Wednesday, August 25, 2010

GRE Argument Task 1

“One of the most important reasons for the decline in the number of visitors to the downtown Herbert Falls area is the presence of teenaged skateboarders. Pedestrians are few and far between, and the graffiti and litter are widespread. Fully 80% of business owners surveyed recently responded that they favored putting limitations on the use of the mall by skateboards. Clearly, then banning the use of skateboards on the mall will reverse the decline in business in the downtown area.”

It is obvious that the writer believes the nonexistence of skateboards on the mall will restore the business in the downtown Herbert Falls area. However, it is just as obvious that the proposal, and its supporting statements, is flawed.

First of fall, how could the writer be sure that the presence of teenaged skateboarders is a critical factor that makes people reluctant to visit the area? Other reasons may be more urgent and ineluctable, such as the nearby downtown area has new entertainment facilities and the ones in Herbert Falls are already trite, if not breaking down. It is also possible that Herbert Falls itself is helplessly boring. There is nothing new and people cannot find any enticing events there.

Moreover, I do not see that skateboarders should be necessarily accused of the litter and grotesque graffiti around the area. It is reasonable that due to the lack of efforts to clean it from the local authorities, most people just simply think it is normal to add some litter there. The graffiti might be created by anyone, but whoever made it, isn’t it better to repaint it and ask local artists to make beautiful murals on the walls? It would make Herbert Falls unique and attract more visitors to the area.

Finding a scapegoat is easy, but before getting rid of the skateboarders, the writer and the local authorities should bear this in mind. If you ban skateboards on the mall, the skateboarders might then tell other teenagers about how “uncool” Herbert Falls is. That means the ones who would leave Herbert Falls to find a more compelling area to hang out are not only the skateboarders, but also a large portion of teenagers. This would certainly be a big loss and contradict the objective to reverse the business decline in the area.

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