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GRE Argument: Radio Station WCQP - With A Free Essay Review
Prompt: "Two years ago, radio station WCQP in Rockville decided to increase the number of call-in advice programs that it broadcast; since that time, its share of the radio audience in the Rockville listening area has increased significantly. Given WCQP's recent success with call-in advice programming, and citing a nationwide survey indicating that many radio listeners are quite interested in such programs, the station manager of KICK in Medway recommends that KICK include more call-in advice programs in an attempt to gain a larger audience share in its listening 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 the argument, the author concludes that KICK radion station in Medway should include more call-in advice programs in order to gain a larger audience share in its listener area. However, the author ignores several underlying problems including the provided statistics are outdated, listeners may have different tastes in Meday and Rockville, and it is not clear that whether the demand of call-in programs is suturated or not in Rockville area.
First of all, the evidence of radio station WCQP is outdated. The author assumes that past performance is a guarantee of future results, without considering that listeners may get bored with call-in advice programs after a while. Now, listeners may like other programs. In addition, listeners in Rockville and Medway areas are two different populations and they may have different preferences. The author needs to conduct another survey in Medway to make sure that current listeners in Meday area like call-in advice programs. Even though, the author mentions that many radio listeners are interested in call-in programs based on nationwide survey, the author does not specify when the national survey was conducted. The result of the survey would be less convincing if it was conducted years ago. Nor does the survey reveal under what circumstances listeners said they prefer call-in advice programs. It is possible that the survey was conducted when call-in advice programs was just introduced, and people are interested in these programs because they are curious.
Further, the increase in the audience may be attributed to the possibility that radio station WCQP was one of few radio stations at that time having call-in advice programs. Thus, it would have less competitors and find it easier to attract more listeners. Therefore, in order to make the decision whether KICK should include more call-in advice programs or not, KICK should conduct a research to figure out how many radio stations have call-in advice programs in Medway area, and whether these radion stations are popular or not. If there are too many radio stations having call-in advice programs in Meday area already, how KICK could compete with these existing radio stations and stand out if KICK decide to join the competition.
Overall, in order to bolster the conclusion, the author should provide more recent statitistics to show that current listeners in Meday area like call-in advice programs. In addition, KICK should also conduct a research to find out how many radio stations in Meday area have call-in advice programs, and then re-evaluate the chance of success. (thanks for your comments, they really helped me alot!)
Whether KICK's station manager has ignored "several underlying problems" is both unknowable and, for this particular prompt, with its particular set of instructions, largely irrelevant. Here is one of the instructions for the essay: "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." That instruction presupposes, first, that there might be other evidence that could support or undermine the recommendation, and, second, the recommendation and the argument on which it is based could be completely reasonable.
Your task, then, is not to critique, for example, the evidence of the success of call-in advice programs at WCQP, and to justify that critique on the basis of speculation about what might be different now. Instead, identify the questions that would need to be answered before one could start to assess whether the evidence of WCQP's recent success is relevant to predictions of success for call-in programs at KICK. Of course you are already doing some of that work implicitly; I recommend that you do it explicitly so that no one (no reader) can be in doubt about what you are doing. Note also you don't need to bother trying to determine how the questions you identify might be answered. You don't have to say "The author needs to conduct another survey etc." You just need to say "One question that needs to be answered is whether current listeners in Medway etc." These are relatively minor quibbles, however, and many reasonable readers might have no objection to your way of identifying relevant questions. I just don't see the point in taking unnecessary risks.
The general question that one would want to answer here is whether there are grounds for thinking that WCQP's success can be repeated at KICK. I think that is where one ought to start with an essay like this.