In surveys Mason City residents rank water sports (swimming, boating, and fishing) among their favorite recreational activities. The Mason River flowing through the city is rarely used for these pursuits, however, and the city park department devotes litt

Essay topics: In surveys Mason City residents rank water sports (swimming, boating, and fishing) among their favorite recreational activities. The Mason River flowing through the city is rarely used for these pursuits, however, and the city park department devotes little of its budget to maintaining riverside recreational facilities. For years there have been complaints from residents about the quality of the river’s water and the river’s smell. In response, the state has recently announced plans to clean up Mason River. Use of the river for water sports is, therefore, sure to increase. The city government should for that reason devote more money in this year’s budget to riverside recreational facilities.

Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on the assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted.

Minh Giang Nguyen's picture

While it may be true that the Mason City government ought to devote more money to riverside recreational facilities, this author’s argument does not make a cogent case for increased resources based on river use. It is easy to understand why city residents would want a cleaner river, but this argument is rife with holes and assumptions, and thus, not strong enough to lead to increased funding.

Citing surveys of city residents, the author reports city resident’s love of water sports. It is not clear, however, the scope and validity of that survey. For example, the survey could have asked residents if they prefer using the river for water sports or would like to see a hydroelectric dam built, which may have swayed residents toward river sports. The sample may not have been representative of city residents, asking only those residents who live upon the river. The survey may have been 10 pages long, with 2 questions dedicated to river sports. We just do not know. Unless the survey is fully representative, valid, and reliable, it cannot be used to effectively back the author’s argument.

Additionally, the author implies that residents do not use the river for swimming, boating, and fishing, despite their professed interest, because the water is polluted and smelly. While a polluted, smelly river would likely cut down on river sports, a concrete connection between the resident’s lack of river use and the river’s current state is not effectively made. Though there have been complaints, we do not know if there have been numerous complaints from a wide range of people, or perhaps from one or two individuals who made numerous complaints. To strengthen his/her argument, the author would benefit from implementing a normed survey asking a wide range of residents why they do not currently use the river.
Building upon the implication that residents do not use the river due to the quality of the river’s water and the smell, the author suggests that a river clean-up will result in increased river usage. If the river’s water quality and smell result from problems which can be cleaned, this may be true. For example, if the decreased water quality and aroma is caused by pollution by factories along the river, this conceivably could be remedied. But if the quality and aroma results from the natural mineral deposits in the water or surrounding rock, this may not be true. There are some bodies of water which emit a strong smell of sulphur due to the geography of the area. This is not something likely to be afffected by a clean-up. Consequently, a river clean up may have no impact upon river usage. Regardless of whether the river’s quality is able to be improved or not, the author does not effectively show a connection between water quality and river
usage.

A clean, beautiful, safe river often adds to a city’s property values, leads to increased tourism and revenue from those who come to take advantage of the river, and a better overall quality of life for residents. For these reasons, city government may decide to invest in improving riverside recreational facilities. However, this author’s argument is not likely significantly persuade the city goverment to allocate increased funding.

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Comments

Discourse Markers used:
['but', 'consequently', 'however', 'if', 'may', 'so', 'then', 'thus', 'while', 'for example']

Attributes: Values AverageValues Percentages(Values/AverageValues)% => Comments

Performance in Part of Speech:
Nouns: 0.2640625 0.25644967241 103% => OK
Verbs: 0.146875 0.15541462614 95% => OK
Adjectives: 0.0734375 0.0836205057962 88% => OK
Adverbs: 0.05625 0.0520304965353 108% => OK
Pronouns: 0.0140625 0.0272364105082 52% => OK
Prepositions: 0.09375 0.125424944231 75% => OK
Participles: 0.0375 0.0416121511921 90% => OK
Conjunctions: 2.87272634022 2.79052419416 103% => OK
Infinitives: 0.028125 0.026700313972 105% => OK
Particles: 0.003125 0.001811407834 173% => OK
Determiners: 0.1 0.113004496875 88% => OK
Modal_auxiliary: 0.028125 0.0255425247493 110% => OK
WH_determiners: 0.0125 0.0127820249294 98% => OK

Vocabulary words and sentences:
No of characters: 3285.0 2731.13054187 120% => OK
No of words: 538.0 446.07635468 121% => OK
Chars per words: 6.10594795539 6.12365571057 100% => OK
Fourth root words length: 4.81610080973 4.57801047555 105% => OK
words length more than 5 chars: 0.35687732342 0.378187486979 94% => OK
words length more than 6 chars: 0.262081784387 0.287650121315 91% => OK
words length more than 7 chars: 0.197026022305 0.208842608468 94% => OK
words length more than 8 chars: 0.146840148699 0.135150697306 109% => OK
Word Length SD: 2.87272634022 2.79052419416 103% => OK
Unique words: 248.0 207.018472906 120% => OK
Unique words percentage: 0.460966542751 0.469332199767 98% => OK
Word variations: 54.1363407049 52.1807786196 104% => OK
How many sentences: 24.0 20.039408867 120% => OK
Sentence length: 22.4166666667 23.2022227129 97% => OK
Sentence length SD: 54.7187252126 57.7814097925 95% => OK
Chars per sentence: 136.875 141.986410481 96% => OK
Words per sentence: 22.4166666667 23.2022227129 97% => OK
Discourse Markers: 0.416666666667 0.724660767414 57% => OK
Paragraphs: 5.0 5.14285714286 97% => OK
Language errors: 0.0 3.58251231527 0% => OK
Readability: 48.6248451053 51.9672348444 94% => OK
Elegance: 1.82014388489 1.8405768891 99% => OK

Coherence and Cohesion:
Essay topic to essay body coherence: 0.376019958641 0.441005458295 85% => OK
Sentence sentence coherence: 0.135072454172 0.135418324435 100% => OK
Sentence sentence coherence SD: 0.0833859174569 0.0829849096947 100% => OK
Sentence paragraph coherence: 0.531499608153 0.58762219726 90% => OK
Sentence paragraph coherence SD: 0.157572130188 0.147661913831 107% => OK
Sentence topic coherence: 0.151032457756 0.193483328276 78% => OK
Sentence topic coherence SD: 0.0815237725566 0.0970749176394 84% => OK
Paragraph paragraph coherence: 0.414387980819 0.42659136922 97% => OK
Paragraph paragraph coherence SD: 0.0839945300024 0.0774707102158 108% => OK
Paragraph topic coherence: 0.253037106365 0.312017818177 81% => OK
Paragraph topic coherence SD: 0.0480211161983 0.0698173142475 69% => The ideas may be duplicated in paragraphs.

Task Achievement:
Sentences with positive sentiment : 14.0 8.33743842365 168% => OK
Sentences with negative sentiment : 6.0 6.87684729064 87% => OK
Sentences with neutral sentiment: 4.0 4.82512315271 83% => OK
Positive topic words: 13.0 6.46551724138 201% => OK
Negative topic words: 6.0 5.36822660099 112% => OK
Neutral topic words: 2.0 2.82389162562 71% => OK
Total topic words: 21.0 14.657635468 143% => OK
What are sentences with positive/Negative/neutral sentiment?

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Rates: 83.33 out of 100
Scores by essay e-grader: 5.0 Out of 6 -- The score is based on the average performance of 20,000 argument essays. This e-grader is not smart enough to check on arguments.
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Note: This is not the final score. The e-grader does NOT examine the meaning of words and ideas. VIP users will receive further evaluations by advanced module of e-grader and human graders.

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