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Argument: Changing a policy



 
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Argument: Changing a policy #1 (permalink) Mon Feb 06, 2017 20:03 pm   Argument: Changing a policy
 

Hi there,
I know it is not the best essay I could have written. I just need to make sure on which I have to focus next couple of days before taking a test. could you please provide me with feedback? I need to know what areas of my writing I should improve.

While the Department of Education in the state of Attra recommends that high school students be assigned homework every day, the data from a recent statewide survey of high school math and science teachers give us reason to question the usefulness of daily homework. In the district of Sanlee, 86 percent of the teachers reported assigning homework three to five times a week, whereas in the district of Marlee, less than 25 percent of the teachers reported assigning homework three to five times a week. Yet the students in Marlee earn better grades overall and are less likely to be required to repeat a year of school than are the students in Sanlee. Therefore, all teachers in our high schools should assign homework no more than twice a week.

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.

Based on the results of a nationwide survey conducted in high schools specialized in math and sciences, the author makes a hasty generalization stating that all high schools across the country should adopt a new policy on homework assignments for pupils. It is suggested that educators should cut the number of assignments up to 2 times a week. He assumes that the survey results can be generalized for the entire population, while also not naming the origins of the survey. This argument has some obvious and apparent flaws that have to be scrutinized.

For one thing, the author presumes that the district schools that took part in the survey have the common grounds for comparison. Yet from that argument we do not know if these schools have the same educational requirements. What if those schools accommodate entirely different groups of population. For example, one school serves for people with physical disabilities, and another one does it for healthy individuals. If it is the case, their standards for grading are surely different. Therefore, from the information given we cannot reason cogently whether those schools have the similar ground in order to compare them. In light of these, we cannot argue that the survey results might be a basis for taking the decision.

What is more, we do not know the amount of homework that is assigned to pupils in Marlee and Sanlee districts. What if despite the fact that educators assign homework less frequently at Marlee school, they assign much more than educators do in Sanlee school? In this respect, Marlee pupils might have succeeded recently (based on the survey) because they have focused on more complex and demanding projects than Sanlee pupils who could have taken only mickey mouse tests and written simple essays without a sign of critical thinking. Unless, the author provides the data on the nature of schools’ assignments, we cannot identify whether the results are valid and cannot decide if it is worth changing the school policy.

Along with that, the author did not mention the source of the survey. Yet it is of paramount importance to know the methodology used for the survey design. First of all, we simple do not know from the information given whether the sample was representative enough to generalize it and extend the findings to other high schools. On top of that, the biased sample might be the reason for detrimental implications for the entire nation, and, hence, it is pivotal to verify the source before making the decision. Or, it might be the case that the size of the sample was not enough to make a credible conclusion. Again, the author failed to provide the sufficient evidence to support his argument.

Though it might be good to review a policy on assigning homework to pupils, the author could not make the cogent case for changing it. If he had provided enough evidence for the assessment of the survey results, we could have been able to see whether we could base our decision on the survey results or not. Overall, this case is shown invalid because of the unwarranted assumptions, and, therefore, cannot be used as a guidance.
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Trololo12
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Joined: 28 Mar 2012
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Re: Argument: Changing a policy #2 (permalink) Mon Feb 06, 2017 20:58 pm   Re: Argument: Changing a policy
 

Hi, I think what you have here is pretty good, but you did leave a lot of possible arguments on the table. Besides what I have said below, I would like to know why only math and science teachers were surveyed. What about English, history, and other subjects. The recommendation is for "all teachers" to assign homework based on these surveys, but not "all teachers" were surveyed, so this is flawed from the start. And I would avoid saying that the proposal cannot be correct, but instead focus on the additional data that would be required to make the proposal correct. Also, it's good to get small details correct, like whether this is a state or a country and the fact that a district may and usually does comprise several high schools.

Trololo12 wrote:
Hi there,
I know it is not the best essay I could have written. I just need to make sure on which I have to focus next couple of days before taking a test. could you please provide me with feedback? I need to know what areas of my writing I should improve.

While the Department of Education in the state of Attra recommends that high school students be assigned homework every day, the data from a recent statewide survey of high school math and science teachers give us reason to question the usefulness of daily homework. In the district of Sanlee, 86 percent of the teachers reported assigning homework three to five times a week, whereas in the district of Marlee, less than 25 percent of the teachers reported assigning homework three to five times a week. Yet the students in Marlee earn better grades overall and are less likely to be required to repeat a year of school than are the students in Sanlee. Therefore, all teachers in our high schools should assign homework no more than twice a week.

