This is my first try of the GRE writing.
Need everyone's feedback. Thank you ~The following appeared in a letter to the editor of the Balmer Island Gazette.
"On Balmer Island, where mopeds serve as a popular form of transportation, the population increases to 100,000 during the summer months. To reduce the number of accidents involving mopeds and pedestrians, the town council of Balmer Island should limit the number of mopeds rented by the island's moped rental companies from 50 per day to 25 per day during the summer season. By limiting the number of rentals, the town council will attain the 50 percent annual reduction in moped accidents that was achieved last year on the neighboring island of Seaville, when Seaville's town council enforced similar limits on moped rentals."
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.
At first glance, it might appear rational to concur with the conclusion that limiting the number of the mopeds rented from 50 to 25 will reduce the accidents involving mopeds and pedestrians since the Seaville Island has already achieved last year. However, the author's argument does not make a cogent case for the reduction of the accidents. There are several assumptions that are not strong enough to lead to the conclusion that cut down the numbers of the mopeds used can also lower the accidents rate.
The first issue to be addressed is whether the Balmer Island has the same situation with the Seaville Island. Clearly, the letter didn't involved any specific numbers that we need to know, such as the population of the two islands, the percentage of the people who use mopeds, and even the geography of this two islands are the same kind or totally different. Remarkably little is known about the situation of these two islands. Unless the survey is valid and reliable, it cannot be used to effectively back to the author's arguments while the connection between the Balmer and the Seaville is not match.
This argument also relies on the idea that limiting the numbers of the rental mopeds in Balmer can have the same result with Seaville Island. However, the reduction of moped's rental from 50 to 25 equals to cut down 50 percentages of the mopeds in use. It will be a huge change in the way how people commute. For example, those people who change their commute way from riding a moped to walking has a highly chance to walk faster or even cross the red light to meet the time, which obviously will increase the chance of having accidents between the pedestrians and cars. Accordingly, a warning sign or an instruction light on the road may be a good idea to change the situation, instead of cut the number of the mopeds.
Thirdly, the argument is weakened by the fact that it does not take the geography and population into account. Clearly, the population of these two islands is of importance to discuss with. For example, if the people who live on the Seaville Island are only a thousand, reducing half of the moped's use will obviously lower the accident rate. However, as the letter mentioned that there are about 100,000 people during the summer months, there are much more people on Balmer Island. Not to mention the fact that a place where the more people live, the more accidents will happened. In addition, the geography also plays a great role in the situation of whether the accidents happened. If the Balmer's topography is not that good, such as the road is covered with potholes and pebbles, more slope, or even the road signs are ambiguous while the Seaville is in a good condition, which could be a tremendous difference between the numbers of the accidents.
Finally, even if the author can substantiate the assumptions him/her made, I remain unconvinced that reduce the number of the moped's use can lower the number of the accidents. Besides the reduction of the mopeds may not only let the moped shopkeeper's revenue decline, but break the income of the tourism industry in the Balmer Island. In order to prevent this kind of things happened, I suggest that the moped's owner should add some reflection things on the mopeds to improve the safety of the renters, which will lower the accident rate and also reduce the chance that the owner needs to fix the mopeds. And the government can set the signs and instructions to remind the pedestrians and the drivers to be aware when they are on the road. Additionally, the government could also set a regulation of the speed limit to punish the one who drive the moped. With the punishment of the money, people may be more careful when they are driving.
To conclude, while at first it may seem somewhat make sense for council to limit the rental of the mopeds. However, the letter may not be the only view of this issue. A more complete understanding of the situations between Balmer's and Seaville's is needed. To strengthen it the author must provide the evidences such as the population and the geography and so on. All this things must be considered before any assumption is made.