References and Materials for GRE

GRE Writing: Analyze an issue

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GRE Writing: Analyze an issue
In GRE writing, the issue Task is given as one or a pair of statements on specific topic. In general, it is a common topic and you needn't have special knowledge to understand it. However, it you once prepare this topic or are familiar with the topic, you can save much of time. Based on the topic, there will be a set of instructions to let you address the topic. No matter what the topic is, what you need to do is as following:
  • Each topic has two sides. There is no actual right side in the task: You have to decide your position at first. Your decision usually doesn't depend on real pros and cons in nature, but rely on consideration of easy composition. You need a persuasive essay, not a right essay.
  • Spend on 5 minutes to draft your essay. List possible points or examples before structuring and writing your essay.
  • Explain your position on the topic. You must prove or support your view for the topic by adequate discussing or reasoning.
  • Your position should be 80% in favor of one side. Full or absolute supporting on any topic is easy to lead a logic defeat. So, leave some room for the position that you discard.
  • Try to use specific examples to support your point of view. Boring or cliché sentences have no positive effect for high score essays.
  • Look at the topic in holistic way to show that you understand the implications of other side on the topic.
  • Read instructions carefully. There are many variations in separate tasks. You should ensure your response meet with the directions.
Of course GRE writing raters never suggest, follow, or favor any specific format. Basically it is in your choice to write any kind of essay that works best for you. But considering that you only have only 30 minutes to finish the essay, you never have time to try or create new essay structure, format, or style.

In GRE writing, a clever way is to repeat what you are familiar with. So during preparation you should write some essays within exam timeframe. From the GRE official site, you can select task issues from pool of topics. These practices let you understand exactly how to structure essay for each of the six standard sets of instructions.

A common suggestion for essays of this type is a introduction, a conclusion, and 3-4 middle paragraphs. The middle paragraphs is the core of essay that develop your reasoning on the topic with examples. You need cover points that support your position, as well that challenge your position. It means you have to deal with two side if you try to shoot high score. Normally, you can put your favorite things at first, and mention ideas that might challenge you at end.

We list a general format as following and suggest you make a person version in practice and preparation.

Part I - Introduction
Introduction is the center of your essay. You should explain what the issue is in own words, never copy the sentences from question. Try to make it clear why the topic is controversial with simple and plain discussion. End the paragraph with a clear summation to show your point of view or position. Remember that the position you take must be a reasonable, and easy to write.

Part II - Body
Write 2-3 paragraphs to support, prove, or establish your position. Each paragraph should bring up one new point. Explain the point, show examples, and reason by logic. Notice your logical flow when developing your position. You can use connecting words and phrases at the beginning of each paragraph, but logic connection in nature is more important.

Part III - Qualification
Since the issue of GRE task isn't yes or no problem in most cases, you should leave some room for opposite side. A usual way is to moderate your position in the last second paragraph. A but or however paragraph commonly explains that under some scenarios the other side might be correct.

Part IV - Conclusion
You should summarize essay back to point view of Introduction. However, you shouldn't repeat simply what you have said. Try different word or sentence, in more general way show what your view is and why you take this view.

More essay writing tips
  • The introduction and the conclusion actually is very general, you can prepare before exam. But the body of the essay must be specific, you can just prepare some patterns.
  • Don't give multiple examples to same point. In most cases, stick to the one point-one example method.
  • The examples can be from your own experience or from reading or knowledge. Special examples usually have special impact for readers, including your raters.
  • Good vocabulary is an asset, but don't use unknown or half-known words