GRE Analytical Writing: краткое знакомство
Всем привет, друзья!
В этой статье мы вкратце познакомимся с секцией Analytical Writing на тесте GRE, а также увидим, какие именно задания встречаются в этой секции, а потом прочтем примеры ответов на эти задания. Примеры ранжируются по баллу (от 1 до 6), который они получили на GRE.
Итак, секция Analytical Writing на GRE включает в себя 2 части:
1. Analyse an issue – 30 minutes
2. Analyse an argument – 30 minutes
Обе части длятся 30 минут – довольно сжатое время, чтобы напечатать красивые, емкие, глубокие и логичные эссе. Нужно практиковаться и еще раз практиковаться.
Первая часть – Analyse an Issue: вас просят выразить свое мнение (степень согласия или несогласия) по поводу мнения автора вопроса. Автор выражает свое мнение на самые широкие темы.
Сами задания (вопросы) будут представлять собой один из 6 вариантов:
- Write a response in which you discuss the extent 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 extent 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.
Давайте рассмотрим пример вопроса (взят с официального сайта GRE) и примеры ответов на него:
As people rely more and more on technology to solve problems, the ability of humans to think for themselves will surely deteriorate.
Discuss the extent 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.
Теперь ознакомьтесь с несколькими вариантами ответов (реальных ответов), которые заслужили балл от 1 до 6, и комментариями к ним.
Essay Response — Score 6
The statement linking technology negatively with free thinking plays on recent human experience over the past century. Surely there has been no time in history where the lived lives of people have changed more dramatically. A quick reflection on a typical day reveals how technology has revolutionized the world. Most people commute to work in an automobile that runs on an internal combustion engine. During the workday, chances are high that the employee will interact with a computer that processes information on silicon bridges that are .09 microns wide. Upon leaving home, family members will be reached through wireless networks that utilize satellites orbiting the earth. Each of these common occurrences could have been inconceivable at the turn of the 19th century.
The statement attempts to bridge these dramatic changes to a reduction in the ability for humans to think for themselves. The assumption is that an increased reliance on technology negates the need for people to think creatively to solve previous quandaries. Looking back at the introduction, one could argue that without a car, computer, or mobile phone, the hypothetical worker would need to find alternate methods of transport, information processing and communication. Technology short circuits this thinking by making the problems obsolete.
However, this reliance on technology does not necessarily preclude the creativity that marks the human species. The prior examples reveal that technology allows for convenience. The car, computer and phone all release additional time for people to live more efficiently. This efficiency does not preclude the need for humans to think for themselves. In fact, technology frees humanity to not only tackle new problems, but may itself create new issues that did not exist without technology. For example, the proliferation of automobiles has introduced a need for fuel conservation on a global scale. With increasing energy demands from emerging markets, global warming becomes a concern inconceivable to the horse-and-buggy generation. Likewise dependence on oil has created nation-states that are not dependent on taxation, allowing ruling parties to oppress minority groups such as women. Solutions to these complex problems require the unfettered imaginations of maverick scientists and politicians.
In contrast to the statement, we can even see how technology frees the human imagination. Consider how the digital revolution and the advent of the internet has allowed for an unprecedented exchange of ideas. WebMD, a popular internet portal for medical information, permits patients to self research symptoms for a more informed doctor visit. This exercise opens pathways of thinking that were previously closed off to the medical layman. With increased interdisciplinary interactions, inspiration can arrive from the most surprising corners. Jeffrey Sachs, one of the architects of the UN Millenium Development Goals, based his ideas on emergency care triage techniques. The unlikely marriage of economics and medicine has healed tense, hyperinflation environments from South America to Eastern Europe.
This last example provides the most hope in how technology actually provides hope to the future of humanity. By increasing our reliance on technology, impossible goals can now be achieved. Consider how the late 20th century witnessed the complete elimination of smallpox. This disease had ravaged the human race since prehistorical days, and yet with the technology of vaccines, free thinking humans dared to imagine a world free of smallpox. Using technology, battle plans were drawn out, and smallpox was systematically targeted and eradicated.
