Can you please help me review my GRE essay (both argument and issue)


#1

Hi, I just completed a GRE practical test under time constraints. Can you please review them. Thank you.

Issue

A nation should require all of its students to study the same national curriculum until they enter college.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.

While some people always have a high hope that every child in the country can receive the same quality level of the education, I think impose a same national curriculum for high school students is not a good idea. It is against the ultimate goal of education that is fulfill a individual’s potential and it is impratical as well.

It is a generally accpeted idea that people are born with different talents. Some people are good at subjects that need intensive numerical reasoning and logical thinking such as mathematics and physics whereas some people are gifted in fields needing imagination and creativity such as arts and literacy. Imposing the same curriculum allows no room for students to explore the subjects about which they are passionate. For example, we all know that it usually takes a lot of time for a student for complete a mathematics’ or a physics’ homework. Therefore for a student interested in arts, he or she will have much less time to enhance the skills in painting or dancing. What is worse is that the extensive mathematics and physics training usually has no direct positve impact on a student’s drawing or stage-performance capability. In my opinion, that imposing the same curriculum is a waster of time for most students.

In addition, applying the same national curriculum is not pratical considering the uneven economic developments across the country. It is well known to us that the eastern coast area in China is much more developed than the village area in the western China. The infrastructure between them are therefore different as well. Students in the area such as Shanghai and Nanjing have esay access to laptops, smartphones or tablets while children in some under-developed areas in the western provinces have not even seen a computer yet. Do you think it is fair or reasonable to teach the same level of algorithm, data structures or artifical intelligence course for those living in the different places?

To conlude, that forcing students across the nation to study the same curriculum is neither good nor pratical.

Argument

Essay topics: 'The following is a memorandum from the business manager of a television station.

“Over the past year, our late-night news program has devoted increased time to national news and less time to weather and local news. During this time period, most of the complaints received from viewers were concerned with our station’s coverage of weather and local news. In addition, local businesses that used to advertise during our late-night news program have just canceled their advertising contracts with us. Therefore, in order to attract more viewers to the program and to avoid losing any further advertising revenues, we should restore the time devoted to weather and local news to its former level.”

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence would be needed in order to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.

The memo itself is too general to reach the conclusion that restore the time spent on weather and local news would attarct more viewers and avoid further loss of advertisement contracts. It is clear that we need further detailed evidence to evaluate this argument.

First, the memo only says that the viewers complain about the station’s converage of weather and local news. However it does not specify what those complaints are. On the one hand, what if most of the complaints are regarding the inaccuracy of weather reports? If so, restoring the time devoted to weather reports would not bring more viewers. Even this change would cause more viewers switch to other channel. What if the viewers are concerened about the biased perspectives of the reports on local news? For example, most of the viewers are democratics whereas most the reporters for local news are republicans. Those democratics have the exact opposite views with those democratic reporters on loca tax issues. Introducing more republican’s opinions by restoring the coverage on the tax issue only makes the current situaiton worse. On the other hand, if the complaints are truely about the decreased coverage on local weather and news, then conclusion in the memo would be justified.

Second, the TV station need evidence to pinpoint why local business cancel their contract. For example, if there is evidence shows that the cancellation is related to the redution in audience, then the argument would be strengthened. However if there is evidence showing the local economic growth is slow down recently and all the local businesses has decreased their expenditures on marketing, then the proposed step in the memo would make no sense. Further even if the cancellation in contracts and decrease in audience are correlated, the station still needs to investigate if there is any cause-and-effect relationship between the them. If there is a series of striking outdoor events hosted in town recently, then the true cause for the reduction in both contracts and audiences is the event. Attracting more audience doesn’t increase contracts.


#2

Hi Wenbo, I think you addressed the prompt correctly and your format is good. You do have quite a bit of repetition though and there are many places where you could have been a little more descriptive. Here are some specific suggestions:


#3

Hi, this effort is not too bad, but for this type of prompt, you really need to give the “specific evidence that would be needed”. This is a little different than the argument essay where you find the hidden assumptions.
You can still do that a little here, but a key focus needs to be what additional evidence is needed to make a strong argument. What specific polls or data or surveys would help make a decision in this case.
Below I mentioned the audience survey. Sure, there are increased complaints and a loss of ad contracts, but there is no evidence that the audience has actually decreased. There definitely needs to be ratings data to know how large the audience is and whether it is increasing or decreasing. On the business side, you need to know the economic factors for your local area, which you mention a little. But it would also be good to know the marketing expenditures by category for businesses in your area. Maybe they are switching from late night news commercials to commercials on primetime news, or to soap operas, or game shows, or any other type of tv show. Or maybe they are switching to print ads or billboards or any other form of advertising media. If you could get revenue information from the tv stations you are competing against as well as from the various divisions of your own station, that would give you a truer picture of what is behind this late night news advertising drop.


#4

Hi Luschen, thank you a lot for your review. I will just post one essay in one thread next time.