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Revised GRE Issue Topics

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Revised GRE Issue Topics Intro

The Revised GRE Analytical Writing section requires you to write two essays in one hour. One of these essays is called the "Analyze an Issue" Essay. You'll be given one GRE issue topic (a statement, a recommendation, a claim, a view, or a policy). Your job will be to evaluate the issue, considering every aspect related to it, and develop an argument with reasons and examples to support your thesis. Sound tough? It can be, especially in 30 minutes!

In order to do well on this portion of the Analytical Writing section, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the issue scoring guidelines, learn how to write the GRE essays, and practice with the prompts listed below or others from one of the best GRE prep books, so you're in peak form on test day.

Revised GRE Issue Topics

Here are a few samples of GRE issue topics similar to those you could see on test day. These topics will not be given to you in isolation. Instead, you'll see an issue like one of these below followed by one of the sets of instructions which will tell you how to respond.

From -The Official Guide to the GRE Revised General Test: ETS, 2010

  1. As people rely more and more on technology to solve problems, the ability of humans to think for themselves will surely deteriorate.
  2. The best way to teach is to praise positive actions and ignore negative ones.

From -Barron's New GRE, 2011

  1. Question authority. Only by questioning accepted wisdom can we advance our understanding of the world.
  2. If rituals did not exist, we would have to invent them. We need ceremonies and rituals to help us define ourselves socially and culturally.
  3. A true university education encompasses far more than the narrow, specialized study of a single discipline. Only through exploring the broad spectrum of liberal arts courses can students become truly learned.
  4. "It takes a village to raise a child." The education of your children is the task of the community as a whole, not merely the province of teachers and local school administrators.

Revised GRE Issue Instructions

Each of the issue topics will be accompanied by one of the following sets of instructions:

  • Write a response in which you discuss the extend to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
  • Write a response in which you discuss the extend to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
  • Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.
  • Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented.
  • Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.
  • Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position.

Revised GRE Issue Sample Essays

If you'd like to see student responses based on one of the topics listed above, check out these GRE issue essays, ranked from 0 – 6 to get a feel for the skills readers will be hoping to find in your own essay.

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