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A Template Approach to the GMAT Essay

A Template Approach to the GMAT Essay

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Published by: api-3805723 on Oct 17, 2008
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A Template Approach to the GMAT Essay

You will be given an essay topic that ETS expects to be debatable. In other words, about half of the people will
agree with one side, while the other half will agree with the other side.ETS will not give you a topic that most
people agree on. For example, you will not see a topic asking you to give your opinion on the value of
education for children, nor on whether or not the government should have programs to decrease the number of
the drug users.

However, you might see an essay topic asking you to give your opinion on school vouchers, for example, or you
might see a topic asking you to pick whether you think it is primarily the government's or the family\u2019s
responsibility to prevent drug use among children.
In general, do not take one side of the argument completely. A good rule of thumb is to argue your opinion at
about 60 percent or 70 percent. I should emphasize this\u2014even if you believe you are one hundred percent
correct, you should still pretend that you are 60 or 70 percent correct.

Although the GMAT essay scorers are trained to forgive certain mistakes given the time constraints of the essay, ETS can be very picky. Pay attention to your grammar, spelling, and logicalsequence, just to name a few. How can you improve your score? ETS also looks for sentence variety and ability to use language. I will show you some simple ways to do this\u2014really, it's not that hard!

OK, here we go.
One Way

First of all, you have to figure out why they chose this as a topic. Remember\u2014not everybody will agree, in fact
it should be about 50/50. This is your hint. Try to find about five points for and against each side (ten points
total). Don't worry if you think that your points are stupid or trivial. The important thing right now is just to get
some ideas down on paper, to start your brain working.

Second, figure out which side you are going to take. Duh.
Third, start writing! Don\u2019t worry about an introduction or a conclusion right now\u2014they are the hardest to write
and everybody gets hung up on them. Just get your ideas down first.

Next, make sure you have about three or four paragraphs. You should be thinking about adding some examples now. Try to make one personal, maybe from your country and another one either international or American (the idea is that most educated Americans will have heard about the topic before). Don\u2019t make your examples too personal! Imagine your prospective boss is reading this.

Now, go back and spice up your language\u2014add something witty, an illustrative anecdote, a rhetorical question, even sarcasm or irony. Also, try changing the order of some of your sentences, i.e., put the subordinate clause first.

Almost done! Write your intro and conclusion!
Last, check grammar and spelling. Viola! A perfect essay!
Okay, let\u2019s try the essay now.
First Paragraph: Introduction

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