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GRE The Following Is A Memorandum From The Business Manager Of A Television Station - With A Free Essay Review
Prompt: "The following is a memorandum from the business manager of a television station. 'Over the past year, our late-night news program has devoted increased time to national news and less time to weather and local news. During this period, most of the complaints received from viewers were concerned with our station's coverage of weather and local news. In addition, local businesses that used to advertise during our late-night news program have canceled their advertising contracts with us. Therefore, in order to attract more viewers to our news programs and to avoid losing any further advertising revenues, we should expand our coverage of weather and local news on all our news programs.' 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 argument suggests that the television station should expands its coverage of weather and local news on all new programs, because viewers are concerned with the current coverage of weather and local news, and local businesses have canceled their advertinsing contracts. However, the author did not provide evidence to show that viewers will stop complaining, and local businesses contracts will come back after the television station expands its coverage of weather and local news.
The author assumes that viewers would stop complaining if the television station expands its coverage of weather and local news. However, this assumption is very questionable, because the author does not consider the possibility that other views who like national news may start to complain after the television station makes the change. In order to validate the author’s argument, the author needs evidence to show that if the television station indeed expands its coverage of weather and local news on all news programs, then viewers would be satisfied and stop complaining; Or the majority of vierwers prefer weather and local business, and they think the current converage of local news and weather need to be expanded.
The author assumes that the fact that the television station devotes less time to weather and local news has resulted in local businesses that used to advertise during the late-night news program having canceled their advertising contracts. However, in order to validate that assumption, the author needs evidence to prove the causility between these two events. For instance, a survey of local businesses who have canceled their advertising contracts shows that they canceled their advertising contracts because of the insufficient coverage of local news and weather, and if the television station expands its converage of weather and local news, then they would consider to continue their contracts. This evidence can effectively strengthen the argument. In the statement, author assumption would be invalid if the survey shows that local businesses decide to cancel their contracts due to cutting their advertising budgets, or other reasons which are irrelevant to the current coverage of weather and local news.
Overall, the author makes the recommendation based on several assumptions that are not well supported. In order to make the recommedation more convincing, the author needs more evidence to address these assumptions.
Your essay does attempt to identify certain assumptions of the argument, but it is not focused on the assigned task of explaining how the argument depends on those assumptions and explaining the implications for the argument should the assumptions prove unwarranted. Instead the essay focuses on explaining what evidence is missing and would be needed to test the assumptions. That's the right focus for some GRE essays, but not for this one. It is important, then, to read the specific instructions carefully, and to follow them to the letter.
Your first specific claim is that there's no evidence to show that viewers will stop complaining and "local business contracts will come back." There are two problems with the claim. First you seem to be mistaking the argument for the assumption of the argument; second, you seem to be misrepresenting the argument. The argument is not that "business contracts will come back" but that the station will "attract more viewers ... and ... avoid losing any further advertising revenues." Of course one would be inclined to assume that if the coverage of local news, say, is improved, then there would be fewer complaints about such coverage, but there is no explicit or implicit assumption of that kind in the memorandum. Note that even if you were right about that assumption, however, you do not then explain what the implications for the argument would be if the assumption proved unwarranted.
Your second claim is that the memorandum assumes that local businesses have withdrawn their advertising because the station has reduced its coverage of local news and weather. That claim seems to be correct, but instead of identifying, as you do, what evidence would be needed to demonstrate the validity of that assumption, what you need to do is to demonstrate how the argument depends on that assumption (e.g.: "the author of the memorandum argues that expanding coverage of local news and weather will prevent further losses in local advertising; such an argument only makes sense on the basis of an assumption that the losses in local advertising have been caused by the previous reductions in such coverage"). What you then need to do is explain what the impact on the argument would be if that assumption were unwarranted (e.g.: "If that assumption proved unwarranted, then there would be no reason to assume that the proposed action would prevent further losses in advertising revenue.)