View Full Version : Two Practice Essays: Feedback/Evaluation Appreciated!

02-05-2009, 01:04 AM
Greetings all,

My GRE is on March 7th, and I just sat down to write a practice AWA essay. The ETS automated e-rater (ScoreItNow) gave the essay a 5 out of 6. Do you think that's about right? Is there anything I could do to improve it? Thanks for reading.

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument.
Hospital statistics regarding people who go to the emergency room after roller-skating accidents indicate the need for more protective equipment. Within this group of people, 75 percent of those who had accidents in streets or parking lots were not wearing any protective clothing (helmets, knee pads, etc.) or any light-reflecting material (clip-on lights, glow-in-the-dark wrist pads, etc.). Clearly, these statistics indicate that by investing in high-quality protective gear and reflective equipment, roller skaters will greatly reduce their risk of being severely injured in an accident.

This argument is not very convincing, for several reasons. First of all, it gives a general conclusion based on one very specific population: among people who go to the emergency room (which implies specific degree of injury) after a roller-skating accident on streets or in parking lots (one method of injury among many), 75 percent were not wearing protective gear or reflective clothing. This evidence implies that among those who went to the emergency room after a roller-skating accident, 25 percent were wearing protective gear or reflective material. This indicates that for at least one-fourth of those entering the emergency room, wearing protective equipment or reflective material was not enough to prevent serious injury.

In addition, we are not given any statistics regarding the use of protective gear among the general roller-skating population. For example, it could be the case that 75 percent of all roller-skaters do not wear protective gear or reflective equipment. If that were indeed the case, then the use or non-use of protective gear would not be a significant factor: roller-skaters who did not wear equipment would be just as likely to go to the emergency room as roller-skaters who did wear protective equipment. It could even be the case that more than 75 percent of the roller-skating population does not wear protective equipment. Moreover, we are not given separate statistics regarding protective gear, on the one hand, and light-reflecting material, on the other. The data may be vastly different for the two types of equipment, and we cannot assume that the two have the same effect. Without more data, we cannot determine whether or not the evidence cited supports the conclusion.