The GRE Analytical Writing section requires you to come up with two essays in one hour, and this can be not easy to achieve. It does not test specific content knowledge; instead; it assesses your critical thinking and writing ability. The administrators (ETS) of this test have not given adequate information regarding the structure, content, and essay length. This article will provide you with guidance on how to write your GRE essay by explaining some tips. Before we do that, let us see the two types of essay tasks you will be asked to write.
The Two Types of Essay Tasks
Analyze an Issue:
This is the first essay task you will be attempting. It requires you to, after analyzing an issue put forward by the prompt, create an essay in agreement or disagreement with the problem.
Analyze an Argument:
This task requires you to think logically. You are expected to find the flaws in the argument presented to you. You will be given a view, and you are to analyze it and consider its soundness rather than agreeing or disagreeing with its position shown by it.
General Tips on How to Write GRE Essay
Before we discuss the tips that are specific to the two essay tasks, let us look at the information that applies to the Analytical Writing section in general. They are as follows;
- Structure: Nobody wants to read an essay filled with long unending paragraphs. Any essay with large paragraphs discourages readers once they see it. Instead, make sure you structure your work in short sections with your points well stated.
- Diction: To make your writing enjoyable, avoid using big words or scientific words in your essay. Making use of apt vocabulary will keep your writing clear and straight forward. Breaking up your sentences is also useful as it will keep your writing engaging. Make use of different sentence structures.
- Clarity: When there is no clarity in your work, the whole purpose of the test is defeated. It is vital to write a good essay supported by good points and examples.
- Grammar: You are advised to make sure your spelling and grammar are correct. The ETS states that little typos and grammatical errors will not affect your score if they do not meddle with your essay’s contents. This should not be capitalized on. A human will grade your essay, and once the grader notices the first few errors, he might conclude that the rest of your work is like that.
- Time Managing: If you fail to manage your time correctly, you might end up not completing your essay. Or you might finish it with errors. Take your time to understand questions and instructions before answering them. Make sure there is time to review your work before submission.
- Read and Understand Instructions: Both Issue and Argument prompts have specific instructions attached to them. You are to read these instructions carefully. Make sure you understand the instructions before proceeding to write your essay. Failure to adhere to these instructions might cause your score to drop.
- Follow Credible Resources: one of the best resources provided by ETS is the Essay Topic Pools, Argument, and Issue. It offers a pool of tasks from which your essay prompt will be chosen. This means that you are likely to see one of the topics in your test. The best thing to do is to practice consistently with prompts.
Specific Tips on How to Write the Two Essay Tasks
Here we will be discussing tips specific to writing the ‘Analyze an issue Task’ and the ‘Analyze an argument task.’
Analyze an Issue Task
This requires you to pick a position on an issue, i.e., agreeing or disagreeing with it. The tips to perfect this essay are as follows;
- State a Thesis: Make sure you are clear about what you are writing on. Pick a position and stand by it; make it obvious to not leave the test grader guessing where you stand. This should preferably be stated in the first paragraph of your essay.
- Order Paragraphs Efficiently: Your paragraphs are supposed to be in order. You can do this by ranking your points and starting from the most important to the least important or from the least important to the most important. The second option gives you a better finish.
- Develop Every Paragraph Fully: This contributes a lot to the success or failure of your essay. You can use these tips to develop good paragraphs; Facts, Authoritative opinions, Anecdotes, and Examples.
- Keep Away From First-Person and Self-Reliance: you have to be careful about how you present yourself. It is advised to use the third-person narrative.
- Relay All Examples and Logic Back to Your Thesis: You can select samples from a different range of subjects. You can even use personal experience. What you should be cautious of here is not to let your examples take over your essay.
Analyze an Argument Task
This is the second task in the Analytical Writing section. You will be analyzing an argument logically. The tips for this task are as follows;
- Recognize the Assumptions: To explore an opinion, you will first determine what belief the author is putting forward. Do not try to bring out many assumptions but focus more on the most important one.
- Identify the Logical Fallacies: After recognizing the argument’s assumptions, you will have to analyze it. In the same way, there is more than one assumption put forward by the author; there are also many logical fallacies. All you have to do is focus on explaining the bigger ones and not every one of them.
- On No Account Should You Agree with the Argument: You are to disagree with the argument put forward. While the issue task requires that you agree or disagree with the opinion presented, the argument task wants you to write an essay on why the given argument is weak.
No doubt the GRE essay can prove to be very challenging. When you study the tips discussed in this article, that difficulty can be evaded. A lot of practice they say makes perfect. If you should practice GRE prompts using this guide, you should be writing your essay with full confidence when the time comes.