5+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2009
Here are the two essays I wrote for the latest test I wrote. Any comments and criticism are much appreciated!

Businesses succeed by taking advantage of consumers' weaknesses.
Write a unified essay in which you perform the following tasks. Explain what you think the above statement means. Describe a specific situation in which businesses succeed without taking advantage of the consumers' weaknesses. Discuss what you think determines whether or not businesses take advantage of consumers' weaknesses in order to succeed.

The marketing division in every company has one goal: to sell a product. Many businesses target consumers by preying on their preconceived perceptions in order to profit. For example, both Lexus and Toyota are produced by the Toyota Corporation. As such, the low end Lexus model is very similar to the high end Toyota model. Both cars have the same engine, the same horsepower, and similar features. However, with a few minor aesthetic changes and the help of marketing, the Lexus can sell for ten thousand dollars more than the Toyota. While the cars are for all intents and purposes the same, by harnessing the consumers' preconceived notion that Lexus is a luxury brand, Toyota can make strong profits. Thus, the company succeeds by targeting consumer perceptions.

However, not all companies use preconceived consumer perceptions as marketing tools, yet still profit. Everyone is aware of McDonalds' reputation as a restaurant: low quality, inexpensive fast food. If McDonalds attempted to market their product based on the customer's perception, they certainly would experience a drop in profits. Instead, they key on their strength of being an easy, convenient meal. Rather than attempting to play off their preconceived perception, they merely advertise their greatest strength.

Businesses target the preconceived notions of consumers when they are generally positive, but advertise other features when the preconceived notion is negative. Lexus's reputation as a high end luxury brand allows Toyota to sell a Lexus at a much higher price point than a comparable Toyota. Thus, Toyota profits by targeting a preconceived notion. However, McDonalds sells their food by advertising their ability to provide convenient food quickly, since the public perception of their food is more or less negative. Only when the preconceived perception of a product is positive will a business attempt to utilize it as a marketing strategy.

Education makes everyone equal.
Write a unified essay in which you perform the following tasks. Explain what you think the above statement means. Describe a specific situation in which education does not make everyone equal. Discuss what you think determines whether or not education makes everyone equal.

Most cultures stress education as the most important aspect of a child's mental growth. No matter the circumstances, education provides a child with opportunities he would not have otherwise. Everyone with the same education has an equal opportunity to succeed. Consider two children attending the same school, John and Maurice. While John comes from an upper middle class family, Maurice comes from a poor family from the same town. However, if Maurice works hard, he will have every opportunity that John has. Since they attend the same school, they would receive the same education and the same opportunities. In this way, education grants equality to John and Maurice, despite their disparate backgrounds.

However, education can sometimes fail to equalize. Consider the hypothetical case of Robert, who attends school in a wealthy suburb of Chicago, and Patrick, who attends school in the south side of Chicago. Robert's education is likely to be enormously better than Patrick's, as Chicago's south side is notorious for its poor public education. As such, Robert is much more likely to attend a good college than Patrick. This disparity is due to the quality of education at each institution.

If two children receive the same education, they are likely to have the same opportunities as one another. However, if one child has a better education than the other, he will have far more opportunities granted to him. While John and Maurice have the same advantages and opportunities, Robert has many more opportunities and advantages than Patrick. The inequality therein derives from the quality of the education that the child receives. In order for education to serve as an equalizer, every child must receive a good education.

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