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Tips for Mastering the GRE Argument Essay

If you’re planning to take the GRE exam, you probably already know that the argument essay is an essential part of the test. In this section, you’ll be given an argument and asked to critique it. You’ll need to analyze the argument, identify its weaknesses, and suggest improvements.

The GRE argument essay isn’t like other types of essays you might have written in the past. It requires a special approach and a different set of skills. In this guide, you’ll find tips for mastering the GRE argument essay, so you can get the highest score possible.

Key Takeaways

  • The GRE argument essay is a critical part of the exam and requires a unique approach.
  • Understanding the structure of a GRE argument essay is essential before you begin.
  • Use strategies such as dissecting the prompt, outlining the argument, and identifying evidence.
  • Elements of a strong GRE argument essay include clear reasoning, supporting evidence, and a consideration of opposing views.
  • Avoid common mistakes, such as misinterpreting the argument, and manage your time effectively while writing the essay.

Understanding the GRE Argument Essay Task

Before you can tackle the GRE argument essay, you’ll need to understand what’s expected of you. The main purpose of this task is to assess your ability to analyze an argument critically. You’ll be given an argument, and you must evaluate its underlying assumptions and identify any logical fallacies or invalid reasoning.

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One essential aspect of the GRE argument essay is the prompt. Before you start writing, you must carefully read and analyze the prompt to identify the key points in the argument. Make sure to avoid relying on your personal opinions or biases and instead focus on the text.

The Structure of a GRE Argument Essay

The GRE argument essay typically follows a standard structure consisting of three main parts: an introduction, body, and conclusion.

In the introduction, set the stage for the rest of the essay by introducing the argument and providing essential context. This paragraph should grab the reader’s attention and clearly state your position.

In the body, you’ll need to dissect the argument and evaluate its underlying assumptions. Break the argument down into smaller pieces and carefully analyze each one. You’ll also need to identify any logical fallacies, unsupported assumptions, or counterexamples.

Finally, in the conclusion, restate your position and summarize your key points. This paragraph should leave the reader with a clear understanding of your argument and its underlying logic.

Strategies for Approaching the Task

Once you understand the structure of a GRE argument essay, you can begin to develop strategies to tackle the task effectively. There are several strategies you can use to approach the task, including:

  • Identify the argument’s assumptions and evaluate their validity.
  • Outline the key points of the argument, including its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Identify any instances of illogical reasoning, such as circular arguments or unsupported assumptions.
  • Consider opposing viewpoints and provide counterexamples.

One essential technique for approaching this task is to focus on evidence. Provide examples of the argument’s flaws or inconsistencies and support your position with evidence from the text.

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Elements of a Strong Argument

To write a compelling and persuasive GRE argument essay, you’ll need to include key elements that make your argument stand up to scrutiny. These elements include:

  • Clear reasoning that moves logically from the evidence to the conclusion.
  • Supporting evidence that is relevant and credible.
  • A consideration of opposing viewpoints, including counterarguments and potential objections.
  • A sophisticated use of language that conveys the complexity of the argument.

Make sure you avoid common mistakes, such as misinterpreting the argument or relying on unsupported assumptions. Instead, build a convincing argument that presents a clear and logical position on the issue.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

As with any type of academic writing, there are several common mistakes you’ll want to avoid when writing a GRE argument essay. These include:

  • Misinterpreting the argument or taking it out of context.
  • Failing to evaluate the evidence or relying on flawed assumptions.
  • Using an overly broad or unsophisticated argument.
  • Straying too far from the prompt or not answering the question asked.

Make sure you carefully read and analyze the prompt before starting to write. Keep your focus on the text and avoid including irrelevant or distracting information.

Time Management Tips

Finally, when writing the GRE argument essay, you’ll need to manage your time effectively. Keep in mind that you only have 30 minutes to complete this task, so it’s crucial to use your time wisely.

To manage your time effectively, focus on the structure of the essay and the key elements you need to include. Develop an outline before you begin writing to ensure that you stay on track and effectively use your 30 minutes.

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By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the GRE argument essay and get the highest score possible.


Q: What score do I need to pass the GRE argument essay?

A: The GRE argument essay is scored on a scale of 0-6, with half-point increments. Most graduate schools require a score of at least 4 on this section of the exam.

Q: What is a logical fallacy?

A: A logical fallacy is an error in reasoning that renders an argument invalid. Examples of common logical fallacies include circular reasoning, ad hominem attacks, and slippery slope arguments.

Q: Can I use personal examples in the GRE argument essay?

A: Avoid using personal examples or anecdotal evidence in the GRE argument essay. Instead, focus on evidence from the text and support your position with relevant and credible evidence.

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