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GRE Argument Essay: The Following Appeared In A Memo From The President Of Bower Builders, A Company That Constructs New Homes. - With A Free Essay Review



Prompt: 'The following appeared in a memo from the president of Bower Builders, a company that constructs new homes. "A nationwide survey reveals that the two most-desired home features are a large family room and a large, well-appointed kitchen. A number of homes in our area built by our competitor Domus Construction have such features and have sold much faster and at significantly higher prices than the national average. To boost sales and profits, we should increase the size of the family rooms and kitchens in all the homes we build and should make state-of-the-art kitchens a standard feature. Moreover, our larger family rooms and kitchens can come at the expense of the dining room, since many of our recent buyers say they do not need a separate dining room for family meals." 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.'

First of all, the author suggests that by constructing larger family room and kitchens, Bower Builder can boost sales and profits, since Domus Construction build their houses with large family rooms and kitchens. Thus, the author necessarily assumes that Domus Construction sell their houses faster at higher prices solely due to the fact that they constructed their houses with a large family room and a large, well-appointed kitchen. However, if the assumption is proved unwarranted, and the real reason that Domus Construction sold their houses faster and with higher prices is that they built a larger swimming pool in the backyard, or due to other reasons, then increasing the size of the family room and kitchen would not necessarily attract more buyers, and the authors argument would be weakened.

In addition, the author suggests that by increasing sizes of the family room and kitchen, Bower Builder can boost their sales and profits. This claim only makes sense based on the assumption that the majority of buyers think current sizes of family room and kitchen are too small for them. If the assumption is proved unwarranted, the majority of buyers think current sizes of kitchen and family rooms are large enough for them, then, increasing the sizes of these rooms would be unnecessary, and the author’s suggestion would be undermined.

Moreover, the author claims that larger family rooms and kitchens can come at the expense of the dining room, since recent buyers said they do not need separate dining room for family meals. Thus, the author necessarily assumes comments of these buyers can reflect the preference of the majority buyers, and most buyers do not want a separate dining room. If the assumption that these recent buyers’ comments are representative is proved unwarranted, then, it is possible that the majority of buyers still want a separate dining room, thus, it would be inappropriate to eliminate dining rooms. Even if granted that these buyers’ comments are representative, buyers do not need a separate room for their family meal, but they may invite their friends for dinner sometimes, and in this case, they might need a separate dining room. In other words, buyers do not need a separate dining room for family meals does not mean that they do not want to have a separate dining room at all. If the author’s assumption is unwarranted, the majority of buyers still want a separate dining rooms rather than sacrificing the dining room for family room or kitchen, then, the suggestion might potentially result in losing customers, and the argument would be weakened.

To sum up, in order to evaluate the argument, we need to ensure the following, by sorely increasing sizes of family room and kitchen can help boost sales and profits, and current sizes of family room and kitchen are too small for buyers, and most buyers do not want a separate dining room.

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ESSAY REVIEW

Your first argument is reasonable.

The second argument is more or less reasonable, but you don't do much there to explain how the assumption is an assumption despite the evidence offered in the argument. I suppose your point is that residents of the area are different from the national survey respondents (in which case it would be better to say that the argument assumes that the national survey accurately reflects local preferences) or that the rooms are already "large" in the sense imagined by survey respondents (which seems an unlikely possibility, but I suppose anything is possible).

The first part of the next argument is reasonable, but the second half of the paragraph seems unnecessarily laborious to me. To be sure, saying that one does not "need a separate dining room for family meals" does not mean that one does not want a dining room at all, but it is enough to say just that, and you can say it in a sentence.

There are a number of other issues that one might want to address here: the assumption that the cost of the proposed changes, including the "well-appointed kitchens" will be covered (more than covered, given the projected increase in profits) by the increased revenue generated by sales at higher price points. The argument also assumes that what people want and what they can afford are reasonably similar things; i.e., it assumes there is an actual market for more expensive homes.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: uofr6460
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