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  1. Topic 943 - When Ida McAllister ran for mayor of Lake City four years ago, she failed to win even 30 percent of the vote. But since then, McAllister has made public her commitment to environmental causes. She would be wise, therefore, to announce her intention to close all Lake City parks to automobile traffic, thus following the example of the former mayor of Plainsville, Alecia Yu . On the recommendation of a small group of concerned citizens, Mayor Yu prohibited automobile traffic in all Plainsville parks, and therefore was credited with solving the pollution problem and improving the quality of life in Plainsville. This action would have great appeal to the citizens of Lake City, most of whom participate in the community's recycling program, and would guarantee McAllister's success in her current quest to be Lake City's new mayor. Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  2. Topic 763 - The following appeared in an editorial on health problems in the country of Corpora. "Some pharmacies now feature ultrasound machines that screen for an elevated risk of stroke. For a fee, a technician presses a probe against the neck to determine whether any plaque has thickened the walls of the main artery leading to the brain. Researchers have shown that a thickening of artery walls is associated with elevated stroke risk, and such scans typically find that anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of clients have detectable plaque. All pharmacies should offer this service, because early detection of increased risk for stroke will encourage clients to consult with their doctors and make important life-style changes to reduce their risk of having a stroke. This in turn will cause a decrease in overall medical costs in Corpora. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  3. Topic 848 - The following appeared in a letter to the school board in the town of Centerville. "All students should be required to take the driver's education course at Centerville High School. In the past two years several accidents in and around Centerville have involved teenage drivers. Since a number of parents in Centerville have complained that they are too busy to teach their teenagers to drive, some other instruction is necessary to ensure that these teenagers are safe drivers. Although there are two driving schools in Centerville, parents on a tight budget cannot afford to pay for driving instruction. Therefore an effective and mandatory program sponsored by the high school is the only solution to this serious problem. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  4. Topic 882 - The following is a letter to the editor of a news magazine. "Clearly, the successful use of robots on missions to explore outer space in the past 20 years demonstrates that robots could be increasingly used to perform factory work more effectively, efficiently, and profitably than human factory workers. The use of robots in factories would offer several advantages. First, robots never get sick, so absenteeism would be reduced. Second, robots do not make mistakes, so factories would increase their output. Finally, the use of robots would also improve the morale of factory workers, since factory work can be so boring that many workers would be glad to shift to more interesting kinds of tasks. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  5. Topic 771 - The following appeared in a memo from the director of a large group of hospitals. "In a laboratory study of liquid antibacterial hand soaps, a concentrated solution of Nadasept killed 40 percent more bacteria than the liquid hand soaps currently used in our hospitals. During a subsequent test of Nadasept at our hospital in Saluda, that hospital reported significantly fewer cases of patient infection than did any of the other hospitals in our group. Therefore, to prevent serious patient infections, we should supply Nadasept at all hand washing stations throughout our hospital system. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  6. Topic 907 - The following appeared in a memorandum from the general manager of KNOW radio station. "Several factors indicate that radio station KNOW should shift its programming from rock-and-roll music to a continuous news format. Consider, for example, the number of older people in our listening area has increased dramatically, while the total number of our listeners has recently declined. Also, music stores in our area report decreased sales of recorded music. Finally, continuous news stations in neighboring cities have been very successful, and a survey taken just before the recent election shows that local citizens are interested in becoming better informed about politics. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  7. Topic 972 - The following appeared in an article from a popular newsmagazine. "In 1888 a stone was unearthed in northern Wisconsin with an inscription in an old Scandinavian alphabet and bearing the date 1362. Scandinavians were not, however, exploring or emigrating to northern Wisconsin in the fourteenth century. Recent analysis proves, in fact, that the stone had been buried in the spot where it was found for no more than 100 years. Moreover, the community near the discovery site was home to a group of people who had formed a club to study medieval Scandinavian culture ?a period that includes the fourteenth century. The stone, therefore, is not a genuine artifact of medieval Scandinavian culture inscribed in the fourteenth century but most likely a hoax perpetrated by the group. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  8. Topic 980 - The following appeared in a memo from a budget planner for the City of Grandview. "To avoid a budget deficit next year, the City of Grandview must eliminate its funding for the Grandview Symphony. Our citizens are well aware of the fact that while the Grandview Symphony Orchestra was struggling to succeed, our city government promised annual funding to help support its programs. Last year, however, private contributions to the Symphony increased by 200 percent, and attendance at the Symphony's concerts-in-the-park series doubled. The Symphony has also announced an increase in ticket prices for next year. Such developments indicate that the Symphony can now succeed without funding from city government and we can eliminate that expense from next year's budget. This action will surely prevent a budget deficit. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  9. Topic 898 - The following appeared as part of a memo from the manager of an automobile manufacturing company. "Because the demand for our automobiles is expected to increase dramatically, we need to open a new manufacturing plant as soon as possible in order to continue to thrive. Our marketing projections indicate that 80 million people will want to buy our automobiles, yet our existing plant can only produce 40 million automobiles. The new plant can be opened on a part-time basis, with workers from our existing site rotating responsibilities, until an operational staff can be trained. A major airplane manufacturer was extremely successful using this part-time rotating strategy when it opened its new plant five years ago. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  10. Topic 916 - The following appeared in a letter sent by a committee of homeowners from the Deerhaven Acres to all homeowners in Deerhaven Acres. "Seven years ago, homeowners in nearby Brookville community adopted a set of restrictions on how the community's yards should be landscaped and what colors the exteriors of homes should be painted. Since then, average property values have tripled in Brookville. In order to raise property values in Deerhaven Acres, we should adopt our own set of restrictions on landscaping and housepainting. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  11. Topic 957 - The following appeared as part of a business plan developed by the manager of the Rialto Theater. "Despite its downtown location, the Rialto Movie Theater, a local institution for five decades, must make big changes or close its doors forever. It should follow the example of the new Apex Theater in the mall outside of town. When the Apex opened last year, it featured a video arcade, plush carpeting and seats, and a state-of-the-art sound system. Furthermore, in a recent survey, over 85 percent of respondents reported that the high price of newly released movies prevents them from going to the movies more than five times per year. Thus, if the Rialto intends to hold on to its share of a decreasing pool of moviegoers, it must offer the same features as Apex. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  12. Topic 840 - A folk remedy* for insomnia, the scent in lavender flowers, has now been proved effective. In a recent study, 30 volunteers with chronic insomnia slept each night for three weeks on lavender-scented pillows in a controlled room where their sleep was monitored. During the first week, volunteers continued to take their usual sleeping medication. They slept soundly but wakened feeling tired. During the second week, the volunteers discontinued their medication. As a result, they slept less soundly than the previous week and felt even more tired. During the third week, the volunteers slept longer and more soundly than in the previous two weeks. This shows that over a short period of time lavender cures insomnia.*A folk remedy is usually a plant-based form of treatment common to traditional forms of medicine, ones that developed before the advent of modern medical services and technology. Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write



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