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Hi can someone help critique my essay, all feedback would be much appreciated.
The following appeared as a letter to the editor from a Central Plaza store owner.
"Over the past two years, the number of shoppers in Central Plaza has been steadily decreasing while the popularity of skateboarding has increased dramatically. Many Central Plaza store owners believe that the decrease in their business is due to the number of skateboard users in the plaza. There has also been a dramatic increase in the amount of litter and vandalism throughout the plaza. Thus, we recommend that the city prohibit skateboarding in Central Plaza. If skateboarding is prohibited here, we predict that business in Central Plaza will return to its previously high levels."
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.
It is very easy to assume that skateboarders, who are usually teenagers, would be responsible for the increase in litter and vandalism. Most people associate the youth as being irresponsible and careless and there seems to be an assumption that skateboards are even more so reckless. Similarly, it would be safe to assume that their presence may keep other customers away, which would result in a decrease in sales for the surrounding business. However, this strong correlation does not necessarily prove that they skateboarder cause these events to occur. In order to prove the skateboarders are to blame the author most prove that the increase in litter and vandalism and decrease in sales is only due to the skateboards and not any other outside factors.
One such outside factor is the economy. Research reports have shown that when the economy struggles there is a decrease in sales and an increase in theft and violence. The committee making the decision would have to prove that the recent downfall of the economy would was not responsible for the decline in Central Plaza sales. A possible suggestion would be to gather data from similar geographical areas that were hit by the economy and prove that overall business sales did not take financial hits. The purpose of this data would show that the economy was not the main factor in decrease in business sales.
Another component that needs to be addressed is business appeal. If central plaza contains businesses that are out of touch with current styles, then a lack of buyers interest may be the cause and not the skateboarders. In addition, the committee would have to investigate if all business where affected, or just particular stores. If only particular stores, for example expensive furniture stores were affected, then a lack of interest may be a possible factor. The committee would have to compare if profits in all stores took a fall. Furthermore the number of shoppers may have decreased but this does not mean that sales in all business decreased. Shoppers may be only purchasing items from certain stores, again business appeal and profit numbers would answer theses questions.
In addition to business appeal, another factor to consider is local competition. The committee would have to scan the local area to see if new businesses outside the Central Plaza have opened. The local competition may be a driving factor that is keeping shoppers away and business sales down
In regards to increase vandalism and littering, the committee would have confirm that in the absence of the skateboarders there is a decrease in vandalism and littering. Since most skaterborders are young teenagers, then a solutuion is too look at the amount of littering and vandalism that takes place during school hours and after school hours. Another suggestion would be to take data during the summer and compare it to the school year. If the results show there is a dramatic increase in vandalism and littering when the skateboarders are most likely to be there this would strengthen the case against skateboarders.
While it may sound easy and logical to point the finger at the skateboards, the author must prove that economy, local competition and consumer appeal do not have an influence in the sale of the Central Plaza. If the author were to provide such evidence then it would strengthen the request against the skateboarders.