Technology will always mark the human experience, from the discovery of fire to the implementation of nanotechnology. Given the history of the human race, there will be no limit to the number of problems, both new and old, for us to tackle. There is no need to retreat to a Luddite attitude to new things, but rather embrace a hopeful posture to the possibilities that technology provides for new avenues of human imagination.
Reader Commentary for Essay Response — Score 6
The author of this essay stakes out a clear and insightful position on the issue and follows the specific instructions by presenting reasons to support that position. The essay cogently argues that technology does not decrease our ability to think for ourselves, but merely provides “additional time for people to live more efficiently.” In fact, the problems that have developed alongside the growth of technology (pollution, political unrest in oil-producing nations) actually call for more creative thinking, not less.
In further examples, the essay shows how technology allows for the linking of ideas that may never have been connected in the past (like medicine and economic models), pushing people to think in new ways. Examples are persuasive and fully developed; reasoning is logically sound and well supported.
Ideas in the essay are connected logically, with effective transitions used both between paragraphs (“However” or “In contrast to the statement”) and within paragraphs. Sentence structure is varied and complex and the essay clearly demonstrates facility with the “conventions of standard written English (i.e., grammar, usage and mechanics),” with only minor errors appearing. Thus, this essay meets all the requirements for receiving a top score, a 6.
Essay Response — Score 5
Surely many of us have expressed the following sentiment, or some variation on it, during our daily commutes to work: “People are getting so stupid these days!” Surrounded as we are by striding and strident automatons with cell phones glued to their ears, PDA’s gripped in their palms, and omniscient, omnipresent CNN gleaming in their eyeballs, it’s tempting to believe that technology has isolated and infantilized us, essentally transforming us into dependent, conformist morons best equipped to sideswip one another in our SUV’s.
Furthermore, hanging around with the younger, pre-commute generation, whom tech-savviness seems to have rendered lethal, is even less reassuring. With “Teen People” style trends shooting through the air from tiger-striped PDA to zebra-striped PDA, and with the latest starlet gossip zipping from juicy Blackberry to teeny, turbo-charged cell phone, technology seems to support young people’s worst tendencies to follow the crowd. Indeed, they have seemingly evolved into intergalactic conformity police. After all, today’s tech-aided teens are, courtesy of authentic, hands-on video games, literally trained to kill; courtesy of chat and instant text messaging, they have their own language; they even have tiny cameras to efficiently photodocument your fashion blunders! Is this adolescence, or paparazzi terrorist training camp?
With all this evidence, it’s easy to believe that tech trends and the incorporation of technological wizardry into our everyday lives have served mostly to enforce conformity, promote dependence, heighten comsumerism and materialism, and generally create a culture that values self-absorption and personal entitlement over cooperation and collaboration. However, I argue that we are merely in the inchoate stages of learning to live with technology while still loving one another. After all, even given the examples provided earlier in this essay, it seems clear that technology hasn’t impaired our thinking and problem-solving capacities. Certainly it has incapacitated our behavior and manners; certainly our values have taken a severe blow. However, we are inarguably more efficient in our badness these days. We’re effective worker bees of ineffectiveness!
If T\technology has so increased our senses of self-efficacy that we can become veritable agents of the awful, virtual CEO’s of selfishness, certainly it can be beneficial. Harnessed correctly, technology can improve our ability to think and act for ourselves. The first challenge is to figure out how to provide technology users with some direly-needed direction.
Reader Commentary for Essay Response — Score 5
The language of this essay clearly illustrates both its strengths and weaknesses. The flowery and sometimes uncannily keen descriptions are often used to powerful effect, but at other times, the writing is awkward and the comparisons somewhat strained. See, for example, the ungainly sequence of independent clauses in the second-to-last sentence of paragraph 2 (“After all, today’s tech-aided teens …”).
