GRE Argument Essay 138
The following appeared in a newsletter on nutrition and health.
“Although the multimineral Zorba pill was designed as a simple dietary supplement, a study of first-time ulcer patients who took Zorba suggests that Zorba actually helps prevent ulcers. The study showed that only 25 percent of those ulcer patients who took Zorba under a doctor’s direction developed new ulcers, compared to a 75 percent recurrence rate among ulcer patients who did not take Zorba. Clearly, then, Zorba will be highly effective in preventing recurrent ulcers and if health experts inform the general public of this fact, many first-time ulcers can be prevented as well.”
The writer of the argument suggests that Zorba can prevent first-time ulcers and are also effective to prevent recurrent ulcers. The writer concludes this by following a study in which only 25 percent patients taking Zorba developed new ulcers. However, the writer needs to be more specific to prove that Zorba prevents first time ulcers. There are a number of flaws in the argument that make the suggestion made in it inappropriate.
The argument becomes week due to the fact that it does not mention the number of patients on which the study was conducted. It only mentions that only 25 percent of patients who took Zorba developed new ulcers. However, this can be a misleading figure. Considering that the study was conducted on very few people, the result will be insignificant since it is liable to variation if more patients are studied. For example, if only 8 patients were studies, it means that 2 had developed ulcers after taking Zorba. However, if the study was conducted on more than 8 patients, it is possible that it shows a different result. Therefore, unless it is confirmed that the study was conducted on a significantly large number of people, its results cannot be considered true. Similarly, the exact number of patients who did not take Zorba and have developed ulcers is not known. Therefore, the statistics of 75 percent patients with recurring ulcers given by the writer can again be taken as misleading.
There are many other factors that can have an effect on the recurrence of ulcers amongst patients. However, the argument ignores other factors and focuses solely on the intake of Zorba by its patients. Some patients could be more sensitive to ulcers than others. Therefore, they might get ulcers despite medication for the same. Moreover, the patients who had recurring ulcers could probably not be taking any other preventions and the intake of some particular food products could be the cause of their condition of ulcers. On the other hand, those who had been taking Zorba could also be taking some other medication for the same. Hence, it can be said that Zorba is not the only drug that has prevented the recurrence of ulcers amongst these patients. Apart from this, there could be other factors related to the condition of recurrence of ulcers. There could some genetic disorder that causes recurrence of ulcers in a patient. In such a case, even if a patient takes Zorba, it would not help in preventing the recurrence of ulcers.
Further, the writer says that Zorba can be highly effective to prevent first-time ulcers. However, he does not support this stand with any proof. He does not mention any study where the drug seemingly prevented first-time ulcers. Therefore, he does not have enough evidence to substantiate his statement. It is only if the writer could provide convincing evidence through a comprehensive study conducted on a significantly large number of people that any conclusion about Zorba’s effect on first-time ulcers could be made.
As mentioned in the argument, Zorba is a multimineral pill designed as a dietary supplement. Since it is not specifically designed to cure ulcers, it is not advised to pop the pill for preventing ulcers. There could be a difference in the dosage of the drug for curing ulcers. Moreover, the argument ignores the possibility of other drugs being effective to cure ulcers. It is possible that there are other drugs that are more effective than Zorba. Hence, there could be better options for patients that would make them choose other drugs in place of Zorba.
Clearly, the argument provides insufficient evidence to promote Zorba as a drug preventing recurrence as well as first-time ulcers. It is not only based on a superficial analysis but also is based on assumptions that have no evidence to be true. Hence, it can be regarded as inappropriate.