gre essay format
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.
- GRE test takers, regardless of their field of study or special interests, understood the task and could easily respond to it.
- The task elicited the kinds of complex thinking and persuasive writing that university faculty consider important for success in graduate school.
- The responses were varied in content and in the way the writers developed their ideas.
Make sure you read the prompt two or three times. You’ll want to make sure you truly understand it. Pay attention to what evidence is provided, what is stated in the prompt, and what is claimed by the author. A great way to identify fallacies is to determine what the author has assumed, and then try to explain why that assumption may be wrong. Here are four things to look for:
- Lack of evidence to support an assumption: You’ll want to mention this dearth in your essay—and note the type of information that would strengthen the argument.
- Non-specific language: Does the author make generalizations without providing specifics? You will want to point that out!
- Jumping to conclusions: Most Argument prompts will jump to conclusions at least once. As you read each sentence in the prompt, look for the author’s reasoning. If you can’t find a clear line of argument, you should note that the author has jumped to conclusions.
- Data values: Just because the author provides numbers doesn’t mean they’re necessarily objective or even true. Consider—and discuss within your essay—the reliability of any data, or data collection methods, that are presented in the prompt.
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Third Main Paragraph: Your third main paragraph can simply be another example of how technology coupled with creative thinking has solved a problem.
First Main Paragraph: Express your first main point. Let’s imagine that you basically disagree that thinking will deteriorate. Here is your chance to say why. For example, you may argue that technology brings new problems that people will have to think creatively about to solve. Be specific about some of the problems that technology does bring.
Reiterate that, therefore, an attempt to clean up the river may not lead to increased usage.
Now you can move on to a consideration of your first main problem. This can be done in two sentences: