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Please help to evaluate my argument essay. Thank you

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Please help to evaluate my argument essay. Thank you [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2017, 06:23
A recently issued twenty-year study on headaches suffered by the residents of Mentia investigated the possible therapeutic effect of consuming salicylates. Salicylates are members of the same chemical family as aspirin, a medicine used to treat headaches. Although many foods are naturally rich in salicylates, food-processing companies also add salicylates to foods as preservatives. The twenty-year study found a correlation between the rise in the commercial use of salicylates and a steady decline in the average number of headaches reported by study participants. At the time when the study concluded, food-processing companies had just discovered that salicylates can also be used as flavor additives for foods, and, as a result, many companies plan to do so. Based on these study results, some health experts predict that residents of Mentia will suffer even fewer headaches in the future.

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the prediction and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the prediction.


The following is my response:
The author in the prompt stated that some health experts made an assumption that the denizens of Mentia will experience lesser headache in the coming years. After reading through prompt, the health expert argument was marred by a mass of superfluous details and there are a lot questions that need to be answered in order to prove the accuracy of the argument.

In the given prompt, the author states that salicylates are members of the same chemical family as aspirin, a medicine used to treat headache. Salicylates are being incorporated to foods as preservatives. However, what is the dose of salicylates used in foods as preservatives as compared to the dose of medicine? If the dose of salicylates used as preservatives are much lower than the dose of aspirin, it may not be effective to alleviate headaches. In this case, it will weaken the argument of author. If author is able to provide evidence that the dose used as preservatives has the similar efficacy as the dose of aspirin used as medicine, then, it may possible to make such a correlation that salicylate present in food as preservatives can help to mitigate headache.

In addition to that, the author also highlighted a twenty-year study, which indicate a correlation between the increase in the commercial use of salicylates and a steady decline in the average number of headaches reported by study participants. However, questions could be raised about the appropriateness of this study. How was the study being conducted? How many subjects are recruited in the study and does the decline in the average number of headache is due solely to the commercial use of salicylate and not other reasons such as the use of other medicines? If the decline of headache is due to other reasons and not due to the use of salicylate, then it is possibly weaken that the prediction by health expert. Therefore, the author needs to answer these questions in order to conclude that presence of salicylate in food can reduce the frequency of occurance of headache.

Apart from that, the author mentioned that salicylates are members of the same chemical family of aspirin. Is salicylates as effective as aspirin in treating headache? If salicylates can only treat mild headache and not those moderate to severe headache, then salicylate will not able to alleviate those who suffer from moderate to severe headache. In this case, it will seriously weaken the conjecture made by the health expert.

As a conclusion, there are questions that the health experts need to answer in order to reliably predict that the Mentia residents will suffer lesser episodes of headache due to the availability of salicylates in the food as preservatives or additives.
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Re: Please help to evaluate my argument essay. Thank you [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2017, 09:43
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It is good and well organized. I would say to write a bit more and make it more consistent.

See here for reference greprepclub-guide-to-awa-the-clear-cut-3426.html

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Re: Please help to evaluate my argument essay. Thank you [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2017, 10:00
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Thank you for your kind reply. Do you refer to the fourth paragraph "Apart from that, the author mentioned that salicylates...conjecture made by the health expert.", regarding the length and consistency of the essay?
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Re: Please help to evaluate my argument essay. Thank you [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2017, 15:52
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My main suggestions are these

  • first off, show with specific examples in each of the subparagraphs through which you specifically show your idea: agree or disagree
  • Do not use as in the 2nd paragraph a sub-conclusion with, therefore. Use only one main conclusion at the end of your essay

Your overall argument to attack the issue is good. Follow my guide linked in the previous reply.

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Re: Please help to evaluate my argument essay. Thank you   [#permalink] 14 Jun 2017, 15:52
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