GRE Argument Essay 241

As people grow older, an enzyme known as PEP increasingly breaks down the neuropeptide chemicals involved in learning and memory. But now, researchers have found compounds that prevent PEP from breaking neuropeptides apart. In tests, these compounds almost completely restored lost memory in rats. The use of these compounds should be extended to students who have poor memory and difficulty in concentrating – and therefore serious problems in school performance. Science finally has a solution for problems neither parents nor teachers could solve.

The arguer recommends administering doses of certain chemical compounds to students in order to improve their performance in school. These compounds have been found to restore lost memory in rats. Therefore, the arguer asserts that they will be able to improve the memory and concentration of students as well by preventing the PEP enzyme from breaking down the chemicals that are involved in learning and memory. Nevertheless, there are certain points that question the soundness of the recommendation made by the arguer.

Firstly, a major lacuna in the argument is the unfair analogy that has been drawn between rats and humans. It is not necessary that what has been proven to be true for rats would be true for humans also. Although, there is a possibility of having similar results when the compounds are administered to humans, the reader would like to see concrete evidence being provided in support of this claim. The argument could have been bolstered by providing evidence that proved that the compounds would have similar effects on humans and rats. In the absence of such data, the contention that the use of these compounds can resolve the issue of poor performance by students in school is highly unwarranted.

Secondly, the arguer clearly brings out that as one grows older the PEP enzyme increasingly breaks down the neuropeptide chemicals that are involved in learning and memory. There is no mention of the role that this enzyme plays in young humans. It is likely that the PEP enzyme has no effect on the learning abilities and concentration of young people. Therefore, the administration of compounds that inhibit the actions of the PEP enzyme will have little or no effect in young people because the neuropeptides in their bodies would be intact as the PEP enzyme would not be as active as it would be when they grow older. Hence, the arguer fails to justify the reason for administering these compounds to students. Moreover, there is no surety that the memory and concentration power of students would actually increase after using these compounds.

Thirdly, even if one assumes that the compounds will have similar effects on rats and humans, the arguer has completely ignored other factors that can affect the performance of a school student. The teaching standards of the school, the interest shown by the student in his studies, able guidance from parents, friend circles etc. all contribute to the problems that may exist in the school performance of a student. It is not necessary that good memory and concentration are sufficient for improving the school performance. Moreover, the experiment in rats has shown effects on their lost memory and there is no mention of the effect that these compounds have had on the concentration power of rats. Therefore, the assumption that the use of these compounds will improve the memory and concentration of the students, thereby leading to a marked improvement in their school performance is far-fetched and grossly unconvincing.

The argument could have been substantiated to a significant extent by providing concrete evidence that could have proved similarities in the effects that the compounds will have on rats and humans. Additionally, the arguer needs to convince the reader that the poor performance of students in school can be attributed to their poor memory and concentration alone. Moreover, the argument needs to include information on the role played by the PEP enzyme on young people. Therefore, lack of crucial evidence has rendered the given argument weak and unconvincing in several respects.