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Hello guys!

Could you look at this Argument Essay for the GRE? I am not sure whether I fulfilled the requirements of the prompt. Any feedback is welcome!

Workers in the small town of Leeville take fewer sick days than workers in the large city of Masonton, 50 miles away. Moreover, relative to population size, the diagnosis of stress-related illness is proportionally much lower in Leeville than in Masonton. According to the Leeville Chamber of Commerce, these facts can be attributed to the health benefits of the relatively relaxed pace of life in Leeville.

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 argument contains a number of assumptions that require attention before it can be accepted. Specific evidence for the facts provided is required in order to establish the validity of the conclusion.

First of all, one of the points used to assert that the health situation in Leeville is indeed better than in Masonton is based on the comparison of sick days taken by workers in the two locations. In order to take this as a reliable metric, one must first be sure that the health of the workers in Leeville and Masonton are both representative of the health of the general population of these two towns. Should this be so, then the evidence is strong to suggest that Leeville has a better health situation than that of Masonton. If there is no way to conclude that the workers’ health represents that of the whole population in either of the locations, then this metric cannot be used to support the argument.

In addition, even if the workers’ health situation is a reflection of the population at large, one must also ascertain that workers in two towns take sick leaves when they indeed feel sick – not more, not less. If, for example, workers are not paid for sick leave, they might have an incentive to not ask for a sick day because this might diminish their income. This would mean that the number of days taken for sick leave does not correspond to the workers’ actual health condition, thereby undermining the argument.

At the same time, one must be given evidence that everyone who is sick due to stress-related causes can be diagnosed. Since Leeville is a small town, it is possible that there are no nearby clinics in the area that could reliably diagnose its residents with stress-related illness. Or the opposite: residents of the large city of Masonton may have too few doctors for its large population, which would result in the same situation of diagnoses being extended not totaling the actual number of people who suffer from corresponding illnesses.

Since diagnoses in Leeville and Masonton are compared only in relation to stress-related illness, it is also crucial to asses whether there are other major causes that might be responsible for health issues in the two towns. If there are no other major causes, or if it can be reliably claimed that stress-related illness is the major cause of health issues in both localities, then this evidence will strengthen the argument.

When the necessary evidence is provided and one can conclude that indeed the health situation in Leeville is considerably better than in Masonton, then one should examine whether it is indeed true that the relaxed pace of life is Leeville is responsible for this discrepancy. One should, for example, examine whether a life in the smaller town is more relaxed than in Masonton. In addition, one would also need to examine whether there are any other possible causes for the differences. For example, the location of the town is also important: is Leeville a more suburban area surrounded by greenery or is it located near a big factory with unhealthy production? Since it is mentioned that there are workers living in Leeville, it might be logical to examine the type of production that happens in Leeville.

Before such evidence is provided, the argument cannot be accepted. Indeed, there are a number of specific facts that should be made available if the whole argument is to be believed.



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