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Starting this winter, we will be constantly studying the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) task. The source of questions is the Pool of Sample Topics available in the Official Guide to the GMAT.
First, we will be reading a question:
「Question No. 4」
The following appeared in a report presented for discussion at a meeting of the directors of a company that manufactures parts for heavy machinery:
“The falling revenues that the company is experiencing coincide with delays in manufacturing. These delays, in turn, are due in large part to poor planning in purchasing metals. Consider further that the manager of the department that handles purchasing of raw materials has an excellent background in general business, psychology, and sociology, but knows little about the properties of metals. The company should, therefore, move the purchasing manager to the sales department and bring in a scientist from the research division to be manager of the purchasing department.”
In the simple way, when we read the brief passage, in which there is an argument, we should analyze the line of reasoning of the argument and should find a number of logic flaws. We should write an essay in an analytical manner and to discuss those points of doubt.
Since this may be our first time doing this task, we may take a moment before we start writing, and focus on finding which part of the argument goes wrong and draw an outline of our essay.
We have quickly found a few points of doubt:
Point of Doubt 1
Poor planning in purchasing metals may not be attributed to or solely to the purchasing manager, because departments that are parallel to or superior to the purchasing department may also be accountable for the poor planning.
Point of Doubt 2
Knowing general business, psychology, and sociology may not be necessary expertise for the position of sales manager. In other words, the knowledge in the three areas may not help the current purchasing manager to successfully perform the role of sales manager.
Point of Doubt 3
The purchasing manager’s lack of knowledge about the properties of metals may remain as a weakness when he or she is in the position of sales manager, which may require the knowledge.
Point of Doubt 4
The scientist may know plenty about the properties of metals but lacks necessary expertise or skills in being a competent purchasing manager.
Note that although some of us have probably found more than four logic flaws, we are most likely to write about four of the many flaws, since the given time for the AWA section is 30 minutes, which is not enough for us to write about all of the flaws unless you are supersonically fast.
Now, two sample paragraphs are presented as follows to create a general idea of writing an analytical text
Based on Point of Doubt 2
Knowing general business, psychology, and sociology may not be enough for the current purchasing manager to perform the role of sales manager. Since the argument provides no information that the current purchasing manager possesses negotiation skills – the crucial part of expertise in make deals, the author cannot be sure that the current purchasing manager will be able to be a successful sales manager.
Based on Point of Doubt 3
The lack of knowledge about the properties of metals may render the current purchasing manager incompetent in the position of sales manager. To make sales, it may be critical that the manager knows the use of the metals, which depends on the properties of them, in the company’s heavy machinery. As a result, knowing little about the properties of metals will remain as a disadvantage.