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GRE Argument Essay: The Following Is A Letter To The Head Of The Tourism Bureau On The Island Of Tria - With A Free Essay Review
Prompt: 'The following is a letter to the head of the tourism bureau on the island of Tria. "Erosion of beach sand along the shores of Tria Island is a serious threat to our island and our tourist industry. In order to stop the erosion, we should charge people for using the beaches. Although this solution may annoy a few tourists in the short term, it will raise money for replenishing the sand. Replenishing the sand, as was done to protect buildings on the nearby island of Batia, will help protect buildings along our shores, thereby reducing these buildings' risk of additional damage from severe storms. And since beaches and buildings in the area will be preserved, Tria's tourist industry will improve over the long term." 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.'
First of all, the author suggests that the tourism bureau on the island of Tria should charge people for using the beaches to raise money for replenishing the sand, and to protect the beaches. To test the validity of this suggestion, we need evidence to show whether charging people for using the beaches will significantly reduce the number of tourists. It is possible that many tourists use the beaches because they are free. If the tourism bureau starts to charge tourists, then, it is possible that the number of tourists would decline significantly. Further, if the number of tourists drops significantly, the tourism bureau on the island of Tria would not be able to raise a lot of funds for replenishing the sand. For this reason, the suggestion will be proved to be invalid, and weaken the argument.
Secondly, the author implies that replenishing the sand can help prevent the erosion of beach sand along the shores. To test the veracity of this claim, we need evidence about whether the project succeed in Batia or not, in other words, whether replenishing the sand can effectively stop the erosion or not. Since no substantial evidence is provided to show that replenishing the sand can effectively prevent erosion. It is possible that replenishing the sand has failed in Batia, and it cannot effectively prevent the erosion of beach, then, there would be no grounds for the author’s suggestion, and the author’s claim is weakened.
Moveover, even granted that replenishing the sand can effectively stop the erosion, the author also suggests that copying the project of replenishing the sand from Batia can help prevent the erosion of beach sand in Tria. To verify the validity of this suggestion, we need evidence about whether this project is suitable for Tria’s case. It is possible that beaches of two islands are facing different situations. For instance, nearby buildings along beaches of Tria are well- contructed, or there are less storms in Tria area, or the erosion in Tria is not as serious as that in Batia. If these alternative possibilities are proven to be true, then, it seems that replenishing the sand is not the appropriate solution, because, replenishing the sand does not solve the specific problem for Tria’s case.
To sum up, in order to evaluate the argument, we need evidence about whether charging tourists for using the beaches will result in the decline in the number of tourists, whether replenishing the sand is an effective solution to prevent erosion, and whether it is suitable for Tria’s case or not.
Where possible, specify not only what you want the evidence to show, but also what evidence you think would actually show that. For instance, instead of just saying that we need evidence to show "whether charging people for using the beaches will significantly reduce the number of tourists," also specify that you need evidence, for example, "in the form of a study of the effect of such charges on tourism at comparable tourist destinations, such as, perhaps, Batia." In any given case, if you cannot specify the evidence in that way, then it may well be that you are seeking evidence that could not exist.
The argument of your second paragraph is a bit odd. If the problem at Tria is the erosion of beach sand, then replacing the lost beach sand with new beach sand is equivalent to having prevented the erosion. There is no claim that new beach sand will not eventually also be lost to erosion. The type of evidence that you want to see from Batia, and its relevance to the situation at Tria, is therefore unclear. All that is really claimed, in terms of the protective character of the proposed new sand, is that it would reduce the impact of storms on buildings.
The argument of the third paragraph is a bit odder. Presumably the last few words of its first sentence were caused by a temporary loss of focus, and you meant to say "can help prevent damage to buildings." (This is a good example of a case where failing to proofread can have a major impact on the grade an essay will receive). Again in that paragraph your consideration of the impact of the evidence you seek is one-sided. To see this, consider the following. Let's say none of the evidence has a negative impact on the argument. Does that mean that "Tria's tourist industry will improve over the long term"?