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GMAT AWA - Analytical Writing Strategies for 'Analysis of Issue' Task

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Strategies for GMAT AWA :
Analysis of Issue

Analysis of Issue in GMAT AWA
The 'Analysis of Issue' question in the GMAT AWA test assesses your ability to express thoughts clearly in writing. The 30-minute task requires you to think critically on a topic that briefly states an opinion / view on an issue of broad interest.

You are given only one 'Issue' topic. Your task is to plan and compose an effective, well-reasoned essay that presents any perspective(s) you desire on the selected topic. You may choose to accept, reject or qualify the claim briefly quoted in the topic. Take a few minutes at the start to think about the issue and plan your perspective. Similarly, take a few minutes at the end to review your essay and make necessary revisions.

Syvum's AAA Strategy to Author an Issue Essay
To author your essay, Syvum suggests the AAA Strategy consisting of three steps:

  • Assemble : The first step is to assemble your ideas in the form of brief points after carefully reading the claim made in the topic and understanding the issue involved. You may agree completely with the claim, agree partially or disagree absolutely. Think briefly first about your own experiences and observations, and then about other studies and readings. After deciding whether you wish to accept, reject or qualify the claim, generate reasons, evidence and examples by examining the claim from different standpoints, conditions and situations. You may define or qualify some terms in the topic, question some assumptions, show validity only under certain conditions, and present several relevant examples or a single extended example. The examples may be real or hypothetical.

    Although you have considerable freedom in the way you wish to respond (because there is no correct answer or proper position), always address the central issue and articulate a persuasive argument to support your own position on an issue.

  • Arrange : The second step is to arrange your ideas in a logical manner to provide a smooth flow of thought. You may serially number the assembled points for this purpose on scratch (rough) paper.

    You have complete freedom to develop and organize your essay in terms of content and form in any way you consider appropriate and effective. For example, you could start by briefly summarizing your position and then arguing the main points explicitly and in detail. Another possibility is to lead the reader logically to your position by describing a scenario, defining important terms in the topic, or raising a series of questions.

  • Author : The third and final step is to author your essay to provide a compelling case for the position you take. Here, it is important to pay attention to effective choice of words, fluency of language, cogency of ideas and clarity in communication. The number of examples or the number of paragraphs is relatively unimportant.

    Note that it is not the position you take that matters, but the skill you display in developing your position. To explore the complexity of an issue and fully develop the relevant ideas, develop answers to the following questions:

    • What is the central issue?
    • Do you agree completely, partially, or not at all with the claim?
    • Does the claim hold only in particular situations?
    • Are there any terms or concepts in the topic that need interpretation?
    • What assumptions are built into the claim? Are the assumptions reasonable?
    • What persuasive reasons support the position you are taking?
    • What single example or multiple examples provide strong evidence for the reasons?
    • Last but not the least, what reasons would others who might not agree with your position give and how would you acknowledge or defend those contrarian views?

    Reserve a few minutes at the end to review the essay for obvious errors and for the final polishing act.


PRACTICE IS VITAL !
Practise with as many topics from the published pool of topics by taking a position and jotting down relevant points. The Syvum AWA Issue Topics Preparation Material contains FOR (in favor of) and AGAINST (not in favor of) points on various topics that will help you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated. The points will assist you hone your critical thinking and persuasive writing skills to maximize your score on the GMAT.

For a few essays, write a full essay developing your position within the 30-minute time limit. Make sure you practise typing out essays on a computer terminal under timed conditions. You have no automatic spell check options available, so avoid spelling mistakes.

It may be beneficial to trade points on the same topic with other students and discuss one another's essays using Syvum's Discussion Boards. Further, it may be fruitful to see how each essay meets or misses the criteria for each score point in the scoring guide and determine areas of weakness for improvement.

Also, review the tutorials for the word processor and testing tools.

 
Check out Preparation Material for GMAT AWA Issue Topics.

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GMAT AWA Issue Topics Preparation

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