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Issue Essay vs Argument Essay: 11 Key Differences

❶An instance of the author identifying a particular argument can be found in the third paragraph of this GRE essay sample.

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You may opt for paragraphs, but this template described here plans for 5. As you develop your points, make sure to pepper your analysis with words that guide the reader through the argument you are making.

Although the reader will have access to the specific assignment you received, your essay should stand on its own, making clear the assignment you were given and your response to it.

Start your essay by clearly restating the issue you were assigned, followed by a sentence stating your position on that assignment—that is, your thesis.

Next, introduce the specific reasons or examples you plan to provide in each of the next three paragraphs, one sentence for each of the forthcoming paragraphs. Consider the specific task you were assigned, and make sure the language you use in your initial paragraph demonstrates that you understand the special instructions in your assignment.

Use your strongest, most specific reason first. Your examples can be from history, science, politics, business, entertainment, pop culture, current events or even from yourpersonal experience. The author of this GRE Analytical Writing sample fulfills this requirement by using language to precisely and economically convey meaning throughout her essay. Return to Table of Contents.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons or examples that could be used to challenge your position.

The sample Issue essay written in response to this topic takes the stance that cooperation, not competition, is a preferable value to instill in young people in preparation for government. You can read the full essay on page of this PDF.

Read on for a discussion of the different ways in which this essay meets the requirements for a perfect score. The author fulfills the first part of the criteria with his clear statement of his thesis in the last line of the very first paragraph:. I would have to agree that the best way to prepare young people for leadership roles is to instill in them a sense of cooperation. Getting to be President of the United States or the managing director of a corporation might require you to win some battles, but once you are there you will need diplomacy and people-skills.

Those can be difficult to learn, but if you do not have them, you are likely to be a short-lived leader. The author of this essay accomplishes this second part by choosing a two-pronged approach to answering the essay question.

Rather than merely explaining how cooperativeness leads to positive outcomes in government, industry, and other fields, the author also explains how competitiveness leads to negative outcomes. Thus, the author makes his position clear by stating it in the opening and closing paragraphs of the essay and shows insight by taking the more complex position that not only is cooperation good, but competition is bad. A great example of this development can be found in the second paragraph of this essay, which discusses the drawbacks of competition.

Beginning with general reasoning about human behaviors at school and the office to introduce his point, the author then neatly segues into specific examples of competitiveness gone amok Hitler in Germany and the recent economic meltdown in America.

With each example presented in the essay, the author pushes his position along a little further. This final example allows the author to reach his final destination in his discussion of competitiveness: The third way this essay meets the requirements of a perfect-scoring essay is through the logical connection of ideas within and between paragraphs.

The transition between the end of paragraph two and the beginning of paragraph three provides a stellar example of this skillful connecting of ideas:.

It [competitiveness] served him well in some respects, but it also proved to be detrimental and ultimately quite destructive. Leaders who value cooperation, on the other ahnd, have historically been less prone to these overreaching, destructive tendencies. While this kind of transition would be good enough for a lower-scoring essay, though, the author does not just leave the connection between the two paragraphs at that. Instead, he also connects the two paragraphs by keeping the focus on the same issue from the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next.

The final 6-level quality demonstrated by this GRE Writing sample is its use of skillful and precise language to convey specific meaning.

Overall, the language in this essay is formal and academic , despite the profligate use of first person point of view by the author which can make writing seem less formal. The recent economic meltdown was caused in no large part by the leaders of American banks and financial institutions who were obsessed with competing for the almighty dollar. Compare the above excerpt to a more milquetoast version of the same statement:. The recent economic downturn was mostly caused by financial leaders who wanted to earn lots of money.

Check out our best-in-class online GRE prep program. PrepScholar GRE is entirely online, and it customizes your prep program to your strengths and weaknesses. We also feature 2, practice questions , official practice tests, hours of interactive lessons, and 1-on-1 scoring and feedback on your AWA essays. This second sentence has the same basic meaning as the real excerpt from the essay.

In surveys Mason City residents rank water sports swimming, boating and fishing among their favorite recreational activities. The Mason River flowing through the city is rarely used for these pursuits, however, and the city park department devotes little of its budget to maintaining riverside recreational facilities.

In response, the state has recently announced plans to clean up Mason River. Use of the river for water sports is therefore sure to increase. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on the assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted. The full text of this essay can be found on the ETS website.

Be sure to read through the essay first before coming back to read my analysis of it. Cleaning the pollution in the river will get rid of the odor and then lead to more usage by residents. Though there have been complaints, we do not know if there have been numerous complaints from a wide range of people, or perhaps from one or two individuals who made numerous complaints.

The author identifies the assumption that complaints indicate many people want to use the river and examines it by reasoning through possible scenarios other than the one presented in the prompt.

The next way the author of this sample GRE essay fulfills the requirements of a perfect-scoring Argument essay is by providing comprehensive support for each of her main points. Throughout the essay, the author is able to explain exactly why each assumption made is problematic by using examples that precisely illustrate her argument.

Consider how this is approached in the second paragraph of the essay. For example, the survey could have asked residents if they prefer using the river for water sports or would like to see a hydroelectric dam built, which may have swayed residents toward river sports.

