GRE Argument Essay 95
The following appeared in a memo from the owner of Green Thumb Gardening Center, a small business serving a suburban town.
“There is evidence that consumers are becoming more and more interested in growing their own vegetables. A national survey conducted last month indicated that many consumers were dissatisfied with the quality of fresh vegetables available in supermarkets. And locally, the gardening magazine GreatGardens has sold out at the Village News stand three months in a row. Thus, we at Green Thumb Gardening Center can increase our profits by greatly expanding the variety of vegetable seeds we stock for gardeners this coming spring.”
The owner of the Green Thumb Gardening Center recommends that their business can accrue greater profits by providing a wider variety of vegetable seeds that they stock for gardeners. The owner argues that his recommendation is valid since there is an increase in the number of consumers who are interested in growing their own vegetables. The arguer presents the findings of a national survey and the sales of the local gardening magazine as evidence in support of his recommendation. A careful analysis of the given evidence highlights that the argument is weak as the evidence fails to support the recommendation made by the arguer.
The first evidence provided by the arguer in the form of a national survey does little to convince the reader that the consumers are increasingly showing interest in growing their own vegetables. It is not necessary that the findings of a national survey will hold true for the residents of a suburban town. The argument does not provide the statistics related to the percentage of the town’s residents who were a part of this survey. Hence, it is likely that the town’s residents are quite happy with the quality of the vegetables available in the local market. Even if there was a sizeable representation of the town’s residents in the survey, being dissatisfied with the quality of fresh vegetables does not imply that the residents will resort to growing their own vegetables. This is because the arguer does not provide any evidence to support the fact that if the residents are dissatisfied with the quality of fresh vegetables, then they would prefer to grow the vegetables themselves. Hence, the given argument fails to establish a link between the national survey and the requirement of the town’s residents to buy vegetable seeds.
The second evidence provided by the arguer weakens the argument further rather than strengthening it. The argument may have been strengthened if the arguer had provided the statistics related to the number of copies of the magazine that is stocked by the newsstand. It is likely that in the last three months, the Village News stand has reduced the number of copies that it stocks. This may be the reason why the magazine is being sold out. Additionally, it is likely that the Village News stand was incurring losses due to the poor sales of the magazine and that is why they reduced the number of copies being stocked. Moreover, the argument makes no mention of the sale statistics of the magazine at the other outlets in the town. It is possible that the magazine has poor sale statistics at the other book stores in town. Even if the gardening magazine is very popular with the residents, it does not necessarily imply that the residents are keen gardeners. They may like the magazine for other reasons like the informational content of the magazine. Hence, there is no visible link between the magazine being sold out and an increase in the number of residents who would like to buy vegetable seeds for growing vegetables on their own.
Hence, the evidence provided does not convince the reader that stocking additional varieties of seeds would bring in higher profits for the Green Thumb Gardening Center as the arguer fails to prove that the number of people wanting to buy these seeds will increase in the coming spring.