AWA#6

AWA ESSAYS: Analyze Issues
ESSAY QUESTION:
“In making a complex decision, one should trust experience more than instinct.”

Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the position stated above. Support your viewpoint using reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.

YOUR RESPONSE:
I agree with the statement that in making a complex decision, one should trust experience more than extinct. Experience is the wisdom one attains by going through difficult situations in life. The emphasis that is usually put on conditioning and training signifies the importance of experience over instinct.

One good example is the intervention of India in the freedom movement of Bangladesh. The Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had a complex situation before her. Bangladesh was struggling to become a independent nation. Getting Bangladesh separated from Pakistan was in India’s strategic interest. There was the problem of illegal immigration of Bangladeshis to India to be considered. But, India also risked antagonizing the US by intervening in the internal affairs of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Om top of this, the intervention would have had a significant military cost for the country.

Instead of going be her instinct and sending over an army in the months of August-September, the prime minister consulted the Army General Sam Maneckshaw, an experienced man of war. He suggested her to postpone the military intervention and wait for the rains to get over. Sending over the army during the rains would have been a suicide for the Indian troops due to the floods in the river Brahmaputra. The Prime Minister heeded the general’s advice and waited for the rains to get over. India successfully intervened in the civil strife and helped Bangladesh become an independent nation.

Another good example is Hitler’s defeat in Russia. He didn’t learn from Napolean’s experience and attached Russia during winters. The Russians kept drawing back while Hitler’s army froze and starved in the Russian winters. Had Hitler been a little more attentive to learning form Napolean’s experience, he could have averted the crushing defeat of his army.

As this examples clearly prove, it is extremely important to listen to an expert’s experience before taking a complex decision.

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AWA#5

These are the essays I wrote while taking the MGMATs-

AWA ESSAYS: Analyze Argument
ESSAY QUESTION:
The following appeared in a medical magazine:”Art and music have long been understood to have therapeutic effects for individuals who suffer from either physical or mental illnesses. However, most doctors rarely recommend to patients some form of art or music therapy. Instead, doctors focus almost all of their attention on costly drug treatments and invasive procedures that carry serious risks and side-effects. By focusing on these expensive procedures rather than low-cost treatments such as art and music therapy, doctors are doing a disservice to their patients and contributing to the rising cost of health care in the United States.”

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Point out flaws in the argument’s logic and analyze the argument’s underlying assumptions. In addition, evaluate how supporting evidence is used and what evidence might counter the argument’s conclusion. You may also discuss what additional evidence could be used to strengthen the argument or what changes would make the argument more logically sound.

YOUR RESPONSE:
The argument says that doctors don’t recommend any form of art or music therapy and hence do a disservice to their patients. The author concludes this from the fact that art and music are known to have a therapeutic effect on individuals. There is no quantifiable benefit of art and music. It may be the case that art and music helps a patient forget about the pain and hence create a feeling of well being. The treatment of serious ailments cannot be based completely on the therapeutic effects of art and music as they don’t guarantee a recovery.For example, music may soothe a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy. But this doesn’t mean that chemotherapy can be replaced by music and art. Ailments which call for invasive procedures are usually demand those procedures. Such serious ailments can’t be treated by art and music.

Also, doctors are responsible and liable for the treatments they prescribe. Since, art and music don’t have any proven effect, it doesn’t make sense for a doctor to include them in a formal prescription. These are the things that should be taken care of by the hospital administrators and the families of the patients. This becomes all the more important as all patients may not enjoy the same type of music or the same form of art. A doctor’s job is to treat a patient physically, not aesthetically using art and music. Hence, concluding that doctors are doing a disservice to their patients, by sticking to convectional and medically approved forms of treatment, is inappropriate.

Also, art and music can be more effective in mental illnesses than they are in physical illnesses. Suggesting art and music as a form of treatment is more suitable for a psychiatrist treating a patient for depression. Other physical ailments and injuries can’t depend upon music and art for treatment.

