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GRE Argument Essay: Arctic Deer Live On Islands In Canada's Arctic Regions. - With A Free Essay Review

"Arctic deer live on islands in Canada's arctic regions. They search for food by moving over ice from island to island during the course of the year. Their habitat is limited to areas warm enough to sustain the plants on which they feed and cold enough, at least some of the year, for the ice to cover the sea separating the islands, allowing the deer to travel over it. Unfortunately, according to reports from local hunters, the deer populations are declining. Since these reports coincide with recent global warming trends that have caused the sea ice to melt, we can conclude that the purported decline in deer populations is the result of the deer's being unable to follow their age-old migration patterns across the frozen sea." Instructions: "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."

In the above article the writer talks about the depleting number of deer that migrate across the frozen sea. He has provided some report from the local hunters, observed the global warming to be the reason for the melting sea ice, and concludes that the reason for this decline in number is due to the incapability of deer to migrate the way they used to previously. The author seems to overlook some of the points that can challenge his assertions.

Firstly, the writer makes his assumptions on the basis of some report from the local hunters. The conjecture made here seems vague as there are no proper statistics the writer refers to. Instead of a general mention of the reports, the argument could have been supported with a proper survey presenting the actual number of arctic Deer that were found each year. Only on the basis of the data collected, can an assertion be made about the depleting number of the deer. The writer also mentions that this report has been collected from the local hunters. These local hunters can only give a vague count of the animals. These observations given by the hunters will be strictly restricted to the population of the deer observed while hunting. Hence, this data cannot be fully dependable.

In the second point, the writer allures to be an assumed relation established between the recent global warming trends and the sea ice melting, concluding that decline in deer populations is the result of the deer's being unable to follow their age-old migration patterns across the frozen sea. Here, the point is agreeable that the global warming has definitely increased over the past few years, but it cannot be assumed that the rate of global warming has been equivalent to that required to melt the ice sheets. The glaciers are melting in the Arctic but the writer clearing mentions that these deer dwell in Canada. The effect of global warning cannot be the same for every place.

Another point worth considering here is that the decline of the deer can have other valid reasons too. The writer himself mentions the presence of hunters in these areas. One cannot deny the possibility of the deer being hunted in large numbers. There may be other reasons as well. It has been mentioned that suitable temperatures are crucial for these deer to sustain. The global warming has caused erratic changes in the weather too. The cold temperatures in Canada could have risen so as to prevent the growth of plants on which these deer feed eventually leading to the death due to lack of nutrition. Therefore, although the rising temperatures may be one of the reasons for the melting of ice and eventually leading to attenuate the migration rate for these deer to some extent, there are other potent reasons too that might exist on proper investigation for the declining population of these deer.

It is evident that the writer fails to convince the readers with his assertions which seem to be purely based on assumptions and generalities.


Essay Review

In the final sentence of your first paragraph you write that "the author seems to overlook some of the points that can challenge his assertions," and that statement more or less guides your approach to the essay. The statement is true of course, but it makes your response to the assigned task oblique at best. I recommend focusing directly on that assigned task.

Your second paragraph comes closest to responding directly to the prompt. In it you call for evidence of "the actual number of arctic deer that were found each year." There is no reason to assume such evidence exists, of course, but if it did exist, what then? The assignment asks you to explain "how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument." Instead of explaining that, you focus on critiquing the evidence that the original argument relies on. Critiquing that evidence can be a useful part of your discussion of the type of evidence that is needed to evaluate the argument, but you must also explicitly explain how the evidence you identify as necessary would help evaluate the argument.

The remaining paragraphs are more problematic in that they do not even identify specific evidence needed to evaluate the argument. Your point in the third paragraph does not make much sense to me; the last sentence seems to suggest that the author confuses the Arctic with Canada. If you reread the first sentence, you will see that the author is referring to the part of Canada that lies within the Arctic circle.

Your final argument would be a lot stronger with a slight change in emphasis. For example, you could write sentences like the following in order to respond more directly to the prompt: "In order to evaluate the prompt, we need evidence about the impact of hunting on the deer population." You would then need to explain how such evidence would help you evaluate the specific argument in the prompt.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: Parul05_joshi


Glad to have come across this review. The review reiterates on the need to focus on the task at hand which I believe is critical in GRE argument essays. At times, we tend to follow a generic approach to these essays where we simply critique the argument without taking into account the specific instructions given for the question.
April,08 2017

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