GRE Argument Essay 101
The following appeared in a letter to the editor of the Balmer Island Gazette.
“The population of Balmer Island increases to 100,000 during the summer months. To reduce the number of accidents involving mopeds and pedestrians, the town council of Balmer Island should limit the number of mopeds rented by each of the island’s six moped and bicycle rental companies from 50 per day to 30 per day during the summer season. By limiting the number of rentals, the town council is sure to attain the 50 percent reduction in moped accidents that was achieved last year in the neighboring island of Torseau, when Torseau’s town council enforced similar limits on moped rentals.”
The writer of the letter argues that limiting the number of mopeds that can be rented will lead to reducing the number of accidents in the Balmer Island in the summer months. The arguer cites the example of the neighboring island of Torseau as evidence in support of his claim. There has been a reduction in the number of accidents in Torseau after similar limits were enforced by the authorities in Torseau. The evidence provided by the arguer fails to establish a link between the occurrence of accidents and limiting the number of mopeds that can be rented out.
The arguer has based his contention on the reduced number of accidents in Torseau. However, the arguer fails to provide substantial evidence that can link the reduction of accidents to the limitation imposed on the moped rentals in Torseau. It is likely that the authorities in Torseau have clubbed some other activities with the limitation on moped rentals. These activities could be conducting classes for the tourists on road safety, enforcing stringent traffic rules, separating lanes for the bicycles and mopeds, ensuring that the footpath for the pedestrians is well away from the roads, etc. Such measures could have resulted in the reduction of accidents in Torseau. Additionally, it is likely that the influx of tourists in both these islands is not the same. There is a possibility that the number of tourists visiting Balmer is more than those visiting Torseau. Therefore, since the tourists do not have an idea of the roads and directions to their destinations, they tend to get careless on the roads leading to a higher number of accidents in Balmer. Furthermore, it is likely that Torseau saw a lesser number of tourists last year leading to a lesser number of accidents. Therefore, it is unlikely that the limitation on the moped rentals had a major influence on the reduction of accidents of pedestrians with mopeds in Torseau.
Even if one assumes that the restrictions on moped rentals has indeed led to a reduction in the number of accidents in Torseau, it cannot be believed that implementing similar restrictions will have the same effects in both the islands. This is because the arguer has not provided any concrete evidence in support of the similarities between these two islands. There is no indication of the geographical structure of the two islands. It is likely that Balmer has uneven or hilly terrain and the downhill drive is the major cause for moped accidents. Hence, it is unlikely that implementing restrictions on moped rentals will have the desired effect in Balmer as the islands of Balmer and Torseau cannot be compared in light of the inadequate evidence provided by the arguer.
The arguer fails to address the issue of how the tourists will travel if they are denied access to bicycles and mopeds. It is obvious that a reduction in the number of mopeds that can be rented out will increase the number of pedestrians leading to a greater risk of accidents on roads involving pedestrians. Moreover, imposing a restriction on moped rentals may lead to each of the moped rental companies diversifying into two or more companies and the overall number of mopeds will remain the same and the restriction will be rendered ineffective.
In view of the above, it can be concluded that the argument has failed to convince the reader. The arguer could have substantiated his claim by proving similarities between Balmer and Torseau and convincing the reader that the implementation of similar laws would have the same effects in both the islands. Therefore, in its present form, the given argument is flawed and unconvincing due to lack of adequate evidence in support of its claim.