In conclusion, it may be said that the author has used faulty logic to conclude that the doctors are doing a disservice. Including some information about results of studies conducted on the therapeutic effect of art and music may help strengthen the argument.

AWA #4

AWA ESSAYS: Analyze Issues
ESSAY QUESTION:
“Employees should expect no privacy while on the job, even when engaging in personal communication via telephone or e-mail. Employers are paying for their employees’ time and have a reasonable expectation that this time is spent solely on work-related activities.”

Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the position stated above. Support your views with reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.

YOUR RESPONSE:
I don’t agree with the statement that employees should expect no privacy on the job ans should devote all their time in office to work related activities. If the employees have the feeling that they have no privacy and that they are being watched all the time, this will make them very conscious. They will focus more on making the impression of working. This will take away the feeling of responsibility from them and will reduce employee productivity.

Employees are not machines, they are human beings. They have a personal life besides their work life. If a personal issue is troubling an employee, she won’t be able to focus at work. If she is not allowed to devote anytime to resolving her personal problems, she will keep thinking about those problems and her work will suffer. For example, if a female employee has a small child at home, it’s natural that she would like to confirm the child’s well being a few times a day. If the office policies stop her from making those personal phone calls, she will not be able to focus on her work. This will be a bad situation for the employee as well as her workplace. This may also lead to employee dissatisfaction.

If there is the expectation that the employees should spend their time solely om work-related activities then the supervisors will have to spend time checking that the employees don’t involve in personal activities. This will be an utter waste of the supervisor’s time as it will not improve her productivity. On the contrary, this will hamper the productivity of the employees reporting to the supervisor.

Giving the employees no privacy even in their private communication will show a lack of faith in the employees. This will not be good for employee morale. Nobody wants to work in an organization which can’t trust one to handle one’s responsibilities sincerely.

The best way to motivate employees is to make them feel responsible for their work. The idea of no privacy to the employees completely takes away the feeling of responsibility from the employees. Thus to ensure a good work culture and high productivity, organizations should refrain from making policies like the one suggested in the statement here.

AWA#3

AWA ESSAYS: Analyze Argument
ESSAY QUESTION:
The following appeared in The Homebuilder magazine, a local publication with a focus on construction and sale of real-estate properties:

“According to the most recent survey of our readers, nearly 70% of the respondents indicated that they are planning to build or purchase a new home over the next 2 years. These results indicate that the growth in the construction industry is likely to accelerate in the near future. Therefore, this industry continues to offer lucrative opportunities for investment.”

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Point out flaws in the argument’s logic and analyze the argument’s underlying assumptions. In addition, evaluate how supporting evidence is used and what evidence might counter the argument’s conclusion. You may also discuss what additional evidence could be used to strengthen the argument or what changes would make the argument more logically sound.

YOUR RESPONSE:
Depending on the survey results from the readers of the magazine, the author has concluded that growth in the construction industry is going to accelerate. This is not a logical conclusion as the author has assumed that the readers of the magazine are a fair representation of people in general. This is not a reasonable assumption. People already having plans to build houses in near future, are more likely to subscribe to the magazine. Hence, the percentage of the readers of the magazine who plan to build houses is definitely more than that percentage of people in general.

Secondly, if a reader says that she plans to build or buy a house in a survey only means that the reader has the intention to buy. However, only intention is not enough to buy a house. Availability of finances and many other factors come into picture. Hence the percentage of people saying yes in the survey is a bloated up number as compared to the percentage of people who will actually end up buying a house.

Next, the author has predicted a growth from the figure for the current year. There is no information about the percentage of people who were planning to build or purchase a house last year. A growth cannot be declared only by the numbers of the current year. It’s important to proof that the current numbers are greater than those of last year.

The author has further stated that a growth will open up new investment opportunities. New investment opportunities are likely to get created only if the demand for real estate become more than the supply the present level of investment can finance. As there is no information about the parity between demand and supply of real estate, the creation of new investment opportunities can’t be predicted.

