The GRE argument essay is relatively simple to understand. The Argument task requires you to evaluate a given argument according to specific instructions. You will need to consider the logical soundness of the argument rather than agree or disagree with the position it presents. Essentially, you have to discuss the logic behind the position you take in the essay.
When you start preparing for the exam, make sure that you practice writing at least 2-3 essays before the exam day. The ETS also gives you a large pool of essay topics and sample essay responses which can be used for practice.
Here are some of the top strategies for GRE Argument Essay:
1. Identify the logical fallacies – The test makers are trying to understand your own analysis of the argument. So, try to ascertain the logical fallacies in the given argument. You don’t have to agree or disagree with the position of the argument. You have to critically analyze it instead.
2. Outline the essay first – Use the scratch paper to your advantage and outline the essay before you begin writing it. Understand the author’s argument, ascertain the logical fallacies and think about a structure before beginning your essay.
3. Structure your essay well – The best essays follow a good structure. If you follow a typical five-paragraph structure, your first paragraph can be about your understanding of the argument. A couple of paragraphs can be dedicated to the reasons which make the author’s argument poor. The penultimate paragraph can be your own assessments on strengthening the argument. The concluding paragraph should be a reinforcement of your position taken in the intro paragraph.
4. Don’t try to be a word genius – Remember to write your essay in a clear, well-defined analysis of the argument. Do not rely on heavy words to sail your boat. Instead, using phrases such as “The author’s argument” lend more credibility to your essay. The ETS website itself has a useful mantra, “What matters is not the form your response takes, but how insightfully you evaluate the argument and how articulately you communicate your evaluation to academic readers within the context of the task.
5. Proof read the essay – Often students leave the essay once they are done writing it. You do not want a careless error to reduce your essay scores. Proof read for spelling and grammatical mistakes.
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