gre sample issue essays

GRE sample issue essays: Introduction to the types of topics covered

Updated on 21 September, 2022
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

The Analytical Writing section of GRE measures your ability to think critically and assesses how well you can support and articulate complex ideas arguments and sustain a focused and coherent discussion. Since the Verbal and Quantitative sections are objective-based, the Analytical Writing Section gives you a chance to prove your analytical and critical thinking. AWA consists of two areas which are as follows:

a) An "Analyze an Issue" task for 30 minutes

b) An "Analyze an Argument" task for 30 minutes

An issue essay is a section of the Analytical Writing Measure of GRE. Each question claims a topic of general interest that can be discussed from different perspectives and applied in different scenarios. A GRE sample issue essay will help you develop reasoning for the stance you take for a given condition.

The Analytical Writing section of GRE measures your ability to think critically. It assesses how well you can support and articulate complex arguments and sustain a focused and coherent discussion. Since the Verbal and Quantitative sections are objective-based, the Analytical Writing Section gives you a chance to prove your analytical and critical thinking.

Types of topics included in GRE issue essays

Usually, the ideas and topics on which a student will be probed in the GRE issue essay are drawn from everyday life and requires you to rely on your experiences to answer them. The topics for issue essays are taken from various domains such as business, politics, technology, art, education, etc. The GRE issue essay consists of a statement or statements, along with specific task instructions which require you to respond to the task in a certain way. 

Structure of GRE issue essays and tips to frame a strong one

The better you organize your essay, the clearer it becomes to the examiner as they want to assess how you develop an argument to support your evaluation of the issue. You can structure your essay into five paragraphs which are as follows:

a) Introduction

Develop your points so that the analysis guides the examiner through the argument you are trying to make. 

b) Body Paragraph 1

Use your most specific and most important reason at first and support it with logical analysis and examples.

c) Body Paragraph 2

Launch into your second reason by using a transition phase and supporting example. 

d) Final Body Paragraph

Transition into your third stance along with an example and explain how it supports your thesis. You can also bring a solid counterargument for the view and explain why it is incorrect. 

e) Conclusion

Summarizing the points you made in brief, your conclusion should reflect your introductory paragraph.

Here are a few tips on writing a good GRE issue essay. 

i) Choose a side and stick to it

ii) Keep your examples specific and relevant to the real world

iii) Use strong, declarative sentences as they add distinction and confidence

iv) Refute the other position by introducing an opposite point of view

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GRE sample issue essay

Now that you have understood the structure and got the tips to write a good one, here's a GRE sample essay that would help you improve and enable you to see the topic from a different perspective.

Question:

As people become more reliant on technology to solve problems, the ability of humans to think for themselves will surely deteriorate.

Answer:

The statement linking technology negatively with people's ability to think freely reflects on the recent human experience over the past century. A glance at a typical day of a human being shows how technology has revolutionized the world. From commuting to work in an automobile that runs on an internal combustion engine, interacting with a computer that processes information on silicon bridges that are 0.09 microns wide, to reaching out to family members on leaving home through wireless networks, technology is involved with almost everything. In the 19th century, each of these common occurrences was unimaginable.

The statement attempts to bridge these dramatic changes that were considered inconceivable once to a reduction in the ability of humans to think for themselves. It assumes that increased reliance on technology has reduced the need for people to think creatively. Looking back in time, without a mobile phone, computer or car, humans would need to find alternate methods of communication, information processing, and transport. Still, the developments in technology made these problems outdated.

However, this dependence on technology does not necessarily debar humans from being creative. While technological development has made things convenient, it has also made people live their lives more efficiently. This efficiency did not preclude the need for humans to think for themselves. Though it has freed the human species from tackling new problems, it has created issues that did not exist without technology. For example, the need for fuel conservation has increased globally with the proliferation of automobiles, thereby making global warming a significant concern with growing energy demands from emerging markets. In the same way, increased demand for oil has created nation-states that do not pay taxes, and the ruling parties oppress minority groups such as women. Only maverick scientists and politicians' unfettered imaginations can solve these complex problems.

Let's consider the digital revolution and the advent of the internet, contradictory to the statement. We can witness how technology frees the human imagination, allowing for an unprecedented exchange of ideas. WebMD, a popular internet portal for medical information, has opened pathways of thinking for a layman by permitting patients to self-research symptoms for a more informed doctor visit. As Jeffrey Sachs came up with the UN Millenium Development Goals, the unlike union between economics and medicine has healed hyperinflation and tension from South America to Eastern Europe. The latter example provides a ray of hope in how technology will enlighten the future of humanity. Though too much dependence on technology is harmful, at the same time, it helps us to achieve impossible goals. Consider how the technology of vaccines has created a world free from smallpox in the late 20th century. Using technology, a disease that ravaged the human race since prehistoric days was systematically targeted and eradicated.

From the discovery of fire to the implementation of nanotechnology, technology will permanently mark the human experience. There will be no limit to the number of old and new problems left for us to tackle. Therefore, it is better to embrace a hopeful attitude to the possibilities technology provides for new avenues of human imagination.

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