Instead of presenting the results of the survey on the readers of the magazine, if the author had presented the growth in the number of readers of the magazine, it would have been a better indicator of the likely rise in demand in the real estate industry. Further more data about availability of houses and the demand would have led to a better prediction about the growth of the opportunities in the real estate industry.

In conclusion, the argument is based on weak assumption and insufficient information. Adding more information and selecting a set of people which is not biased towards prospective real estate buyers will help make the argument stronger.

AWA 2: Argument analysis

AWA ESSAYS: Analyze Argument
ESSAY QUESTION:
The following appeared in the editorial section of a local newspaper:“The inflow of immigrant workers into our community has put a downward pressure on wages. In fact, the average compensation of unskilled labor in our city has declined by nearly 10% over the past 5 years. Therefore, to protect our local economy, it is essential to impose a moratorium on further immigration.”

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Point out flaws in the argument’s logic and analyze the argument’s underlying assumptions. In addition, evaluate how supporting evidence is used and what evidence might counter the argument’s conclusion. You may also discuss what additional evidence could be used to strengthen the argument or what changes would make the argument more logically sound.

YOUR RESPONSE:
The author argues that the economy of the city is getting weakened by the decrease in the average compensation for unskilled labor. This is questionable. Lower wages for unskilled labor reduce the cost of production in areas such as infrastructure. This may lead to an increase in external investments in the city’s economy. Hence it’s not correct to say that the lower wages are making the economy weak.There is no mention of the main sources of income of city’s economy. For example, for an economy based on industries, having cheaper labor is better. This may cause the natives of the city to lose their jobs but this has not been discussed in the argument. Furthermore, it’s rather unlikely, that the sole source of economic growth is the income from unskilled labor employed in the city itself. Cheaper labor puts the city’s economy at advantage as compared to the economies of the neighboring cities. Hence the conclusion, that lowering of wages is not good for the economy, is not correct.

There is no information about the other impacts that the immigrants might be having on the economy. For instance, an increase in population brought about by the immigrants might be putting a strain on the infrastructure resources of the city. Holding the lowering wages as the only factor that might weaken the economy is not correct.

The author has assumed that a moratorium on further immigration will stop it all together. If illegal immigration ensues as a result of the moratorium, it may lead to even lower wages for unskilled labors. This may also create a law and order problem for the city.

The argument would have been more convincing had the author provided information about the nature of the economy of the city and other impacts of the increase in the immigrant population.

AWA1: Issue

AWA ESSAYS: Analyze Issues
ESSAY QUESTION:
“The mission of a university is to educate its students. Therefore, a professor’s pay and promotions should be based primarily on students’ evaluations of his or her courses.”Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
YOUR RESPONSE:
The statement says that a professor’s pay should be based primarily on student’s evaluation. Though I agree that students’ feedback should be considered in the evaluation of a teacher’s performance, I think that there are still other factors that should be taken into account.A teacher’s main responsibility is to educate the students. Learning happens only when the students enjoy the process of learning and hence appreciate the teacher. Since, students at university level are mature enough to make the distinction between good teaching and bad teaching, it’s logical to take their feedback in consideration while deciding a professor’s pay and promotions.

It’s also true that teaching is not the only things a professor is involved in. It may be the case that a particular teacher is involved in some research work due to which she doesn’t teach many courses. Though the teacher is not actively involved in teaching, she may still be an inspiration for the students. This is something which can’t be quantified through course feedback from the students.

It’s true that the students’ evaluation can be a good criterion for evaluating a teachers performance, but there may be cases when students may not be the best judges. All courses are not alike. While some courses can be extremely interesting due to their content, others might not be as interesting. For example, a project based course is interesting and gives the teacher a lot of options to be creative and make the course more interesting. On the contrary, a theory based class won’t be as interesting. Comparing two teachers who teach those two different courses on the basis of student feedback may not be a correct judgement of their teaching.

In conclusion, it may be said that though student’s evaluation must be taken in account while deciding a teacher’s pay and promotions, other factors such as student’s performance in the course and teacher’s contribution to research should also be taken into account.