There is consistent evidence of facility with syntax and complex vocabulary (“Surrounded as we are by striding and strident automatons with cell phones glued to their ears, PDA’s gripped in their palms, and omniscient, omnipresent CNN gleaming in their eyeballs, it’s tempting to believe…”). However, such lucid prose is sometimes countered by an over-reliance on abstractions and reasoning that is not entirely effective. For example, what does the fact that video games “literally train [teens] to kill” have to do with the use or deterioration of thinking abilities? On the whole, however, the response develops its ideas about the ways that technology can promote isolation and conformity with well-chosen examples, even if its ideas about the positive effects of technology are less successfully realized.
Because this essay provides generally thoughtful analysis and takes a complex approach to the issue (arguing, in effect, that technology neither enhances nor reduces our ability to think for ourselves, but can do one or the other, depending on the user) and because the author makes use of “appropriate vocabulary and sentence variety,” a score of 5 is appropriate.
Essay Response — Score 4
In all actuality, I think it is more probable that our bodies will surely deteriorate long before our minds do in any significant amount. Who can’t say that technology has made us lazier, but that’s the key word, lazy, not stupid. The ever increasing amount of technology that we incorporate into our daily lives makes people think and learn every day, possibly more than ever before. Our abilities to think, learn, philosophize, etc. may even reach limits never dreamed of before by average people. Using technology to solve problems will continue to help us realize our potential as a human race.
If you think about it, using technology to solve more complicating problems gives humans a chance to expand their thinking and learning, opening up whole new worlds for many people. Many of these people are glad for the chance to expand their horizons by learning more, going to new places, and trying new things. If it wasn’t for the invention of new technological devices, I wouldn’t be sitting at this computer trying to philosophize about technology. It would be extremely hard for children in much poorer countries to learn and think for themselves with out the invention of the internet. Think what an impact the printing press, a technologically superior mackine at the time, had on the ability of the human race to learn and think.
Right now we are seeing a golden age of technology, using it all the time during our every day lives. When we get up there’s instant coffee and the microwave and all these great things that help us get ready for our day. But we aren’t allowing our minds to deteriorate by using them, we are only making things easier for ourselves and saving time for other important things in our days. Going off to school or work in our cars instead of a horse and buggy. Think of the brain power and genius that was used to come up with that single invention that has changed the way we move across this globe.
Using technology to solve our continually more complicated problems as a human race is definately a good thing. Our ability to think for ourselves isn’t deteriorating, it’s continuing to grow, moving on to higher though functions and more ingenious ideas. The ability to use what technology we have is an example
Reader Commentary for Essay Response — Score 4
This essay meets all the criteria of a level-4 essay. The writer develops a clear position (“Using technology to solve problems will continue to help us realize our potential as a human race”). The position is then developed with relevant reasons (“using technology to solve more complicat[ed] problems gives humans a chance to expand their thinking and learning” and “we are seeing a golden age of technology”).
Point 1, “using technology,” is supported with the simple but relevant notion that technology allows us access to information and abilities to which we would not normally have access. Similarly, point 2, the “golden age,” is supported by the basic description of our technologically saturated social condition. Though the overall development and organization of the essay does suffer from an occasional misdirection (see paragraph 3’s abrupt progression from coffee pots to the benefits of technology to cars), the essay as a whole flows smoothly and logically from one idea to the next.
It is useful to compare this essay to the level-3 essay presented next. Though both essays entail some surface-level discussion and often fail to probe deeply into the issue, this writer does take the analysis a step further. In paragraph 2, the distinction between this essay and the next one (the level-3 response) can most clearly be seen. To support the notion that advances in technology actually help increase thinking ability, the writer draws a clever parallel between the promise of modern, sophisticated technology (computer) and the actual “impact” of equally “promising” and pervasive technologies of the past (printing press).
Like the analysis, the language in this essay clearly meets the requirements for a score of 4. The writer displays sufficient control of language and the conventions of standard written English. The preponderance of mistakes are of a cosmetic nature (“trying to solve more complicating problems.”) There is a sentence fragment (“Going off …”) along with a comma splice (“Our ability … isn’t deteriorating, it’s continuing to grow …”) in paragraph 3. However, these errors are minor and do not interfere with the clarity of the ideas being presented.
