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"to fund the building of affordable housing for students" - GRE Arguments

saloca7 2 / 4  
Jan 5, 2011   #1
The argument:

Claitown University needs both affordable housing for its students and a way to fund the building of such housing. The best solution to this problem is to commission a famous architect known for experimental and futuristic buildings. It is common knowledge that tourists are willing to pay money to tour some of the architect's buildings, so it can be expected that tourists will want to visit this new building. The income from the fees charged to tourists will soon cover the building costs. Furthermore, such a building will attract new students as well as donations from alumni. And even though such a building will be much larger than our current need for student housing, part of the building can be used as office space.

My response:

This argument introduced a suggestion to commission a famous architect to design a building that could polarize tourists, students and donation to the university. According to the arguer claim, this will solve the problem of housing in the University. The author didn't support his claims with citations of any study or previous experience. The lack of these supporting evidences make the benefit of the project questionable for many reasons.

First, the arguer didn't provide any evidence regarding the economic feasibility of the project. While he claimed that tourists will like to visit the new building and will pay for it, he didn't provide any data about the status of tourism in the area; for example, number of tourists annually visit the area and average payments from each tourist. He/she didn't mention any similar successful experiences that can support his/her claim. He/she didn't mention anything about type of tourists in the area and whether they will be interested in visiting the new building or not. To support the claims, well designed studies regarding economic feasibility of the project, similar successful experiences and tourists trends in the area and nearby areas are required.

Second, the speaker didn't consider the influence of tourism on education in the University. Will the university be able to achieve balance between education and tourism. Can the university accommodate large numbers of tourists with their vehicles and noise. To what extent the students will pay from their privacy and concentration in their study.

Third, The arguer expected that the new building would polarize more students and donations. This expectations are not supported. Possibly, donors may consider this new building a type of extravagance and abuse of their funds, they may prefer to support institutes that invest in education and research, rather than institutes invest in buildings and tourism. The new beautiful building may attract some students; however, most excellent students depend on ranking of the university, its research and educational capabilities rather than its architecture in their selections. Many high ranked universities have horrible dorms, but excellent students still compete hardly to join these universities despite its below average housing. So, the quality of students whom decisions would be influenced by the architecture of the new building is questionable.

In sum, the suggestion is not supported by convincing evidences concerning its economic or practical feasibility. To assess it better, studies are needed regarding expected economic cost and outcome, and donors and students trends. The ability of the university to accommodate tourists and more students should be considered and evaluated form different prospects.

I have a real problem in my GRE analytical writing score, your feedback is highly required and appreciated. If possible rate this response from score 6.

EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Jan 7, 2011   #2
I can't remember how the rating system works... It was explained to me, but I forgot the criteria for each number...

I want to point out that the end of the first paragraph should have one more sentence added to it. Make it a sentence that mentions not just the lack of citations of precedents but also the other important points you make.

You did very well. The first thing I noticed was that it was impossible to know how much income would be generated, so you are correct to call for the citation of research or precedents.

To get a good score, do not just analyze the whole statement with your whole essay. Instead, use paragraoh to scrutinize each sentence of the speaker. Tackle the statements made by the speaker one at a time, and invest a paragraph in each.

OP saloca7 2 / 4  
Jan 8, 2011   #3
Dear Kevin,
Million of thanks for your tips. I will consider them in my next practice.

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