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GRE Argument EssayThe Following Appeared In An Article In The Grandview Beacon.- With A Free Essay Review
Prompt: ‘The following appeared in an article in the Grandview Beacon.
"For many years the city of Grandview has provided annual funding for the Grandview Symphony. Last year, however, private contributions to the symphony increased by 200 percent and attendance at the symphony's concerts-in-the-park series doubled. The symphony has also announced an increase in ticket prices for next year. Given such developments, some city commissioners argue that the symphony can now be fully self-supporting, and they recommend that funding for the symphony be eliminated from next year's budget." Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.’
First of all, some city commissioners suggest that the city should eliminate fundings for the Grandview Symphony, because last year, private contributions to the symphony increased by 200 percent and attendance at the symphony’s concerts has doubled. However, it is possible that these increasing trends will not last in the future, and even if private contributions and the revenue have increased, this money may still not be enough for the Grandview symphony to run independently. Therefore, the first question that needs to be answered is whether the increases in private contributions and the revenue due the doubling in attendance at the symphony’s concerts-in-the–part series will stay high or continue growing in the future. On the one hand, if these increases are unlikely to last in the future, and private contributions are not always reliable, then, eliminating funding for the Grandview Symphony may result in an economic crisis when other funding sources are unavailable in the future, and the recommendation would be invalidated. On the other hand, if these private contributions are proved to be reliable in the future, then, a second question that would need be answered is whether the sum of private contributions and the revenue due to increasing in attendance are enough to run the Grandview Symphony without annual funding from the city or not. If the total funds are sufficient for the Grandview Symphony to run successfully even without the annual funding from the city, then, the author’s recommendation would be strengthened.
Furthermore, the author implies that the Grandview Symphony would be self-sustainable since the Grandview Symphony will increase prices for their tickets, and the revenue should increase correspondingly. However, it is possible that customers may stop going to concerts once the Grandview Symphony increases prices for their tickets. Therefore, the third question need to be answered is that whether the number of customers will drop after the Grandview Symphony increases ticket prices. If the majority of people think increased prices are too expensive, and they prefer to stay at home or go to cheaper places for concerts, then, the number of customers would drop and the revenue might also drop; further, the Grandview Symphony might not have enough money to run without the support from city. For this reason, the recommendation would be undermined.
To sum up, in order to evaluate the recommendation, several questions need to be answered including, whether private contributions and the revenue of high attendance will increase or stay high in the future or not, if private funds and its revenue are enough for the Grandview Symphony to run independently, and whether the number of customers will drop or not after the Grandview Symphony raises ticket prices.
I like the complicated structure of the first argument (the way your first question gives rise to two options, one of which gives rise to another question). Unfortunately, the first question you identify is not really a very meaningful question. (It would not be significantly less meaningful, for instance, to ask whether a particularly flamboyant conductor is primarily responsible for the popularity of the concert and, if so, whether he will suffer a massive myocardial infarction in the near future, and, if so, whether he will ever thereafter get his groove back.) You should at least ask not whether the increases in private contributions will continue but whether it is _likely_ that they will continue; or, better, ask whether there has been a reasonably robust trend of increasing private contributions that would allow us to have faith in the reliability of this source of funding, or whether instead the recent increase was anomalous. You could pose the same type of question about attendance at the concert.
Your question about the absolute amount of private contributions and concert revenue is of course reasonable, but your final argument, where you essentially want to know in advance the impact of increased ticket prices on future attendance, has the same kind of problem as the first argument. Perhaps a better question to ask here would be whether the increase in ticket prices is intended to meet an existing or anticipated shortfall, and whether the cost of putting on the performance has increased.