GRE Argument Essay 218
The following appeared in an editorial in the Mason City newspaper.
“At present, Mason City residents seldom use the nearby Mason River for any kind of recreational activity, even though surveys of the region’s residents consistently rank water sports (swimming, fishing, and boating) as a favorite form of recreation. Since there have been complaints about the quality of the water in the river, residents must be avoiding the river because they think that it is not clean enough. But that situation is about to change: the agency responsible for rivers in our region has announced plans to clean up Mason River. Therefore, recreational use of the river is likely to increase, so the Mason City council will need to increase its budget for improvements to the publicly owned lands along the Mason River.”
The writer of the editorial in the Mason City newspaper is of the view that present situation of low recreational activity on Mason River is about to change since it is planned to clean up the river and attract more residents. This will also require the city council to spend more for improving the public lands along the river. The writer shows his concern regarding the quality of the river, which makes residents avoid it despite most of them favoring water sports. However, his argument can be seen in a different light altogether, which makes it illogical and loosely formulated. The writer needs to go through the following discussion for realizing the flaws in his argument.
First of all, the writer says that the region’s surveys shows water sports as a favorite form of recreation. However, he does not mention any statistics for the surveys. It is likely that a large part of section of society was excluded from the survey, which would not prefer water sports as a recreational activity. Without statistical proof of the total number of residents in the city and the number of people favoring water sports, no conclusion can be drawn with complete surety. Hence it is likely that water sports are not as popular amongst residents as the writer mentions in the argument.
Secondly, if the Mason River is not used for water activities like swimming, fishing and boating it might not be only because it is not clean. There could be other reasons that make it unfit for water sports. For example, only if the river is calm can it be fit for sports like fishing and boating. Even for swimming, it is required that the current of the river is not too much. Moreover, the river could be dangerous to allow water sports for all because of its depth. It is also possible that there are no facilities along the river for water sports, which accounts for the river not being used for recreational activities. Further, people could prefer swimming pools for swimming. Therefore, even if the river is cleaned, the residents might not take to water sports in Mason River.
The writer further says that the situation is about to change because the agency responsible for rivers is planning to clean the river, which would encourage recreational use of the river. However, as mentioned earlier, if the residents avoid water spots, it could be because of other reasons and not because the river is not clean enough. In that case, even if it is cleaned by the agency, the residents might not prefer water sports in the river. The purpose behind cleaning the river could be to have clean water resource for a cleaner environment. Therefore, it might not give water activities a boost.
If the writer suggests the Mason City council to increase the budgets for improvements to the publicly owned lands along the Mason River, it does not mean that recreational activities would also increase. The public owned lands near the river might not be supporting water sports to engage residents in these activities. It is possible that the public owned lands along the river are only restaurants, resorts or gardens. In order to encourage recreational activities it is therefore required that the Mason City council increases its budget to start water activities along the river. Only then can recreational activities increase along the river.
After reading the discussion given above, the writer would identify the flaws in his argument. He must therefore amend the argument and make it more convincing and logical.