GRE: Arctic Deer

Hi Luschen, I know that you are not a GRE expert, but I will appreciate your evaluation in the following essay. I am sure that your comment will help me. Thanks.

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.
Arctic deer live on islands in Canada’s arctic regions. They search for food by moving over ice from island to island during the course of the year. Their habitat is limited to areas warm enough to sustain the plants on which they feed and cold enough, at least some of the year, for the ice to cover the sea separating the islands, allowing the deer to travel over it. Unfortunately, according to reports from local hunters, the deer populations are declining. Since these reports coincide with recent global warming trends that have caused the sea ice to melt, we can conclude that the purported decline in deer populations is the result of the deer’s being unable to follow their age-old migration patterns across the frozen sea.

The tone of this writing seems logic and probable but not very convincing. The supporting sentences are not strong enough to support this issue. This essay will attempt to explain three idea which show that the mentioned conclusion is not so correct.

First, the article concludes from local hunters’ reports which may be incorrect. Hunters are not experienced scholars and may evaluate deer populations less than the exact ones. Or they may only repeat a canard like other people. Maybe they lie about those populations and it can help them to report their revenue less than the exact money to pay less taxes. Because the essay does not speak about how those hunters understand their findings, it seems that the author should use more accurate statistic, for example a professor’s research.

Furthermore, the author naively assumes that reported declinations are because of global warming. He thinks that deer populations cannot follow age-old migration patterns across the frozen sea, but he cannot be sure that global warming led melting ice in those islands or not. Maybe the ice of age-old migration pattern is deep and this global warming has a few effect on it, and so deer populations can yet migrate without any problem. The author should understand weather this effect is enough to melt the pattern completely or not.

Finally, let’s think that global warming melt some of the age-old migration patterns, deer populations can yet stay in some islands and find enough food in them. In addition, passage says that deer populations choose regions where, “their habitat is limited to areas warm enough to sustain the plants on which they feed and cold enough, at least some of the year, for the ice to cover the sea separating the islands, allowing the deer to travel over it”, so if global warming melt some passage, it can change some cold previous areas into more warmer ones where are “warm enough to sustain the plants”. It means that global warming can also increase the deer populations.

In conclusion, article needs to do more research and provide more evidence before his large claims can be fully supported. In fact, the argument could have been strengthened if the author use the more accurate information and conclusion.

TOEFL listening discussions: What is the design of the sweatshirt?

Hi Tesoke, please post your GRE essays in the GRE section so it will be more valuable to other users of the forum. I think you have the right idea with this essay. I think your content is pretty good. You have come up with good ideas to question the conclusion of the passage. Another line of argument is to come up with reasons for a population decline that have nothing to do with global warming. An obvious one here that is actually mentioned is hunting - the “local hunters” have reported on the population decline, but has hunting increased over the years? Is the pressure from hunting too much for the population to recover? Also, make sure you include “evidence that could strengthen or weaken the argument”. What studies or research needs to be done to be more sure of the conclusion or to disprove it? You sort of mention these, but try to be more explicit. I included some ideas in your conclusion.

Thanks a lot.