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Writing a Perfect GRE Issue Essay: Key Points

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Student Taking a Test

An issue essay is intended to test your analysis capacity. As you might have guessed, you will need to assess an issue and take a standpoint on it, while also providing strong arguments in favor.

It may look like a common school assignment; however, it is much more complex. You will have to be aware of particular rules that should guide your writing if you desire to score high.

Have an Opinion

This sounds funny, but it is the matter of life and death in a GRE issue essay to have a compelling standpoint. You cannot oscillate in between the two options, even if the problem you are reviewing is intrinsically contentious. Unfortunately, the GRE folks are not going to appreciate your open mind.

You will need to stick to your opinion in our writing, underpinning it with forceful arguments and referring to objections only to puncture them with your immaculate reasoning. Do not try to play both teams. Focus on making your chosen opinion shine.

Have a Strong Opening

First impressions matter. If you are going to begin your writing on a strong note, the graders will be more inclined to overlook some minor flaws in the later parts.

Introduction is by far the most significant element of the structure. You need to take account of so many aspects: restating the issue, creating a potent thesis, listing all the proof in a condensed, but precise manner. It is that part of an assignment you should practice the most.

Be Specific

Ideally you would have to construct three body paragraphs with one piece of proof in each. However, it is of pivotal importance that you clarify those arguments in your writing. Do not just state the evidence. Make a clear analogy between it and your viewpoint.

Something what may seem obvious to you may not be as explicit for others. The ETS people will have no time to contemplate upon your proof and its relation to your viewpoint. In that limited period they will have to review your writing, there is a high likelihood that they will spot a wrong connection or find no link at all. It is your job to make a path to understanding devoid of any hurdles for them. 

Don’t Get Stuck on the Evidence

You may want to select the most applicable and intellectual examples for your assignment, but there simply may not be enough time for you to sift through your memory like that. Therefore, do not get stuck when looking for confirmation. Of course, your arguments need to be pertinent to an extent, but there is no need to be high-brow about it.

You can even discuss your unique experiences as long as they have something to do with the topic. Nobody will expect a scholarly paper within 30 minutes from you. It is your reasoning not your erudition that are awaited.

Evaluate the Objections

Although it is principal to remain staunch in your opinion throughout the paper, it is a must that you critique the opposing points. Not just one, but a couple of them. You will have to mention the objections and then elucidate why they are flawed.

It is recommended to incorporate them in your 2 final body segments. Be careful not to agree with them accidentally. It will weaken your idea and lower the score.

Be Consistent

Although ETS states that they will not reduce the score if there is no conclusion, it is still better to be on the safe side and insert it. The last section does not have to be as long as the intro or your body segments. It should chiefly be a brief overview of your thesis.

The principal rule here is not to present any new info or deviate from the overall message of the assignment. You need to be careful not to sound ambiguous or uncertain. Basically, just be consistent and don’t change your mind the last second even if it happened to you.

Focus on the Structure

Please mind, it is not your positions, but the logic capacity and reason that are being assessed. Choose not the standpoint which is closest to your heart, but the one you can best argue. Do not get fixated on the depth, but rather on the structure, clarity and the overall flow.

There is no necessity to utilize intricate syntax or compound vocabulary. There is a verbal section to check that. Of course, it is better to vary the sentence length and resort to miscellaneous synonyms, but those are not the cornerstone of the issue essay success. The mastery of English is just one of the score components, not its determining factor.

Moreover, if your syntax is too convoluted, it will detract from the assignment’s lucidity, which is a far more quintessential element than sentences’ variety. Just remember, the graders have only 2 minutes to look over your attempt. It needs to be straightforward and well-constructed for them not to get frustrated and quickly give you a perfect score. 

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