Wednesday, 27 August 2014

GRE argument essay: Skateboarding in the Central Plaza

The following appeared as a letter to the editor from a Central Plaza store owner.
"Over the past two years, the number of shoppers in Central Plaza has been steadily decreasing while the popularity of skateboarding has increased dramatically. Many Central Plaza store owners believe that the decrease in their business is due to the number of skateboard users in the plaza. There has also been a dramatic increase in the amount of litter and vandalism throughout the plaza. Thus, we recommend that the city prohibit skateboarding in Central Plaza. If skateboarding is prohibited here, we predict that business in Central Plaza will return to its previously high levels."
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.

While it may seem obvious at first glance that the increase in skateboarding in the Central Plaza is the main reason why the number of shoppers there as well as the whole business decreased, a more thoroughgoing examination should be conducted. General rule of thumb says that there is usually more than only one cause for a situation, not so many things are definite and happen in one to one ratio. There are always more variables involved and more influences. It demonstrates a classical case of improper causation.

Firstly, a situation in the whole district, especially in places that are located near to the Central Plaza, should be taken into account. Chances are that the whole area experience similar problems and it is not only a case for the Central Plaza. Proper inquiries should be made into the matter. Maybe, the municipal government stopped investing funds in the district and as a result the whole area suffers the aforementioned situation. Possibly, the inhabitants of this place became poorer due to inflation and stopped buying in the shops or it might be the case that the Central Plaza became an expensive shopping place with respect to other alternatives.
Secondly, a survey should be carried out amidst the shoppers to reveal the main explanation for their actions. The survey should contain questions about their main goal in changing the location along with a new place of destination. It can occur that the shopkeepers found a better place to run their business, for example, a new shopping mall was built in a posh or more prominent part of the city which offered keenly priced shopping area for rent. The general economic situation of the country could have influenced them and they found a better job or simply discovered a better profession that was paid much better.

Thirdly, the skateboard users should be asked why they altered their previous location. It should be made sure that this is the group that causes the vandalism and is belligerent overall. Do they really litter the Central Plaza? Are there sufficient number of baskets? Is the Police active enough in the area? Did the Police take responsibility for the violence in the Central Plaza? Perhaps, more policemen should visit the Central Plaza frequently. Another way to prevent the vandalism is to set up a camera system (CCTV) or video surveillance. Probably, a good solution would be to provide the skateboard users with other places to do their sport, for instance, the municipality government could build the required facilities in parks or in special zones in the city.

In conclusion, in my opinion this problem can be resolved and the current situation can be explained. The municipal government together with shoppers would take concerted action and at least alleviate or mollify the issue. The skateboard users should be granted with a new place, the police may control the Central Plaza regularly and shoppers shall advertise their place extensively. Finally, the writer could have supported his argument with more substantial evidence and render stronger reasons to clarify why there was correlation between increasing the rate of crimes and the number of skateboarding users.

1 comment:

  1. Czy ty też pisałeś wypracownia po kolei z listy ? ;P

    While the cause of deteriorating business due to skateboarding seem plausible, the explanation provided by the author of the letter does not come without flaws and assumptions that mght be easily undermined. Certainly, there are questions that need to be answered before undetaking a certain cours of action as it will may not bring the desired effect.
    Fist question that need to be answered is what are the reasons or a basis of a belief that business deacrese is due to an increasing number of skatebarder users. How is this correlation determined, on which premises and proofs? I could point out thousands diferent reasons of business deacrese, and the one connected with increased skateboarding would be the last one I could think of. As one reason, there might have been built a rival shopping centre which allured some previous customers of Central Plaza. There might have been a shift in demographics in the surrounding area as well. Or many people in the area might have lost their job because of mass lay-ff or they might have migrated to other places. Additionally, skateboard users might be the customers as well, so the are actually contributing to a greater revenue. Moreover, skateboarding facilities constitues attraction which potentially can allure more clients as it is offered as additional activity besides shopping. For example, parents who want to do their shopping and have nobody to leave their children with, can make use of skatebarding facilities to organize the time of their dependants. So, ironically, it may turn out that after banning them from skateboarding in the Centre the revenues will drop even more dramatically. In conclusion, it must be more carefully investigated what really causes the drop in bussiness of shop owners because the one provided by the author might be just superficial and skateboard users might be simply scapegoats.
    Also, as the skateboarding takes place outside of shop premises, in which way they hamper shopping? These are two separate gropus which function well indepedently in the separate areas of Centre. The argument presented by the author saying that skateboarders are associated with increased vandalism and litter is unwarranted. It may be completely another group of juveniles who are responsible for that, and skateboarding community cannot be simply equated to vandals and hooligans. These are people who just want to pursue their hobby and not to make a nuisance of themselves. It might be that the Centre deteriorated as a whole (become neglected) and not due to skateboards users.
    In conslusion, there are few key questions that need to be answered before a certain course of action is decided upon, as it may not bring the expected results. The reasons behind decreasing business must be further investigated to ascertain whether this can be contributed solely to skateboard users. As well, the evidence must be provided so that to assure that vandalism and litter is caused by this group. If the answers are divergent from what the author claims his reccomendation as for the action will not be effective in terms of bringing business back to higher levels.