GRE Argument Essay 34

The following is a letter from an editor at Liber Publishing Company to the company’s president.

“In recent years, Liber has unfortunately moved away from its original mission: to publish the works of regional small-town authors instead of those of big-city authors. Just last year, 90 percent of the novels we published were written by authors who maintain a residence in a big city. Although this change must have been intended to increase profits, it has obviously backfired, because Liber is now in serious financial trouble. The only way to address this problem is to return to our original mission. If we return to publishing only the works of regional small-town authors, our financial troubles will soon be resolved.”

An editor at Liber Publishing Company argues that the only reason for the decline in profits for the company is its deviation from its original mission which was to publish the works of small-town authors. The arguer supports his claim by presenting the fact that 90 percent of the novels that were published by the company in the previous year have been written by authors who have residences in big cities. He draws the conclusion that the company will be able to haul itself out of its financial troubles if it reverts to publishing works of regional small-town authors. The arguer fails to make the argument sound convincing due the absence of strong and convincing evidence in its support.

The contention that the company is facing serious financial trouble because it has strayed from its original mission is totally unconvincing. It is likely that the publishing company is facing heavy losses due to a variety of other reasons as well. The arguer does not discuss any other such reasons. For instance, internal problems in the company, the market conditions and the quality of the works being published will play an important role in determining the profits of the company. As there is no mention of such factors, placing the entire blame on the novels written by authors residing in the city sounds unreasonable. Additionally, the arguer does not discuss other means to improve the profits of the company. The company may experience a hike in its sales figures if the publications of Liber receive enough publicity. Hence, a well-planned publicity campaign or a change in the overall look and content of the publications may be effective in increasing the profits of the company. This aspect had been completely left untouched by the arguer and this makes the argument sound weak and extremely unreasonable.

It is unlikely that the authors of the novels published by the company will have a major influence on the company’s profits as the arguer had not mentioned the other works being published by Liber Publishing Company. The company may be dealing with publications other than novels and it is likely that these other publications have affected the sales of the company’s publications. The argument makes no mention of the status of the other publications of the company. Moreover, the arguer has made no mention of the percentage of Liber’s publications that are novels. It is quite likely that a very small fraction of Liber’s publications are novels and therefore, the sales of these novels will have little or no effect on the overall profits of the company.

The arguer mentions that 90 percent of the novels have been written by authors who have residences in the city. It is quite likely that these authors are small-town authors and they have invested money by buying houses in the city and they are continuing to stay in small towns only. Additionally, it is also likely that these authors may have migrated from small towns into cities recently. Therefore, the company has not deviated from its original mission as in both these cases the authors can still be classified as small-town authors.

Therefore, the recommendation that reverting to the original mission will increase the company’s profitability does not seem justified as there are numerous other ways in which the company’s profits can be boosted. At the same time, there are varied other reasons due to which the company may be experiencing a financial crisis. Hence, in the absence of adequate evidence, the given argument fails to convince the reader that the claim made is rightly justified.