Issue Essay Gmat Examples

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Analysis of An Issue : An Introduction

GMAT-Model Questions Index

In this Analysis of An Issue section, an issue will be presented and you will be asked to analyze it and explain your views on it together with examples from your own experience, observations or reading.

These ISSUES themselves fall into two categories

(i) One in which two opposite views on an issue are presented and you are asked to take a position in favour of one of them and defend that position.

(ii) One in which only one view is presented and you are asked whether you agree or disagree with it and called upon to defend your position.

How You should start : :

Do not start pounding on the keyboard of the computer immediately on seeing the question.

Take a few minutes to think about the issue and plan a response before you begin writing. Be sure to organize your ideas and develop them fully, but leave time to reread your response and make any revisions that you think are necessary.

The thirty minutes you are allowed to write the essay is not a long time and no one is capable of writing a profound, thoroughly developed, well-crafted and technically perfect essay in just half an hour.

And your essay need not have all these qualities to earn you a high score of 5, 5.5 or 6.

The opinion in an Analysis of An Issue essay is stated in such broad and general terms that almost anyone can find something to say either in favour or against it.

The first step in developing your essay is to brainstorm ideas about what to say. There is no pre-set or magic formula for this process.

You should first take about two minutes to understand the issue and think of points both in favour and against what is stated.

Then jot down on a scrap sheet (which will be given to you at the test centre) these points on either side of a centre line.

You will probably find that you have more points on one side than on the other. Adopt the side on which you have more points as your opinion.

Remember that there is no right or wrong opinion which decides the score that you will be awarded. What’s needed is that you should write a cogent and logical essay supporting your opinion.

Then look at your notes and pick the three or four ideas you like best. These should be ideas which you think make sense, relate to the topic and support your point of view reasonably well.

Put a check mark next to those ideas so that you spot them easily when you start composing your essay. Finally, decide on the sequence for the ideas. This can be done in several ways. Often the sequence will be obvious. One idea may be the fountainhead of all others and therefore should clearly come first. Sometimes the ideas may all reflect historic events that took place in a definite time sequence. If there is such an obvious sequence, use it.

The most emphatic parts of any essay the parts that the reader is most likely to remember or be impressed with - are the beginning and the end.

How Your Analysis of An Issue should be : :

Begin the essay with a brief introductory paragraph that sets forth your point of view clearly and, if you like, also suggests the nature of the ideas you will be using to defend it. The side you are proposing to take on the issue should be brought out clearly in the first paragraph itself.

Have three or four middle paragraphs to substantiate your view with examples or illustrations.

End the essay with a brief concluding paragraph which summarizes your point of view in a clear, concise and forceful way.

The last step in the process is a quick revision of your essay to eliminate inadvertent errors in spelling and grammar that you might have committed.

Evaluation of Your Response : College and university faculty members from various subject matter areas, including management education, will evaluate the overall quality of your thinking and writing. They will consider how well you—

  • organize, develop, and express your ideas about the issue presented

  • provide relevant supporting reasons and examples and

  • control the elements of standard written English.

  • Here is the List of 140 topics ( for Analysis of An Issue ) from which one topic will be chosen for you by the computer when you take your GMAT.

    Analysis of An Issue Topics : Page # :

    1 / 2 / 3 /4 /5 /6 /7 /8 /9 /10 /11 /12 /13 /14

    The List of GMAT Analysis of An Issue Topics (140) issued by ETS. To download the PDF format of the topics, Click Here.

    GMAT-Model Questions Index

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    Editor’s Note: The New GMAT (all tests starting from June 5th, 2012 onwards) will have only 1 Essay – The Analysis of Argument AWA.   The Analysis of Issue AWA will no longer be administered.

    An Analysis of Issue essay topic looks something like this.

    “Some experts maintain that students learn best in a highly structured environment, one that emphasizes discipline, punctuality, and routine. Others insist that educators, if they are able to help students maximize their potential, ought to maintain an atmosphere of relative freedom and spontaneity.”

