GMAT Essay Suggestions: Three Keys to a Excessive AWA Rating

Most web sites, books, and take a look at prep programs providing GMAT Essay ideas do little greater than state the plain. Suggestions like “handle your time,” “construction your essay,” “use transitions,” and so on. apply to any timed writing project and ignore the specificity of the GMAT AWA, which requires that test-takers analyze an argument. With a view to obtain a excessive rating on the AWA, it’s subsequently important that test-takers perceive the weather of an argument and never simply the weather of excellent writing. The three GMAT Essay ideas launched beneath precede the weather of excellent writing: they’re vital for figuring out which concepts in an argument require better focus and for establishing a logical Essay construction.

GMAT Essay Tip #1: Perceive the Construction of an Argument

On the most simple stage, an argument consists of two parts: premises (additionally known as causes or grounds) and a conclusion (additionally known as a declare). The conclusion is the principle level the argument is making an attempt to persuade the viewers to simply accept (e.g., {that a} sure motion needs to be taken, that one of the best ways to perform “x” is by “y,” and so on.). The premises, then again, are the explanations or help used to justify the conclusion. Premises are statements believed to be true, however which haven’t been confirmed and should, in actual fact, be logically suspect. In a logically legitimate argument, the premises should be related to the conclusion and the conclusion should essentially comply with from the premises.

With a view to assist illustrate the excellence between an argument’s premises and conclusion, think about the next instance:

The marketplace for the luxury-goods trade is on the decline. Latest experiences present {that a} larger unemployment charge, coupled with client fears, has decreased the amount of cash the common family spends on each important and nonessential gadgets, however particularly on nonessential gadgets. Since luxurious items are, by nature, nonessential, this market would be the first to lower within the current financial local weather, and luxurious retailers ought to refocus their consideration to lower-priced markets.

On this argument, the conclusion is that “retailers ought to refocus their consideration to lower-priced markets.” The conclusion relies on the next premises: 1) that the upper unemployment charge and client fears has led to a lower within the buy of important and nonessential gadgets; 2) that luxurious items are non-essential gadgets, and; 3) that the decline within the buy of non-essential gadgets has been/will likely be better than the decline in important gadgets.

Recognizing the excellence between an argument’s conclusions and premises is critical to be able to precisely summarize an argument, decide which factors deserve emphasis, and successfully reveal an argument’s invalidity. In response to the GMAT scoring standards, to obtain a rating of 5 or 6 (the very best potential rating) on the AWA, the Essay should “clearly determine necessary options of the argument and analyze them insightfully.” It’s not possible to insightfully analyze an argument if you’re specializing in tangential factors and are unable to elucidate the connection between the assorted factors introduced.

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To raised perceive the issues that may come up from not understanding the construction of an argument, think about this introduction from an Essay on the above argument: “The argument that the luxurious items trade is on the decline on account of larger unemployment charges and client fears is just not logically convincing as a result of it will depend on three questionable assumptions.” On this case, the author confuses a single premise with “the argument” and fully fails to handle the conclusion of the argument – crucial level that accounts for why the opposite factors are related within the first place. Regardless of how well-written this Essay seems to be, it’s going to by no means earn a rating above a 3.5 or 4: it’s doomed from the start on account of the author’s incapacity to precisely summarize the argument and deal with its most necessary options.

GMAT Essay Tip #2: Critique the Premises Earlier than the Conclusion

This isn’t to recommend, then again, {that a} author shouldn’t deal with difficult an argument’s premises or that premises are unimportant elements of an argument. Nonetheless, it is very important do not forget that the target is to not problem a premise merely for its personal sake, however to sever the connection between the premise and the conclusion that the argument makes an attempt to ascertain.

As a result of an argument’s conclusion depends on the premises, it’s extra logical to start by first critiquing the premises earlier than tackling the conclusion head on. After mentioning an issue with a premise, nonetheless, the author wants to handle the connection (or lack thereof) between the premise and the argument’s conclusion by explaining how the precise downside recognized with the premise calls into query the argument’s conclusion.

To raised perceive the issues related to addressing the conclusion earlier than the premises, think about the next first two paragraphs from an essay:

The argument is made at a gathering of the administrators of an organization that manufactures components for heavy equipment, throughout a dialogue of the corporate’s declining revenues. Delays in manufacturing are believed to be the reason for the falling revenues as apparently each the delays in manufacturing and the decline in income occurred on the identical time. The manufacturing delays are attributed to the poor planning in buying metals by the buying supervisor, who has a wonderful background in enterprise, psychology, and sociology, however lacks a scientific understanding of metals. For that reason, it’s suggested that the corporate substitute the present supervisor with a scientist from the analysis division. This argument makes many assumptions and fails to supply details about different components that could possibly be liable for the failing revenues. Therefore, this argument is flawed and unconvincing.

