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Tips for Mastering the Analytical Writing Section of the GRE

Part of the The GRE Test For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When you sit down to begin the Analytical Writing section of the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), you must argue your perspective on an issue presented in the test and to analyze an argument as well.

Keep these tips in mind as you do your analytical writing:

  • Answer the question specifically, making your opinion known to the readers in the introductory paragraph.

  • Use all 45 minutes to create a three- to five-paragraph essay, giving supporting reasons and examples for your perspective (and anticipating and addressing counterarguments).

  • Create a final paragraph that summarizes, not merely repeats, the points of your essay.

When you analyze an argument, use these pointers:

  • Identify the assumptions the writer is making and discuss how reasonable they are.

  • Provide outside counterexamples or supporting information to strengthen or weaken the argument.

  • Avoid giving your opinion on the topic; the point here is to discuss how well-argued the essay is as written.

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