The following appeared in a letter to the editor of a local newspaper.
"Commuters complain that increased rush-hour traffic on Blue Highway between the suburbs and the city center has doubled their commuting time. The favored proposal of the motorists' lobby is to widen the highway, adding an additional lane of traffic. But last year's addition of a lane to the nearby Green Highway was followed by a worsening of traffic jams on it. A better alternative is to add a bicycle lane to Blue Highway. Many area residents are keen bicyclists. A bicycle lane would encourage them to use bicycles to commute, and so would reduce rush-hour traffic rather than fostering an increase."
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 of a letter to the editor of a local newspaper argues that addition of a a bicycle lane to Blue Highway would decrease rush-hour traffic on that highway. In order to unequivocally state that this effect will bring predicted result, some additional evidence is inevitable.
Firstly, the author claims that addition of a new lane ,as proposed by motorists' lobby, would not diminish the traffic. He/she based this conclusion on a fact that addition of a lane to the nearby Green Highway was followed by a worsening of traffic jams on it. What could cause such an increase? Maybe the access to the city center from suburbs is limited and additional highways between them is required. Additional evidence concerning traffic direction and intensity would help to give insight to this problem and suggest potential solutions.
Secondly, in a letter it was written that addition of a bicycle lane to Blue Highway would result in reduction of traffic. Additional evidence are indispensable to substantiate this argument. Firstly, is the distance between suburbs and the city center short enough to ride a bicycle? Positive answer to this question will strengthen author's argument. Ideally, a survey among residents asking if they are willing to use the bicycle to ride to the city center would be of great help.
At last, additional questions are needed to be answered to decide whether building the bike lane is an optimal solution. Does the Green Highway or any other highway leading to the city center has already a bike lane ? If yes, what was the effect on rush-hour traffic? If the traffic was greatly decreased, maybe addition of extra bike lane to Blue Highway would be a justified solution.
To recapitulate, author's arguments need additional evidence to make the conclusion more convincing. Without them, it is hard to decide if the additional bike lane will decrease rush-hour traffic on Blue Highway. For the time being, due to lack of supporting evidence, no further action is recommended to be taken concerning the bike lane.
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Attribute Value Ideal
Score: 4.5 out of 6
Category: Good Excellent
No. of Grammatical Errors: 0 2
No. of Spelling Errors: 0 2
No. of Sentences: 19 15
No. of Words: 339 350
No. of Characters: 1667 1500
No. of Different Words: 163 200
Fourth Root of Number of Words: 4.291 4.7
Average Word Length: 4.917 4.6
Word Length SD: 2.675 2.4
No. of Words greater than 5 chars: 132 100
No. of Words greater than 6 chars: 107 80
No. of Words greater than 7 chars: 67 40
No. of Words greater than 8 chars: 37 20
Use of Passive Voice (%): 0 0
Avg. Sentence Length: 17.842 21.0
Sentence Length SD: 6.385 7.5
Use of Discourse Markers (%): 0.368 0.12
Sentence-Text Coherence: 0.33 0.35
Sentence-Para Coherence: 0.53 0.50
Sentence-Sentence Coherence: 0.066 0.07
Number of Paragraphs: 5 5