Firstly, it assumes that the scientist from the analysis division would have all the mandatory prerequisite enterprise associated information required to run the buying division. It assumes that there is not going to be any issues close to the stock administration and that scientific information is ample to deal with the stock administration. That is unconvincing as no data is offered concerning the coaching that the scientist can be offered on the stock administration or concerning the potential transition of data from the supervisor to the scientist. The argument might be strengthened if details about coaching or transition is offered.

Whereas the author does a wonderful job summarizing the argument (maybe even in an excessive amount of element for an introduction) and clearly acknowledges how the conclusion emerges from a number of problematic premises, the author’s resolution to problem the conclusion within the second paragraph versus later within the Essay undercuts the author’s in any other case robust reasoning. Whereas the primary a number of sentences of the second paragraph make legitimate factors, the factors being made are all tangential to the principle points: the trigger(s) for the decline in income and the trigger(s) for the delays in manufacturing. By starting with the conclusion, the author within the above instance is implying the validity of the argument’s premises, for there isn’t any logical foundation for contemplating changing the current supervisor until each premises about the reason for the difficulties have been true. As paragraphs three and 4 truly problem each premises, the author is undercutting his/her personal critique by starting from a place the place each premises are implied to be legitimate.

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As a normal rule, it’s best to critique concepts in an argument within the order that they’re introduced in order that the connection between concepts might be critiqued as effectively (the exception being instances the place the conclusion of an argument is introduced earlier than the premises). Within the above instance, the author ought to have first challenged the concept that the decline in revenues is owing to the manufacturing delays, after which within the third paragraph challenged the premise that the supervisor’s lack of scientific background was liable for the manufacturing delays. The factors within the present second paragraph can be launched in a fourth paragraph, that might start with one thing like: “Even when we have been to simply accept that the decline in revenues is as a result of manufacturing delays, and that the current buying supervisor’s lack of scientific information has been liable for the manufacturing delays, there’s nonetheless no cause to consider that changing the current buying supervisor with a scientist is the perfect resolution… “

By critiquing the premises earlier than the conclusion, the author can be constructing momentum and logical power. The author’s critique of the premises would all be working to point out how the conclusion is problematic, and the conclusion of the Essay can be a lot stronger. The author would have a number of grounds for difficult the argument’s conclusion, versus the presently weak, tangential reasoning supplied in paragraph two.

GMAT Writing Tip #3: Know the Completely different Logical Fallacies

As there are near 150 official GMAT AWA subjects, it’s troublesome if not not possible to organize for the examination by writing a follow Essay on every. Neither is this actually mandatory or advisable. A greater strategy can be to familiarize your self with the widespread logical flaws, or logical fallacies, that seem within the official AWA subjects, to be able to instantly determine the main errors in reasoning within the argument you might be requested to critique in your official GMAT examination.

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For example, each premises within the argument above calling for the substitute of the buying supervisor are examples of the fallacy of false trigger: each premises posit a trigger and impact relationship between two separate occasions or circumstances primarily based merely on their coincidence in time or a correlation. A lot of the official AWA arguments repeat a handful of logical fallacies which are far simpler to memorize than the 100 plus arguments themselves.

Good GMAT prep programs and books will cowl the most typical fallacies (there’s inadequate area to do an sufficient job right here). When you memorize them, follow figuring out the actual fallacy in an argument by working by means of the listing of official subjects. Most significantly, follow explaining why a selected concept is logically invalid and the way the fallacy undermines the conclusion of the argument. As soon as once more, the purpose is to not merely level out that there’s particular logical fallacy in an argument, however moderately to elucidate how this specific logical fallacy calls into query the validity of the argument’s conclusion.

Hopefully the GMAT Essay ideas launched on this article assist make clear that what distinguishes a high-scoring from a low-scoring AWA is one thing much more substantial than a author’s capacity to construction their essay, use transitions, and keep away from grammatical errors. To jot down a wonderful critique of an argument, a author should perceive the construction of an argument and what constitutes a logically legitimate versus an invalid conclusion. Solely then can a author precisely summarize and successfully analyze the connection between the concepts introduced.

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