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"The tufted groundhog lives in the coastal wetlands of West Lansburg. Ancient records suggest that..

MostafaMostafa Joined: 04/29/2018

The following appears in a letter to the editor for the West Lansburg News:
"The tufted groundhog lives in the coastal wetlands of West Lansburg. Ancient records suggest that the tufted groundhog once numbered in the millions. Since they were declared a wildlife sanctuary in 2004, development along the coastal wetlands has been prohibited. Now local development interests are lobbying for the West Lansburg council to allow an access road to be built along the edge of wetlands. Neighboring Eastern Carpenteria, which had a similar sanctuary, has seen its sea otter population decline since the repeal of its sanctuary status in 1978. In order to preserve the region's biodiversity and ensure a healthy environment, the West Lansburg council should not allow the road to be built."

The first look of the argument seems entirely true, convincing and matches with the nowadays’ popular ovation “Go-Green”. At the first sight to the above letter, you will agree with the author that authorities should prohibit and ban the building of a road along the edge of Wetlands. However, as we go deep into the matter, we can easily grasp many flaws and realize that the argument lacks the vital evidences to validate its claim.

First of all, the argument considers what had happened to the sea otter of the Neighboring Eastern Carpenteria will happen to the tufted groundhog. He didn’t take into consideration that even the name of sea otter prevails that they live in water, while the tufted groundhog lives in the ground. Thus, when Carpenteria allowed the revoke of the sanctuary, it might be that people started to build factories and houses across the sea and water became polluted and no longer livable. These possibilities may be the reason for the decline of the sea otter. On the other hand, groundhogs live on the ground and won’t be affected by such changes at the coastal areas. As long as we can’t confirm these claims, we need enough info about both creatures and their habitat to determine whether road development should be allowed or not. 

Secondly, the letter claims that Carpenteria repealed its sanctuary status in 1978, which led to the decrease in sea otter. He didn’t mention any exact reason for that decline. Is it due to climate change? Or due to people’s bad behavior and hunting of sea otter? Or is it just a coincidence? He should’ve mentioned proper reasons to avoid ambiguity.

Furthermore, Ancient records suggest that the tufted groundhog once numbered in the millions. And there’s no enough data about the current status and numbers of groundhogs.  Maybe groundhogs have become extinct before 2014 so West Lansburg was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 2004. Thus, there’s no particular basis upon which road establishment should be prohibited.

Finally, the argument didn’t mention the reason behind constructing a road along the edge of wetlands. He must have mentioned the reason behind that to strengthen his claim of denying the permission. On the other hand, the road could turn out to be useful in maintaining the biodiversity and ensure a healthy environment of wetlands.

Thus due to the overstated flaws, the argument seems to be ill-founded. However, if the author had mentioned enough evidence and stats, then the argument would have been infallible. But as of now, the authenticity of the argument falls flat due to the insufficiency of the data provided.



  • Jonathan EvansJonathan Evans PowerScore Staff Joined: 10/31/2016
    Hi, Mostafa,

    Likewise, excellent improvement in your argument task essay. You have sound analysis of the argument and do a good job identifying possible weaknesses as well as suggestions for improvement. 

    A couple pointers: Be sure to leave out your own opinion in the argument essay. Stick closely to a somewhat "dry" analysis. In other words, describe the author's reasoning; describe what's wrong with it; suggest ways to make it better. Stay on topic. 

    Again, a much improved essay, and between the two you are looking at around a 4 on the AWM, a very respectable score.

    Please let me know how I can help with other areas of your GRE preparation.
  • MostafaMostafa Joined: 04/29/2018
    Hi, Mr. Jonathan, 
    Thanks a lot for your time and providing me with  detailed feedback, much appreciated) 

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