Analysis of Argument (AoA) – Topic 1

Woven baskets characterized by a particular distinctive pattern have previously been found only in the immediate vicinity of the prehistoric village of Palea and therefore were believed to have been made only by the Palean people. Recently, however, archaeologists discovered such a “Palean” basket in Lithos, an ancient village across the Brim River from Palea. The Brim River is very deep and broad, and so the ancient Paleans could have crossed it only by boat, and no Palean boats have been found. Thus it follows that the so-called Palean baskets were not uniquely Palean.

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.

 (Topic 1, AoA, Official Guide, Revised GRE)


  1. Immediate vicinity does not mean necessarily Palea. There could have been some other community also who made the baskets.
  2. Maybe the baskets belonged to Palean people and there was some bridge through which the people of Palea crossed. Might be, the bridge got destroyed over the period of time.
  3. Maybe the Palean baskets flew through the Brim river to Lithos.
  4. Maybe the river was not so deep and broad  in ancient times, and that it became so only over the period of time. This would have made it easier for Palean people to travel across with their baskets.

Hence evidence needed to evaluate the argument to weaken the argument that the baskets were not uniquely Palean –

  • evidence of there being  NO community else than that of Palea across the region of the “immediate vicinity”;
  • the evidence of the fact that the baskets belonged to the same time as Palea;
  • the evidence of the fact that there could have been some way other  than the boats which the Palean people might have used to travel; and
  • the evidence of the fact  that River Brim might  not have been so deep and broad in ancient times as it is today.
Go To –
                    Topic 2
                Our responses in the posts on AoAs  find the flaws in the argument. They do NOT                     show the sample writing.
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