A recently issued twenty-year study on headaches suffered by the residents of Mentia investigated the possible therapeutic effect of consuming salicylates. Salicylates are members of the same chemical family as aspirin, a medicine used to treat headaches.

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A recently issued twenty-year study on headaches suffered by the residents of Mentia investigated the possible therapeutic effect of consuming salicylates. Salicylates are members of the same chemical family as aspirin, a medicine used to treat headaches. Although many foods are naturally rich in salicylates, food-processing companies also add salicylates to foods as preservatives. The twenty-year study found a correlation between the rise in the commercial use of salicylates and a steady decline in the average number of headaches reported by study participants. At the time when the study concluded, food-processing companies had just discovered that salicylates can also be used as flavor additives for foods, and, as a result, many companies plan to do so. Based on these study results, some health experts predict that residents of Mentia will suffer even fewer headaches in the future.

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the prediction and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the prediction.

The author of the argument concludes that the denizens of Mentia have suffered less headaches due to increasing use of Salicylates, which have a soothing impact on body, in the past twenty years and this condition seems to continue in the future as a result of an upward trend toward using Salicylates. However, this conclusion cannot be accepted as it because it is based on a number of premises for the support of which some vital questions are to be answered.

First of all, the writer refers to a study but there is not adequate information about the sample. We need to know how many people took part in the study reported. As you know, in research studies the greater the number of people in the sample the more reliable and valid the findings are. Maybe in this study only ten people participated; hence, the findings of such a study are neither reliable nor valid. Even if it is assumed that enough people took part in the study, the second question with the sample is whether it is representative of the concerned population in terms of age, sex, social class, culture and so forth. Maybe the people who participated in sample are young people whose bodies have more tolerance toward consuming medicine and this medicine could have adverse effects on older people. There is nothing in the passage to indicate these scenarios are impossible.

Second, the writer asserts that the plunge in the number of headaches was a result of increase in utilizing salicylates. We need to know whether people participating in the study have used another analgesics. Maybe people have used other medicines such as Valium or morphine alongside salicylates and the decrease in headaches is due to consuming that alternative medicines rather than salicylates. Let’s suppose that the salicylates are the main reason for plunge in headaches. We need to know what it the chief cause of headaches and does it has remained constant during these twenty years. It goes without saying that air pollution could bring about headache; maybe in the past ten years, government has implemented measures which has led to gradual decline in the amount of air pollutant; consequently, the number of headaches and other disease has decline noticeably. There is nothing in the passage to indicate that these scenarios are not possible.

Last, the author states that the citizens of Mentia will experience even less headaches in future, if companies add more salicylates to foods as flavors. We need to know whether consuming high dosage of salicylates each day would have side effects on people. Maybe if people use a considerable amount of salicylates each day, it would have devastating effects on their body organs or maybe they would become addicted to salicylates after consuming salicylates on a daily basis.

In the final analysis, the writer’s conclusion cannot be taken to be correct because, as it was shown in the body paragraphs, it depends on a number of assumptions each of which is questionable. The conclusion can only be accepted if the questions already referred to are all answered.

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there is not adequate information about the sample
there is no adequate information about the sample

implemented measures which has led to
implemented measures which have led to

the number of headaches and other disease has decline noticeably.
the number of headaches and other disease has declined noticeably.

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argument 1 -- not OK. 'there is no adequate information about the samples' doesn't mean this is a loophole. Maybe it has enough samples and covers all age groups. but you can ask questions like: Did the participants took only foods that were rich in salicylates? Were they under any medications? How severe was their headaches?

argument 2 -- OK

argument 3 -- not OK. Need to argue against the conclusion: Based on these study results, some health experts predict that residents of Mentia will suffer even fewer headaches in the future.

suggested:
Granted that salicylates are effective in treating headaches, we cannot hastily infer that they would also be effective in preventing headaches.

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Attribute Value Ideal
Score: 3.5 out of 6
Category: Satisfactory Excellent
No. of Grammatical Errors: 4 2
No. of Spelling Errors: 0 2
No. of Sentences: 21 15
No. of Words: 515 350
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Fourth Root of Number of Words: 4.764 4.7
Average Word Length: 4.874 4.6
Word Length SD: 2.67 2.4
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No. of Words greater than 7 chars: 95 40
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Use of Passive Voice (%): 0 0
Avg. Sentence Length: 24.524 21.0
Sentence Length SD: 10.83 7.5
Use of Discourse Markers (%): 0.571 0.12
Sentence-Text Coherence: 0.331 0.35
Sentence-Para Coherence: 0.533 0.50
Sentence-Sentence Coherence: 0.136 0.07
Number of Paragraphs: 5 5