View Full Version : Urgent..Taking the GRE Writing in one week, Please criticize my essay!

08-30-2010, 02:41 AM
TOPIC: ISSUE119 - "When research priorities are being set for science, education, or any other area, the most important question to consider is: How many people's lives will be improved if the results are successful?"
WORDS: 785 TIME: 00:45:00

Assignment of research priorities cannot solely depend on the number of people whose lives are expected to improve. There are a variety of other factors that needs to be taken into consideration in order to acquire a comprehensive assessment of the pontential of the project. In addition, the evaluation of possible consequences of the research involves complexity and uncertainty to an extent, rendering appropriate judgment difficult to attain.
Admittedly the ultimate goal for research is to improve the overall living standards of people's life. However, the number of people benefited cannot be the single indicator of merit of the research. For instance, the the social rank of the people benefited from the research deserves consideration. We have witnessed many unjust laws that serve only a small portion of the society's people such as the most wealthy and powerful individuals, which could result in social instability and misfortune for the mass majority. Polarization of the rich and poor is a typical example. Even though polarization exists in US and some Asian countries, most Americans do not possess deep-rooted hatred for the rich people simply because they own more monetary assets. Some Asian countries, however, breed a deep social hatred in the working class towards the rich and powerful. This probably owns to the fact that many rich Americans aquired their wealth from inheritance or diligent climbing to the top of the social latter while in some Asian countries wealth is attained by maneuvering tactics or taking advantage of loopholes in laws and their powerful positions. These loopholes are covered up by government-funded research that tends to neglect the loopholes, reinforce the government’s propaganda, and serve the interest of the high-profile figures. Thus it is commonly observed in some Asian countries the conspiracy between political researchers, government officials and businessman to gain economic profits, distributing their relatives and friends in lucrative businesses. Political researches in these nations may come up with amendment in laws but generally do not touch the core profits of these people of high social rank . Such research clearly harms the mass majority even though they may benefit many rich people. Therefore this kind of biased research should always be limited.

Second, it is often difficult to evaluate the outcomes of the research such as how many people will be benefited.. For one thing, almost every meaningful and prospective research project involves a degree of uncertainity. The premise to weighing the priority of a project on how many will be benefited is the possibility of realization, which in fact is quite difficult to evaluate. To judge the merit of the projects by focusing only on possibilities realization of the objectives of the research compromises the prospects of of greater achievements at greater risk.Thus challenges and considerable return of research may yield to mediocrity. For instance, possessing nuclear weapon dramatically increases a nation's military deterrence. Even though those nations who currently own nuclear weapons may not be 100% positive that the nuclear weapons would be successfully developed in their country when they started the program, but the reimbursement of the research is worth long-term investment of huge sum of capitals. From another perspective, the usefulness of a scientific research may not be apparent in the contemporary time. Perhaps many years later people will realize its value. There are many examples of great achievement that were dismissed by its contemporary people in the first place. For instance, the discovery of the transposons were first thought to be ridiculous by the scientific society but years later people recognized its importance and granted it the Nobel Prize. These reasearch may not exert a direct impact on people's life, but when it builds the foundation of knowledge in biological and medical field, a foundation from which practical techniques such as treating bacteria infection draw nourishment from, eventually benefiting millions of patients.
Finally, improvement of people's life is more sophisticated than simply evaluating the usefulness or feasibility of the result of a research. Political, economic and culture factors dominate the success of application to mass majority as well,which is beyond the realm of scientific research. For instace, a medical research may invent a very effective drug, but in poor nations, the government may not have the budget to distribute the drugs to patients, and the patients cannot afford the drug either. Theoretically, many patients' life could be saved, but this is not the case in a poor country. Another example is the experiment performed on volunteering patients. Even though the promising drugs may be invented through the experiment, but this involves a moral problem in which testing on human beings needs to be justified.
In summary, the number of people benefited cannot be the single criteria for assigning the priority, because the people benefited may not be ones who need it the most. In addition, it is hard to evaluate the merit of a project based on the its aspects after realization, thus the suggestion mentioned in the topic is perhaps not practical. IN addition, improvememt is a sophisticated issue that stretches beyond the scientific realm.

09-07-2010, 04:26 PM
Too many long sentences, I do not think it is a good thing. And I think the point the topic is "the most important question" not the only question. But what in your essay, you argue "the single criteria". From the topic, I cannot read it deny other factors that determine research priorities. And in your second paragraph, the example is contradicted with the first sentence. After I read your issue, I am more perplexed. I suggest you rewrite it again, perhaps it your test topic.