"Salicylates are members of the same chemical family as aspirin, a medicine used to treat headaches. Although many foods are naturally rich in salicylates, for the past several decades, food-processing companies have also been adding salicylates to foods

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"Salicylates are members of the same chemical family as aspirin, a medicine used to treat headaches. Although many foods are naturally rich in salicylates, for the past several decades, food-processing companies have also been adding salicylates to foods as preservatives. This rise in the commercial use of salicylates has been found to correlate with a steady decline in the average number of headaches reported by participants in our twenty-year study. Recently, food-processing companies have found that salicylates can also be used as flavor additives for foods. With this new use for salicylates, we can expect a continued steady decline in the number of headaches suffered by the average citizen of Mentia."

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 author of the argument asserts that due to increase of commercial usage of Salicylates in food-processing industry, the average of headaches of inhabitants of Mentia will decline. The author bases his or her conclusion on several evidences which should be evaluated in order to give a comprehensive estimation of soundness of the conclusion. Firstly, is the study decline in the average number of the headaches reported caused only by Salicylates? How increase of the usage of the preservative will impact on health conditions? Does the study give a relevant data for our case?

We were told that the correlation between increase of the usage of Salicylates and decline in the number of headaches has been found, however, correlation does not mean causation. We may have a deal with a coincidence when some other factors have impacted on the average, for instance, the ecological situation in many parts of the world has steadily improved in the last twenty years. New technology is used to filter the air from plants and mills, some strict ecological standards were imposed worldwide, the most striking and obvious example is car-making industry which shifts its attention on production and development of new friendly technologies, as a result air in many cities and megalopolises has become clearer. Moreover, a promotion of healthy life-style and sport activities probably has its effect as well. Many of us started to visit gyms and other sport facilities. These two examples illustrate the idea that many alternative events may lead to the decline in the average headaches reported.

Moreover, the central author's belief of the argument is that then more Salicylates a person consumes than better one will feel. However, this belief has not supportive evidences, on the contrary from our every day experience we know that over-doze of drugs and medicine may lead to decline in health conditions. For instance, almost all medicines have a limitation of its usage by one person in a certain period of time. Even such a harmless medicine as aspirin cannot be consumed in big volumes, the overuse of the medicine often lead to nausea and headaches as well. Therefore, the consequences of the increase of the usage of the Salicylates on citizens’ health conditions are not conspicuous.

Besides, the writer of the argument bases his or her argument on the long-term study, at the same time; the results of the research may not suit the author's purpose. The information given to us about the research does not answer on many questions which should be answered in order to accept or reject the result of it. First of all, we do not know about the sample of the research, who were conducted in the study? Do they all consume food which have salicylates?. The possibility exists that the sample of the research includes people who live in the area but pays no attention to food which they consume; therefore, a half of them may be vegetarians who avoid eating unhealthy food and eat only preservative-free food. In other words, we do not know what exactly the research has found and may be these findings are used for the support of the argument

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argument 1 -- OK

argument 2 -- OK

argument 3 -- not OK
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flaws:
Always remember argue against the conclusion. For this topic it is:

'With this new use for salicylates, we can expect a continued steady decline in the number of headaches suffered by the average citizen of Mentia.'

//suppose salicylates can cure headaches, but it doesn't mean it will prevent the decline in the number of headaches suffered by the average citizen of Mentia.
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Attribute Value Ideal
Score: 4.0 out of 6
Category: Good Excellent
No. of Grammatical Errors: 0 2
No. of Spelling Errors: 0 2
No. of Sentences: 22 15
No. of Words: 527 350
No. of Characters: 2572 1500
No. of Different Words: 248 200
Fourth Root of Number of Words: 4.791 4.7
Average Word Length: 4.88 4.6
Word Length SD: 2.792 2.4
No. of Words greater than 5 chars: 184 100
No. of Words greater than 6 chars: 143 80
No. of Words greater than 7 chars: 109 40
No. of Words greater than 8 chars: 66 20
Use of Passive Voice (%): 0 0
Avg. Sentence Length: 23.955 21.0
Sentence Length SD: 10.429 7.5
Use of Discourse Markers (%): 0.682 0.12
Sentence-Text Coherence: 0.32 0.35
Sentence-Para Coherence: 0.49 0.50
Sentence-Sentence Coherence: 0.168 0.07
Number of Paragraphs: 4 5

Hello. I am trying to understand when I should and should not critique the given data in argument.

The link below leads to an essay which was written on the same theme. However, the author's third and fourth paragraphs openly doubt in validity on the given evidence: the results of research and stated in argument characteristics of the Salicylates. I have to note that I understand that the arty89's essay have superior grammar and clarity of speech.

http://www.testbig.com/gmatgre-essays/salicylates-are-members-same-chem…
P.s. It seems that criteria of estimation of essay has changed over time. I perfectly accept that possibility and if it is the case, I concentrate my attention on relatively recent essays.
P.s.s. Thank you for your help, I appreciate your work, thank you.

Sorry, the essay is wrongly evaluated (we have corrected it). Some human graders made mistakes sometimes.

It is a good idea to concentrate on relatively recent essays.
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Regarding your question: when I should and should not critique the given data in argument?

First, we need to accept all given data are correct, but this 'correct' is applied in some conditions, if the conditions are changed, then the result will not correct.

for example, the survey about all female education, 80% students in the school agree female only education, here we have to accept '80% students in the school agree female only education'. There are nothing wrong with it. however, how are those incoming students? maybe they have different ideas. also in those '80% students', maybe 90% students are from the first year, only 10% students are from the last year.

Second, we should always critique the given data in argument. So how to argue? The rule is 'TLPE': Double check 'TLPE' to evaluate whether the data can be truly applied to all conditions:

1. Time. To see if the data happens in some specific time. Then it may not work in another time.

2. Location. It works for location A, doesn't mean it works for location B.

3. People. It works for people A, doesn't mean it works for people B. Like the above example.

4. Events. It works for events A, doesn't mean it works for events B.

It is easier to figure out by Time, Location, People, but it is harder to figure out Events. It needs some practice.