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A Template Approach to the GMAT Essay

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A Template Approach to the GMAT Essay



You will be given an essay topic that ETS expects to be debatable. In other words, about half of the people will agree with one side, while the other half will agree with the other side.ETS will not give you a topic that most people agree on. For example, you will not see a topic asking you to give your opinion on the value of education for children, nor on whether or not the government should have programs to decrease the number of the drug users.

However, you might see an essay topic asking you to give your opinion on school vouchers, for example, or you might see a topic asking you to pick whether you think it is primarily the government's or the family’s responsibility to prevent drug use among children.
In general, do not take one side of the argument completely. A good rule of thumb is to argue your opinion at about 60 percent or 70 percent. I should emphasize this—even if you believe you are one hundred percent correct, you should still pretend that you are 60 or 70 percent correct.

Although the GMAT essay scorers are trained to forgive certain mistakes given the time constraints of the essay, ETS can be very picky. Pay attention to your grammar, spelling, and logicalsequence, just to name a few. How can you improve your score? ETS also looks for sentence variety and ability to use language. I will show you some simple ways to do this—really, it's not that hard!

OK, here we go.



One Way



First of all, you have to figure out why they chose this as a topic. Remember—not everybody will agree, in fact it should be about 50/50. This is your hint. Try to find about five points for and against each side (ten points total). Don't worry if you think that your points are stupid or trivial. The important thing right now is just to get some ideas down on paper, to start your brain working.

Second, figure out which side you are going to take. Duh.

Third, start writing! Don’t worry about an introduction or a conclusion right now—they are the hardest to write and everybody gets hung up on them. Just get your ideas down first.

Next, make sure you have about three or four paragraphs. You should be thinking about adding some examples now. Try to make one personal, maybe from your country and another one either international or American (the idea is that most educated Americans will have heard about the topic before). Don’t make your examples too personal! Imagine your prospective boss is reading this.

Now, go back and spice up your language—add something witty, an illustrative anecdote, a rhetorical question, even sarcasm or irony. Also, try changing the order of some of your sentences, i.e., put the subordinate clause first.

Almost done! Write your intro and conclusion!

Last, check grammar and spelling. Viola! A perfect essay!


Template

Okay, let’s try the essay now.

First Paragraph: Introduction


The issue/belief/idea/opinion that ______________________________________ is an interesting/controversial one.
This issue is increasingly important in this age of ___________________________. Many people believe _________________________, but these people overlook _________________________________________________. Furthermore, _____________________________________. In this essay, I will argue that __________________________________________________ _______________.




Second Paragraph: Support

There are many good reasons for ____________________________. However, it cannot be ignored/overlooked that ___________________________. A classic example of this is ___________________________________________ . Try to add something interesting in this paragraph. Make sure you use a few complicated structures—try putting a subordinate clause first. Like this: While many type of professional promote the notion that _____________________________, I believe the opposite should be argued given the current situation/status/ of ____________________________________.

Conclusion


I have argued _______________________. This view will become increasingly dominant in the coming century given ________________________________. Many of these issues can never be resolved to everybody’s satisfaction, but in the long run, promoting ________________________________ will lead to the betterment of all involved. Finally, _____________________________ increased something like global cooperation, cultural understanding, blah, blah, blah can only result from this, resulting in ______________________________ for everybody.

I am submitting a template that I feel was quite good. For the record I scored 5.5/6.0 in the GRE.

Instruction: What ever is in bold should be written in all arguments.

1 Para: The argument concludes that mention the conclusion the author has drawn from the argument. Avoid spelling mistakes of pronouns. Make sure you mention all the premises and any assumption made by the author. The augument is full of gaps and loop holes since it presents fragmentary evidence. Neither are the premises convincing nor is the conclusion compelling. The argument is very evidently the result of a hasty generalization.


2 Para: Discuss the biggest fallacy in the argument. Mention all counter arguments like what the author should have taken into consideration or what he missed out.

3 Para: Same as above. Discuss second biggest fallacy.

4 Para: Mention other illogical assumtions. Do not state counter arguments.

5 Para: The argument is the result of a huge speculation in which the auhtor has comfortably assumed a considerable amount of data. Had the author taken the above discussed factors into view, it would have rendered the argument irrefutable. But whatever presented fails to provide a hololistic picture to the superfluous claims being made.

The following appeared as part of an article in a local newspaper.

During her three years in office, Governor Riedeburg has shown herself to be worthy leader. Since she took office, crime has decreased, the number of jobs created per year doubled, and the number of people choosing to live in our state has increased. These trends are likely to continue if she is re-elected. In addition, Ms. Reideburg has promised to take steps to keep big companies here thereby providing jobs for any new residents. Anyone who looks at her record can tell that she is the best qualified candidate of governor.



The argument concludes that Governor Reideburg should be re-elected into office as she is the best qualified candiate. The author supports his decision by saying that since Ms. Reideburg has taken over the office crime has decreased, the number of jobs created per year have doubled, and the number of people choosing to live in that state has increased. In addition, the author claims that Ms. Reideburg has promised to keep big companies here thereby providing jobs for new residents. The author has conveniently assumed that these trends would continue and that companies present in the state will provide jobs continuously to all residents. The augument is full of gaps and loop holes since it presents fragmentary evidence. Neither are the premises convincing nor is the conclusion compelling. The argument is very evidently the result of a hasty generalization.



The argument clearly lacks sufficient evidence and statistical data to make such supererogatory claims. While the author has stated that crime has decreased, there is no statistical evidence to prove such a claim. It could just be a yearly trend, and nothing is expressed for us to believe that this a direct result of the governor efforts. Similarly, even data about the residents moving to the state is ambiguous as nothing about real estate values or quality of living is mentioned. Furthermore, the author cliams that number of jobs created per year have doubled, whereas the quality of the jobs or the pay of the jobs is not mentioned. This only debilitates the argument.



