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GRE Revised General Test

Analytical Writing
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"Analyze an Issue" task

1. Critical thinking
2. Persuasive writing





PFW: Purposeful Free Writing

PFW: Purposeful Free Writing

2. ,


D: Definition of critical terms

C: Categories of critical terms and concepts
D: Domains that would be affected by the claim

G: To what groups of people is the claim valid?

C: Under what condition is the claim valid?

P: At what historical period is the claim valid?

R: Reasons that would probably lead people to come to such
a claim

I: Importance

B: Benefits

N: Necessity
E: Effects that would possibly be brought about by the claim

Example: Category C
Technology Humankind

(+) Benefits of technology improvement (Reason & Effect )

Making life more efficient

Elevating living standards

Freeing people from repetitive, boring and

dangerous work
Making life more efficient (Domain )




Marco Polo
Xuanzang / Hsuan-tsang: Buddhist scholar, translator and traveller
of the Tang Dynasty in China
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
fax (facsimile)

carrier pigeon

()Harmful effects(problems) of technology improvement

Traffic jams (Period / Effect )

Adversely affecting quality of living (Definition )

While they enjoy the comfort and banal luxury of their dwelling, they
do not realize that they are deprived of the necessities of life.
(NCE4-16 )
The modern city consists of monstrous edifices and of dark, narrow
streets full of petrol fumes and toxic gases, torn by the noise of the
taxicabs, lorries and buses, and thronged ceaselessly by great crowds.
However, there is an even more insidious kind of pollution that
particularly affects urban areas and invades our daily lives, and that is
noise. Burglar alarms going off at any time of the day or night serve
only to annoy passers-by and actually assist burglars to burgle. Car
alarms constantly scream at us in the street and are a source of
profound irritation. (NCE3-47)
Lawn mowers whining on a summers day, vehicles of al kinds,
especially large container trucks thundering through quiet village,
planes and helicopters flying overhead, large radios carried round in
public places and played at maximum volume. (NCE3-47)
build / figure

paunch / beer belly

junk food
food safety
drainage oil, which is recycled from the garbage and notorious for its
low quality
the 2008 Chinese milk scandal: The industrial chemical melamine,
which can cause acute kidney failure, was added to infant formula to
make it appear to have a higher protein content.

Invading personal privacy (Effect )

Making human lives (and the society as a whole)

unstable and unsafe (Effect )

As is often pointed out, knowledge is a two-edged weapon which can

be used equally for good or evil. It is now being used indifferently for
both. (NCE4-22 )
Could any spectacle, for instance, be more grimly whimsical than that
of gunners using science to shatter mens bodies while, close at hand,
surgeons use it to restore them? We have to ask ourselves very
seriously what will happen if this twofold use of knowledge, with its
ever-increasing power, continues. (NCE4-22 )
As Sir Francis Bacon once pointed out, knowledge is power. Power
can be used for good or evil; and since the genie that brings new
knowledge is already out of the bottle, we must learn to direct the use
of the resultant power rather than curse the genie or try to confine
him. (TWE model essay )
Although mankind has undergone no general improvement in
intelligence or morality, it has made extraordinary progress in the
accumulation of knowledge. ... What is called modern civilization is
not the result of a balanced development of all mans nature, but of
accumulated knowledge applied to practical life. (NCE4-22)

Social problems: unemployment (Effect )


: Position
(2~5): Topic sentence

2) (Position)

1. T+P(+R)

Topic + Position (+ Reason)


Some people believe that in order to thrive, a society must put its own overall success before the
well-being of its individual citizens. Others believe that the well-being of a society can only be
measured by thegeneralwelfare ofallits people.
Some people believe that a society has to place its overall success before the well-being of its
members to achieve prosperity, whereas others believe that the only benchmark of the well-being
ofasociety is thegeneral welfareofallits people.

2. T + Cc + P
Topic + Concession + Position
+ +
3. T+A+P
Topic + Assumption + Position

+ +
4. T+Cp+P
Topic + Complexity + Position
+ +
5. T+Ct+P
Topic + Controversy + Position
6. Q+A+P
Question + Answer+ Position
7. P+R(+E)
Position + Reason(+ Example)

1. B+P
Background + Position
2. O+P
Old-saying + Position
As an old Chinese saying goes, happiness comes alone while
misfortune loves company.
3. E + P
Example + Position




Topic sentence
Reasoning (why)


