GRE Argument Essay 200

The following is a letter to the editor of the Waymarsh Times.

“Traffic problems here in Waymarsh are obviously reaching record levels. While just three months ago it would take me 15 minutes to get to work, it now takes closer to 25. Waymarsh should follow the example of our neighboring city Gearsville. Last year, Gearsville implemented a policy that rewards people who share rides to work with coupons for free gas. Pollution levels in Gearsville have dropped since the policy was implemented, and several friends who live in Gearsville tell me that their trip to work is quicker than it used to be. With the terrible traffic and high pollution in Waymarsh, we must implement a policy similar to Gearsville’s.”

The writer of the letter argues that Waymarsh should follow the policy that people who share rides to their offices should get coupons for free gas. This would ensure that the traffic problems and pollution levels in Waymarsh are reduced. He further emphasizes that there is a serious traffic problem in Waymarsh as it now takes him 25 minutes to get to work as opposed to 15 minutes three months ago. The arguer cites the example of the neighboring city of Gearsville which has seen a reduction in the pollution levels as well as the time taken to reach offices after the implementation of a similar policy. Despite the evidence provided, the argument stands on shaky ground and fails to sound convincing enough.

An experience of three months does not qualify as the sole reason for stating that there is a traffic problem in Waymarsh. The arguer has not ruled out other possibilities that may have increased the time taken to reach office in the past three months. It is likely that the traffic on a portion of the route has been converted to one-way traffic or has been blocked due to some obstruction and so the arguer has to take a long detour to reach his office. Moreover, it is likely that additional traffic signals have been installed on the route to the arguer’s office, thereby delaying the time taken by him to reach his place of work. Additionally, the last three months may have seen an increase in tourists or there may have been festivals or events that temporarily increased the traffic on the roads. Unless the arguer rules out such possibilities, it is difficult to be convinced that there is a traffic problem in Waymarsh based on the experiences of the arguer in the past three months.

It is not necessary that the reduction in pollution levels in Gearsville is the result of the policy that provides free gas coupons for sharing rides to work. The arguer makes no mention of the number of people who have availed this facility by actually sharing rides to work. The friends mentioned by the arguer may be reaching their offices more quickly due to other reasons like taking shortcuts or by utilizing other means of transport like local trains. The arguer needs to explicitly mention the number of people who have started sharing rides to office because of the free gas coupons and the effect that this has had on the road traffic. Moreover, it is likely that Gearsville has implemented other policies like moving industrial units outside the city or checking vehicles for adding to the pollution levels of the city. In the absence of such data, the reader cannot be convinced that the policy of providing free gas coupons is the sole reason behind reducing both the traffic as well as the pollution levels in the city.

Finally, the arguer has drawn a false analogy between the cities of Waymarsh and Gearsville as he has not provided any data pertaining to the geographical and demographical make up of the two cities. It is likely that the population of Gearsville is very less as compared to that of Waymarsh and so the traffic conditions in Gearsville cannot be compared to those in Waymarsh. On the other hand, it is likely that Gearsville consists of more office-going people than Waymarsh and so the policy related to sharing rides to office may not prove to be as effective in Waymarsh. Additionally, it is likely that Waymarsh has a hilly terrain and so the traffic congestions on the narrow hill roads may be unavoidable even if people share rides to work. Therefore, the recommendation made by the arguer fails to sound convincing enough due to lack of sufficient evidence in its support.