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GRE Argument Essay: Transopolis - With A Free Essay Review



Prompt: 'The following appeared in a recommendation from the planning department of the city of Transopolis. "Ten years ago, as part of a comprehensive urban renewal program, the city of Transopolis adapted for industrial use a large area of severely substandard housing near the freeway. Subsequently, several factories were constructed there, crime rates in the area declined, and property tax revenues for the entire city increased. To further revitalize the city, we should now take similar action in a declining residential area on the opposite side of the city. Since some houses and apartments in existing nearby neighborhoods are currently unoccupied, alternate housing for those displaced by this action will be readily available." 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.'

Industries both small scale and large scale are burgeoning in the cities these days! They provide employment to many, thereby increasing the inflow of money. Again a new proposal has been made in the city of Transopolis; it deals about taking the residential area in the city for industrial use. The proposal has been backed with a few positive effects of a similar urban renewal program in the past. But the proposal is rife with assumptions and so it would not be a wise choice to go on with the proposal before considering some important factors.

Primarily, there is a generalization made about the two areas of the city. The author has cited that the first area which was primarily adapted for industrial use was a area of severe substandard housing. So establishing industries in that area would not have been a problem. But now similarly considering to remove the inhabitants of other area might not be fruitful. Though the houses might be unoccupied, it might be temporary; the owners might not be ready to leave their properties. Imagine if there is a good school coming up in the area or some famous builders are promoting some high facility apartments. Then the site owners might not be ready to leave expecting some big revenues in future. Furthermore, a fusty urban renewal plan of removing the residents of an area and establishing industries might not be productive as before considering the ten year gap which might have lead to many changes.

Additionally, the author makes blind assumptions like the decrease in the crime rate and increase in property tax revenues are only due to the construction of several new industries. Though the industries could have made the people involved in better jobs instead of committing crimes, and increased the flow of money, that cannot be related to the reduce in crime rate. There might be some other factors which might have contributed to the increase in crime rate; the city police might have been more active in the past ten years, or some new commissioner of police may have kept the city quiet, or the people might have attended some meditation classes which might have motivated them to stay away from crimes. The crime rate reduction has made the author think the crime rate is due to the urban renewal program. Similarly the property tax revenues might have been the result of increase in the percentage of tax to be paid. So the residents might have paid more tax amount.

Though the construction of industries might lead to improvement in the economy, they also add to the pollution in the environment. Since already one side of the city has been industrialized, sparing another side will end up in people moving out of the city in search of some pure air and water. Then the city authorities will be facing problem in relocating the industries outside the city at some point. So there will be a waste of fund and the people will be disturbed by the city authority's unplanned actions.

To put it in a nutshell, examining the various angles of a new renewal proposal, the argument does not provide strong evidences to create industries. The authorities might take a survey of how many people are living in the area, how many of them would like such industries, how about the need for new jobs, if opening such industries would prove a profit to them. So the city authorities must seriously consider various issues before undertaking such a proposal.

_________________________

ESSAY REVIEW

Your first paragraph is largely unnecessary. Given how little time you get to write essays like this, it is advisable to get straight to the point, without bothering to rehearse the original argument or make vague objections to it.

The second paragraph is not really responsive to the prompt. It is a general discussion of some of the possible implications of the proposal instead of a discussion of specific evidence that would be needed to evaluate the argument. Write a sentence beginning with these words: "The first evidence needed to evaluate the argument is ..." Put that sentence at the beginning of the paragraph, and spend the rest of the paragraph doing the following: 1) explaining why the evidence is important for the evaluation of the argument; 2) explaining how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.

The second sentence of the next paragraph (the paragaph beginning "Additionally, etc.") is poorly articulated and, therefore, difficult to follow, but you appear to be suggesting in the paragraph as a whole that the positive effects attributed in the original argument to the first urban renewal project could be due to other causes. That's a very reasonable and relevant suggestion. I would recommend articulating it in a way that makes the fact that you are responding to the instructions obvious: "To evaluate the argument it is important to evaluate its assumption that the positive effects attributed to the first urban renewal project is a reasonable assumption. We therefore need evidence concerning etc." You then need to specify how the evidence would impact your evaluation of the original argument, which you do not attempt to do in this paragraph.

The next paragraph, about the impact of further industrialization within the city, is potentially relevant, but the same issues would need to be addressed here (specify the evidence you would want to see; explain how it impacts the argument).

Best, EJ.

P.S.

The first rule of essay writing in general is: No exclamation marks.

The second rule of essay writing is: No bloody exclamation marks.

But the first rule of GRE essays is: Follow the instructions!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Submitted by: LakshmiRam
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