Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 7, 2022 02:30 IST

The following appeared as a letter to the editor from the owner of a skate shop in Central Plaza.

"Two years ago the city council voted to prohibit skateboarding in Central Plaza. They claimed that skateboard users were responsible for litter and vandalism that were keeping other visitors from coming to the plaza. In the past two years, however, there has been only a small increase in the number of visitors to Central Plaza, and litter and vandalism are still problematic. Skateboarding is permitted in Monroe Park, however, and there is no problem with litter or vandalism there. In order to restore Central Plaza to its former glory, then, we recommend that the city lift its prohibition on skateboarding in the plaza."

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.

GRE 2022 Exam

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Response for GRE Sample Essay 11 

The argument makes several unwarranted assumptions regarding the skateboard users being responsible for litter and vandalism, which hampers other visitors from coming to the Plaza. The ban imposed on skateboard users has shown no significant rise in the number of people visiting the Plaza. The recommendation to lift the ban provides a distorted view of the prevailing scenario. This is not supported by persuadable reasons and hence opens doors for some questions.

Firstly, the passage lacks proper statistics to hold skateboard users solely responsible for litter and vandalism. The writer should mention the number of incidents that occurred two years ago due to skateboard users and the number which currently persists. Also, the number and reason for the increase in visitors should be mentioned, as the answer behind this will help understand the impact of the ban.

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Secondly, the marginal increase in footfall is probably due to two fundamental reasons. Either economic slowdown is prevailing in the country hence people have less disposable income, so they have to cut their shopping bills. Or another predominant reason can be better amenities at a reasonable price provided by stores in the vicinity. Also, the Plaza might not have enough capability to face rising competition from other stores.

Further, the writer asserts that Monroe Park is clean despite no provision of the ban on skateboard users. The argument is ineffectual as no clear line of similarity is drawn between the Park and Central Plaza. It might be the case that skateboard users in Park are more educated and hence are more likely to abide by the laws and rules or that the Park has better maintenance and cleaning facilities as compared to the Plaza. The argument would be more justified if it threw some light on the condition at both the places.

In conclusion, to assess the viability of the recommendation, the open-ended argument should be backed with some convincing information. It's necessary to assess all the possible reasons for the decrease in the number of visitors and solutions to restore the glory of Central Plaza.

Reasons for grading

This article scores a 6 because:

The article satisfies the 3Cs of writing: Clarity, Coherency and Cogency. It identifies the crux of the argument and presents a well supported, well-articulated analysis. It demonstrates excellent syntactic development and good control of the grammar. The article deftly draws attention to the lack of similarity between the two areas (Central Plaza and Monroe Park) thus rendering the argument ineffectual.

About the Author
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

With over 8 years of experience in overseas education, Rahul Singha has been previously associated with prominent education houses. He is also responsible for keeping a sharp eye on education policies of major study... Read Full Bio


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