The agument takes various subjective factors into account. The author states that the governor promises to take steps to keep big companies in the state that will provide jobs to all new residents. These are only promises and whether they will be fullfilled or not is a huge speculation. The author does not include the promises made by the governor in her previous election and whether she kept to her word or not. Also, it is not necessary that the companies present would continue to provide jobs to all new residents. Likewise, the argument fails to mention what steps the governor would take to improve the infrastructure of the state. Such a claim is not sufficient to arrive at a conclusion.



The argument also fails to include any testimonials of the present denizens of the state, and whether they are satisfied with the progress the governor has accomplised or not. Similarly, the credibility of the newspaper in which the arcticle has appeared has to be taken into account. The argument is quite clearly a propogandist motive to promote the governor. Finally, the article does not mention credibility of the other candidates contesting for the governor's office, and one cannot arrive at the conclusion that the Ms. Redeburg is the best suited candidate for the job.



The argument is the result of a huge speculation in which the auhtor has comfortably assumed a considerable amount of data. Had the author taken the above discussed factors into view, it would have rendered the argument irrefutable. But whatever presented fails to provide a hololistic picture to the superfluous claims being made.



The following appeared in a letter to prospective students from the admissions office at Plateau College.

'Every person who earned an advanced degree in science or engineering from Olympus University last year recieved numerous offers of excellent jobs. Typically, many graduates of Plateau have gone on to pursue advanced at Olympus. Therefore, enrolling as an undergraduate of Plateau College is a wise choice for students who wish to ensure success in their careers.'



The argument concludes that students who wish to have a successful career should go to Plateau College for undergraduate study as typically students from Plateau College have gone to pursue advanced degrees in Olympus college. The author continues that students of science and engineering from Olympus University recieve numerous excellent job offers. The author has also assumed that any student from Olympus University will definetely recieve good job offers ensuring them success in their careers. The argument in full of gaps and loop holes since it presents fragmentary evidence. Neither are the premises convincing nor is the conclusion compelling. The argument in very evidently the result of a hasty generalization.



The author has clearly assumed the fact that all future students from Olympus University will procure numerous excellent job offers. The argument lacks sufficient stastistical data to support his claim. The statistical data refrenced could just be a trend of that particular year. The author should have provided statistical data for at least the last three to five years to make such a clam. Neither is the reputation of the recruiting organizations nor the type of job offered mentioned in the argument. Futhermore, the argument fails to mention whether students passing out from Olympus University fare well in other universities or in the jobs thereafter. This only weakens the argument further.



The author mentions that students from Plateau College typically further their studies in Olympus University. The author fails to mention how many student are actually granted admission in to Olympus University and how they fare at the university. The auhtor also does not speak about the costs associated with studying in Plateau College or Olympus University. The author does not mention the other facilities and ameneties provided at Plateau College. It is clearly a propogandist motive to allure students to Plateau College.



The argument only mentions about science and engineering students. It does not enlighten us about students from different fields of study like environment, geology, medicine, etc. Hence it is not possible to conclude that studying in Olympus college would be beneficial to all the students. Such a conclusion is only non-sequitur.



The argument is the result of a huge speculation in which the author has comfortably assumed a considerable amount of data. Had he taken the above discussed factors into view it would have rendered the argument irrefuteable. But whatever presented fails to provide a holistic picture of the superfluous claims being made.




The following appeared in a letter to prospective students from the admissions office at Plateau College.

'Every person who earned an advanced degree in science or engineering from Olympus University last year recieved numerous offers of excellent jobs. Typically, many graduates of Plateau have gone on to pursue advanced at Olympus. Therefore, enrolling as an undergraduate of Plateau College is a wise choice for students who wish to ensure success in their careers.'



The argument concludes that students who wish to have a successful career should go to Plateau College for undergraduate study as typically students from Plateau College have gone to pursue advanced degrees in Olympus college. The author continues that students of science and engineering from Olympus University recieve numerous excellent job offers. The author has also assumed that any student from Olympus University will definetely recieve good job offers ensuring them success in their careers. The argument in full of gaps and loop holes since it presents fragmentary evidence. Neither are the premises convincing nor is the conclusion compelling. The argument in very evidently the result of a hasty generalization.



The author has clearly assumed the fact that all future students from Olympus University will procure numerous excellent job offers. The argument lacks sufficient stastistical data to support his claim. The statistical data refrenced could just be a trend of that particular year. The author should have provided statistical data for at least the last three to five years to make such a clam. Neither is the reputation of the recruiting organizations nor the type of job offered mentioned in the argument. Futhermore, the argument fails to mention whether students passing out from Olympus University fare well in other universities or in the jobs thereafter. This only weakens the argument further.



The author mentions that students from Plateau College typically further their studies in Olympus University. The author fails to mention how many student are actually granted admission in to Olympus University and how they fare at the university. The auhtor also does not speak about the costs associated with studying in Plateau College or Olympus University. The author does not mention the other facilities and ameneties provided at Plateau College. It is clearly a propogandist motive to allure students to Plateau College.



The argument only mentions about science and engineering students. It does not enlighten us about students from different fields of study like environment, geology, medicine, etc. Hence it is not possible to conclude that studying in Olympus college would be beneficial to all the students. Such a conclusion is only non-sequitur.



The argument is the result of a huge speculation in which the author has comfortably assumed a considerable amount of data. Had he taken the above discussed factors into view it would have rendered the argument irrefuteable. But whatever presented fails to provide a holistic picture of the superfluous claims being made.








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