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GRE Argument Analysis (WWAC Radio) - With A Free Essay Review



The following appeared in a memorandum from the manager of WWAC radio station. "WWAC must change from its current rock-music format because the number of listeners has been declining, even though the population in our listening area has been growing. The population growth has resulted mainly from people moving to our area after their retirement, and we must make listeners of these new residents. But they seem to have limited interest in music: several local stores selling recorded music have recently closed. Therefore, just changing to another kind of music is not going to increase our audience. Instead, we should adopt a news-and-talk format, a form of radio that is increasingly popular in our area." Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation 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 recommendation.

In this argument, the author concludes that WWAC radio station should turn to news-and-talk format instead of continue broadcasting music program. To substantiate the conclusion, the arguer points out that the elder are the major audience and assumes that they have no interest in music according to the business condition of music record stores. The evidence provides us with some possibility but is still far from adequate. To constitute a logical argument in favor of the conclusion, the author needs to provide more compelling support. Some questions remains to be answered before coming to the conclusion.

To begin with, the author has to answer is there any other reasons account for the poor condition of music-selling area. Is it the growing population downloading music from the Internet that causes the decrease in the number of the local stores selling recorded music? Perhaps elder residents want to save money, and thus, instead of purchasing music record, they are more willing to listen on the radio.

Even if stores selling music record closed due to lacking customers, we still need to doubt what kind of music-selling stores are these closed ones belong to. The author only points out that the number of local stores selling recorded music decrease but not telling us whether they sells rock music or pop music or classic music. Perhaps these days, people enjoy listening to pop music, making stores majoring in other fields hard to survive or perhaps sellers select other industry more profitable.

What’s more, the author suggests WWAC radio station turns to news-and-talk format. Have they made any investigation concerning the recent overall environment of the news-and-talk program or their competitors? It is likely that the growing number drew many radio stations to news-and-talk area, the market is already full and audiences begin to lose interest because all the programs seem to be alike.

There is still another question need to be answered. Are there any other newly-developed music radio station? As the author mentioned, the population in listening area grows while WWAC radio station loses a great number of audience. Is it possible that people are attracted to listen to other musical program? If it is true, rather than abandon the old area and turn to news-and-talk program, WWAC radio station had better improve their program to gain back there listeners.

In summary, though the conclusion seems plausible, in fact, it lacks credibility because the evidence cited in the analysis does not lend strong support to what the arguer maintains. The author fails to establish a causal relationship between the elder lacks interest in music and the fall of the number of stores selling recorded music. To make it logically acceptable, the author would have to provide more evidence concerning the questions mentioned above.

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ESSAY REVIEW

As with your previous submission, I will ignore the introduction. The first question you identify is whether "any other reasons [might] account for [the closure of music stores]" It would be a good idea to explain why that is a relevant question to ask; i.e., to explain that it is relevant because the manager concludes from the closure of stores that the elderly are not interested in music. That's an unreasonable conclusion for a number of reasons, including those you mention. But what you really want to find out here is not why the music stores are closing, but whether the elderly do in fact like listening to music, and especially if they like listening to music on the radio. If the answer to that question is "yes," then the recommendation is probably a poor one (although it may be that the elderly also like news and talk radio). If the answer is "no," then the manager is right to assume that the radio cannot target the elderly audience by changing the type of music played on WWAC radio.

Note that the last two sentences of my previous paragraphs are the kind of sentences that you must include in a response to this kind of essay. The instructions are explicit about this: "Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation." Your response to that instruction should be as explicit as the instruction itself is, but you leave it up to your reader to decide the implications of the possible answers to the question you identify for the manager's recommendation.

The same thing happens in the next paragraph. You identify a question to ask, but don't explain how the possible answer to that question would affect your evaluation of the recommendation.

I think you are on the wrong track, in any case, asking again about the reasons for the closure of the music store. This is a side issue and as far as the recommendation goes is important only insofar as it leads the manager to assume the elderly are not interested in music. So look at the recommendation as a whole: we should stop playing rock and start doing talk radio. Look at the actual reasons for that: the rock audience is declining, the talk radio audience is growing. Might it not help to know by how much the rock audience is declining, and by how much the talk radio audience is increasing? Might it not help to know why the rock audience is declining, and what previous listeners are now doing instead of listening to rock? Might it not help to know whether the number of radio listeners as a whole is increasing and whether the decrease in rock listeners is proportional to the general decrease? And if you are going to go after the talk radio market with a view to attracting the elderly, might it not help to know whether the elderly like listening to talk radio?

There are many different questions that one could ask, and your task cannot be to identify all of them, but you ought to be identifying ones that really help evaluate the recommendation. That means you need to look at how the argument supporting the recommendation is made. You need to come up with questions that will allow you to test the assumptions underlying that argument.

Best, EJ.

P.S., You need to undertake a systematic review of English grammar. I recommend Purdue University's grammar guide (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/5/)
Submitted by: queenaquin
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