GMAT Essay Topic 411 - The following appeared as part of an annual report sent to stockholders by Olympic Foods, a processor of frozen foods. "Over time, the costs of processing go down because as organizations learn how to do things better, they become more efficient. In color film processing, for example, the cost of a 3-by-5-inch print fell from 50 cents for five-day service in 1970 to 20 cents for one-day service in 1984. The same principle applies to the processing of food. And since Olympic Foods will soon celebrate its twenty-fifth birthday, we can expect that our long experience will enable us to minimize costs and thus maximize profits." Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion

Author: u_stet | Date: February 25, 2016 | Score:4.5 | => 5 or 6 Essays, Click Here <=


The argument is seriously flawed because it makes dubious assumptions and offers unreliable evidence. It claims that Olympic Foods has run for 25 years, and organizations can learn how to execute things well to become efficient. Hence, it simplistically goes on to conclude that Olympic Foods will be able to reduce costs and increase profits.

First, the argument postulates that Olympic Foods has enough experience to innovate its businesses. In other words, the author assumes that the length of running business has strong positive correlation with innovation. In contrast, the stockholders do not provide any evidence why a long business span has some kind of relationships with success, or why the length can lead Olympic Foods to become more profitable.

Furthermore, the argument presumes that every companies in every industry can cut costs and make businesses efficient based on the fact that they can ameliorate processes by carefully looking at processing. Conversely the article provides no clarification about what renders companies powerful in each field. Generally speaking, the key factors to be successfully competitive are different in each domain.

Finally and mort importantly, even if you concede that all the unlikely assumptions the writer has made above are true, it doesn’t follow that Olympic Foods will be able to reduce costs and increase profits. The shareholders imply without warrant that the food processing is similar to the color file processing at least in part of their processes. Nonetheless, the annual report denotes no information whatsoever on the similarities between the food industry and the color film industry.

Consequently, the argument, as detailed above, makes questionable assumptions and contains serious flaws in the evidence presented. If the author were able to offer more information or clarification on the standpoints which I discussed, the argument would be much more sound and persuasive.

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