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Sample Response to GMAT AWA Argument Questions

10. The following appeared in the editorial section of a local newspaper. “This past winter, 200 students from Waymarsh State College traveled to the state capitol building to protest against proposed cuts in funding for various state college programs. The other 12,000 Waymarsh students evidently weren’t so concerned about their education: they either stayed on campus or left for winter break. Since the group who did not protest is far more numerous, it is more representative of the state’s college students than are the protesters. Therefore the state legislature need not heed the appeals of the protesting students.” Discuss how well reasoned . . . Etc.

The article concludes that the state legislature does not need to consider the positions of protesting students. To support this argument, the author cited that only 200 of the 12,000 students traveled to the state capitol to claim their concerns on the proposed cuts in college programs. The remaining students do not participate in this protest and therefore are not interested in this issue. The argument is not convincing for the following two reasons.

First, the author assumes that because less than one-tenth of the students participated in the protest, only less than one-tenth of the students proposed against the funding cut programs. This assumption is questionable since if the protesting students were selected randomly from the entire student body, their views would correctly reflect the views of the entire college. Without further information regarding the way by which the protesting students were selected, it is questionable to conclude that their opinions fail to reflect the opinions of their colleagues.

Second, the author points out that the other 12,000 students stayed on campus or left for winter break and concludes that they are not concerned on fund-cutting program. The line of reasoning is not solid because there may be other reasons that they did not participate. For example, they probably think their opinions will be expressed by the protesting students. Without addressing why the remaining 12,000 students did not attend the campaign, the argument that the remaining 12,000 students are not concerned about their education is unacceptable.

In conclusion, the argument is neither sound nor convincing. To make it logically acceptable, the author should point out what is the point of view of the remaining 12,000 students.


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