Essay Response — Score 3
There is no current proof that advancing technology will deteriorate the ability of humans to think. On the contrary, advancements in technology had advanced our vast knowledge in many fields, opening opportunities for further understanding and achievement. For example, the problem of dibilitating illnesses and diseases such as alzheimer’s disease is slowing being solved by the technological advancements in stem cell research. The future ability of growing new brain cells and the possibility to reverse the onset of alzheimer’s is now becoming a reality. This shows our initiative as humans to better our health demonstrates greater ability of humans to think.
One aspect where the ability of humans may initially be seen as an example of deteriorating minds is the use of internet and cell phones. In the past humans had to seek out information in many different enviroments and aspects of life. Now humans can sit in a chair and type anything into a computer and get an answer. Our reliance on this type of technology can be detrimental if not regulated and regularily substituted for other information sources such as human interactions and hands on learning. I think if humans understand that we should not have such a reliance on computer technology, that we as a species will advance further by utilizing the opportunity of computer technology as well as the other sources of information outside of a computer. Supplementing our knowledge with internet access is surely a way for technology to solve problems while continually advancing the human race.
Reader Commentary for Essay Response — Score 3
This essay never moves beyond a superficial discussion of the issue. The writer attempts to develop two points: that advancements in technology have progressed our knowledge in many fields and that supplementing rather than relying on technology is “surely a way for technology to solve problems while continually advancing the human race.” Each point, then, is developed with relevant but insufficient evidence. In discussing the potential of technology to advance knowledge in many fields (a broad subject, rife with possible examples), the writer uses only one limited and very brief example from a specific field (medicine and stem-cell research).
Development of the second point is hindered by a lack of specificity and organization. The writer creates what might be best described as an outline. The writer cites a need for regulation/supplementation and warns of the detriment of over-reliance upon technology. However, the explanation of both the problem and solution is vague and limited (“Our reliance … can be detrimental. If humans understand that we should not have such a reliance … we will advance further”). There is neither explanation of consequences nor clarification of what is meant by “supplementing.” This second paragraph is a series of generalizations that are loosely connected and lack a much-needed grounding.
In the essay, there are some minor language errors and a few more serious flaws (e.g., “The future ability of growing new brain cells” or “One aspect where the ability of humans may initially be seen as an example of deteriorating minds”). Despite the accumulation of such flaws, the writer’s meaning is generally clear. Thus, this essay earns a score of 3.
Essay Response — Score 2
In recent centuries, humans have developed the technology very rapidly, and you may accept some merit of it, and you may see a distortion in society occured by it. To be lazy for human in some meaning is one of the fashion issues in thesedays. There are many symptoms and resons of it. However, I can not agree with the statement that the technology make humans to be reluctant to thinkng thoroughly.
Of course, you can see the phenomena of human laziness along with developed technology in some place. However, they would happen in specific condition, not general. What makes human to be laze of thinking is not merely technology, but the the tendency of human that they treat them as a magic stick and a black box. Not understanding the aims and theory of them couses the disapproval problems.
The most important thing to use the thechnology, regardless the new or old, is to comprehend the fundamental idea of them, and to adapt suit tech to tasks in need. Even if you recognize a method as a all-mighty and it is extremely over-spec to your needs, you can not see the result you want. In this procedure, humans have to consider as long as possible to acquire adequate functions. Therefore, humans can not escape from using their brain.
In addition, the technology as it is do not vain automatically, the is created by humans. Thus, the more developed tech and the more you want a convenient life, the more you think and emmit your creativity to breakthrough some banal method sarcastically.
Consequently, if you are not passive to the new tech, but offensive to it, you would not lose your ability to think deeply. Furthermore, you may improve the ability by adopting it.
Reader Commentary for Essay Response — Score 2
The language of this essay is what most clearly links it to the score of 2. Amidst sporadic moments of clarity, this essay is marred by serious errors in grammar, usage and mechanics that often interfere with meaning. It is unclear what the writer means when he/she states, “To be lazy for human in some meaning is one of the fashion issues in thesedays,” or “to adapt suit tech to tasks in need.”
