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awintro2 - An Introduction to the Analytical Writing...

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An Introduction to the Analytical Writing Section of the GRE General Test This publication includes a description of the GRE analytical writing section, strategies for each task, scoring information, scoring guides, score level descriptions, a sample test, and essay responses with reader commentary. Task 1: Present Your Perspective on an Issue Task 2: Analyze an Argument
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Table of Contents Overview of the Analytical Writing Section 3 Preparing for the Analytical Writing Section 3 Test-Taking Strategies for the Analytical Writing Section 4 How the Analytical Writing Section is Scored 4 Present Your Perspective on an Issue Task Understanding the Issue Task 6 Understanding the Context for Writing: Purpose and Audience 6 Preparing for the Issue Task 6 Deciding Which Topic to Choose 8 The Form of Your Response 8 Sample Issue Topic 8 Strategies for this Topic 8 Essay Responses and Reader Commentary 9 Analysis of an Argument Task Understanding the Argument Task 15 Understanding the Context for Writing: Purpose and Audience 15 Preparing for the Argument Task 16 How to Interpret Numbers, Percentages, and Statistics in Argument Topics 17 The Form of Your Response 17 Sample Argument Topic 18 Strategies for this Topic 18 Essay Responses and Reader Commentary 18 Sample Test 23 Scoring Guides 27 Score Level Descriptions 29 Copyright 2003 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. EDUCATIONAL TESING SERVICE, the ETS logos, GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATIONS, GRE, and POWEPREP are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service.
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3 Overview of the Analytical Writing Section The analytical writing section is a new section of the GRE General Test introduced beginning in October 2002 that tests your critical thinking and analytical writing skills. It assesses your ability to articulate and support complex ideas, analyze an argument, and sustain a focused and coherent discussion. It does not assess specific content knowledge. The analytical writing section consists of two separately-timed analytical writing tasks: a 45-minute "Present Your Perspective on an Issue" task a 30-minute "Analyze an Argument" task You will be given a choice between two Issue topics. Each states an opinion on an issue of broad interest and asks you to discuss the issue from any perspective(s) you wish, so long as you provide relevant reasons and examples to explain and support your views. You will not have a choice of Argument topics. The Argument task presents a different challenge from that of the Issue task: it requires you to critique a given argument by discussing how well reasoned you find it. You will need to consider the logical soundness of the argument rather than to agree or disagree with the position it presents. The two tasks are complementary in that one requires you to construct your own argument by taking a position and providing evidence supporting your views on the issue, whereas the other requires you to critique someone else's argument by assessing its claims and evaluating the evidence it provides.
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