GRE arguments practice: memo from a vice president of Quiot Manufacturing

I am prepared for GRE, and I choose one topic from GRE Arguments topic, hope someone could give me some feedback about the points I made and if there is anything I could work on to improve my GRE arguments essay. Many thanks!

The topic I choose is:
32) The following appeared in a memo from a vice president of Quiot Manufacturing.

During the past year, Quiot Manufacturing had 30 percent more on-the-job accidents than at the nearby Panoply Industries plant, where the work shifts are one hour shorter than ours. Experts say that significant contributing factors in many on-the-job accidents are fatigue and sleep deprivation among workers. Therefore, to reduce the number of on-the-job accidents at Quiot and thereby increase productivity, we should shorten each of our three work shifts by one hour so that employees will get adequate amounts of sleep.

Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.

My essay is:
The argument is well-presented, but not thoroughly well-supported. By providing the evidence, the Panoply Industries plant has one hour shorter work shift and 30 percent fewer job accidents than Quiot Manufacturing, thus work shift correlated with increased job accidents seems logical. However, the experts are failing to consider other alternative evidence that will weaken the conclusion.

First, figure 30 percent more accidents in Quiot does not necessarily indicate that the number of people who got hurt is indeed larger than those in Panoply. Whether the scale of employees is the same need to be proved. To be more specific, perhaps 50 employees have accidents in Quiot of a total of 100 employees, and 2 Panoply’s got injured but of only 10 people in total. In short, without being certain of the scales of two factories, it is incorrect to assume more people got accidents in Quiot.

Secondly, even if Quiot truly got more accidents than Panoply, we make no proof that the accidents are attributed to insufficient rest. The memo contains no evidence to support that an hour shift is the factor of job accidents. Lacking such evidence, it is possible to assume that there are other reasons for people to get hurt. There are probably more physical works required for Quiot’s employees to do than Panoply’s which hire high-tech robots to complete. Also, employees in Quiot may have less training than that in Panoply and accidents are thus a result of reckless and inadequate training.

Finally, the conclusion relies on a doubtful assumption that employees could have enough rests if a one-hour work shift is cut off. Without identifying the time management employees take advantage of, it is wrong to be certain of the benefits an extra one hour can give. On the contrary, an extra hour could lead to more accidents. For example, the employees might find nothing to do with that extra one hour and thus head to the bar nearby with colleagues. Instead of taking more rest, having beers all night or throwing the party could become their new pastime for an extra hour, and to some extent accidentally lead to more job accidents because of liquid toxic.

Examine all the various angles and factors involves, the argument does not justify ruling out that cutting off work shift could do good to the company. While the evidence does highlight a possibility, more information is required to warrant the assumption.


Hi, I have checked and it seems that Quiot Manufacturing is a fictitious company. In my opinion it does not make much sense to spend any time on analyzing and responding to an article that features a company which doesn’t even exist. It would be much more effective to use an AI based system for this kind of work so you are free to do things a machine can’t. Maybe this will be a good topic for an essay? Let’s see what @tim_m, @Elida and @Andrea have to say.


This topic is one of GRE exam topic, and I thought the GRE topic is definitely not the real company. I just want to practice the exam, not really try to find a real company.


Well, I think the entire education system is outdated and will be going through major shifts within the next few years. Take the task you chose. The situation described at the factory reminds me of the working conditions of in the 19th century. This is definitely not a modern company and does not resemble a bright future in any way so why bother with it?

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@11129 Indeed, the topic you’ve chosen does seem a bit dated. Though, I read your response and it seems like you’ve raised good points in your essay. I would recommend trying to reorganize your thoughts a bit more coherently so the essay flows better (this goes for any GRE topic you wind up choosing). While it’s important to have a substantive answer, it’s equally as important to allow the test examiner to know that you understand what is being asked of you in the prompt.

This particular topic seems to make the following assumptions:

  1. Q had 30% more job-related accidents than P (stated).
  2. Experts say fatigue and sleep deprivation contributes to job-related accidents (stated).
  3. P and Q are similarly situated companies (unstated), except work hours (stated).
  4. P’s employees are well-rested because they work one less hour work shifts (unstated).
  5. If Q’s employees work the same hours as P’s employees, they will be as equally rested, too (stated).
  6. If Q’s employees are as equally rested as P’s employees, Q will experience 30% fewer job-related accidents (stated).
  7. If Q experiences 30% fewer job-related accidents, Q’s employees will also be more productive (stated).

So it would be your job to address these assumptions and explain (1) why each is needed to make the argument and (2) what would happen if the assumption was (essentially) wrong. You’ve already done most of the work here. It’s mainly about reorganizing your thoughts more clearly. Good luck.


@tim_m, thank you very much for taking the time to read and analyze our Chinese friend’s essay. How long did it take you to create this post and how much experience in writing and evaluating essays do you have? You must have done this type of work before so we should explore ways of putting your knowledge and skills to better use. For example, you could create some kind of guideline or tutorial on how to write essays effectively. I know that there is an entire essay writing services industry available fighting for customers by cutting prices and honing their marketing and sales machines. I don’t mean we should compete with those companies. Instead, we should point out to people like @11129 that she needs to think about her future instead of focusing on immediate results only. Here is an article she and all the other young people should read and digest:

Please let me know what you think.

