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  1. Topic 890 - The following appeared in a memorandum from the president of Hyper-Go Toy Company. "Last year, sales of our Fierce Fighter toy airplane declined sharply, even though the toy had been a top seller for three years. Our customer surveys show that parents are now more worried about youthful violence and are concerned about better education for their children. Therefore, to maintain profits we should discontinue all our action toys and focus exclusively on a new line of educational toys. Several other toy companies have already begun marketing educational toys and report sales increases last year of 200 percent. And since the average family income is growing, sales of new Hyper-Go toys should also increase. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  2. Topic 772 - The following appeared in a memo from the economic minister of the small country Paucia. "Using a newly developed variety of seed, farmers in our neighboring country Abundia produced 80 percent more rice last year than in any previous year. To increase the income of farmers in our own country, we should encourage them to cultivate this new variety of rice rather than some of their traditional crops. Such high yields of rice will also improve our country's balance of trade by enabling us to begin exporting it. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  3. Topic 773 - The following appeared in a memo from the chief operating officer of the Presto Manufacturing Company. "Since orders for our major product increased by over 200 percent last quarter, we should promptly expand production by building a new manufacturing plant in Summit City. Summit City is the ideal location for the new plant because it has low property taxes, extensive blocks of land available for immediate purchase, and a large number of residents who are not currently employed. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  4. Topic 768 - The following appeared in a memo from a budget planner in Sophia County. "Census data indicate that the number of retired couples without children who are moving into Sophia County is steadily rising; private schools in our county report substantial increases in enrollment; and a statewide survey of parents shows that over 10 percent now support the idea of home schooling instead of public schooling funded by the county government. Such demographic trends suggest that our county will not have to construct new school buildings and that we can therefore decrease the budget for county-funded public schools. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  5. Topic 959 - The following appeared as an editorial in a wildlife journal. "Arctic deer live on islands in Canada's arctic region. They search for food by moving over ice from island to island during the course of a year. Their habitat is limited to areas warm enough to sustain the plants on which they feed, and cold enough, at least some of the year, for the ice to cover the sea separating the islands, allowing the deer to travel over it. Unfortunately, according to reports from local hunters, the deer populations are declining. Since these reports coincide with recent global warming trends that have caused the sea ice to melt, we can conclude that the decline in arctic deer populations is the result of deer being unable to follow their age-old migration patterns across the frozen sea. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  6. Topic 836 - The following is taken from the editorial section of the local newspaper in Rockingham. "In order to save a considerable amount of money, Rockingham's century-old town hall should be torn down and replaced by the larger and more energy-efficient building that some citizens have proposed. The old town hall is too small to comfortably accommodate the number of people who are employed by the town. In addition, it is very costly to heat the old hall in winter and cool it in summer. The new, larger building would be more energy efficient, costing less per square foot to heat and cool than the old hall. Furthermore, it would be possible to rent out some of the space in the new building, thereby generating income for the town of Rockingham. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  7. Topic 816 - The following appeared as a letter to the editor of a national newspaper. "Your recent article on corporate downsizing* in the United States is misleading. The article gives the mistaken impression that many competent workers who lost jobs as a result of downsizing face serious economic hardship, often for years, before finding other suitable employment. But this impression is contradicted by a recent report on the United States economy, which found that since 1992 far more jobs have been created than have been eliminated. The report also demonstrates that many of those who lost their jobs have found new employment. Two-thirds of the newly created jobs have been in industries that tend to pay above-average wages, and the vast majority of these jobs are full-time. "*Downsizing is the process in which corporations deliberately reduce the number of their employees. Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  8. Topic 774 - The following appeared in a memo from the president of a company that makes breakfast cereals. "In a recent study, subjects who ate soybeans at least five times per week had significantly lower cholesterol levels than subjects who ate no soy products. By fortifying our Wheat-O cereal with soy protein, we can increase sales by appealing to additional consumers who are concerned about their health. This new version of Wheat-O should increase company profits and, at the same time, improve the health of our customers. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  9. Topic 976 - The following appeared in a memo from the Dean of the College of Education at Omni State University. "Only seven of our state's high schools offer even one course in Latin, but over 80 percent of the graduates who study Latin at those seven schools enroll in college. Furthermore, a recent study shows that students who have mastered Latin perform much better in logic and critical thinking. Thus, in order to increase the percentage of our high school students who graduate from college as well as to ensure that they receive a better education in critical thinking, Omni State University should begin an intensive program to prepare our future teachers to teach high school Latin. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  10. Topic 905 - The following appeared in a memo from the vice president of a company that builds shopping malls throughout the country. "The surface of a section of Route 101, paved two years ago by McAdam Road Builders, is now badly cracked and marred by dangerous potholes. In another part of the state, a section of Route 66, paved by Appian Roadways more than four years ago, is still in good condition. Appian Roadways has recently purchased state-of-the-art paving machinery, and it has hired a new quality-control manager. Because of its superior work and commitment to quality, we should contract with Appian Roadways rather than McAdam Road Builders to construct the access roads for all our new shopping malls. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  11. Topic 958 - The following is a recommendation from the business manager of Monarch Books. "Monarch Books should open a caf?in its store to attract more customers and better compete with Regal Books, which recently opened a caf? Monarch, which has been in business at the same location for more than twenty years, has a large customer following because it is known for its wide selection of books on all subjects. Opening the caf?would clearly attract more customers. The caf?would require relatively little space. Space could be made for the caf?by discontinuing the children's book section, which will likely become less popular given that the last national census indicated a significant decline in the percent of the population who are under age ten. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  12. Topic 942 - The following is a memo from the superintendent of the Mylar school district. "A recent six-month study, in which breakfast was made available at school for 100 schoolchildren ages five to twelve, found that children on the breakfast plan were less likely than other children to be absent from or late for school. Clearly, eating breakfast before school plays a role in reducing student absenteeism and tardiness. It is also well known that children who regularly eat a healthful breakfast tend to perform better in school. Therefore, in order to reduce absenteeism and tardiness and to improve academic performance in all of Mylar's elementary and secondary schools, we should provide breakfasts for all students before each school day. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write



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