the village. If this is true, it may provide evidence of sampling error from Dr. Karp’s graduate students in the field. Also, if sampling error is present, Dr. Karp would have different results if the interviews are repeated with different children.

In order to fully evaluate the argument, it is also crucial to consider when both of the studies were completed. Dr. Field’s observational study may have been completed decades before Dr. Karp’s study. If this is true, Dr. Field’s study may suggest traditional child rearing methods while Dr. Karp’s study may suggest modernized child rearing methods in Tartia. Such temporal information is lacking from Dr. Karp’s argument against Dr. Field’s findings, so it is difficult to fully evaluate the interview method without this evidence.


Several pieces of evidence are needed in order to fully evaluate Dr. Karp’s argument. Primarily, further questions about the children’s permanent residence are required in order to assess the reasoning behind their responses. It is important to consider the prestige of their children’s parents: a royal heritage may account for primarily talking about their biological parents. Furthermore, temporal evidence is needed to evaluate Dr. Karp’s argument. Without these pieces of evidence, it is difficult to accurately interpret the results from Dr. Karp’s interview-based approach.

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