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.

Based on the results of a nationwide survey conducted in high schools specialized in math and sciences, {I don't see where the schools specialized in math and sciences, unless that is in another part of the prompt you did not include. This one only says that math and science teachers were surveyed, but I would assume all high schools have math and science teachers} the author makes a hasty generalization stating that all high schools across the country {it is actually across the state - the state of Attra} should adopt a new policy on homework assignments for pupils. It is suggested that educators should cut the number of assignments up to [to less than] 2 times a week.{"cut up to" means the cut would be by two assignments, like from 5 to 3} He assumes that the survey results can be generalized for the entire population, while also not naming the origins of the survey. This argument has some obvious and apparent flaws that have to be scrutinized.

For one thing, the author presumes that the district schools that took part in the survey have the common grounds for comparison. Yet from th[e limited data given in the] argument we do not know if these schools have the same educational requirements. What if those schools accommodate entirely different groups of population. {make it a little more clear which schools you are comparing - the schools surveyed Sanlee district and Marlee district} For example, one school [may serve] for people {"students" is better} with physical disabilities, [wile] another one does [so] for healthy individuals. If [this] is the case, their standards for grading are surely different. Therefore, from the information given we cannot reason cogently whether those schools have the similar ground {characteristics would be less repetitive} in order to compare them. In light of these, we cannot argue that the survey results might be a basis for taking the decision. {this paragraph seems a little vague - exactly what about the survey results are you questioning? And you don't really even need to focus on the populations served, though that is fine. But what is more important is what are the grading standards of the two districts? The surveys are based on grades, but how can we know that a B at one district is equivalent to a B at another district? Perhaps the teachers are more lenient? Even if the standards are equal, are there any other demographic contrasts between the two districts that could explain the results? Are the students in one district poorer? Are the schools worse? Are there more minority children or children with single parents? We need to make sure that the homework frequency is a causation, not just a correlation. And moving on the the students required to repeat a year. The data give no information on why students are required to do this, much less on whether the requirements in each district are the same}

What is more, we do not know the amount of homework that is assigned to pupils in Marlee and Sanlee districts. What if despite the fact that educators assign homework less frequently at Marlee school, {a district encompasses several schools} they assign much more than educators do in Sanlee school? In this respect, Marlee pupils might have succeeded recently (based on the survey) because they have focused on more complex and demanding projects than Sanlee pupils who could have taken only mickey mouse {I think this may be too informal for this type of essay} tests and written simple essays without a sign of critical thinking. Unless,{no comma} the author provides the data on the nature of [each] schools’ assignments, we cannot identify whether the results are valid and cannot decide if it is worth changing the school policy.

Along with that, the author did not mention the source of the survey. Yet it is of paramount importance to know the methodology used for the survey design. First of all, we simpl[y ] do not know from the information given whether the sample was representative enough to generalize it and extend the findings to other high schools. On top of that, the biased sample might be the reason for [lead to] detrimental implications for the entire nation[state], and, hence, it is pivotal to verify the source before making the decision. Or, it might be the case that the size of the sample was not enough to make a credible conclusion. Again, the author failed to provide the sufficient evidence to support his argument.

Though it might be good to review a policy on assigning homework to pupils, the author could not make the [has not yet succeeded in making a] cogent case for changing it. If he had provided enough evidence for the assessment of the survey results, we could have been able to see whether we could base our decision on the survey results or not. Overall, this case is shown invalid because of the unwarranted assumptions, and, therefore, cannot {I would say "should not"} be used as a guidance.
Luschen
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Joined: 08 Apr 2011
Posts: 8541
Location: Nashville TN, USA

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Argument: Changing a policy #3 (permalink) Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:40 am   Argument: Changing a policy
 

It seems I could not get for what 'state' stands for. That case was for 1 state only. Besides, I missed the fact that math and sci teachers were surveyed, instead I thought schools were specialized in math and sci. I'll do my homework :)

Thanks Thomas!
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I don't mind being corrected! Thank you!
Trololo12
I'm here quite often ;-)


Joined: 28 Mar 2012
Posts: 283
Location: Russia

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