Despite such severe flaws, the writer has made an obvious attempt to respond to the prompt (“I can not agree with the statement that the technology make humans to be reluctant to thinking thoroughly”) as well as an unclear attempt to support such an assertion (“Not understanding the aims and theory of them [technology] couses the disapproval problems” and “The most important thing to use the thechnology … is to comprehend the fundamental idea of them”). On the whole, the essay displays a seriously flawed but not fundamentally deficient attempt to develop and support its claims.
(Note: In this specific case, the analysis is tied directly to the language. As the language falters, so too does the analysis.)
Essay Response — Score 1
Humans have invented machines but they have forgot it and have started everything technically so clearly their thinking process is deterioating.
Reader Commentary for Essay Response — Score 1
The essay is clearly on topic, as evidenced by the writer’s usage of the more significant terms from the prompt: “technically” (technologically), “humans,” “thinking” (think) and “deteriorating” (deteriorate). Such usage is the only clear evidence of understanding. Meaning aside, the brevity of the essay (one sentence) clearly indicates the writer’s inability to develop a response that follows the specific instructions given (“Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement above and explain your reasoning for the position you take”).
The language, too, is clearly level 1, as the sentence fails to achieve coherence. The coherent phrases in this one-sentence response are those tied to the prompt: “Humans have invented machines” and “their thinking process is deteriorating.” Otherwise, the point being made is unintelligible.
Вторая часть: (30 минут) Analyse an Argument – вас просят проанализировать аргумент (утверждения) автора и найти в нем недостатки, объяснить, в чем же заключаются эти недостатки, и представить более логичный способ изложения материала.
Давайте взглянем на типы заданий (7 вариантов):
- Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.
- Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions, and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
- Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.
- Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the advice and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the advice.
- Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.
- Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the prediction and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the prediction.
- Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.
- Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be addressed in order to decide whether the conclusion and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to the questions would help to evaluate the conclusion.
Теперь давайте рассмотрим пример вопроса и примеры ответов на него:
In surveys Mason City residents rank water sports (swimming, boating and fishing) among their favorite recreational activities. The Mason River flowing through the city is rarely used for these pursuits, however, and the city park department devotes little of its budget to maintaining riverside recreational facilities. For years there have been complaints from residents about the quality of the river’s water and the river’s smell. In response, the state has recently announced plans to clean up Mason River. Use of the river for water sports is therefore sure to increase. The city government should for that reason devote more money in this year’s budget to riverside recreational facilities.
Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on the assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
Essay Response — Score 6
While it may be true that the Mason City government ought to devote more money to riverside recreational facilities, this author’s argument does not make a cogent case for increased resources based on river use. It is easy to understand why city residents would want a cleaner river, but this argument is rife with holes and assumptions, and thus, not strong enough to lead to increased funding.
Citing surveys of city residents, the author reports city resident’s love of water sports. It is not clear, however, the scope and validity of that survey. For example, the survey could have asked residents if they prefer using the river for water sports or would like to see a hydroelectric dam built, which may have swayed residents toward river sports. The sample may not have been representative of city residents, asking only those residents who live upon the river. The survey may have been 10 pages long, with 2 questions dedicated to river sports. We just do not know. Unless the survey is fully representative, valid, and reliable, it can not be used to effectively back the author’s argument.
Additionally, the author implies that residents do not use the river for swimming, boating, and fishing, despite their professed interest, because the water is polluted and smelly. While a polluted, smelly river would likely cut down on river sports, a concrete connection between the resident’s lack of river use and the river’s current state is not effectively made. Though there have been complaints, we do not know if there have been numerous complaints from a wide range of people, or perhaps from one or two individuals who made numerous complaints. To strengthen his/her argument, the author would benefit from implementing a normed survey asking a wide range of residents why they do not currently use the river.
Building upon the implication that residents do not use the river due to the quality of the river’s water and the smell, the author suggests that a river clean up will result in increased river usage. If the river’s water quality and smell result from problems which can be cleaned, this may be true. For example, if the decreased water quality and aroma is caused by pollution by factories along the river, this conceivably could be remedied. But if the quality and aroma results from the natural mineral deposits in the water or surrounding rock, this may not be true. There are some bodies of water which emit a strong smell of sulphur due to the geography of the area. This is not something likely to be afffected by a clean-up. Consequently, a river clean up may have no impact upon river usage. Regardless of whether the river’s quality is able to be improved or not, the author does not effectively show a connection between water quality and river usage.