Specialists are necessary in order to allow society as a whole to

properly and usefully assimilate the masses of new information and
knowledge that have come out of research and have been widely
disseminated through mass global media.
Disagreement can also inhibit learning when two opponents disagree
on fundamental assumptions needed for meaningful discourse and

in one sense, in another
for one thing, for another
in the first place, in the second place
first(ly) / to begin with / to start with / first of all / first and foremost,
further; furthermore
moreover; besides
what is more; also()

in addition; additionally
not only, but (also)... (as well)
although / while / even though ...
in spite of / despite / notwithstanding (the fact that) ...
it is true that...; admittedly ...; granted (that)...; of course ...
there is no doubt that ...; undoubtedly ...
may; seem; appear; sound; seemingly; on the surface ...
concede / admit / acknowledge ...
however; but; yet; nevertheless; nonetheless; at the same time ...

unless A, B
if not A, then B
... cannot / can never do sth.
no A, no B

without sth.

to give an example and brief introduction

Hsuan-tsang, Buddhist scholar, translator and traveller of the Tang

Dynasty in China
Marco Polo, an Italian traveller whose writings gave Europeans
their first knowledge of life in the Far East




1) Concession (C)
2) Reprise of Position (R)

3) Explanation (E)
4) Double negation (D)
1) RE / RD / DR etc.
2) CRD / CDR / DCR / DRE etc.
The best way to overcome itso at least it seems to meis to make
your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit
the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly
merged in the universal life.
3) DCRE / ECRD etc.
4) C, D, E:
e.g. REE / CCRD / DDRE etc.






1) : more ... than ...; less ... than ...; A rather than B(A>B);
instead of B, A(A>B)
2) : A B
1) DCDRE ()
2) Positive Vs. Negative AB
3) Comparability()

Example: [A] 19
A: Problems of today
(+)The resolution of some problems of today is urgent and
critical for the survival of a society. (Reason: Importance /
e.g. mass unemployment;
high inflation;
the peoples livelihood;
natural calamities;
the global financial crisis: stock market crashes and bank bailouts in
late 2008
() Overemphasis upon some existing problems could cause
harmful effects. (Effect)
e.g. economic reform of China: environmental pollution; official
corruption; improper distribution of resources; the widening gap
between rich and poor ...
B: Problems of the future
(+) The efforts to solve problems of the future is sometimes
of paramount importance for the avoidance of potential
threats or even catastrophes we can anticipate. (Reason:

Importance / Necessity)
His acceptance of bribes led to his arrest.
The seizure of American hostages in Iran in November 1979 and the
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan a month later were watershed events
in the global approach of the Carter administration. (American
Foreign Policy and Process by James M. McCormick)
The sea bed was scoured with powerful nets and there was
tremendous excitement on board when a chest was raised from the
bottom. (NCE3-32)
There is always hope that in its labyrinth of musty, dark, disordered
rooms a real rarity will be found amongst the piles of assorted junk
that little the floors. (NCE3-34)
While the quality of legal journalism varies greatly, there is an undue
reliance amongst many journalists on interpretations supplied to
them by lawyers. (Graduate School Entrance Examination 2007)
e.g. education
sustainable development
environmental protection
infrastructure construction
() Overestimation of future problems can threaten social
stability and national integrity. (Effect)
e.g. the Cold War arms race and the dissolution of the Soviet Union
() The consequences of some research are unclear.
(Domain / Effect)
e.g. cloning; genetic engineering: genetically modified foods(GM
foods); morals and ethics

A = B

1) : because (of), since, for, :, ;, thus, hence, therefore ...
2) :
(+) AB
1) A

3) B
() AB
1) A
2) assumption
4) B
(+ )
1) feasibility

Example: [D] 56
(+) Discoveries are often made by accident. (Category /
E.g. Christopher Columbus: the discovery of North America
Alexander Fleming: the discovery of penicillin
This applies particularly to chemical industries, where chance
discoveries play a much larger part than they do in physical and
mechanical industries. (NCE4-15)
Legend has it that the antibiotic penicillin is a chance discovery by
British bacteriologist Sir Alexander Fleming.
archaeology and geology
() Many important discoveries are based on laborious
work, not accident. (Category / Domain)
E.g. Isaac Newton: laws of motion
Madame Curie: the discovery of Radium
() In stark contrast to discoveries, creations are mostly
sought for purposefully. (Category / Domain)
E.g. Thomas Edison: the creation of the first light bulb
The Wright brothers: the invention of the airplane
The creations of works of art, literature works etc.


() The speakers contention, overstating the role of

serendipity and underrating the significance of
industriousness and imagination, if widely accepted, may
hamper the progress of civilization. (Effect)

(+) Discoveries
() Discoveries
() Creations
() Effects

1) the way to ... is to ...
2) (in order) to ... should / must ...
3) through / by ...
1) topic issue
2) topic solution
(+) Topic solution
() Topic solution
() Feasibility
() Other solutions

Example: [B] 77
(+) Fashion culture is best represented by the trends of
youth. (Definition / Category)
e.g. fashionable clothes, hairstyles and ideas
MAGIC: music, animation, game, internet and comics
() other solutions: Culture is a complex concept that has

hosts of different facets, some of which may be best

represented by youth and some may not. Thus, to get a
comprehensive understanding of contemporary culture,
methods other than the study of youngsters may prove
indispensable. (Definition / Category)

Mainstream culture
adults, seniors: Adults and seniors are primary producers of
fortune, and are also primary consumers of mainstream
culture. (Category / Domain)

Domestic culture
tradition and custom (Category / Domain)
e.g. traditional festivals: Thanksgiving Day, Halloween,
Carnival ...

