The following appeared as a letter to the editor from a Central Plaza store owner.
"Over the past two years, the number of shoppers in Central Plaza has been steadily decreasing while the popularity of skateboarding has increased dramatically. Many Central Plaza store owners believe that the decrease in their business is due to the number of skateboard users in the plaza. There has also been a dramatic increase in the amount of litter and vandalism throughout the plaza. Thus, we recommend that the city prohibit skateboarding in Central Plaza. If skateboarding is prohibited here, we predict that business in Central Plaza will return to its previously high levels."
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.
While the argument in the paragraph may seem plausible at first glance, a further analysis shows that it has several flaws that need explanation in order to validate the author’s argument for the prohibition of skateboarding in the Central Plaza.
First, the author states that the number of shoppers has been decreasing steadily; meaning at a constant rate, in contrast to what he claims about the popularity increase of skateboarding, which he says is dramatic. The author also fails to specify if the increasing of skateboarding popularity began at the same time as the number of shoppers reduced. It might have begun later, after the Central Plaza had already lost a large number of clients.
Second, the author claims that the store owners believe that it was because of the number of skateboards users in the plaza, that the number of clients lowered, but they present no evidence to support this claim. What if the skateboarders were already there long before the decrease of the clients, making it possible that there as another factor affecting its visits? Another cause for the decreasing of clients could be the presence of another plaza complex in the area, which would divide and therefore reduce the clients for the Central Plaza, especially if it is a better establishment.
Also, the author says that there has been a dramatic increase of littering and vandalism, but the skateboarders could not be the reason. There are some other things to take into account before jumping to any conclusions. One factor that could be provoking the increase in littering might be the lack of cleaning services or trash cans to throw the garbage, and if this has happened for a couple of years, it could have been one of the reasons of the decreasing of shoppers in the plaza. The same reasoning could be applied to the vandalism increase. If there is a lack of vigilance, police or other form of authority, the criminals would have a free path to commit their vandal actions, and if this also were to happen for a couple of years now, it could be another of the motives that lead to the lack of clients in the stores.
Finally, in the letter the recommendation of prohibit skateboarding is made, and even if this was the problem, the prohibition of it does not guarantee that business in Central Plaza would return to its previous high levels.
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argument 1 and argument 2 are relatively similar.
argument 3 -- OK
Always remember argue against the conclusion: 'if skateboarding is prohibited here, we predict that business in Central Plaza will return to its previously high levels.'.
Maybe there are other reasons to prevent the Central Plaza from returning to its previously high levels even if the skateboarding is prohibited here.
Attribute Value Ideal
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: 403 350
No. of Characters: 1902 1500
No. of Different Words: 187 200
Fourth Root of Number of Words: 4.48 4.7
Average Word Length: 4.72 4.6
Word Length SD: 2.608 2.4
No. of Words greater than 5 chars: 133 100
No. of Words greater than 6 chars: 97 80
No. of Words greater than 7 chars: 61 40
No. of Words greater than 8 chars: 34 20
Use of Passive Voice (%): 0 0
Avg. Sentence Length: 31 21.0
Sentence Length SD: 13.103 7.5
Use of Discourse Markers (%): 0.769 0.12
Sentence-Text Coherence: 0.371 0.35
Sentence-Para Coherence: 0.637 0.50
Sentence-Sentence Coherence: 0.115 0.07
Number of Paragraphs: 5 5