GRE Argument Essay 199

The following appeared in a newsletter from a national astronomy association.

“Various sources are predicting higher-than-average temperatures across the country next winter, including in Sun City, the traditional location of our yearly winter conference. Higher winter temperatures are sure to result in higher-than-usual tourism in Sun City, a location already known for its attractive beaches and good weather. Hotels will have fewer rooms available, transportation will be more difficult to reserve, and public places such as parks and restaurants will be more crowded. These conditions are likely to significantly reduce attendance at the conference. We should therefore move our conference to a city less popular with winter tourists.”

The argument highlights three conditions that are likely to affect the attendance at the yearly winter conference of the national astronomy association at Sun City. These are less availability of hotel rooms, lack of adequate transportation and large crowds at parks and restaurants. The arguer links the origin of these conditions to a high number of tourists resulting from the higher-than-average temperatures that have been predicted for the next winter. Based on this assumption, the arguer recommends that the conference be moved to a city which is less popular in winters. The argument suffers from several fallacies that render the recommendation indefensible.

Firstly, the arguer fails to convince the reader that the three conditions outlined by him would actually affect the attendance at the conference. Since the winter conference at Sun City is a recurring event which takes place every winter, it would not be difficult to make reservations for accommodation and transport beforehand. The people attending the conference would know well in advance that they have to be present in Sun City for the conference and they can be forewarned to get their reservations done well in time. As the people would be going to Sun City for a conference, the crowds at public places like parks and restaurants should not affect them in the least. Therefore, the contention that the venue of the conference should be changed can sound convincing only if the arguer rules out the possibility of getting the reservations done in time.

Secondly, as Sun City is a popular tourist destination, it is unlikely that the city’s administration would not have catered for an increase in the number of tourists. As Sun City is already known for its attractive beaches and weather, the businesses in the city would be expanding themselves to meet increased tourist influx annually. Therefore, it is likely that the conditions that have been assumed by the arguer as a result of increased tourism may not be created at all.

Thirdly, the temperature is not the only criteria for people to decide where they would like to go for their holidays. If people are used to going to a different tourist location, it is unlikely that they would change their plans for a higher winter temperature. Moreover, it is not necessary that most people would be aware of the rise in temperature much before it is actually observed. Even if they are aware of the higher winter temperature they may choose to go to some of the other tourist destinations across the country as this rise in temperature has been predicted to affect the entire country. Therefore, the arguer fails to convince the reader that tourism in Sun City would actually increase in the winter. The argument could have been bolstered by providing statistical data related to the tourists who plan to visit Sun City in the winter.

Fourthly, the arguer completely ignores the reasons why the suggested new venues for the conference are less popular with tourists. It is likely that those cities are not easily accessible and they have poor infrastructures. There may be a problem of accommodation and transport in those cities and this might be the reason behind their being less popular.

The argument could have been substantiated by providing data pertaining to the infrastructure of Sun City and whether it can meet the demands created by an increase in tourism, if at all it is observed due to the higher-than-average temperatures in the coming winter. Moreover, there is a need to establish a link between the three conditions outlined by the arguer and the attendance at the conference. In view of the above, it is obvious that the arguer fails to convince the reader that shifting the venue for the conference is indeed required.