Example: [B] 2
(+) Studying a societys major cities is indeed an effectual
way to understand its main characteristics. (Reason:
E.g. NYC: New York City

Business society
The business of America is business.
the Wall Street, NYSE: the New York Stock Exchange, the
Madison Avenue, the Time Square ...

Racial diversity

American history

() other solutions

To get a deeper understanding of the characteristics

of a society, the study of small and medium-sized
cities where tradition is well preserved is of equal
importance. (Domain)

Studies focused on a host of other subjects, say,

youth and seniors, customs and culture are also

essential for a comprehensive understanding of a

societys major characteristics. (Domain)

1) , sth. is important; it is necessary to do sth. ...


(+ ) feasibility

Example[A] 63
The potential extinction of some species has nothing to do
with human activities. (Domain)
Some urgent problems of human society have higher
priority than the protection of endangered species.(Reason:
E.g. mass unemployment, high inflation, natural calamities,
financial crisis, extreme poverty, famine, diseases ...
Thousands of species go extinct in the world every year: it is

far beyond human capability to save them all. (Reason:

The pending extinction of some species are caused by
anthropogenic factors, directly or indirectly. (Reason:
e.g. the Siberian Tiger; the Tibetan Antelope; the African Elephant ...
e.g. The extinction of the dodo, a flightless bird endemic to the Indian
Ocean island of Mauritius, was directly attributable to human
Be some species naturally extinct, there is still sufficient
justification for society to save them. (Reason: Necessity)
e.g. God blessed them; and God said to them, Be fruitful and
multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of
the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that
moves on the earth. (Genesis 1:28)
the giant panda
the koala bear
Some species offer to humanity great benefits, some of
which may not have been recognized yet. (Importance /
The shape and dimensions of the skyscrapers depend entirely on the
necessity of obtaining the maximum income per square foot of
ground, and of offering to the tenants offices and apartments that
please them.
e.g. rubber tree (latex)



[B] 62
: the way to ... is to ...
(in order) to ... should / must ...
through / by ...
: 1 topic issue 2 topic solution
(+) Topic solution
() Topic solution
() Feasibility
() Other solutions
(+) Specific social and historical circumstances and
demands are fundamental extrinsic conditions for the
creation of a great leader. (Domain: Condition / Period)
e.g. 1. George Washington
Economy: taxation (tea-tax)
Politics: land property
the American War of Independence / the American
e.g. 2. Abraham Lincoln
Economy: Industrialization
Politics: the Abolition of Slavery
e.g. 3. Franklin Roosevelt
Economy: the Great Depression & the New Deal
Politics: World War II
(+) Topic solution
() Topic solution
() Feasibility
() Other solutions

() Broadly speaking, leaders may be divided into two

classes: those who are created by demands placed upon
them, and those who are self-created through hard work
and achievements. Fortunes favored children belong to the
former, whereas the latter, I believe, are the majority.
Broadly speaking, human beings may be divided into three classes:
those who are toiled to death, those who are worried to death, and
those who are bored to death. (NCE4-46)
Of these the former are the majority. ... (NCE4-46)
But Fortunes favoured children belong to the second class. ...
() It is true that exterior demands are golden
opportunities for a man to be a leader, but such chances
cannot come up every day or be swiftly improvised by a
mere command of will. (Domain: Condition)
But this is not a business that can be undertaken in a day or swiftly
improvised by a mere command of the will. (NCE4-46)
()other solutions
Winston Churchill
British politician and Prime Minister, widely regarded as the
greatest British leader of the 20th century.
His courage, decisiveness, political experience and enormous
vitality enabled him to lead the country through the Second World
While extrinsic demands are important, intrinsic virtues,
such as courage, decisiveness, experience and enormous
vitality are indispensable for the greatness of a leader.
(Domain: Condition)

[B] 11
(+)There is no absolute choice. (Definition)
(+)Some predestined conditions do defy choice. (Category /
Domain: Condition)
e.g. features, stature, intelligence
the family into which one was born
Life is not fair, get used to it.
Bill Gates
laws of Nature
() Although some inherent conditions cannot be chosen
and our freedom is limited by physical reality and the laws
of Nature, in most situations we do have an infinite number
of choices. (Category / Domain: Condition)
() Even under the most severe circumstances, we still have
limited free will to choose what we think is right. (Domain:
When people claim that life has forced them to take certain actions,
it is nothing more than a flimsy excuse: what they lack is not choice
but determination and persistence, which are wholly under our
Abraham Lincoln
Zhang Haidi

