「Question No. 3」
The brief passage:
The following appeared as a letter to the editor from a Central Plaza store owner.
“Over the past two years, the number of shoppers in Central Plaza has been steadily decreasing while the popularity of skateboarding has increased dramatically. Many Central Plaza store owners believe that the decrease in their business is due to the number of skateboard users in the plaza. There has also been a dramatic increase in the amount of litter and vandalism throughout the plaza. Thus, we recommend that the city prohibit skateboarding in Central Plaza. If skateboarding is prohibited here, we predict that business in Central Plaza will return to its previously high levels.”
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered←指令核心。in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.
Your analytical essay should respond to the specific instruction.
It is recommended that the city prohibit skateboarding in Central Plaza, and it is predicted that business in Central Plaza will return to its previously high levels as a result of the prohibition. However, there are multiple logical flaws — a number of unclarified issues that are critical to the argument’s logic — in the line of reasoning leading to the recommendation and the prediction.
The immediate question is whether the causative relation between the decreased business and the increased number of skateboard users is as true as the store owners believe it. In fact, the alleged relation may be negated, because what the store owners believe may be pure perception and speculation, which are rather subjective and thus may be unreliable.
At this point, the author should also consider other probable factors behind the decrease in the business of the plaza. Unless those factors are ruled out, those factors may refute the causative logic between the number of shoppers and the popularity of skateboarding. Those factors may include whether Central Plaza no longer offers competitive prices or attractive products or services, and whether there have been rivaling malls. If the answers are affirmative, the decreased number of shoppers may not be attributed to the increased popularity of skateboarding or at least may not be solely attributed to it.
Another point of doubt is whether skateboard users are responsible for the dramatic increase in the amount of litter and vandalism. In the argument, there is little information responding to the uncertainty, and as a likely result, it is not the skateboard users but others who litter or vandalize the plaza. If this is the case, prohibiting skateboard cannot achieve the desired reduction in the litter or vandalism.
At this point, even though the litter or vandalism can be reduced, the plaza’s business may not be restored. This is because the argument provides no information regarding whether the lost shoppers are discouraged by the litter or vandalism. As a matter of fact, shoppers may have other concerns or reasons why they no longer patronize the plaza.
Last, the final major uncertainty is whether shoppers the plaza has lost will be aware of the prohibition of skateboarding or have confidence in the plaza’s efforts in prohibiting skateboarding. If the answers are negative, those shoppers will not return, and consequently, business in Central Plaza may not return to its previously high levels.
Because of the multiple unclarified issues — questions the author omits to answer, the proposal of prohibiting skateboarding may be unadoptable, and the desired effect that the plaza’s business will be restored may not be achieved.