"Most homes in the northeastern United States, where winters are typically cold, have traditionally used oil as their major fuel for heating. Last heating season that region experienced 90 days with below-normal temperatures, and climate forecasters predict that this weather pattern will continue for several more years. Furthermore, many new homes are being built in the region in response to recent population growth. Because of these trends, we predict an increased demand for heating oil and recommend investment in Consolidated Industries, one of whose major business operations is the retail sale of home heating oil."
Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.
The author presents an argument for investment in Consolidated Industries, which is involved in retail sale of home heating oil, based on his prediction of increased demand for heating oil. He supports with evidence of traditional use of oil for heating, climate forecasts and building of new homes to account for population increase. However, premises lack specific evidence to help strengthen the argument, without which the recommendation becomes suspect.
Firstly, there is no specific evidence that people in northeast United States have used the oil as their major fuel for heating during the last season when the region experienced below-normal temperature. Even though traditionally oil is the major source of fuel, there is no evidence that it is capable of producing enough heat to counter below-normal temperatures last season. It may be that oil is only capable of countering normal temperatures and residents had to pick another source for their heating needs. Since, climate forecasters predict that weather pattern will continue for several more years, this may preclude the people from switching back to oil. So, the argument predicting increased demand for oil becomes ill-founded.
Secondly, there is no evidence that the new homes being built in region for population growth will use oil as the major source for heating. May be because of recent forecasts the new homes have an inbuilt heating equipment installed which depends on electricity rather than oil. In light of lack of specific evidence regarding this, it may weaken prediction that oil demand will be more and investment for gains in company that has operations are in retail sale of oil may be ill-founded.
Thirdly, the argument fails to provide evidence regarding whether the retail business of Consolidated Industries is present in northeastern United States. It may be possible that the company has no dealers in northeastern region. If that is case, then the company cannot take advantage of increased demand for oil in the region. This weakens the argument. Furthermore, consolidated Industries has number of business interests apart from retail sale of oil. It may be possible that any profits generated from increased sale can be offset by losses in other ventures. There is no specific evidence that retail sale of oil alone can propel the profits of the company. This further weakens the argument for investments in the company.
In conclusion, there are number of specific evidences which are needed to strengthen the argument. Without them the argument and the recommendation rests on tenuous grounds.
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argument 1 -- not OK. 'that region experienced 90 days with below-normal temperatures,', but how are other days? maybe they are over-normal temperatures.
argument 2 -- OK
argument 3 -- OK
Attribute Value Ideal
Final score: 4.0 out of 6
Category: Good Excellent
No. of Grammatical Errors: 0 2
No. of Spelling Errors: 0 2
No. of Sentences: 21 15
No. of Words: 412 350
No. of Characters: 2143 1500
No. of Different Words: 181 200
Fourth Root of Number of Words: 4.505 4.7
Average Word Length: 5.201 4.6
Word Length SD: 2.803 2.4
No. of Words greater than 5 chars: 174 100
No. of Words greater than 6 chars: 134 80
No. of Words greater than 7 chars: 89 40
No. of Words greater than 8 chars: 54 20
Use of Passive Voice (%): 0 0
Avg. Sentence Length: 19.619 21.0
Sentence Length SD: 7.937 7.5
Use of Discourse Markers (%): 0.667 0.12
Sentence-Text Coherence: 0.349 0.35
Sentence-Para Coherence: 0.547 0.50
Sentence-Sentence Coherence: 0.128 0.07
Number of Paragraphs: 5 5