GRE ANALYTICAL WRITING - Sam Houston State University
GRE ANALYTICAL WRITING INTRODUCTION Analytical Writing - Overview Assesses: Writing skills & thought processes used to develop and express a position Critical thinking skills by asking you to evaluate complex arguments & to form your own argument Analytical reasoning skills
Ability to understand and formulate an argument Ability to present coherent, logical, & well-develop response Overall mastery of the writing process Analytical Writing Essay Types Issue Essay Develop an Argument (30 minutes) Given brief quotation on issue with instructions on how to respond Can discuss issue from any perspective using all your knowledge Argument Essay Critique an Argument (30 minutes) Given short argument with instructions on how to respond
Assess the argument & evaluate authors reasoning & use of evidence Analytical Writing - Scoring 0 = Unscorable Essay Completely ignores topic Attempts to copy the task Written in undecipherable text or in language other than English 1 = Fundamentally Deficient Essay No coherent opinion and/or evidence supporting opinion or critique of
argument Unclear and disorganized Severe mistakes in grammar, word usage, & sentence structure 2 = Weak Essay Unsuccessful in presenting & supporting an opinion or critique of an argument Struggles to communicate ideas lack of organization & clarity Meaning impeded by mistakes in grammar, usage, & sentence Analytical Writing Scoring
(contd) 3 = Limited Essay Partially succeeds in giving & supporting opinion on issue or critique of argument Poorly organized and unclear Less than satisfactory control of language & significant mistakes in grammar, usage, & sentence structure 4 = Adequate Essay
Presents and adequately supports opinion or critique of argument Fairly clear and adequately organized w/ satisfactory logic Satisfactory control of grammar, stylistic variety, and writing conventions Analytical Writing Scoring (contd) 5 = Strong Essay Gives good examples and strongly supports opinion or critique of
argument Communicates ideas clearly, well organized, logical connections Solid control of grammar, stylistic variety, writing conventions 6 = Outstanding Essay Insightful & convincingly supports opinion or critique of argument Communicates ideas clearly, well organized, logical connections Superior control of grammar, stylistic variety, writing conventions Analytical Writing Steps & Pacing Step 1
Take Issue/Argument apart: 2 minutes Step 2 Choose Points you want to make: 4 minutes Step 3 Organize Thoughts: 2 minutes Step 4 Write Essay: 20 minutes
Step 5 Proofread: 2 minutes Analytical Writing - Tips Use scratch paper when completing the steps First paragraph contains introduction & thesis statement Middle paragraphs lead with major points followed by supporting points Final paragraph contains conclusion GRE ANALYTICAL
WRITING FOUNDATIONS Analytical Writing Dos Streamline wordy phrases Eliminate unnecessary sentences, repetitiveness, & redundancy Use active voice (subject performs the action) Use consistent narrative voice Use strong openings Use correct grammar & punctuation
Analytical Writing Donts Overstate your case Goal is to adopt a reasonable tone & convince reader of your point of view
Use vague language Use unclear pronoun reference Use passive voice (subject receives implied action) Use jargon, slang, or colloquialisms (informal words & phrases) Analytical Writing Foundations Practice Analytical WritingFoundations Practice Set 1
Revise the wordy phrase: Government funding cripples the natural relationship of arts enthusiasts and artists by subsidizing work and makes artists less creative and forces the taxpayer to take on the burden of paying for art they dont like. Analytical Writing-Foundations Practice Set 1 Revised Phrase:
The government should not subsidize artists, because it makes them less creative and forces taxpayers to pay for art they dont like. Original sentence contained unnecessary repetition (funding and subsidizing refer to the same thing About crippling the natural relationship is redundant (implied by listing negative effects of government funding Analytical Writing-Foundations Practice Set 2
Revise the wordy phrase: There are many reasons why some may believe that the services of one real estate agent are superior in quality to the services of another competing real estate agent or group of agents, including the personal service they provide, the care and quality of the work they do, and the communication lines they set up and keep open. Analytical Writing-Foundations Practice
Set 2 Revised phrase: Reasons for choosing one real estate agent over another include personal service, care, communication, and quality of work. Revised phrase condenses the two main clauses (choosing one real estate agent over another & subsequent list Eliminates unnecessary repetition GRE ANALYTICAL
WRITING ISSUE ESSAY Analytical Writing Issue Essay Overview Form opinion on given issue Construct an argument by making claims & providing evidence to support opinion Issue Essay begins with a statement followed by directions Directions: You have 30 minutes to plan and compose a repons in which you evaluate
the argument passage that appears below. A response to any other argument will receive a score of zero. Make sure that you respond according to the specific instructions and support your evaluation with relevant reasons and/or examples Analytical Writing Issue Essay Steps #1 Take the Issue Apart Use scratch paper Consider both sides of issue Restate both sides of issue in own words
#2 Select the Points You Want to Make Think of reasons & examples for both sides of issue Decide which side you will support or extent to which you agree #3 Organize and Outline your Thoughts #4 Write Introduction Restate prompt in own words State whether agree or disagree Preview supporting points Analytical Writing Issue Essay Steps
(contd) #5 Write Middle Paragraphs Lead with your strongest/best argument Present your points of agreement or disagreement Provide support for points #6 Write Conclusion Summarize your position #7 Type Essay
Begin and end with strong statements Use transitions between paragraphs and to relate ideas #8 Proofread No automatic proofreading features in GRE Capitalization, grammar, spelling, typos, paragraph divisions Analytical Writing Issue Essay Tips Dont Overcomplicate Your Writing Goal is to assert & defend clearlydont try to impress with vocabulary/wit
Dont worry if youre not familiar with subject of essay Writing should be clear and linear Dont Worry about Whether or Not Position is Correct Scored on how well supported your position is, not whether it is right Most topics can be successfully argued from varied points of view Think about Issue from Different Perspectives Remove personal biases in order to think and write logically
Analytical Writing Issue Essay Practice GRE ANALYTICAL WRITING ARGUMENT ESSAY Analytical Writing Argument Essay Overview Author will use evidence to try to persuade you regarding his/her conclusion about something You must analyze authors chain of reasoning in argument
(Note: Not being asked to agree or disagree with authors position) Know that every argument presented for essay will be flawed Directions: You have 30 minutes to plan and compose a response in which you evaluate the argument passage that appears below. A response to any other argument will receive a score of zero. Make sure you respond according to the specific instructions and support your evaluation with relevant reasons and/or examples
Analytical Writing Argument Essay Steps #1 Take Argument Apart Identify conclusion (authors main point) Locate evidence used to support conclusion Identify unstated assumptions (unstated evidence needed to support argument) #2 Select Point You Want to Make Identify all assumptions between evidence and conclusion Determine additional evidence to strengthen/weaken assumption
#3 Organize and Outline Your Thoughts Analytical Writing Argument Essay Steps (contd) #5 Type Essay Begin and end with strong statements Use transitions between paragraphs and to relate ideas #6 Proofread No automatic proofreading features in GRE
Capitalization, grammar, spelling, typos, paragraph divisions Analytical Writing Argument Essay Tips Read arguments with critical eye & look for assumptions Analyze argument and evaluate use of evidence Explain how a different approach or more information would strengthen or weaken argument Analytical Writing Argument Essay Practice
References Kaplan (2015). GRE premier 2016. New York, NY. Kaplan Publishing
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