GMAT Essay Topic 462 - The following editorial appeared in the Elm City paper. "The construction last year of a shopping mall in downtown Oak City was a mistake. Since the mall has opened, a number of local businesses have closed, and the downtown area suffers from an acute parking shortage, and arrests for crime and vagrancy have increased in the nearby Oak City Park. Elm City should pay attention to the example of the Oak City mall and deny the application to build a shopping mall in Elm City." Discuss how well reasoned . . . Etc.
The editorial in the Elm City Paper claims that the construction of a shopping mall in downtown Oak City last year was a big mistake. This claim is based on the fact that since the opening of the mall, a number of local businesses have closed, a parking shortage has occurred in the downtown area,...
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In this argument, the author reaches the conclusion that purchasing a retail space in Palm Grove rather than in Sandida Heights would be in financial interest, citing the evidence that the commercial real estate prices have been rising steadily in the Sandida Heights neighborhood for several years. Moreover, the author gives a reason that a retail space in Sandida Heights must now be much more expensive than a similar space in Palm Grove. At first glance, the argument seems somewhat reasonable, but closer scrutiny reveals that it needs more consideration to substantiate the argument.
Most conspicuously, the author relies on a gratuitous assumption that a retail space in Sandida Heights must now be much more expensive than a similar space in Palm Grove. The author provides the evidence about the changes in commercial real estate prices in the Sandida Heights neighborhood, compared to the remained unchanged commercial real estate prices in the Palm Grove neighborhood. However, it is entirely possible that even with the increase in prices these years, the overall commercial real estate prices in the Sandida Heights neighborhood are still lower than those in the Palm Grove neighborhood. Thus, without considering and rulling out the possibilities, the validity of the assumption is really open to doubt.
Even if a retail space in Sandida Heights must now be much more expensive than a similar space in Palm Grove, the notion that retail spaces in Sandida Heights are now overpriced relative to those in Palm Grove is unsounded. Apparantly, the differences between the background conditions in Palm Grove and Sandida Heights overweigh there similarities. For instance, the construction qualities and services of the retail space in Sandida Heights are far betther than those in Palm Grove , thus making the price paid for a retail space reasonable rather than overpriced, which is claimed by the author. In short, without this consideration, the notion is premature at best.
Last but not least, the evidence the author provides is insufficient to validate the conclusion. The author does not indicate other background conditions in Palm Grove and Sandida Heights. Clearly, many factors, other than the prices of the retail space, can influence the profitability of a retail store, such as the average income, purchase power, and brand preference of customers. There is no guarantee that purchasing a retail space in Palm Grove will necessarily result in good profits.
After analyzing the reasoning line and the use of evidence of the argument, it needs improvement in several aspects. If it could provide more evidence of the potential success of new store in Palm Grove and take into account other issues discussed above, the argument could have been more thorough and convincing.