The sample may not have been representative of city residents, asking only those residents who live upon the river. The survey may have been 10 pages long, with 2 questions dedicated to river sports. We just do not know. Another important ideal a perfect-scoring Argument essay must live up to is being organized logically, with clear transitions between ideas.

The author of this GRE essay sample is able to meet the first part of this requirement with a simple five-paragraph organizational structure: Accomplishing the logical connection and development of ideas throughout the essay requires a little bit more finesse, but the author still manages it. In the Argument essay, organization and logic are also important when it comes to ordering the paragraphs of your essay and transitioning between ideas.

The clear and logical way in which the author develops her points within each paragraph and the tight organizational connections between paragraphs are how the essay exemplifies this rubric item.

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The third non-general item on the GRE Argument essay rubric is focused entirely on how well the author supports her points. A 6 essay provides compelling and thorough support for its main points. Essentially, this rubric item is all about determining whether or not an author properly supports her ideas and their development throughout the essay.

Though there have been complaints, we do not know if there have been numerous complaints from a wide range of people, or perhaps from one or two individuals who made numerous complaints.

The first sentence of this excerpt lays out the assumption made in the argument: The author explains why the argument is flawed by presenting relevant details, like the fact that the source of the complaints is unknown and could potentially be just a few people.

The reasoning and support used by the author in her essay are effective because the author explains clearly the ways in which they support her points. The final rubric area for the Argument essay has to do with how skillfully an essay is written and how well it adheres to the standards of written English. A 6 essay conveys ideas fluently and precisely, using effective vocabulary and sentence variety. Demonstrates superior facility with the conventions of standard written English i.

This last group of items on the Argument essay rubric gets into the mechanics of how well the author writes. The two ways in which this is effected are through the precise use of language and general dearth of errors. This last point is a good distillation of what all the rubric items for a perfect-scoring essay are trying to capture: One of the core skills you must master in order to score at all well on the GRE Argument essay is being able to analyze the structure and logic of the arguments , rather than getting caught up in whether you agree or disagree with the points being made.

It may be difficult to do this at first, as it can be hard to be objective when the subject being argued about is one you have firm opinions on or when the logical flaws of the argument are so obvious it drives you crazy.

Part of practicing and preparing for the GRE Argument essay task, though, is learning how to channel that irritation and outrage into an unflinching analysis and explanation of how the argument works and where it falls apart. Making sure you analyze the argument rather than agreeing or disagreeing with its position is only the first step to writing a successful GRE Argument essay, though.

With only 30 minutes to complete the argument task, your job is not to be comprehensive, but to analyze the points that matter. And while finding the flaws in the argument is an important part of the GRE Argument essay, an equally important part is explaining in a coherent and unified way why the flaws matter.

The importance of keeping your analysis to major points is supported by the ideas and analysis rubric item: Check out our best-in-class online GRE prep program.

PrepScholar GRE is entirely online, and it customizes your prep program to your strengths and weaknesses. We also feature 2, practice questions , official practice tests, hours of interactive lessons, and 1-on-1 scoring and feedback on your AWA essays.

In this case, as with many other types of essay, the five-paragraph essay form is your friend. To start your essay, you will need to introduce the bare bones of what the argument is arguing. For the sample argument we went through above, those bare bones are that the Mason City government should spend more money this year on riverside recreational facilities. You must also include at least a general description of the thrust of your analysis whether or not the argument is supported, if there are holes in the argument, or if the argument is more true than not.

Ideally, these two points will connect to each other in a lean fashion, like in the introduction of this sample essay:. It is easy to understand why city residents would want a cleaner river, but this argument is rife with holes and assumptions, and thus, not strong enough to lead to increased funding. In each of the three body paragraphs of your essay, you should discuss the three major components of the argument that go to prove your point.

Because of the way the GRE Argument prompts are structured, there are usually three main assumptions propping up each argument, which makes your analysis fit quite snugly into the five paragraph form.

What Makes a Perfect-Scoring GRE Argument Essay?

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GRE Essay Writing Help Our GRE Essay help has got your 6/6! For most of the people who attempt GRE (Graduate Record Examination), the GRE essay is a big problematic area. The analytical writing section of GRE succeeds in flustering even the brainiest of scholars who have already calculated how they will ace the mathematical and reading .

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Test-taking Strategies for the Analytical Writing Measure. Before taking the GRE ® General Test, review the strategies, sample topics, essay responses and rater commentary for each task contained in this section. .

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If you get a perfect score on the GRE’s Issue Essay (a 6), it can really boost your graduate school admissions chances! The best schools want good Verbal and Quantitative scores, but also students who are clear, competent writers. The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) portion of the GRE consists of two essays, each of which you will need to write in 30 minutes or less. The two essays you will see on the GRE are, Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of an Argument.

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Use the major differences I pointed out in the 4-vs Writing score level comparison and my analysis of the 6-scoring sample GRE Argument essay to help you identify features that make the example essays so high-scoring. The full text of this GRE essay sample can be found on the ETS website. In this analysis, I’ll go over the different ways in which this essay meets the GRE essay rubric criteria for a perfect scoring Issue essay.