GMAT – Analytical Writing Sample Questions 3

Question #3

3a. Identify some of the examples within the following argument and explain why they strengthen the argument: “Gas prices throughout the United States have been steadily increasing in recent years due solely to rising overseas oil costs. This can be seen because as the price of oil increases, the price of gas has been increasing proportionately.

For example, the average cost for a barrel of crude oil in 2004 was $36.98 a barrel and the average cost of gasoline was $1.85 a gallon. However, during 2005, the average cost for a barrel of crude oil rose to $50.23 a barrel and the average cost for a gallon of gasoline rose to $2.27. Since our economy relies on gasoline for a variety of purposes, we can expect the steady rise of gasoline costs to have an equally profound impact on every individual business within every industry.”

3b. The main examples offered in this particular argument can be found in the third and fourth sentences of the paragraph where the argument identifies the cost of a barrel of oil in relation to a gallon of gasoline in 2004 and the cost of a barrel of oil in relation to a gallon of gasoline in 2005. These examples are actually extremely important to the argument as they establish that rising oil costs probably have an effect on the cost of gasoline. In other words, it can be seen from these examples that the cost for a barrel of oil rises from 2004 to 2005 and the cost of gasoline rises from 2004 to 2005 in an amount that is not exactly proportional, but certainly appears to be related to the rise in the cost of oil. As a result, these examples help defend the argument’s key point, which is that the increasing cost of oil causes the cost of gas to increase, which in turn affects the economy.

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