The following opinion was provided in a letter to the editor of a national aeronautics magazine:
“Manned space flight is costly and dangerous. Moreover, the recent success of a series of unmanned space probes and satellites has demonstrated that a great deal of useful information can be gathered without the costs and risks associated with sending men and women into space. Therefore, we should invest our resources in unmanned space flight."
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 these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
In the preceding statement, the author claims that unmanned space flights should be used more since they present less costs and risks. While it may be true that these types of space flights could be more efficient than the ones involving man, the author presents a poorly reasoned argument, based on several questionable premises and assumptions.
Citing the series of unmanned space flight, the author reports that they could be a useful and effective source of information. It is not clear, however, the validity of the information gathered. For example, what type of information did the space flights cover? There is a big difference between discovering new data about space and just completing the evidence already known. Besides, could unmanned space probes provide all the info offered by manned space flights? The series mentioned by the author may not be able to gather all the material required. We just do not know. Unless the information gathered by the unmanned space flights is complete and reliable, it cannot be used to effectively back the author's argument.
In addition, the author's argument relies on the fact that manned space flights are more costly and dangerous, but this basis lacks substantial support. The primary issue is that the author does not mention why manned flights are dangerous. Many manned flights have been made in the last fifty years, yet no fatalities have occurred. Hence, why should we consider them risky? Moreover, why are they more expensive? It seems reasonable to believe that unmanned flights could need more resources, since they require more advance technology to develop their functions. Therefore, the author's reasoning rests on unsubstantiated support.
In sum, the author has several key issues in support of his argument. However, with research and clarification, he could improve his argument significantly. If the author truly hopes to prove that resources should be invested in unmanned space flight, he would have to fix the flaws in his logic and explain his assumptions. Without these modifications, the author is not likely to persuade the readers to believe that these new type of space flights are as advantageous as he presumes.
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Attribute Value Ideal
Score: 5.0 out of 6
Category: Very Good Excellent
No. of Grammatical Errors: 0 2
No. of Spelling Errors: 0 2
No. of Sentences: 21 15
No. of Words: 354 350
No. of Characters: 1799 1500
No. of Different Words: 185 200
Fourth Root of Number of Words: 4.338 4.7
Average Word Length: 5.082 4.6
Word Length SD: 2.597 2.4
No. of Words greater than 5 chars: 135 100
No. of Words greater than 6 chars: 103 80
No. of Words greater than 7 chars: 67 40
No. of Words greater than 8 chars: 34 20
Use of Passive Voice (%): 0 0
Avg. Sentence Length: 16.857 21.0
Sentence Length SD: 7.852 7.5
Use of Discourse Markers (%): 0.524 0.12
Sentence-Text Coherence: 0.326 0.35
Sentence-Para Coherence: 0.486 0.50
Sentence-Sentence Coherence: 0.156 0.07
Number of Paragraphs: 4 5