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Mason City Residents And Water Sports - With A Free Essay Review
Prompt: "In surveys Mason City residents rank water sports (swimming, boating, and fishing) among their favorite recreational activities. The Mason River flowing through the city is rarely used for these pursuits, however, and the city park department devotes little of its budget to maintaining riverside recreational facilities. For years there have been complaints from residents about the quality of the river's water and the river's smell. In response, the state has recently announced plans to clean up Mason River. Use of the river for water sports is, therefore, sure to increase. The city government should for that reason devote more money in this year's budget to riverside recreational facilities. - Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted."
The author assumes that more money in the budget will increase use of riverside recreational facilities by Mason city residents. This may not be true. It would be necessary to consider what other recreational activities outranked the water sports and if these results were statistically significant. Issues of the age groups that were surveyed, the different wealth groups and even education level and even marital status as all these factors may affect the use of any recreational facilities including water sports.
For example it may be that the Mason City residents may not engage in these activities because they lack skills to swim or row boats. Though they desire to do these activities they are not able to engage in water sports and thus engage in other activities.
It also may be that water sports are expensive. One must own a boat or hire a boat in order to boat or raft. One will need to pay an entrance fee to go swimming, buy a costume and floatation device to swim. If these weighed against sports that are not costly e.g. running or cycling. A bicycle is much cheaper than a boat and so one may choose to cycle than boat and they may choose to run because there is no entrance fee.
Lastly it may be that people truly prefer other sports to water sports. In addition there may be inherent problem with the river that funding on its own may not be able to correct. For example, the river may be too rapid or have wild animals such as crocodiles that may harm people. If there is a history of a crocodile attack – then in it may be difficult to woo residents to go back. The river may be too rapid have other animals e.g. crocodiles that scare people away. The smell that the residents complain about may not be due to dirt but by the rivers water composition. High concentrations of chemicals such as sulphur may give the water a smell and are also toxic to the human population and the water animals.
On the other hand it may be true that devoting more money in this year's budget to riverside recreational facilities may actually stimulate an interest in the water report. If the smell is due to dirt and this is cleaned away, people will be drawn to the fresh clean waters, the fish will breed again and people can take up boating and fishing. If the recreational facilities also involve swimming coaches and lifeguards then even people who are not skilled or are amateurs can venture into the water sports.
That said the best way forward would be to do a situation analysis. The local authority should conduct a cross-sectional survey which further explores why the residents do not use the river, establish if they use other rivers and why and further explore what would make them use Mason River for water sports. These suggestions should then be weighed against the economic viability of the project.
You write reasonably well, but you need to devote enough time to reading the question to ensure you are properly identifying the pertinent issues and the assigned task. Your task here is not to determine "the best way forward" (although the paragraph in which you discuss that is a strong paragraph) and it is not primarily to speculate on possible reasons that would explain the fact that Mason residents don't use the river much; you may need to speculate in that way to some extent, as we shall see, but that is not the primary task.
The primary task is to examine the assumptions of the argument, and the essay does not accomplish this task very well. The first assumption you identify (more money in the budget will increase use of ... facilities) is not really an assumption of the argument at all. The argument is that cleaning up the river will lead to greater use of the river and that improvements in the facilities should therefore be made, presumably to accommodate the greater numbers of people using the river. The claim is not that improving the facilities will lead to increased use of the facilities; the claim is that improving the water will lead to increased use of the water. If that claim is true, then the argument (that the facilities should be improved) would make sense, assuming that it makes sense to improve facilities when demand warrants it. Perhaps you could argue that it is an assumption of the argument that users of the river will need or should have improved facilities, but the real assumption here is that cleaning up the river will lead to more people using the river. More precisely, it is assumed that the reason people don't use the river is the poor quality of the water, and that, therefore, if the river is cleaned, people will use the river. There are other assumptions, but that is the main one, and it would be very difficult to write a reasonable response without identifying that assumption, explaining how it is an assumption, and clarifying what the implications are if that assumption is unwarranted. Speculating about possible other causes of people not using the river would help you explain that the assumption is an assumption, but that should only be a minor part of the essay.