The GRE Analyze an Argument is one of the two tasks included in the Analytical Writing section of the GRE test. This argument task measures your ability to access and evaluate a given argument based on specific instructions. Unlike the Analyse an Issue task — that requires you to present a claim and support that with evidence — here, you have to check the logical soundness of an argument made by the author. You need to craft a response by carefully evaluating the arguments and evidence presented.
Now that you know what the Analyze an argument task is, let’s take you through some factors to consider while doing this task. Moreover, we will also provide some strategies to answer this section as well in the article. So, read on!
Factors to Consider While Doing the Analyze an Argument Task
- Pay attention to the examples or proof given to support the author’s claim
- Thoroughly check the claim made by the author
- Check for the claims or assumptions without proof
- Understand the hidden meaning (what the author expects you to know from what is stated)
As mentioned, you have to evaluate the argument of another writer and check if it is logically correct and write a response (in English). By doing this task, you demonstrate your critical thinking and analytical writing skills — both important for your higher degrees and future job opportunities. Besides, these skills can only be improved by constantly practicing GRE Analyze an Argument sample essays.
Strategies to Ace the AWA Argument Task
The GRE Analyze an Argument task requires you to understand the hidden inadequacies from a given prompt and identify whether it is logically correct. For eg., take the following GRE Analyze an Argument prompt from the official GRE website.
“Over the past year, the Crust Copper Company (CCC) has purchased over 10,000 square miles of land in the tropical nation of West Fredonia. Mining copper on this land will inevitably result in pollution and, since West Fredonia is the home of several endangered animal species, in environmental disaster. But such disasters can be prevented if consumers simply refuse to purchase products that are made with CCC’s copper unless the company abandons its mining plans.”
Here, the task asks you to evaluate and write whether the argument and supporting evidence is logically correct or not. Constant practice is the only way to craft a response and critically analyse a passage correctly.
Given below are some tips that’ll help you craft a good response.
- Write a short intro – Start with a short, powerful introduction. Never try to use more attention-grabbing words. This will convolute your writing and make it hard to understand. Hence, use the correct vocabulary and write a short, to-the-point introduction.
- Disagree with the author’s claim – In most cases, the Analyze an argument presents a claim that is flawed. Logically thinking, the goal of this task itself is to analyze the argument and check its correctness. Hence, you are not supposed to agree with the author’s claim. Remember, the evaluators don’t expect you to write about how perfect the argument is, but why the claim and the evidence are wrong and how you can prove it.
- Pay close attention to logical fallacies – The Argument task is often filled with logical fallacies. The author might have made claims without proof. It’s your duty to identify those fallacies and prove the argument is incorrect.
- Focus on two or three faults – You might have identified several faults in the task prompt. However, getting carried away by all the inconsistencies could make your essay hard to grasp. Hence, focus on the glaring assumptions and write a well-crafted response describing why the argument is incorrect and what are the ways to correct it. Likewise, you can choose upto three fallacies and construct a response.
- Follow a structure – An essay without a proper structure yields poor results. Hence, maintain a proper structure for your essay. Start with a short introduction, divide your main body part into meaningful paragraphs, use transition words to hook the readers, and conclude the essay by summarizing the essay.
The AWA section doesn’t contribute to the overall GRE score. It is scored separately on a scale of 0 and 6 in half-point increments. For this reason, most applicants consider the section easy to crack. However, a below-average score in the section can affect your admission, especially if the colleges you apply to have an AWA score cut off. Hence, it is essential that you give equal importance to AWA, just as Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.
We hope the above information helps you in preparing and practicing GRE Analyze an Argument essay questions. Good luck!