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Whether Bower Building Should Change Home Features They Build - With A Free Essay Review



Prompt “The following appeared in a memo from the president of Bower Builders, a company that constructs new homes. ‘A nationwide survey reveals that the two most-desired home features are a large family room and a large, well-appointed kitchen. A number of homes in our area built by our competitor Domus Construction have such features and have sold much faster and at significantly higher prices than the national average. To boost sales and profits, we should increase the size of the family rooms and kitchens in all the homes we build and should make state-of-the-art kitchens a standard feature. Moreover, our larger family rooms and kitchens can come at the expense of the dining room, since many of our recent buyers say they do not need a separate dining room for family meals.’ 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 for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.”

The president’s argument that Bower Builders should increase the size of the family rooms and kitchens in all the homes they build and should make state-of-the-art kitchens a standard feature to boost sales and profits is seemingly logical and persuasive at first glance. However, careful analysis reveals that the president’s conclusion is based on a series of unsubstantiated assumptions, which when taken together render the argument unconvincing.

To begin with, the president cites a nationwide survey to claim that a large family room and a large, well-appointed kitchen are the two most-desired home features. However, the result of this survey should not be considered seriously unless the assumption that this survey is statistically reliable is verified. If the number and representativeness of those respondents enrolled in this survey are not statistically significant, all conclusions based on this survey become unsound.

Even if the statistical reliability of the survey is validated, the president assumes further that the strategy employed by Domus Construction can be effectively applied to Bower Builders. However, this assumption cannot be readily verified. On the one hand, other factors rather than the proposed two features could account for the higher prices and larger market of homes built by Domus Construction. For example, it is entirely possible that Domus Construction has an above-average group of managers who can make better marketing strategies. On the other hand, homes built by Domus Construction might possess better qualities than the national average and probably better than that of Bower Builders. In the aforementioned cases, Bower Builders would probably fail to increase sales and profits by simply mimicking Domus Construction’s situation.

Finally, the president cites their recent buyer’s opinion to support his proposition that their larger family rooms and kitchens can come at the expense of the dining room. Here, he just simply assumes that those recent buyers are representative of all their buyers in general. However, this assumption is rather fallacious. It is possible that a significant proportion of their buyers need a separate dining room and they value a great deal of the size and design of the dining room.

In the end, the argument turns out to be unconvincing after careful analysis. To strengthen it the president must provide reliable data verify those assumptions on which the argument is based.

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ESSAY REVIEW

Your opening paragraph is not really necessary, and probably takes up time that could be devoted to clarifying or elaborating the argument instead. Note in any case that the prompt presupposes that the argument contains assumption that, if unwarranted, could prove problematic for the argument, so there’s not much to be gained by explicitly articulating that presupposition.

Your first argument is reasonable, but commonplace, and you are right to devote just a couple of sentences to it.

Your second argument is also reasonable, but I don’t think you identify the most relevant assumption. As the rest of the paragraph makes clear enough, what you are really tackling here is not the general assumption that “the strategy ... can be effectively applied to Bower,” but rather the specific assumption that the success of Domus homes is due exclusively to their having the two most-desired features. You go on to demonstrate, as you should, that there are other possible explanations of their success and you also, rightly, clarify the consequences for the original argument of the assumption being unwarranted.

The final argument is also reasonable, but in this case you do not clarify the consequences for the original argument of the assumption being unwarranted. Note that you could have explained why you think it is possible that a significant proportion of their buyers would want a separate dining room (by pointing out, for example, that if they build a different kind of house, they aim to sell, perhaps, to a different type of customer).

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: BrianLee
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