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GRE Argument Essay: Buzzoff And Fly-away - With A Free Essay Review
Prompt: “The following appeared in a memo from the vice president of a food distribution company with food storage warehouses in several cities. ‘Recently, we signed a contract with the Fly-Away Pest Control Company to provide pest control services at our fast-food warehouse in Palm City, but last month we discovered that over $20,000 worth of food there had been destroyed by pest damage. Meanwhile, the Buzzoff Pest Control Company, which we have used for many years, continued to service our warehouse in Wintervale, and last month only $10,000 worth of the food stored there had been destroyed by pest damage. Even though the price charged by Fly-Away is considerably lower, our best means of saving money is to return to Buzzoff for all our pest control services.’ Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.”
The argument suggests that they have to return to Buzzoff for all their pest control services. But to make this conclusion we need more evidence to make sure whether the argument is right or not.
First, we have to consider about the location of the warehouse. The weather difference and geographic difference might affect food preservation. For example, the humidity in Palm City may be higher than in Wintervale and thus the pests may more easily grow in the warehouse causing more severe pest damage. So it is important to check whether the environment of the two warehouses is similar or not; if the environment is different (as in a temperature or humidity difference) we cannot say that Fly-Away Pest Control Company is worse than Buzzoff.
Second, we need to examine the total amount of food storage in the warehouse. The absolute value cannot show the real performance of the pest control, because maybe the warehouse in Palm City originally stores $100,000 worth of food there, but the warehouse in Wintervale stores only $20,000 worth of food at first. The percentage of the pest damage for Fly-Away Pest control Company is lower than Buzzoff in that case, and thus the result is totally different from the argument expected.
Besides that, the food itself is also a factor that would affect the pest control efficiency. If the food stored in the warehouse is different in Palm City and Wintervale, it is not fair to compare the pest control efficiency between them, because maybe the food stored in Palm city is more susceptible to pest damage than the food stored in Wintervale.
Due to the above discussion, the argument still needs more evidence to ensure that its conclusion is correct.
Each of your arguments here is reasonable. (But note that the first paragraph adds nothing of value to your analysis.)
Your explanation of the significance of the evidence for the original argument is relatively poor in the case of your second argument. It is too vague to say "thus the result is totally different from the argument expected." In this case, it is a good idea to state the obvious; for example: "If the percentage of damage is lower at Palm City, then we should conclude that Fly-Away provides the better pest-control service." In fact, even that, is not enough. You ought to add eventually: "Therefore, the food distribution company should not return to Buzzoff for all its pest control services, as stated in the original argument." Of course, before coming to that specific conclusion, you might want to consider a few other issues, such as the actual cost of the services provided by the companies, and the different challenges faced by the companies in dealing with pests in different areas. So perhaps you ought to qualify the argument and say merely that the original conclusion would be questionable.
Note that the same kind of problem exists in the final paragraph. You note rightly that the type of food stored in each warehouse may be different and that this might have an impact on the size of the pest control problem, but you come to no explicit conclusion about the relevance of evidence of that possibility to evaluating the original argument (with the possible exception of the final paragraph, but that paragraph is much too vague). Again, you may think the point you are making, though implicit, is obvious. I think that is a risky approach.