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  1. The following is a memorandum from the business manager of a television station. “Over the past year, our late-night news program has devoted increased time to national news and less time to weather and local news. During this time period, most of the complaints received from viewers were concerned with our station’s coverage of weather and local news. In addition, local businesses that used to advertise during our late-night news program have just canceled their advertising contracts with us. Therefore, in order to attract more viewers to the program and to avoid losing any further advertising revenues,we should restore the time devoted to weather and local news to its former level.” 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 argument is that restoring airtime to its former weather and local news glory will increase viewership. However, this stance is flawed for various reasons, all related to the wrongfully contrived assumptions leading to this conclusion. This argument is wrongfully based on the assumption that local businesses have pulled their advertising because late night news programs focus on national news. These businesses might have different more relevant reasons for canceling their commercials. They may have noticed that advertizing, whether at this time, through this medium, or on this channel, has not increased their sales or profit. Their target audience might not regularly watch late night news, or the news at all, so their ads are fruitless if aired then. They may belong to a younger demographic that is uninterested in news stories, whether it be local or national, and do not tune in. Therefore, the assumption that these companies have pulled their advertizing due to the lack of local and weather reports is invalid. An assumption that the complaints overrule the positive comments also persists in this conclusion. There is note of complaints, and that these complaints mostly concern local and weather coverage, but there is a lack of indication as to whether these complaints are minuscule compared to the successes of national news stories. This is tied in with the assumption that these national news stories are not wanted. Perhaps viewers previously complained that there were not enough national stories; therefore the channel decided to increase national coverage. These stories could now be beloved, with many celebrating its inclusion, while a small population persists a return to more consistent local coverage. The memorandum is unclear about these details, therefore rendering the conclusion that increased local news would mollify and reintroduce a wide range of viewers inconclusive. There may even be more viewers now, due to the inclusion of national news stories. This further invalidates the conclusion. The assumption that all the complaints are concerned with the lack of weather and local news coverage is also flawed. The memorandum states that complaints are concerned with the local/weather coverage, but it does not explicitly state that they are concerned with the lack of such coverage. It may be concerned with the content of the coverage, such as its relevancy or interest to viewers. It could also concern the appropriateness of the coverage. The assumption that the complaints received are about the lack of coverage is unwarranted. The assumption that increased attention of local and weather news stories would welcome more viewers and reintroduce advertising interests does not stand soundly based on the memorandum’s details.
  2. This is the Issue Essay of GRE AWA A nation should require all of its students to study the same national curriculum until they enter college. Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation above and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how those examples shape your position. There is often debate over our nation’s educational system and curriculum in political arenas: teachers’ efficiency and influence in the classroom, our pundit position compared to the more scholarly incisive China and Europe, how to improve our scores compare to these countries. Many have contended that a required national curriculum would fix some of these problems. All students would learn the same things, and our schools would therefore further excel. We would be a well-rounded educated society. However, this suggestion fails to point out the many disadvantages a restrictive curriculum could have. By demanding certain classes over others, the educational system would be eradicating other less renown but otherwise flourishing and creative areas of study. Of course, the staples like mathematics, science, and reading should always be implemented, but in the creation of a national curriculum it is possible that less conventional classes would be cut out permanently. A robotics or technology class, while not traditional, could be extremely influential in students’ will to learn and expansion of passion and knowledge in this burgeoning filed. Debate classes have sprouted around high schools recently, and have fostered a love of critical thinking and inquiry in teens today that they might not have had otherwise. This leads them to apply that thinking to the real world, making them more educated in and out of the classroom. By being exposed to less conventional classes, students would miss out on opportunities to learn new skills and areas of study that would greatly affect their inclination to learn and their career choices later on. Furthermore, by providing alternative classes, students can become more inclined to want to excel in these more traditional routes of academia. For example, classes in the arts such as theatre, creative writing, and photography could open a child’s artistic mind, introducing them to both an area of potential passion in the arts and a career. If creatively inclined children were only stuck and math and science classes, they will not excel, since that part of their brain is not being regularly exercised. Those same debate students will apply the critical thinking they acquired in that class to history and social studies classes, examining hot-button often complex times, such as the debated ethical decision for the US to drop the atomic bomb on hundreds of innocent civilians to stop a cruel expansive war. If a national curriculum was instilled, it is not concrete that these atypical classes would be subsumed. By keeping the avenues to these classes open, students could gain relevant skills and improve their overall academic success. One could argue that having a national curriculum would make for strong students, since they are all on the same page, learning the same thing. While, yes, it would be more uniform to have an equal-across-the-board curriculum nationwide, it would not be beneficial to students. Uniformity does not equal excelling. Excelling depends on a teacher’s efficiency and a student’s will to learn. This would not provide adequate enforcement for this recommendation. Limiting students to one strict structure of knowledge squelches their desire to learn, and therefore, successes in the mandated courses. Students array of skills and career interests would also be suffocated. Thus, a national curriculum would not be beneficial for students in the end.
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