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'The argument draws conclusion based on poor and insufficient information'; "Woven baskets"

xatutik 12 / 29 10  
Sep 19, 2014   #1
Woven baskets characterized by a particular distinctive pattern have previously been found only in the immediate vicinity of the prehistoric village of Palea and therefore were believed to have been made only by the Palean people. Recently, however, archaeologists discovered such a "Palean" basket in Lithos, an ancient village across the Brim River from Palea. The Brim River is very deep and broad, and so the ancient Paleans could have crossed it only by boat, and no Palean boats have been found. Thus it follows that the so-called Palean baskets were not uniquely Palean.

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.

The woven baskets with specific patterns have been found only on the neighborhood of an ancient village of Palea, consequently it was believed that these baskets had been made only in this area. However, recently archaeologists discovered such a basket in Lithos, which was separated from Palea with the Brim River. The author of the argument is sure that Palean people had not passed the river, because it is broad and deep river and it could be passed only with boats, however no Palean boats were found in Lithos. Thus, based on this information the argument concludes that so-called Palean baskets were not intrinsic to Palean. Nevertheless, information provided in the argument is not sufficient to draw such a conclusion. Several evidences are needed, which absence considerably weakens the argument.

One reason why the author believes that Paleans had not passed the Brim River is that no Palean boats were found in Lithos area. Here we need evidence, whether there have been found Palean and Lithos boats in any place. This will help to reveal more about the issue. For example if there has not been found any Palen boat, maybe Paleans did not used to build boats at all. Moreover, if along with this there have been found Lithos boats, than it could happen that Lithos people had traveled to Palean and got baskets there. On the other hand, if no Lithos boats were found, instead Palean boats were found, than the claim of argument will get a bit stronger. Why not much stronger, because even in this case there is probability that Paleans had not leaft their boats in Lithos, that is why archaeologists have not found their remnants. On the other side, from the argument we see that baskets in Lithos have been found recently, so if now there is no boat found there, it does not mean it will not be after some time.

Why argument mentions boats is that the author believes that the only way to cross the Brim River could be boats because of its broadness and depth. However it is known fact that during long periods the relief and climate of the earth can change. For example there is no evidence that in prehistoric times the Brim River existed. It could have been formed later, because of changes in the earth surface. Moreover it could also happen than in those times the river was nor deep neither broad and people could pass it easily without boats or any other equipment. During centuries due to the change of climate this river could have become broader and deeper. Thus here the information about the geographic and climatic conditions of the area in ancient times is needed.

The argument draws conclusion based on poor and insufficient information. There are several evidences, which can have important impact in its validity. The presence of these evidences mentioned above can remarkably strengthen the argument, while their lack weakens it.

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Sep 19, 2014   #2
xatutik, you are getting better with every essay that you write :-) Your thought process is becoming more coherent and you are learning how to outline your supporting evidence very well. I can see all of that through the grammatical errors that are still present in the paper. That is the main reason that I am commending your work on this topic. That said, we now need to clean up the grammar problems so that the paper can develop a more polished look.

- ...However, archeologistsrecently discovered... from Paleaby the Brim... boats .However.. ... the absence of which ...

- ...inthe Lithos area. Therefore, we need evidence to prove whether Lithos boats were found in Palea instead. If Lithos boats were found in Palea, then maybe the traders of Lithos were the ones who came to Palea and thus secured a basket for themselves.Or perhaps there was another route to Lithos that did not require a boat from Palea. In order for the author's claim to become valid, no future evidence of Palean boats should be found either in Palea or Lithos.

- The latter is just an idea that I thought would help this sentence develop further strength.

- The author's argument based solely on boats crossing the river is weak because he has not presented any evidence to prove that there is no other way to reach Palea except by river. If an alternate route to Lithos exists by land, than the Paleans did not need to cross the river.

- This where your own argument becomes weak. You are not familiar with the work of archeologists. Their job is to time stamp the existence of everything from the dust on the road the to sand beds of the sea. If the Brim River existed in a different shape in the past centuries, they would have found that out using various methods of ancient area mapping and soil dating. Therefore, your argument about the river changing due to climate change becomes weak and shows a lack of knowledge about archeology on your part. Find a different supporting reason for yourself.

Overall, this is an excellent effort xatutik :-) You should be proud of yourself.
dunguyen 9 / 19 6  
Sep 19, 2014   #3
Hi xatutik. I'm preparing for the writing tasks of the GRE, so I'm going to jump in and make a lot of comments on your essays frequently. Hope you don't mind.

For this argument task, I have several personal comments regarding your essay structure and your reasoning.

First, I think you could have shorten the introductory paragraph. Most of it restates the content in the question. I think you just have to lay out the author's conclusion and can ignore some premises.

For the body paragraphs, I can not disagree with the evidences you argued. They are very well thought and reasoned. I just want to add another evidence that you can consider to enrich your reasoning:

-archaeologists discovered such a "Palean" basket in Lithos, --> so only one Palean basket was discovered. Such finding can not be generalised to conclude that Lithosians made the basket as well. We need evidence of other baskets found in Lithos.
OP xatutik 12 / 29 10  
Sep 20, 2014   #4
Dear Louisa, thanks for comments. I know my grammar is quite poor, I'm working on it and your comments help me lot.
For your last comment..

You are right, archeologists should have known about this kind of changes, however there is no mention about it in the argument. Argument states that "river IS broad and deep", thus the question rises whether it WAS deep and broad centuries ago. I think it should be mentioned explicitly.

Dear dunguyen, of course I do not mind, it would be great :)
nickyzhi 8 / 21 8  
Sep 20, 2014   #5
So familiar with the prompt, because I just pass my GRE exam several months ago.

I have some good review materials, if you need it, just tell me. Good luck ")

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