Franklin Roosevelt

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Calvin Coolidge
Since actions and performances are not wholly in our power and
since nothing is really in our power but our will it is on the will
that all the rules and duties of man are based and established.
Michel de Montaigne
() Absence of choice implies that there is no morality, no
right and wrong, no good and evil and no one has to be
responsible for his/her behavior. (Effect)

e.g. If a bank robber is destined to rob a bank, why should he be

punished because of something he has to do?
Free Will vs. Determinism
I do not believe in freedom of will. Schopenhauers words, Man can
indeed do what he wants, but he cannot want what he wants,
accompany me in all life situations and console me in my dealings
with people, even those that are really painful to me. This
recognition of the unfreedom of the will protects me from taking
myself and my fellow men too seriously as acting and judging
individuals and losing good humor.
Albert Einstein

[A] 10
(A+) To preserve wilderness areas in their natural state can
lessen anthropogenic disturbance to Nature, which is of
great importance to the environmental conservation and
ecological equilibrium. (Reason: Importance)
e.g. Amazon Rainforest: Lungs of our Planet; unparalleled
(A+) It also serves to reserve the spectacular beauty of the
earth for posterity. (Reason: Benefits / Effect)
(A-) It could hamper economic development, which is a
considerable disadvantage for many underdeveloped
countries. (Effect / Domain: Condition)
(B+) The preservation of wilderness areas and economic
gain are not necessarily mutually exclusive. (Category /
Domain: Condition)
e.g. eco-tourism: raising funds for environmental protection;
Yellowstone National Park


(B-) Large scale development of tourism could cause

harmful effects. (Effect / Domain: Condition)
e.g. constructions; pollution; exhaust fumes; waste; noise
(B) Destruction of wilderness areas for the sake of
economic gain could cause environmental and ecological
disasters. (Effect)
e.g. deforestation

[B] 69
accurate understanding of information (Definition /


information regarding national security (Category / Reason:

to avoid unnecessary disturbance or panic (Category /
Reason: Necessity)
to defend the leaders authority (Category / Reason:

information concerning daily lives of the public (Category /

Reason: Necessity)
Coping with certain emergencies requires instant
information publication. (Category / Reason: Necessity)
to maintain democracy, avoid autocracy and corruption
(Category / Reason: Importance)
to create public trust in the government (Category / Reason:

[F] 18
(+) Questioning authority is essential for the advance in

science. (Domain: Condition / Reason: Necessity)

Some theories may become out-of-date.
Some theories have inherent drawbacks.
e.g. Galileo
He was, above all, a man who experimented: who despised the
prejudices and book learning of the Aristotelians, who put his
questions to nature instead of to the ancients, and who drew his
conclusions fearlessly. He had been the first to turn a telescope to the
sky, and he had seen there evidence enough to overthrow Aristotle
and Ptolemy together. (NCE4-32)
He was the man who climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa and dropped
various weights from the top, who rolled balls down inclined planes,
and then generalized the results of his many experiments into the
famous law of free fall. (NCE4-32)
Challenges to scientific authority are not necessarily from a large
number of people: a few prominent figures often suffice.
(+) When it comes to the arts, it is also necessary to
challenge established forms and styles, otherwise the realm
of the arts would be stagnant and society worse off.
(Domain: Condition / Reason: Necessity)
e.g. Isadora Duncan; Auguste Rodin; Alfred Hitchcock ...
(+) Challenges to political authority are indispensable to
enhance the well-being of a society and they must come
from many people. (Domain: Condition / Reason:
() To avoid vicious challenges (Category)
() Undue question may stray from the primary goal of
humanity. (Condition / Effect)

[F] 6
(A+) Some basic subjects should be designated by the state

in order that every student is equally equipped for college

instructions, and college administrators and faculties can
work out appropriate curricula and select course materials
neither beyond nor below the students level. (Category /
Reason: Necessity)
(B+) Aside from a basic curriculum imposed by the nation,
some courses of regional significance should be flexible to
ensure that students are fully prepared for their future
careers. (Category / Domain: Condition)

[F] 65
(+) Disobedience of law is a sublime virtue under certain
circumstances. (Domain: Period)

War crime
e.g. Schindlers List
the Counterfeiters

() Problems of topic solution

How to define just and unjust. People may have different

criteria in their judgment. (Assumption / Feasibility)

May result in social disturbance and chaos (Effect)

() Feasibility
() Other solutions



Mass media

Issue Preparing Strategies

:; ;


4. (8,30~40)
6. ()
(2~5, 3~10,)
7. 2~3
, , PFW,