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    #1

    GRE Argument Task: Dura-Sock

    Dear friends of UsingEnglish,

    I am preparing myself for taking the GRE Exam this month and I would like to ask you to evaluate my argument task.
    - Please keep in mind that the arguments themselves are more important then grammar.

    Thank you so much in advance :)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Here is the prompt:
    The following appeared in a memo from the vice president of marketing at Dura-Sock, Inc.
    "A recent study of our customers suggests that our company is wasting the money it spends on its patented Endure manufacturing process, which ensures that our socks are strong enough to last for two years. We have always advertised our use of the Endure process, but the new study shows that despite our socks' durability, our average customer actually purchases new Dura-Socks every three months. Furthermore, our customers surveyed in our largest market, northeastern United States cities, say that they most value Dura-Socks' stylish appearance and availability in many colors. These findings suggest that we can increase our profits by discontinuing use of the Endure manufacturing process."
    Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.

    The decision from the Vice-President can be flawed for several reasons. Firstly, the VP undermines the importance of the Endure manufacturing process for the sales itself; we do not exactly how the consumers deal with the old socks. Secondly, by trusting a survey, he may take false assumptions such using a partial explanation for all sectors or hiding a useful parcel of consumer market not comprised by the survey.

    The study used as basis for the VP decision has not provided sufficient piece of evidence for his statement. It says that the average consumer buys socks every three months, however it does not explain if he or she expands his collection of socks or throw the old ones away. If the former option is true, the durability of the socks can be a relevant factor for the purchase of the new ones and, consequently, discontinuing the Endure process can lead to a decreased sales and profit.

    The survey with the largest market consumers is not an exhaustive source of information. Firstly, as marketing also includes topics of psychology, answering a poll not necessarily explains the consumer buying decision. One can say that they buy socks due to the color and appearance; but psychologically, they may actually enjoy the fact of having with such characteristics for longer time. In other words, the survey’s answers are not necessarily accurate.
    In addition, we do not know information about the people who answered the survey. They may be from a richer community, who can afford buying new socks monthly and not from a poorer one in which the durability is really an important factor.

    Furthermore, what is the relevance of the largest market for the company’s revenue and how are the characteristics of secondary markets? We do not own information regarding the total sales of the company, we know that the largest market consumers appreciate style and appearance, but if the first and second biggest markets are, respectively, 45% and 40% of the total sales, and the second biggest market has a total different buying characteristic? Changing the manufacturing process can affect negatively the sales of other markets, the VP overlooks this fact.

    Finally, in this argument, no information is provided about the consequences of discontinuing the manufacturing process itself. We have no
    information about the following costs or possible benefits. For example, if process uses mainly automatized technology – with no need of human contact, the discontinuation of this may increase costs since personal can also influence at final costs.

    Surely, understanding how other markets react to the durability itself and the types of consumer itself can be providing for a better decision taking before changing drastically the characteristics of the product.

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: GRE Argument Task: Dura-Sock

    The memo doesn't say they have decided to discontinue using the Endure manufacturing process. What it says is that they can increase their profits if they do that.
    Last edited by Tarheel; 18-May-2016 at 03:41. Reason: spelling

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: GRE Argument Task: Dura-Sock

    Say:

    The reasoning is flawed in several ways.

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: GRE Argument Task: Dura-Sock

    Say:

    We do not know exactly how the customers deal with the old socks.

    Or:

    We don't know exactly what the customers do with the old socks.

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: GRE Argument Task: Dura-Sock

    Say:

    The study used for the survey did not provide sufficient evidence for....

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