The GRE Analytical Writing section is one of the sections of the exam that tests your analytical writing and critical thinking skills through two topics —Analyse an Issue task and Analyse an Argument task. Moreover, since it’s highly subjective, scoring in this section might be difficult but with consistent practice nothing is impossible. Hence, through this article, we will help you with some GRE Analytical Writing tips to make your study preparation easier. However, first let’s give you an overview of the AWA section.
Analytical Assessment Writing (AWA) Section
The Analytical Writing section consists of two tasks as mentioned above — Analyse an Issue task and Analyse an Argument task. These tasks test your writing skills, grammar, vocabulary and syntax. In addition, both these tasks expect you to draft your responses with a coherent structure, utilising your critical thinking and analytical skills as well.
Before we delve into the tips for this section, let us first understand what these tasks require you to do. The Analyse an Issue task presents to you an issue. It makes a claim on any general topic, and your task is to analyse this claim and draft an opinionated essay. The Analyse an argument task, on the other hand, consists of a paragraph and a set of instructions. The paragraph describes an argument over a certain topic. Your task is to follow the instructions accordingly and analyse the argument. You are required to use logical analysis and justify the claims you are trying to make.
GRE Analytical Writing Tips:
Here are some tips to help you ace the Analytical writing section:
- It is imperative to understand the task thoroughly before you attempt to draft the essay for both the topics. Make sure to allot some reading time so that you can read at least twice or even thrice before you begin drafting the answer.
- Structure is essential while writing your essay. The argument you are trying to make will hold no value if there is no flow and structure to it. Hence, take a minute or two to draft a rough outline of your essay with all important points that you want to focus on.
- Make sure each of the paragraphs includes a single focus point. Do not overcrowd the paragraph with too many focus points. This will lead to a lot of chaos, hence, make sure the paragraphs are short and precise.
- Avoid being the cat on the wall. When you are drafting your essays for both the tasks, avoid taking the middle ground or being diplomatic. The evaluators will expect a strong and opinionated argument, so don’t shy away from voicing your opinion.
- Support your arguments. Each argument can be communicated better when you exhaust it with supporting examples. The argument needs to stand on a solid foundation, so provide all the sufficient information you might need to validate your argument.
GRE Analytical Writing Argument Tips:
In this section, we will list a couple of tips for the GRE Analytical Writing Argument section.
Avoid first-person reference: While drafting your essay, avoid the usage of “I believe” or “ I think” or even “in my opinion”. It is automatically assumed that the essay will be written from a first person perspective, hence usage of “I” proves to be redundant.
Structure your argument well: The Argument task will have several claims and assumptions. Make it a point to discuss these assumptions, before you move on to criticise it or prove that the argument is flawed. This will lead to a flow in the paragraphs and provide you a premise to begin making your point.
Scan the question for any errors: Since your task would entail arguing the claims made in the Argument section, you have to scan the question several times and make a note of any errors you might find. These errors can be generalizations, data discrepancies, or even inadequate information provided. Identifying these errors will make it a lot easier for you to criticize them and justify your critical analysis.
Provide suggestions: A brilliant way to validate your argument is providing suggestions on how the argument could have strengthened. You can point out the fallacies you have noticed in the argument and suggest alternate ways to replace and revamp the argument. This in turn strengthens your critical voice in the essay, therefore making it a commendable one.
We hope these GRE Analytical Writing tips help in your preparation. And, as we have always mentioned, consistent practice will always get you through the exam. So, go on, start practicing, keeping these tips in mind and ace the GRE AWA section.