A clean, beautiful, safe river often adds to a city’s property values, leads to increased tourism and revenue from those who come to take advantage of the river, and a better overall quality of life for residents. For these reasons, city government may decide to invest in improving riverside recreational facilities. However, this author’s argument is not likely significantly persuade the city goverment to allocate increased funding.
Reader Commentary for Essay Response — Score 6
This insightful response identifies important assumptions and thoroughly examines their implications. The essay shows that the proposal to spend more on riverside recreational facilities rests on three questionable assumptions, namely:
- that the survey provides a reliable basis for budget planning
- that the river’s pollution and odor are the only reasons for its limited recreational use
- that efforts to clean the water and remove the odor will be successful
By showing that each assumption is highly suspect, this essay demonstrates the weakness of the entire argument. For example, paragraph 2 points out that the survey might not have used a representative sample, might have offered limited choices, and might have contained very few questions on water sports.
Paragraph 3 examines the tenuous connection between complaints and limited use of the river for recreation. Complaints about water quality and odor may be coming from only a few people and, even if such complaints are numerous, other completely different factors may be much more significant in reducing river usage. Finally, paragraph 4 explains that certain geologic features may prevent effective river clean-up. Details such as these provide compelling support.
In addition, careful organization ensures that each new point builds upon the previous ones. For example, note the clear transitions at the beginning of paragraphs 3 and 4, as well as the logical sequence of sentences within paragraphs (specifically paragraph 4).
Although this essay does contain minor errors, it still conveys ideas fluently. Note the effective word choices (e.g., “rife with . . . assumptions” and “may have swayed residents”). In addition, sentences are not merely varied; they also display skillful embedding of subordinate elements.
Since this response offers cogent examination of the argument and conveys meaning skillfully, it earns a score of 6.
Essay Response — Score 5
The author of this proposal to increase the budget for Mason City riverside recreational facilities offers an interesting argument but to move forward on the proposal would definitely require more information and thought. While the correlations stated are logical and probable, there may be hidden factors that prevent the City from diverting resources to this project.
For example, consider the survey rankings among Mason City residents. The thought is that such high regard for water sports will translate into usage. But, survey responses can hardly be used as indicators of actual behavior. Many surveys conducted after the winter holidays reveal people who list exercise and weight loss as a top priority. Yet every profession does not equal a new gym membership. Even the wording of the survey results remain ambiguous and vague. While water sports may be among the residents’ favorite activities, this allows for many other favorites. What remains unknown is the priorities of the general public. Do they favor these water sports above a softball field or soccer field? Are they willing to sacrifice the municipal golf course for better riverside facilities? Indeed the survey hardly provides enough information to discern future use of improved facilities.
Closely linked to the surveys is the bold assumption that a cleaner river will result in increased usage. While it is not illogical to expect some increase, at what level will people begin to use the river? The answer to this question requires a survey to find out the reasons our residents use or do not use the river. Is river water quality the primary limiting factor to usage or the lack of docks and piers? Are people more interested in water sports than the recreational activities that they are already engaged in? These questions will help the city government forecast how much river usage will increase and to assign a proportional increase to the budget.
Likewise, the author is optimistic regarding the state promise to clean the river. We need to hear the source of the voices and consider any ulterior motives. Is this a campaign year and the plans a campaign promise from the state representative? What is the timeline for the clean-up effort? Will the state fully fund this project? We can imagine the misuse of funds in renovating the riverside facilities only to watch the new buildings fall into dilapidation while the state drags the river clean-up.
Last, the author does not consider where these additional funds will be diverted from. The current budget situation must be assessed to determine if this increase can be afforded. In a sense, the City may not be willing to draw money away from other key projects from road improvements to schools and education. The author naively assumes that the money can simply appear without forethought on where it will come from.
