References and Materials for GRE

GRE Writing: Analyze an argument

This site will be closed on July 1, 2018. Registered users can access with email/code before closing.
New visitors get replacement features:
GRE Writing: Analyze an argument
In this task, GRE test takers should analyze the logic of the given argument. Because this is a task in general GRE test, you don't need special knowledge for any topic or argument to write response. For example, if the argument claims that a newspaper is not selling well because its price has been increased. You are not supposed to have idea how to run a good newspaper or anything about marketing strategies. Your job is only discuss the offered evidence or material can or cannot have the conclusion.

Now that the task throws an argument to analyze. It must be flawed, otherwise none can write response. In initial reading, you should try to find the conclusion, understand logic connections among the argument and point views, and figure out the key faults.

You can check logical errors in these categories:
  • Generalization Error
  • Mislead with Surveys or Statistics
  • False causes
  • False analogies
  • Hidden assumptions
  • Inadequate authority
You cannot find a standard pattern to address the Analyze an Argument task. We also believe the GRE raters have no specific format to recommend or be favor with. However, when you prepare a 30 minutes only writing exam, you have to setup own format or pattern to save time. If you are serious in your GRE exam, don't try to structure or organize your essay after you see the task. In preparation, you should work out a pattern or multiple patterns for this sort of task. Different people may develop separate patterns, the following format should give you some ideas to form own essay pattern for analyze an argument writing.

Part I - Introduction
Write introduction to explaining in own words what the argument is, don't copy task simply. At the end sentence, you should raise your point, like
  • However, this conclusion cannot be accepted in ...
  • However, the offered information does not lead this conclusion ...
  • This conclusion is not well supported ...
  • This conclusion fails to convince ...
  • This conclusion is flawed ...
The exact sentence will rely on the instructions. For example, if you have been asked to focus on the assumptions that the argument makes, you might write like this: contains a number of unsupported assumptions that cast doubt on the conclusion.

Part II - The body of the essay
Write multiple paragraphs (2-4) to deal with argument according to instructions that you have been given. This is the body of your essay.

In general, each paragraph should deal with only one instruction. But you can write multiple paragraphs for one instruction. It depends on what your task and pre-set pattern.

It is impossible to have a pattern to fit all topics in the pool. You can see the topic pool at GRE official web site. However, you will feel easy to write the essay body after you try some topics from the pool. This is why we practice and preparation are extremely important in GRE test.

In addition, you should also read the sample essays in the Official Guide on GRE website. The purpose of reading sample is to know what essay you should write like. Never copy the from samples or others' compositions, it risks having your score discounted.

Part III - What else is needed
The last paragraph ends your essay. You should point out there what else should be considered to decide whether the conclusion is actually valid.