Many thanks.


No problem, @Torsten. My post took about 20-30 minutes to write. I don’t have a great deal of experience evaluating essays, but I do have a lot of experience writing and have spent of lot of hours editing and proofreading for others. That and my legal background provides a lot of the skills needed for effective writing, especially persuasive arguments. I would love to help ESL students improve their writing and like your idea about developing my own content/tutorials for this. I’m open to helping any way that I can.

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@tim_m, let’s do some brainstorming here. It’s quite likely that your review of @11129’s essay has promoted another Chinese student to submit her essay as well: GRE argument practice

Now, the question is how can we create a system that helps all parties involved? On the one hand we have a large number of Chinese students who still believe in pursuing the American Dream by ‘making a career’. I don’t think this model has a future but apparently there still is a huge market for it. 11129 and others register on forums like ours and without introducing themselves or spending time reading with other forum members think post their essays expecting an evaluation. I don’t think they are interested in sharing their thoughts and opinions because they have not learned to develop their own opinions in the first place. If they grew up in a totalitarian system where the individual has no value and the Communist Party is always right they are incapable of critical thinking and exchanging ideas. I’m sure my assessment is biased and subjective but there is quite some truth in it. So, my question is what can we do to help those representatives of generation Y live happier lives?


This is a great question, @Torsten, and will probably be answered differently for each person. Let me give this some more thought over the week and get back to you. I’m also continuing to think about how we should approach these essays coming in and, perhaps, create some content that’s digestible for anyone seeking help to improve his/her English writing.


@Torsten, I’ve given some additional thought to these challenges were facing, and I wanted to put forth some ideas I came up with.

  1. I was thinking about developing a series of reading comprehension texts that focus entirely on jobs/careers worth pursuing now and into the foreseeable future. The texts would address AI and other technologies that are replacing/altering jobs. I’m imagining texts that would serve as a source for students to practice their reading comprehension skills and perhaps be a source of inspiration for those who have yet to discover the right career path.
  1. I was thinking about creating my own writing prompts, like the GRE prompts recently submitted by two different students. It’s also possible to create prompts geared towards other standardized tests like TOEIC, TOEFL and IELTS. The prompts would raise potential problems that exist with new technologies. In addition to the writing prompts, I would also provide analyses (with general tips) of the prompts and sample answers. Anyone interested in practicing their writing could use these resources (similar to the other materials we’ve been developing for reading comprehension). The analysis and sample answer could even be withheld until the student submits his/her own essay. If the student deems the resources insufficient and wants a more personalized assessment of an essay, I’m sure we could develop a system that would make it worthwhile for all parties involved. I imagine I could create two full sets, which would include a writing prompt, analysis, and sample answer each, in the time it takes me to write one batch of TOEIC texts. Though, it may be more. I would know better once I had a chance to create my first set.

Let me know what you think about these ideas. I’d appreciate your feedback. Thank you!


@tim_m, the very fact that you have been thinking about this question shows that you really want to make a difference and that you care about other people. That’s the most important ingredient to any project so we are on the right track!

That’s an excellent idea. In addition, we should create some kind of roadmap or guideline for our users that will help them analyze and think about their value system. As anthropologist David Graeber puts it ‘… for some reason it has been drilled into our heads for decades that you are a better person if you have a full-time job’. Productivity has constantly risen over the past 100 years and yet in some professions and jobs we are still working more hours than several generations ago. Also, the idea that once you obtain a formalized qualification with certificates is outdated. Standardized tests and exams have less and less value because the speed at which new technologies are emerging makes them obsolete. Nowadays we need to focus on soft skills and human values rather than on economic values. But our entire societal system is extremely bureaucratic and it takes time for it to change.

That’s another great idea and we can combine it with the other elements you have proposed to turn it into an entire system. We still need to work out a few details such as how many prompts you can create per month and at what rate and conditions, where we want to publish them (here on the forum and/or on the site), how to promote them (social media, email newsletter) to reach as many potential GRE test candidates as possible. This project has great potential as it will be useful not only to GRE test takers but also to tutors and institutions. Let’s talk about these questions in our video call. I look forward to working with you on this. :smiley:

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When are you available to video call? I’m currently on EST time at my end. I was thinking this Sunday or early next week whenever its convenient for the both of us. :smile:


Let’s aim for this Sunday. Will Whatsapp work for you?

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Yes, Whatsapp is fine.

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Great, you’ll find my number here: Contact us |

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Here’s an interesting YouTube clip I was listening to this morning. I’m sure you’re familiar with the JRE podcast. I found the cultural insights really interesting and relevant with what we were talking about the other day. I’m considering writing a text that discusses some of the main takeaways. It would be my first text created based on a video/podcast. Tell me what you think!

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Well, when I hear a discussion like this I think of @Sumejja who has obtained a variety of certificates from Berkeley University two of which I’m sharing here for anyone who is interested. Now, why would you waste your time and energy on meeting outdated hierarchy-driven requirements when you can study anything you are interested in for free?

With the qualifications Sumejja has obtained she can now earn money online from any place in the world. She can decide what project she wants to work on, when and with whom. Why would you suffer discrimination, sexual harassment all kinds of other forms of violence when you can live your life as a free human being?

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