GRE Sections Prep: Analytical Writing
This is a writing section with two tasks. These tasks are:
I. Analyze an Issue task
II. Analyze an Argument task.
What does this section test?
This section measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically your ability to articulate and support complex ideas clearly and effectively. Analytical Writing section of GRE consists of two separate writing tasks.
How can you prepare for this section?
- The best part about Analytical Writing section is that the official GRE website has a pool of topics for both the tasks. The first thing that you should do is start writing on the pool topics. Here’s where you get the pool topics for GRE:
Issue Topic Pool: Click here
Argument Topic Pool: Click here
- The Issue task will give you a view on an issue of general interest followed by specific instructions on how to respond to that issue. You have to evaluate the issue, consider its several angles and develop an argument with reasons and examples to support your views.
- The Argument task has an argument for your evaluation as per given instructions. What is crucial here is to understand that you don’t have to agree or disagree with the argument but state if the given argument is valid or justified.
- While practising, you must understand that the two tasks are in a way complementary. The first task expects you to form your own stand/argument by picking up a certain side of it, quoting reasons, examples to support it. The second, on the other hand, asks you to evaluate someone else’s position by measuring its rationale or evidence.
- Everyone, including good writers, needs practice for Analytical Writing. Take up the pool topics and read and observe the sample essay responses. Observe how they are rated and what mistakes they committed.
- Practise at least three essays from each of the topic pools. The best practice would be to take timed essays online.
- For the Issue Task, practise taking up any ONE stand. Don’t ever think of practising to write a balanced view. More than your side of the view, what is vital is how well back it up with examples, rationale etc.
- Choose examples very carefully. First of all, try to quote real-life examples culled from our own personal experiences, as much as possible. You may, however, choose examples from any field. BUT, make sure you quote relevant examples only.
- Don’t use first person such as ‘I think’ or ‘in my opinion’. Especially avoid using first person in introduction and conclusion.