username3525234
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ManLike007
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(Original post by mjustliving)
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Now I know in your introductory paragraph you said "I will argue that we as a country have greater priorities closer to home, that deserve spending first." and the questions was "Should the government spend more on space exploration?" but isn't it more favourable to give a balanced argument and by that I mean give an equal amount of arguments for both sides for advantages and disadvantages?

I'm no expert at essays but the questions starting with "Should ... " indicates you're discussing both sides of the arguments then giving an overall judgement because this essay was biased as you said in the introductory paragraph.

Regarding opportunity cost, don't forget there's no guarantee of success of investing the money of space exploration into public sectors. How do you know investing that money in education will be effective in the long run? This is an example of an evaluation point you could've written. (same goes for the recession one in your 5th paragraph)

This is just what I've learnt to do in essays is to weigh up both sides, give an evaluation of any few points mentioned then give a final judgement on where you stand in your opinion in this question given what you've already argued and it just seems much more reasonable this way.

Also, whenever you mention or refer to economics, it's advisable to use statistics in my opinion. Perhaps a bit more evidence generally would've made your arguments stronger in your argument as a whole.

These are just my thoughts
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Estreth
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(Original post by ManLike007)
Now I know in your introductory paragraph you said "I will argue that we as a country have greater priorities closer to home, that deserve spending first." and the questions was "Should the government spend more on space exploration?" but isn't it more favourable to give a balanced argument and by that I mean give an equal amount of arguments for both sides for advantages and disadvantages?

I'm no expert at essays but the questions starting with "Should ... " indicates you're discussing both sides of the arguments then giving an overall judgement because this essay was biased as you said in the introductory paragraph.

Regarding opportunity cost, don't forget there's no guarantee of success of investing the money of space exploration into public sectors. How do you know investing that money in education will be effective in the long run? This is an example of an evaluation point you could've written. (same goes for the recession one in your 5th paragraph)

This is just what I've learnt to do in essays is to weigh up both sides, give an evaluation of any few points mentioned then give a final judgement on where you stand in your opinion in this question given what you've already argued and it just seems much more reasonable this way.

Also, whenever you mention or refer to economics, it's advisable to use statistics in my opinion. Perhaps a bit more evidence generally would've made your arguments stronger in your argument as a whole.

These are just my thoughts
Before I comment on the essay, it's important to say what's wrong with the advice here:

The italicized paragraph is the way many - perhaps even most - students are taught to write essays at school. It makes for very bad essays, and is absolutely the wrong way to approach the LNAT essay. Nor does a balanced argument mean giving an equal number of arguments on both sides.

A balanced argument is an argument that gives due consideration to both sides. If you think the arguments on one side are very bad, it's fine to say so and explain why. You don't need to go searching for arguments in order to achieve numerical balance; you need to argue for your position against the best counter-arguments available.

The other thing you must not do is produce a list-style essay, introducing argument A1 for, then argument A2 against, then argument B1 for, then argument B2 against, and so on, until you finally introduce your own opinion in the last paragraph - usually starting with that dreaded word 'Overall...' - as if you've just read a bunch of other people's arguments and impressionistically picked one as the best.

An essay that asks 'Should X do this or that?' is asking you to argue for your position. The marker is not looking to see that you are aware of all the possible arguments and can summarize each side. She is looking to see that you can mount a cogent and sustained argument in favour of a definite position, and defend it against possible objections.

The other point is about statistics. The easy rule is, 'For God's sake don't use statistics.' Unless you have a fabulous memory and are reading only the most reliable sources, the chances are your figures will be wrong. You don't need to back up statements about economics with statistics. Sure, you might need to make arguments involving economics, but as long as you are making claims with some prima facie plausibility and/or which are accepted by at least some reputable people, the marker will grant you them. It's the structure and persuasiveness of your argument that's important, not the empirical facts you can muster to support it. (That's not to say making ridiculous empirical claims won't hurt you - and some people do!)
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Estreth
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I think there are two principal problems with this essay. First, it's lacking in structure; secondly, it only really has one argument. I think the first problem is largely a result of the second.

You set your stall out nicely in the first paragraph.

2nd para. You discuss two completely different arguments here. Your paragraphs should be thematically unified. Introduce the 'knowing what's out there' argument in a separate paragraph. Also, 'topical' is not the right word: you mean 'important', or 'urgent'.


3rd para – You say the end of the 2nd para 'brings me to my next point'. But (i) it doesn't, because the argument you were just discussing is completely unrelated to what you're about to say, and (ii) it isn't really a ‘next point’; it’s the same point you opened the previous para with.You then have the same problem with introducing a new argument (the 'benefit of the future' one) from nowhere in the same paragraph. Nor is it clear what the argument is supposed to be – why would spending on space exploration be beneficial for the future? This is where balance comes in. You need to make the case against your view at least minimally plausible. The way you state it, it's not even clear what argument is being made.

4th para – Again the argument you're countering is underdeveloped. Why would someone think the answers to present day problems may be in space? Which problems? Why might they be in space?

It's important you should the later paragraphs should advance the argument in some way. But the 5th and 6th paras seem to me just repetition of the main argument, that we have better things to spend our money on.

I can see how there's a difficulty with this essay question, which explains why your essay has ended up quite repetitive - that is that it may well be that there's only one good argument why we shouldn't spend more on space exploration, and that's the one you identify: given the problems we have on earth, it's a scandalous waste of money. And it may be that that's enough to counter all the possible arguments on the other side. But that just makes it all the more important to make the arguments in favour of space exploration as convincing as possible, rather than just one line each.

You could also think about other angles on the case against. For instance, the question asks whether the government should spend more. You could consider why it makes a difference that it's the government (rather than Elon Musk, for example) spending the money. Where do governments' responsibilities lie? What is government for?

And another possibility you might have some sympathy with given your argument is to turn the question round: not only should the government not spend more on space exploration, you might say, but in fact it should spend considerably less. Given the human suffering and existential danger you identify, should the government be spending anything? It's perfectly legitimate to develop the question in this kind of direction if you think that's where the truth lies.
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