    Explain your position on the issue of structure versus freedom in an ideal learning environment. Support your answers with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.*

    How to tackle the AWA Analysis of Issue

    In general, you will want to make a template to follow. You can take a side or qualify the statement (i.e. state to what extent or under what circumstances you agree or disagree with a position). You can be controversial, but don’t be dogmatic, extreme, or racist/sexist, etc.

    Sample Structure of Analysis of Issue Essay

    Introduction paragraph (1st Paragraph):

    - Acknowledge that the issue is complex/interesting/debatable/etc.
    - Acknowledge that there are two sides to the issue
    - State which side you pick

    Body paragraphs (next 2-3 paragraphs):

    -Start your topic sentence with a transition.
    - State your main points, back up with evidence
    -State why the opponents of your position don’t really matter:
    .      -Say it only occurs in a minority of cases. (e.g. Admittedly, a highly structured environment can provide routine and discipline. However, such an environment would only benefit the minority of students with behavior problems.)
    .     -Say something that seems bad is actually a good thing (e.g. Opponents of free learning suggest that students lose rigidity in their schedules. However, this loss of rigidity actually kindles creativity. )

    Concluding Paragraph

    -Restate your position; summarize the main points of the paragraphs. If you are taking a strong position in your essay, you can also address the opposition.


    Structure vs. Freedom (Choosing to Argue for Freedom)

    Structure has downside (forces students material, diminishes creativity,  Example: Standardized Testing

    Freedom has upside (forces people to be more creative, students can choose what they feel passionate about)

    Sample Essay (Underlined Phrases indicate a General Template)

    Whether students learn best in a structured environment or a free environment is a debatable issue. On the one hand, structured environments provide students with routine and can force rigor on the students. On the other hand, a relatively free atmosphere can inspire creativity and ingenuity in students in ways a structured atmosphere cannot. In this essay, I will present arguments favoring the latter as the best way to create an ideal learning environment.

    First of all, highly structured environments can produce negative repercussions. For example, consider the case of standardized testing. Under high-stakes standardized testing, students are forced to cram for material that is dictated by administrators. Students face an enormous amount of pressure on these timed exams. However, these exams don’t serve in the interest of learning because students study for test rather than material. Additionally, students may face mental distress and anxiety because of the pressure to do well.

    Furthermore, a relatively free atmosphere has its own benefits. The unpredictability of a free atmosphere can keep students excited to learn. If a student knows that he or she will learn something new and unexpected the next day, that student is likely going to be excited about learning. Moreover, in a free atmosphere students can focus on the subjects they feel most passionate about. By focusing on a subject with great interest, students will be able to achieve more through their own personal motivation.

    In conclusion, students can better realize their potential through a liberating academic setting. Admittedly, a highly structured environment can provide routine and discipline. However, such an environment would only benefit the minority of students with behavior problems. An environment of openness and freedom would be a more effective method to stimulate learning in students.

    Transition Words

    Transitions to add: In addition, Furthermore, Additionally, Also, Moreover, Further, Besides,
    Transitions to compare and contrast: However, in contrast, conversely, on the one hand/on the other hand, yet, Even So, Nevertheless, Similarly, Likewise
    Transitions to cite an example: For example, For instance, In particular, specifically,
    Transitions to show a result: Consequently, therefore, thus, hence, as a result, subsequently
    Transition to conclude: In the final analysis, In sum, In conclusion, To summarize

    Proponents of [policy X], Opponents of [policy X]

    - Of course, there are many ways you can structure your essay. For example, you could vary the structure such an entire paragraph debunks a counterpoint.
    - Don’t memorize this template. Make your own template; adjust it as necessary to the topic at hand. On the actual GMAT, you may have to vary it quite a bit.

    *(This is an actual GMAT Topic ; GMAC does not endorse this website. Topic is from p. 769 in the OG 12th Edition – burgundy book.  Topic can also be found on GMAC List of Analysis of Issue Topics – its the last topic)

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