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Buckingham College should build a number of new dormitories



 
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Buckingham College should build a number of new dormitories #1 (permalink) Sat Aug 06, 2016 20:47 pm   Buckingham College should build a number of new dormitories
 

Hi, would you please evaluate the following essay. Thanks a lot.

Question
The following appeared in a memo from the director of student housing at Buckingham College.
"To serve the housing needs of our students, Buckingham College should build a number of new dormitories. Buckingham's enrollment is growing and, based on current trends, will double over the next 50 years, thus making existing dormitory space inadequate. Moreover, the average rent for an apartment in our town has risen in recent years. Consequently, students will find it increasingly difficult to afford off-campus housing. Finally, attractive new dormitories would make prospective students more likely to enroll at Buckingham."
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.

Essay

The tone of this article seems logical but not convincing. The author has proposed to increase number of new dormitories, based on not enough reasons. This essay is trying to discuss this mis-conclusion via the following ideas.

First, the article says that the number of enrollments will double over the next 50 years and based on this growing concludes that the university officials should build new dormitories. Why should university officials think about the problems related to the next 50 years. They have little budget and should solve the present problems. Beside it, the rate of enrollment growing may decrease after some years and the number of students may not double. So, it does not seem logical to plan for far future.

Furthermore, the author naively concludes from the increase in rent prices that the university should build more dormitories. This increasing is related to a reason such as inflation rate or tax increase. So, if university try to build more dormitories, it does not guarantee that the new buildings were cheaper. University officials may obligate to increase the rent prices because the reasons which press other off-campus housing owners to do this.

Finally, the argument says that attractive new dormitories will increase the number of new students. Based on my experience, most of students think about other parameters such as the scientific ranking, teachers, high-level labs, when they decide to choose a new university. Spending much money to build new dormitories may not affect any enrollment increasing. I think that it would be better for the university to try to persuade new students to enroll via other effective methods.

In conclusion, I think the author have concluded this idea without proper reasons. He should try to find if the increasing in number of students will be constant during future years or not, can the university build new cheap dormitories? It seems that after this new findings, he will conclude a better idea.
Tesoke
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Joined: 10 Jul 2013
Posts: 99

Re: Buckingham College should build a number of new dormitories #2 (permalink) Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:02 am   Re: Buckingham College should build a number of new dormitories
 

Hi Tesoke, you have some good points, but I think your overall format is not quite right for this question. The point of the question is not to prove that the proposal in the memo is a flawed or completely bad idea. Your job is just to evaluate the argument and show what assumptions the author is making, what information the argument may be overlooking, and additional data or information that would help make the argument stronger. I think it is this final point where you are weakest. You state some very general description of additional information in your conclusion, but I think it would be more effective to include these in the appropriate body paragraph. Every time you question the argument, you should be able to describe some additional data, survey, and so on which would either verify that the argument is correct, or prove that it is flawed. For instance in your first body paragraph, it would be good to know if the growth over the past 50 years has shown a constant trend, or has it gone up and down, implying future enrollment may do the same. The memo talks about "current trends", but how was this projected growth calculated? Was past and future population growth taken into account? Can we be certain that past increases in enrollment will increase in a simple linear trend? Also, make sure to question where the writer of the memo got his information and whether as stated they apply to this particular situation. For instance, it talks about "the average rent of an apartment in our town", but what about apartments located near the college? Do students live in apartments all over town, or should the area examined be limited to where the students actually live. Plus, has there been an increase in domoritory rents over the same period? Hopefully these ideas will give you a little better idea of what kind of answer the graders will be looking for.
Tesoke wrote:
Hi, would you please evaluate the following essay. Thanks a lot.

Question
The following appeared in a memo from the director of student housing at Buckingham College.
"To serve the housing needs of our students, Buckingham College should build a number of new dormitories. Buckingham's enrollment is growing and, based on current trends, will double over the next 50 years, thus making existing dormitory space inadequate. Moreover, the average rent for an apartment in our town has risen in recent years. Consequently, students will find it increasingly difficult to afford off-campus housing. Finally, attractive new dormitories would make prospective students more likely to enroll at Buckingham."
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.

Essay

The tone of this article seems logical but not convincing.{I don't think an articl would have a "logical tone" - maybe use content, or say "the argument outlined in this article"} The author has proposed to increase[the] number of new dormitories, based on [insufficient] reasons. This essay is trying to discuss this mis-conclusion {mis-conclusion is not a word} via the following ideas. {I would end with more of a thesis statement - maybe "The argument given to support building the new dormitories are flawed and additional information is necessary to make a well-reasoned decision"

First, the article says that the number of enrollments {number of enrollments sounds odd - it is just "enrollment" - the total number of students} will double over the next 50 years and based on this grow[th] concludes that the university officials should build new dormitories. Why should university officials think about the problems related to the next 50 years. They have little budget and should solve the present problems. {in this type of GRE question, it is important to stick to the facts given. You are not trying to convince the reader of your own ideas like in an argumentative essay. So don't say "why should ... next 50 years" You can state something more objective, like 50 years is a long time to forecast in the future and using such a long time horizon is bound to result in less accuracy. }Beside [this], the rate of enrollment grow[th] may decrease after some years and the number of students may not double. So, it does not seem logical to plan for [the] far future.

Furthermore, the author naively concludes from the increase in rent prices that the university should build more dormitories. This increas[e] is [probably] related to a reason such as inflation rate or tax increase. So, if [the] university tr[ies] to build more dormitories, it does not guarantee that the new buildings w[ill be] cheaper. University officials may [be] obligate[d] to increase the rent prices because the reasons which press other off-campus housing owners to do this.

Finally, the argument says that attractive new dormitories will increase the number of new students. Based on my experience, most of students think about other parameters such as the scientific ranking, teachers, high-level labs, when they decide to choose a new university. {"Based on my experience" is not really appropriate in this type of essay - much better would be to talk about what additional data is needed - maybe a survey of freshman at the university asking what aspects of the university were important in their choice of college} Spending much money to build new dormitories may not affect any [result in any increase in ] enrollment increasing. I think that it would be better for the university to try to persuade new students to enroll via other effective methods. {once again, your ideas on how to increase enrollment is not really what the question is asking}

In conclusion, I think the author have concluded this idea {"concluded this idea" is not really correct - maybe "generated this idea" or "come to this conclusion"} without proper reasons. He should try to find if the increas[e] in [the] number of students will be constant during future years or not, can [and whether] the university[can] build new cheap dormitories? {no question mark here} It seems that after this new findings, he will conclude a better idea.
Luschen
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