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.
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!
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 __________ ______ ____ _____.
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
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
The following appeared in a
letter to prospective students from the admissions office at
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