GRE Essays continued
As for the structure of the essay, keep in mind a rough draft as you proceed. It is best to start with an introduction, then write two-three paragraphs of actual content and then to give a brief conclusion. In the introduction you should mention the topic and your idea in brief. This tells the examiner that you have complete understanding of what you are handling, and have a clear distinct opinion to elaborate about. Try to make the introduction attractive by using some quote, or an anecdote or a thought provoking question. This will kindle the interest of the reader and he will pay more attention to your essay. But remember that you must not give undue importance to the introduction. It is just for the purpose of inciting interest and not for conveying your complete ideas. Keep it brief yet attractive.
Next comes the main body of the essay. In the following two-three paragraphs you must convey in totality all that you have to say. Give the most valid points first of all, followed by the lesser important ones. The different points must be in sync and well connected. The flow of the ideas should be such that each consecutive idea is well connected to the previous one. In fact a well structured essay is one in which one point leads to another, like a chain reaction. As for the different paragraphs, each should be about something distinctly different and your transitions should be clear yet connected. Also there should be a reason for starting a new paragraph; your structure should be justified.
The conclusion of the essay is as important as the introduction. Though the conclusion can be very brief, it can not be ignored. The conclusion should be in a separate paragraph and it should concisely sum up your point of view. It is the last part of your essay that the examiner will read, thus it will form a conclusive opinion in the mind of the examinee about your essay. The conclusion should be carefully worded; you should avoid giving very strong opinions. Also it should not convey that your interest in the essay has diminished and that you are eager to jump to the next question. It should tell the reader that you have given deep though to the topic and have invested in making your basic point clear. Also you can make use of phrases and quotes to make your conclusion attractive and intelligent.
The language that you use for your essay should be simple to understand. Since you are conveying your own opinion try to write the essay in the words which come naturally to you. Don't scratch your brain to write synonyms and phrases just for showing how well versed you are with the language. Difficult words which do not convey a clear meaning do not impress the examiners. Moreover they make the essay too formal. The idea is to write an essay which is simple and conversational, the examiner should not feel that he is reading the essay but instead he should feel that he is listening to you. But at the same time you should not be casual in your language. You should sound formal yet polite. Do not use slang and informal colloquial language, nor should you use abbreviations. Try to stay clear of humour or sarcasm. If they are not understood, they ruin your essay.
The use of proper English grammar is very important. You must use the correct structure and punctuation. Be careful about using the correct voice, tenses, reported speech, subject-verb agreement etc. Do not change the person; keep it consistent throughout the essay, no matter what person it is. Here again it is important to mention that the emphasis has to be on the reader. Even if your sentences are grammatically correct but fail to convey the meaning, it is useless. Keep the structure of sentences simple and if in doubt it is best to use short sentences. Also the sentences should vary in length to keep up the interest of the reader.
Gre Essay - Analysis of an Issue
In this section the examiner will look for logical reasoning, convincing examples, clarity of ideas, and focused outlook. Also he will prefer well justified use of sentence structure, vocabulary, phrases, idioms, similes etc. The examiner can ignore spellings, punctuation and grammar. He will be more interested in the content which will give an insight into your way of thinking and the systematic presentation of your thoughts.
Gre Essay - Analysis of an Argument
Here the examiner will look for your ability to identify the main points presented in the argument and to contradict them convincingly. The criticisms should be clear and distinct. The examiner should be able to make out on his own which point you are trying to negate. Your criticisms should be supported with enough evidence, reasons and examples. Here too the examiner will be more interested in the points you put up rather than the punctuation and grammar.
Lastly, the only key to being successful in writing a good essay is practice. You must write as many essays as possible, keeping in mind the word limit and the time limit. If you ignore these two aspects while preparing then no matter how well you write, you shall not be able to attempt this section successfully. So approach the correct source for preparation and start right away.
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