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GRE Argument Essay: Adams Realty - With A Free Essay Review
Prompt: “The following appeared in a letter from a homeowner to a friend. ‘Of the two leading real estate firms in our town—Adams Realty and Fitch Realty—Adams Realty is clearly superior. Adams has 40 real estate agents; in contrast, Fitch has 25, many of whom work only part-time. Moreover, Adams' revenue last year was twice as high as that of Fitch and included home sales that averaged $168,000, compared to Fitch's $144,000. Homes listed with Adams sell faster as well: ten years ago I listed my home with Fitch, and it took more than four months to sell; last year, when I sold another home, I listed it with Adams, and it took only one month. Thus, if you want to sell your home quickly and at a good price, you should use Adams Realty.’ 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.”
By citing the facts that Adams Realty has more agents than Fitch does, that Adams is superior to Fitch in terms of the revenue and the average sales and their historical based performance on selling speed, the author confirms Adams’ higher efficiency and reliability. Hence he recommends his friend choose Adams. The argument seems well-intentioned at first glance. Close scrutiny, however, reveals that it is rife with vague, simplified and unwarranted assumptions and thus may mislead the friend into making an unwise decision.
To begin with, the author perfunctorily assumes a correlation between the agent numbers owned by the realty and its performance which, though can make sense in some degree, cannot be justified defensible. Many other factors should be focused on. Given that the Fitch hires fewer agents, perhaps all its agents are the elites in this field; they are capable of accomplishing the task with high efficiency at the optimal price, therefore, though part-time, they can achieve perfect results. On the contrary, maybe Adams hires more agents merely because it wants to compensate for the disadvantages on its staffs’ work performance. Without ruling out such possibilities, we cannot conclude the Adams’ superior.
Secondly, another assumed conception is that more revenue means a better profit which, actually, is an inappropriate assumption. Revenue only focuses on the whole sales of a corporation without cost being considered, hence if the cost is taken into consideration, it is probably to find that the Adams’s cost during last year is far more than the Fitch’s. Meanwhile, given that the Adams’ scale is approximately twice larger than Fitch, its average sales are only a few percent superior to the latter’s. According to this paradoxical situation, we may infer that perhaps individual’s efficiency is lower in Adams than those in Fitch. If it were the real case, choosing Adams cannot be regarded as wisdom and needs cautious consideration.
Finally, the author assumes that the previous performance presented by the two realties also reflect their current ones. The Fitch spent four months selling a house ten years ago, perhaps it only takes four days to accomplish this last year, which is much faster that what Adams did, according a month’s period noted in the argument. Besides, such achievements are not the determining variances used to predict how fast they can sell a house now. Furthermore, choosing only one case to make a comparison accomplishes nothing bolster the conclusion unless more evidences are provided to ensure it.
To sum up, the author tends to make a recommendation that choosing the Adams is the optimal choice. Whereas, the evidences documented in the argument achieve nothing in favoring his suggestion. To make it a more convincing argument, more information maybe illustrated and further investigation also needs to be undertaken. For example, the variances which determine the performance should be listed. More financial information is also required. The realty company’s current performance is another important consideration. With these demonstrated, we can expect this argument to be more forcible.
You do not need to waste time insulting the author for his mistakes, just identify and discuss the assumptions of the argument. You also do not need to waste time summarizing the argument; these essay are intended to test your ability to analyse, not summarize. I would recommend, then, deleting the first paragraph, and beginning where you actually begin; i.e., with "To begin with ..." (But delete "perfunctorily" since denigrating qualifiers like this are distractions from the main business of analysing assumptions.)
Your second argument is that the author of the letter assumes that "more revenue means a better profit." I think that is incorrect. You are right of course to argue that the level of revenue does not indicate the level of profit, but what the author of the letter appears to be assuming, given the conclusion he comes to about the superiority of Adams, is that the revenue is a good measure of Adams' ability to do a good job selling houses. Note that you go off on a speculative tangent in this (your third) paragraph. You need to remain more tightly focussed on correctly identifying assumptions, explaining why you think the assumption is an assumption, and explaining the possible implications for the argument. Regarding the latter point, keep your explanations simple. The phrase "cannot be regarded as wisdom" is awkward and vague; just say something like "If the assumption is unwarranted, then the company's higher revenue cannot be used to support the argument, although of course it may still be true that Adams is the better choice."
Your final argument is reasonable but it is poorly articulated. The second sentence is a bit of a trainwreck; break it up into simple sentences. The meaning of the third sentence is unclear. You are trying to write stylistically interesting prose but I don't think that your command of the English language is quite good enough yet for you to be able to pull that off, and so you end up writing sentences that put unnecessary strain on your reader's ability to decipher your intended meaning. GRE readers will likely not bother trying to figure out what you mean if it is not immediately obvious.