Group #1: Analysis of Argument
The following was used as part of an internet advertising company’s appeal to businesses: Furniture Depot employed our internet advertising company to help. Since then its sales increased by 10% over last year’s totals. Furniture Depot’s success demonstrates how using our internet services can increase your profitability.
Describe how well reasoned you find this argument. In the discussion be sure to analyse 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 argument’s conclusion. You may also address possible changes in the argument that would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.
The argument states that the Furniture Depot’s sales increased by 10% after the company resorted to internet advertisement services. The argument also states that the use of internet advertising, provided by the internet advertising company can increase the profits. This argument uses certain assumptions while drawing the generalized conclusion which may not hold true always.
For instance, the internet company’s appeal fails to mention if the money spent on the campaign is lesser or greater than the profits obtained. If the profit obtained from the increase in sales does not exceed the amount spent on the advertisement, then the services have not been profitable. Also, the argument assumes that the increase in sales occurred primarily due to the internet campaign. No evidence is provided in the appeal to substantiate the claim.
Let us now evaluate how each of the points made above would undermine the claim of the internet company’s appeal.
Firstly, the argument implies that an increase in sales would suffice to prove that the campaign is successful. Assume that the company was making a profit of $100 and with an increase of 15% in sales, makes $115. If the campaign cost the company $20 dollars, then the increase in sales is offset by the advertising fee and hence unprofitable at the end.
Secondly, the argument states that the increase in sales was primarily due to the internet campaign. It does not take into account the possibility of existing customers making increased purchases due to business expansions. If the increase had been due to existing customer’s increased needs, then the advertising campaign might be a futile venture.
The campaign fails to address certain key points while making the claims. In doing so, the appeal fails to make the impact it intends to. However, the argument cannot be robbed of its merits entirely. The claims made by the internet advertising company hold good, provided data are presented to show that the increase in sales is indeed due to new customers through advertisement and the cost of advertisement is lower than the profits made due to increase in sales. Since the argument fails to provide evidence to support its claims and avoids addressing some key issues which might have strengthened the argument, it falls short of convincing the readers of its fecundity.
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