[b]The following appeared in the editorial section of a West Cambria newspaper:
“A recent review of the West Cambria volunteer ambulance service revealed a longer average response time to accidents than was reported by a commercial ambulance squad located in East Cambria. In order to provide better patient care for accident victims and to raise revenue for our town by collecting service fees for ambulance use, we should disband our volunteer service and hire a commercial ambulance service.”[/b]
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.
I do not think this argument can persuade its readers. The antecedent argument is based on unproven premises and unsubstantiated assumptions. The author has claimed that volunteer ambulances are not as efficient as commercial ambulances, and the city should switch to use commercial ambulances.
First of all, I wonder how this newspaper has claimed that volunteer ambulances have more delay to reach accident place without advance any evidence or statistical? Everyone can doubt to this allege. In addition, from which resource it has claimed that commercial ambulances response time has been better that volunteer ambulances. Without any evidence I cannot accept this argument.
Secondly, assumptions in this argument are unsubstantiated. It is obvious that the author assumes that response time to all accident is equal. He does not notice the location of accident. For instance, if accident happens in far place from city center the response time increases. Moreover, the author has proposed that volunteer ambulances replace with commercial, but he did not tell us whether commercial ambulances have better services or not. Also, he has not noticed that it increases the city expenditures and maybe some people do not want to pay more fees for their ambulances.
Though, the entire of this passage is not without base; however, this argument cannot convince me to switch to commercial ambulances. I think the author should advance more evidence to persuade its readers. For example, he should prove with statics and numbers that volunteers ambulances does not have adequate merit, also he should consider accident place and response time is not enough reason that commercial services are better.
In sum, at the moment this argument has some serious flaws that essential for author to correct them. This argument suffers from lack of reasoning and it based on unproven premises and unsubstantiated assumptions.
TOEFL listening discussions: A conversation between two students in a chemistry class