Examining all the various angles and factors involved with improving riverside recreational facilities, the argument does not justify increasing the budget. While the proposal does highlight a possibility, more information is required to warrant any action.
Reader Commentary for Essay Response — Score 5
Each paragraph in the body of this perceptive essay identifies and examines an unstated assumption that is crucial to the argument. The major assumptions discussed are:
- that a survey can accurately predict behavior
- that cleaning the river will, in itself, increase recreational usage
- that state plans to clean the river will actually be realized
- that Mason City can afford to spend more on riverside recreational facilities
Support within each paragraph is both thoughtful and thorough. For example, paragraph 2 points out vagueness in the wording of the survey: Even if water sports rank among the favorite recreational activities of Mason City residents, other sports may still be much more popular. Thus, if the first assumption proves unwarranted, the argument to fund riverside facilities — rather than soccer fields or golf courses — becomes much weaker. Paragraph 4 considers several reasons why river clean-up plans may not be successful (the plans may be nothing more than campaign promises or funding may not be adequate). Thus, the weakness of the third assumption undermines the argument that river recreation will increase and riverside improvements will be needed at all.
Instead of dismissing each assumption in isolation, this response places them in a logical order and considers their connections. Note the appropriate transitions between and within paragraphs, clarifying the links among the assumptions (e.g., “Closely linked to the surveys …” or “The answer to this question requires…”).
Along with strong development, this response also displays facility with language. Minor errors in punctuation are present, but word choices are apt and sentences suitably varied in pattern and length. The response uses a number of rhetorical questions, but the implied answers are always clear enough to support the points being made.
Thus, the response satisfies all requirements for a score of 5, but its development is not thorough or compelling enough for a 6.
Essay Response — Score 4
The problem with the arguement is the assumption that if the Mason River were cleaned up, that people would use it for water sports and recreation. This is not necessarily true, as people may rank water sports among their favorite recreational activities, but that does not mean that those same people have the financial ability, time or equipment to pursue those interests.
However, even if the writer of the arguement is correct in assuming that the Mason River will be used more by the city’s residents, the arguement does not say why the recreational facilities need more money. If recreational facilities already exist along the Mason River, why should the city allot more money to fund them? If the recreational facilities already in existence will be used more in the coming years, then they will be making more money for themselves, eliminating the need for the city government to devote more money to them.
According to the arguement, the reason people are not using the Mason River for water sports is because of the smell and the quality of water, not because the recreational facilities are unacceptable.
If the city government alloted more money to the recreational facilities, then the budget is being cut from some other important city project. Also, if the assumptions proved unwarranted, and more people did not use the river for recreation, then much money has been wasted, not only the money for the recreational facilities, but also the money that was used to clean up the river to attract more people in the first place.
Reader Commentary for Essay Response — Score 4
This competent response identifies two unstated assumptions:
- that cleaning up the Mason River will lead to increased recreational use
- that existing facilities along the river need more funding
Paragraph 1 offers reasons why the first assumption is questionable (e.g., residents may not have the necessary time or money for water sports). Similarly, paragraphs 2 and 3 explain that riverside recreational facilities may already be adequate and may, in fact, produce additional income if usage increases. Thus, the response is adequately developed and satisfactorily organized to show how the argument depends on questionable assumptions.
However, this essay does not rise to a score of 5 because it fails to consider several other unstated assumptions (e.g., that the survey is reliable or that the efforts to clean the river will be successful). Furthermore, the final paragraph makes some extraneous, unsupported assertions of its own. Mason City may actually have a budget surplus so that cuts to other projects will not be necessary, and cleaning the river may provide other real benefits even if it is not used more for water sports.
This response is generally free of errors in grammar and usage and displays sufficient control of language to support a score of 4.
