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GRE Analylitical Essay Writing Section

Analysis of an issue

Follow our guidelines and use our format for a stress-free approach to writing a good essay.

* You are expected to explain your position on an issue. You must state and justify your opinion of the topic under discussion.
1. All the issue topics will have two sides.
2. There is no "right" side: You have to decide your position on the topic after consideration of the pros and cons.
3. Your position will usually be 80 or 90% in favor of one side.
* Always spend about 5 minutes thinking and planning. (Draw up a table of points before deciding which side will make the most persuasive essay.)
* Always use specific examples to support your point of view.

Format of your essay:

Part I - introduction

Write an introduction explaining in your own words what the issue is about. Try to generate interest in the topic under discussion, and make it clear why the topic is controversial. End your paragraph with a thesis statement. (A thesis statement is a clear summation of your point of view.)
Part II – the body of the essay

Write 2-3 paragraphs to support your thesis. Each paragraph should introduce one point. Explain the point and give a specific example wherever possible. You can also give reasons why the point is important or relevant. Be sure to give connecting words and phrases (links) at the beginning of each paragraph to give a sense of logical flow.
Part III – qualification

Since the issue is never entirely black or white, you do not want to sound too dogmatic, and so you ‘qualify’ (moderate) your position (i.e. you usually explain that under certain circumstances the other side of the issue might be correct). This may involve a sentence beginning with "but" or "however"...
Part IV – conclusion

You cannot leave the essay without reinforcing your thesis. If you have introduced a qualification into your argument, you will need to draw the essay back to your thesis. Try to avoid simply repeating what you have said; find something general to say that makes it clear that you have finished.

Note the following:

* The introduction and the conclusion can be very general, but the body of the essay must be specific.
* Do not give a long list of examples all illustrating the same point. Stick to the one point-one example method.
* The examples can be from your own experience or from your reading or knowledge of current affairs, history etc.
* Good vocabulary is an asset, but don’t use long words if you are not sure of the meaning.

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