Analyzing an Issue on the GRE
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Analyzing an Issue on the GRE
Analyzing an Issue on the GRE: Key Strategies and Context
The “Analyze an Issue” task in the GRE assesses your critical thinking skills and ability to express your thoughts clearly in writing. Here are key strategies and insights to help you excel in the Analyze an Issue task, which is part of Analytical Writing :
Understand the Claim:
- Carefully read the provided Issue statement, which presents a claim that can be discussed from multiple perspectives.
- Identify the central claim and the complexity of ideas associated with it.
Consider Multiple Perspectives:
- Before writing, consider the issue from various points of view. Acknowledge the complexity of the ideas related to those perspectives.
- Make notes about the position you want to develop. List the main reasons and examples that can support your position.
Task Instruction Sets:
Addressing Specific Instructions:
- Each task comes with specific instructions that guide your response. Pay close attention to whether you need to agree/disagree, discuss advantages/disadvantages, or evaluate claims.
Structuring Your Response:
- Organize your response with a clear introduction, body paragraphs presenting your main points, and a conclusion summarizing your position.
Types of Instructions:
- State your position and provide reasoning, considering ways the statement might or might not hold.
- Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation. Provide specific circumstances supporting your position.
Challenge a Claim:
- Address the most compelling reasons/examples challenging your position and explain your reasoning.
- Discuss which view aligns more closely with your position, addressing both presented views.
Evaluate a Claim and Its Reasoning:
- Analyze a claim and its reasoning, discussing the extent to which you agree or disagree.
Discuss a Policy:
- Express your views on the policy, considering possible consequences and explaining how these consequences shape your position.
Understanding the Context for Writing:
Critical Thinking and Persuasive Writing:
- The task assesses your ability to develop and communicate a compelling argument persuasively in writing.
- Your audience consists of GRE raters trained to apply specific scoring criteria. Understand the expectations outlined in the scoring guide.
Review Sample Responses:
- Examine scored sample Issue essay responses and rater commentary. Learn from successful strategies: organization, development, language fluency, and word choice.
Remember, there is no “right” answer, and raters evaluate your ability to address instructions, articulate an argument, and effectively communicate your evaluation of the issue. Practicing with sample responses and understanding the scoring criteria will enhance your performance in the Analyze an Issue task.
Preparing for the GRE Issue Task: Strategies and Tips
The GRE Issue Task evaluates your persuasive writing skills and critical thinking abilities. Here’s a guide to help you effectively prepare for and excel in this task:
Understanding the Task:
No Specific Course of Study Required:
- The Issue task doesn’t demand any specific course of study. It is designed to assess your general persuasive writing skills.
- While college textbooks on composition offer advice, the task doesn’t require specialized knowledge. You won’t be expected to know specific critical thinking or writing terms.
Practice with Published Topics:
Explore Published Topics:
- Utilize the published topic pool provided—practice writing responses or sketching ideas for a few issues, considering different perspectives.
- Experiment with practicing without time constraints initially, then transition to timed practice to simulate test conditions.
Planning Your Response:
- Read the claim and instructions carefully. Discuss any unclear points with peers or teachers.
Connect to Personal Experiences:
- Relate the issue and instructions to your ideas, experiences, events you’ve read or observed, and people you’ve known. This forms the knowledge base for your argument.
Position and Evidence:
- Decide on a clear position and gather compelling evidence (reasons and examples) to support your stance.
- Ask critical questions about the issue, instructions, assumptions, conditions, and interpretation of terms. Develop a well-rounded argument.
Considering Alternate Perspectives:
Acknowledge Opposing Views:
- Consider perspectives that refute your position. Plan how to acknowledge or defend against those views in your essay.
Planning and Timed Practice:
Summary and Organization:
- Summarize your position and make notes on how you’ll support it. Decide on the organization of your response.
- Practice writing responses within the 30-minute limit to gauge how to effectively use your time during the test.
Evaluate Your Response:
- Obtain feedback from instructors specializing in critical thinking or writing—exchange essays with peers for a comparative review.
Use Scoring Guide:
- Refer to the scoring guide for the Issue task. Evaluate how your essay aligns with the scoring criteria for each score point.
Tips for the Issue Task:
- You have the freedom to organize your response in a way that effectively communicates your position.
Incorporate Writing Strategies:
- Use writing strategies learned in English composition or writing-intensive college courses.
Diverse Developmental Strategies:
- GRE raters value diverse approaches. Essays can differ in content and form but should display high levels of critical thinking and persuasive writing.
Clarity Over Quantity:
- Clarity of ideas and effective communication are crucial. The skill of conveying your thoughts is more important than the number of examples or paragraphs.
Review Sample Responses:
- Explore a sample Issue task, including strategies, responses, and rater commentary. Pay attention to successful strategies for organization, development, and persuasive argumentation.
Preparing effectively and understanding the nuances of the GRE Issue Task will enhance your ability to craft a compelling and well-argued response on test day.