The following appeared in a memorandum issued by a large city's council on the arts:
"In a recent citywide poll, 15 percent more residents said that they watch television programs about the visual arts than was the case in a poll conducted five years ago. During these past five years, the number of people visiting our city's art museums has increased by a similar percentage. Since the corporate funding that supports public television, where most of the visual arts programs appear, is now being threatened with severe cuts, we can expect that attendance at our city's art museums will also start to decrease. Thus some of the city's funds for supporting the arts should be reallocated to public television."
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze 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 conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.
This argument claims that the city should reallocate some funds to public television as it’s expected that the number of people visiting museum will start to decrease with the cut funds. The line of reasoning is that the number of people who visit museum has been increased by a similar percentage as that of those who watch TV programs about visual arts in the past five years. I found this is not sound, however, by following reasons:
Firstly, the author drew an assumption that the people who will visit museum are only the residents who watch TV programs about visual arts. However, as one of the most attractive place of a city, a museum would attract a lot of other visitors like travelers and artists. Also, many schools and universities will organize the museum tours for their students very frequently. It’s very likely that the increased number of museum visitor is not only from the TV audience, which means the fund cut in supporting visual arts on TV program will not necessarily make the number of museum visitors decreased.
Secondly, the author did not take into consideration that the city might have advertised visual art via different media, other than relying on TV program solely. Nowadays, there’re a lot of choice of media for advertising, like website advertising, email advertising and magazine advertising, etc., TV program is not the only one and cheapest one to promote visual arts any more. There’s a chance that the city has invested some funds on other media to advertise visual art so that it could gain the increased number of museum visitors. If this is the case, there’s no guarantee that the fund in supporting visual art on TV program was the only reason of the increasing number of visitors.
In sum, this argument is not convincing because the author fails to address some important factors that should be taken into consideration. It would be more compelling if the author could consider the diversity of museum visitors and the other medias that might be used by the city to promote visual arts.
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argument 1 -- OK
argument 2 -- not really. suppose TV is the only media advertised visual art, then how to argue?
Attribute Value Ideal
Final score: 3.5 out of 6
Category: Satisfactory Excellent
No. of Grammatical Errors: 0 2
No. of Spelling Errors: 0 2
No. of Sentences: 13 15
No. of Words: 349 350
No. of Characters: 1657 1500
No. of Different Words: 165 200
Fourth Root of Number of Words: 4.322 4.7
Average Word Length: 4.748 4.6
Word Length SD: 2.467 2.4
No. of Words greater than 5 chars: 116 100
No. of Words greater than 6 chars: 76 80
No. of Words greater than 7 chars: 54 40
No. of Words greater than 8 chars: 33 20
Use of Passive Voice (%): 0 0
Avg. Sentence Length: 26.846 21.0
Sentence Length SD: 7.892 7.5
Use of Discourse Markers (%): 0.615 0.12
Sentence-Text Coherence: 0.398 0.35
Sentence-Para Coherence: 0.596 0.50
Sentence-Sentence Coherence: 0.072 0.07
Number of Paragraphs: 4 5