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Evaluation Of Evidence In Article Analyzing American Carmakers

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Consumers "win," while the "Big Three" carmakers (Ford, General Motors and Chrysler) suffer. This article basically states that these major automotive companies are declining; and have been for the past three decades. However, the contestable claim to be examined is not that they are in fact declining; rather that this decline will prove to be an advantage to the average consumer in search for a more reliable, better designed and more fuel efficient automobile. The author presents this claim along with several pieces of evidence. The following is a thorough analysis of the evidence presented and an indication of its overall effectiveness at proving the claim.

Accuracy A major piece of evidence which is used by the author is the statement that imported cars, especially those from Asian countries (for example those produced by Korean automakers,) prove to be more reliable and better designed. The anomaly of critical thinking is that each piece of evidence supporting a contestable claim is actually a claim on its own. This claim, however, that imported cars have proven unsurpassed reliability is one that I too, can support. I, myself, own an import car and so do many of my family and friends. I can say from experience, that my family's cars along with all my friends' imported cars have definitively proven their reliability and fuel efficiency. So if this particular claim is true and we know that the three big carmakers have recently been experiencing declining sales because of this fact; this proves that major innovations have in fact been made in the past few years, resulting in a better position for the average consumer. Although I might be inclined to believe his contestable claim due to personal experience, I still feel the author should have presented recorded statistics proving the superior reliability felt by today's car owners as compared to the past.

Precision The information presented in this article is very general. The author mentions the big survey carried out by Consumer Reports magazine, but fails to provide any numerical evidence, nor does he provide any direct quotes from neither carmaker representatives nor the actual consumers. He should offer some kind of hard copy statistics or real life comments, rather than just mention that Asian carmakers came out on top and that American carmakers were trailing behind followed by European carmakers. Another very general statement made by the author is "Cars need fewer repairs and several models offer excellent performance at a modest cost." This kind of statement can be quickly overlooked by any critical thinker. Numerical proof needs to be supplied along with this statement to improve its validity. This lack of information reduces the texts authority as well.

Sufficiency At least three pieces of evidence are given to support this claim. Although they are not the most effective pieces of evidence which could have been used, I believe they suffice for an article of this length and for the nature of this claim. The objective of the author is simply to prove his claim that several innovations have in fact been made in the automotive industry and that consumers are better off today than they were several years ago when there were only three "major" car makers. I am satisfied with the amount of evidence he has provided, I just feel he should have offered more authority in his evidence by showing more data and less general statements.

Representativeness The author uses information derived from a survey conducted

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