Six months ago the region of Forestville increased the speed limit for vehicles traveling on the region's highways by ten miles per hour. Since that change took effect, the number of automobile accidents in that region has increased by 15 percent. But the speed limit in Elmsford, a region neighboring Forestville, remained unchanged, and automobile accidents declined slightly during the same six-month period. Therefore, if the citizens of Forestville want to reduce the number of automobile accidents on the region's highways, they should campaign to reduce Forestville's speed limit to what it was before the increase.
The agrument is well-presented, but not thoroughly well-reasoned. By making a comparison of the region of Forestville, the town with the higher speed limit and therefore automobile accidents, with the region of Elmsford, an area of a lower speed limit and subsequently fewer accidents, the argument for reducing Forestville's speed limits in order to decrease accidents seems logical.
However, the citizens of Forestville are failing to consider other possible alternatives to the increasing car accidents after the raise in speed limit. Such alternatives may include the fact that there are less reliable cars traveling the roads in Forestville, or that the age bracket of those in Elmsford may be more conducive to driving safely. It is possible that there are more younger, inexperienced, or more elderly, unsafe drivers in Forestville than there are in Elmsford. In addition, the citizens have failed to consider the geographical and physical terrain of the two different areas. Perhaps Forestville's highway is in an area of more dangerous curves, sharp turns, or has many intersections or merging points where accidents are more likely to occur. It appears reasonable, therefore, for the citizens to focus on these trouble spots than to reduce the speed in the entire area. Elmsford may be an area of easier driving conditions where accidents are less likely to occur regardless of the speed limit.
A six-month period is not a particularly long time frame for the citizens to determine that speed limit has influenced the number of automobile accidents in the area. It is mentioned in the argument that Elmsford accidents decreased during the time period. This may have been a time, such as during harsh weather conditions, when less people were driving on the road and therefore the number of accidents decreased. However, Forestville citizens, perhaps coerced by employment or other requirements, were unable to avoid driving on the roads. Again, the demographics of the population are important. It is possible that Elmsford citizens do not have to travel far from work or work from their home, or do not work at all. Are there more people in Forestville than there were sic months ago? If so, there may be an increased number of accidents due to more automobiles on the road, and not due to the increased speed limits. Also in reference to the activities of the population, it is possible that Forestville inhabitants were traveling during less safe times of the day, such as early in the morning, or during twilight. Work or family habits may have encouraged citizens to drive during this time when Elmsford residents may not have been forced to do so.
Overall, the reasoning behind decreasing Forestville's speed limit back to its original seems logical as presented above since the citizens are acting in their own best interests and want to protect their safety. However, before any final decisions are made about the reduction in speed limit, the citizens and officials of Forestville should evaluate all possible alternatives and causes for the increased number of accidents over the six-month period as compared to Elmsford. Comments:
This outstanding response begins by noting that the argument is "well presented." It then proceeds to discuss possible alternative explanations for the increase in car accidents and provides an impressively full analysis. Alternatives mentioned are that
-- the two regions might have drivers of different ages and experience; -- Forestville's topography, geography, cars, and/or roads might contribute to accidents;
-- six months might be an insufficient amount of time for determining that the speed limit is linked to the accident rate; -- demographics might play a role in auto accidents; -- population and auto density should be considered; and
-- the times of day when drivers in the two regions travel might be relevant.
The points are cogently developed and are linked in such a way as to create a logically organized critique. Transitions together with interior connections create a smoothly integrated presentation. For the most part, the writer uses language correctly and well and provides excellent variety in syntax. The minor flaws (e.g., using "less" instead of "fewer") do not detract from the overall high quality of the critique. This is an impressive 6 paper.