Essay Response — Score 3
Surveys are created to speak for the people; however, surveys do not always speak for the whole community. A survey completed by Mason City residents concluded that the residents enjoy water sports as a form of recreation. If that is so evident, why has the river not been used? The blame can not be soley be placed on the city park department. The city park department can only do as much as they observe. The real issue is not the residents use of the river, but their desire for a more pleasant smell and a more pleasant sight. If the city government cleans the river, it might take years for the smell to go away. If the budget is changed to accomodate the clean up of the Mason River, other problems will arise. The residents will then begin to complain about other issues in their city that will be ignored because of the great emphasis being placed on Mason River. If more money is taken out of the budget to clean the river an assumption can be made. This assumption is that the budget for another part of cit maintenance or building will be tapped into to. In addition, to the budget being used to clean up Mason River, it will also be allocated in increasing riverside recreational facilites. The government is trying to appease its residents, and one can warrant that the role of the government is to please the people. There are many assumptions being made; however, the government can not make the assumption that people want the river to be cleaned so that they can use it for recreational water activities. The government has to realize the long term effects that their decision will have on the monetary value of their budget.
Reader Commentary for Essay Response — Score 3
Even though much of this essay is tangential, it offers some relevant examination of the argument’s assumptions. The early sentences mention a questionable assumption (that the survey results are reliable) but do not explain how the survey might have been flawed. Then the response drifts to irrelevant matters — a defense of the city park department, a prediction of budget problems and the problem of pleasing city residents.
Some statements even introduce unwarranted assumptions that are not part of the original argument (e.g., “The residents will then begin to complain about other issues” and “This assumption is that the budget for another part of city maintenance or building will be tapped into”). Near the end, the response does correctly note that city government should not assume that residents want to use the river for recreation. Hence, the proposal to increase funding for riverside recreational facilities may not be justified.
In summary, the language in this response is reasonably clear, but its examination of unstated assumptions remains limited and therefore earns a score of 3.
Essay Response — Score 2
This statement looks like logical, but there are some wrong sentences in it which is not logical.
First, this statement mentions raking water sports as their favorite recreational activities at the first sentence. However, it seems to have a ralation between the first sentence and the setence which mentions that increase the quality of the river’s water and the river’s smell. This is a wrong cause and result to solve the problem.
Second, as a reponse to the complaints from residents, the state plan to clean up the river. As a result, the state expects that water sports will increase. When you look at two sentences, the result is not appropriate for the cause.
Third, the last statement is the conclusion. However, even though residents rank water sports, the city government might devote the budget to another issue. This statement is also a wrong cause and result.
In summary, the statement is not logical because there are some errors in it. The supporting setences are not strong enough to support this issue.
Reader Commentary for Essay Response — Score 2
Although this essay appears to be carefully organized, it does not follow the directions for the assigned task. In his/her vague references to causal fallacies, the writer attempts logical analysis but never refers to any unstated assumptions. Furthermore, several errors in grammar and sentence structure interfere with meaning (e.g., “This statement looks like logical, but there are some wrong sentences in it which is not logical”).
Because this response “does not follow the directions for the assigned task” and contains errors in sentence structure and logical development, it earns a score of 2.
Essay Response — Score 1
The statement assumes that everyone in Mason City enjoys some sort of recreational activity, which may not be necessarily true. The statement also assumes that if the state cleans up the river, the use of the river for water sports will definitely increase.
Reader Commentary for Essay Response — Score 1
The brevity of this two-sentence response makes it fundamentally deficient. Sentence 1 states an assumption that is actually not present in the argument, and sentence 2 correctly states an assumption but provides no discussion of its implications. Although the response may begin to address the assigned task, it offers no development. As such, it is clearly “extremely brief … providing little evidence of an organized response” and earns a score of 1.
Для того, чтобы понять, чего от нас ожидают на секции Analytical Writing на GRE, лучшим решением есть прочесть внимательно примеры заданий и ответов, приведенные выше.
Проще всего понять, почему ответ заслужил единицу – одно-два предложения не являются достаточными, чтобы вообще раскрыть тему.
В принципе, основываясь на своем опыте, хочу сказать, что большинство претендентов, владеющие английским на достаточно высоком уровне, могут рассчитывать на оценку 4. Чтобы получить 5 или 6, нужно не просто пользоваться зазубренными с репетитором фразами, но и реально уметь красиво писать на английском и глубоко вникать в суть логических проблем и несоответствий, представленных в Analyse an Argument задании на GRE.
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