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GRE (argument): Comparison of two cars


Jul 18, 2010   #1
"Of the two leading car brands in the market today -- Sloda and Cosmic, Sloda is far superior. Sloda has a fuel economy of 22 m/gallon compared to Cosmic, which has 18 m/gallon under test conditions. The spare parts for Sloda are easily available in the metros and the after sales service offered by the company although expensive, is excellent. Sloda also costs $800 cheaper than Cosmic and is by far the most economical car in the market. It has a great resale value; I was able to sell my Sloda at a higher price than my neighbor's Cosmic V2."

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. (Time limit: 30 mins)

Many factors are taken into account before buying a car. Depending on the customer, these factors may range from cost and luxury to the resale value. These give rise to comparisons between the available models. But the comparison and the resulting assessment made by the author, that the model Sloda is a superior car than Cosmic in not justified. There are many flaws in the argument which must be resolved.

One of the premises that the author has considered is the mileage of the cars. Cars perform differently from test conditions when they run on different types of terrain. For example, a sedan is more economical in a city than on dirt roads and mountainous regions. In the latter conditions, an SUV is a better option. Therefore, the conclusion that Sloda has a better fuel economy is flawed as the author does not provide any information on the types of the cars and their intended terrain of usage.

Secondly, the author's attempt to highlight the availability of spare parts in metros is not very convincing. That is because it does not include small cities, villages and other remote areas. This cancels out the advantages of a reliable after-sales service in those areas.

Another flaw in the line of reasoning is in the statement of the resale value. The resale value of a car depends upon the usage and present condition of the car. So a new car usually has a higher resale value than an older one. Hence, the higher resale value of the author's Sloda than her neighbour's Cosmic V2 cannot be considered as a significant factor because the condition of the cars at the time of resale is unknown. In other words, there is no basis for such a comparison.

In conclusion, the author's argument seems a bit prejudiced to be taken seriously. Such an argument is only justifiable if the above mentioned loopholes are closed, and additional factors like luxury, customer satisfaction, etc are considered.

Jul 18, 2010   #2
Hi, Ershad

Hope, the following suggestions would be useful:

Sloda also costs $800 cheaper than Cosmic and is by far the most economical car in the market.

Apart from discussed, you may say that Sloda is cheeper because there is low demand for this brand in the market, which has nothing to do with its superiority.

Sloda has a fuel economy of 22 m/gallon compared to Cosmic, which has 18 m/gallon under test conditions.

Also, cars are usually assessed on set of parameters. Although Cosmic's fuel economy is relatively low, at all other points it may surpass Sloda cars.
Jul 18, 2010   #3
Hey, good job poking holes in that sales pitch, I couldn't think of anything!

But The comparisons and the resulting assessment made by the author, that the model Sloda is a superior car than Cosmic, is not justified.

There are many flaws in the argument which must be resolved.

Therefore, the conclusion that Sloda uses less fuel is flawed, as the author does not provide any...

Another flaw in the authors line of reasoning is in the statement concerning the resale value.

So a A new car usually has a higher resale value than an older one, h ence, the higher resale value of the author's Sloda than her neighbour's Cosmic V2 cannot be considered as a significant factor because the condition of the cars at the time of resale is unknown.

In conclusion, the author's argument seems a bit too prejudiced to be taken seriously.
EF_KevinThreads: 8
Posts: 13,839
[Contributor] 129  
Jul 19, 2010   #5
There are many flaws in the argument which must be resolved.

When you do your thesis statement at the end of that first paragraph, try this strategy:
Ask yourself, "If I wanted to express the meaning of the whole essay in a single sentence, what would that sentence say?"

End the first paragraph with a sentence that contains the essence of the essay, the DNA. It has to be a sentence that contains whatever particular truth makes the essay unique. Try to explain yourself fully in that one sentence, and then use the rest of the essay to clarify that assertion.
Jul 19, 2010   #6
I know.

You've given me this advice before. But I can't seem to apply it :(

Can you give me an example? Let's say for this particular essay what should be the thesis statement?
Dear Hussain,

I think you should not take such a hard liner attitude on the topic. In critical reasoning questions try to avoid your own thoughts, use it for only proving your points. Try to concentrate on analyzing the issue and not giving too many comments. Try to develop your thoughts slowly and only towards the end of the essay give your verdict. Almost similar point Kevin has pointed out. Another problem that I find with your essay is of mannerism i.e., try to use some variation of the term flaw instead of using it so frequently. In third paragraph you are unable to make yourself clear. So, please read it aloud to yourself and try to modify it. No doubt, you have got almost all the contradiction right in the argument but try to develop it in a better way. For this read instruction of GRE to answer the argument section and try to get some suggestion from books on this topic. In these books, read, how to answer the argument essay. You can read sample essay by downloading, "An introduction to the analytical writting section of the GRE general test." from ETS website.

Best wishes,
Rajesh
EF_KevinThreads: 8
Posts: 13,839
[Contributor] 129  
Jul 21, 2010   #9
An example of a thesis... let me think of a magic word.

Okay, for the essay you wrote, I might write a thesis like this:
The argument about the superiority of the Sloda can be misleading, because each of the author's three points is contingent of certain circumstances.

The operative phrase is that "each point is contingent." I notice that your essay shows that each point the author makes is only true under some circumstances but not others. That is what contingency is. That's why I would use contingency as the THEME I give at the end of the first paragraph.

Use a magic word to burn your mark on the reader's mind. First there was the word, and the word was, etc. ... give a good word to capture the meaning, and it will be powerful communication. That is true in spoken and written communication. So, in your essay, the magic word might be contingent, and in this little blurb I am writing, the magic word is "magic word."

The magic word is what the reader will remember.
Jul 22, 2010   #10
Thanks a lot man! I think I got what you mean.

The next time I will try to do that. Put that magical sentence :)


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