Jump to a New ChapterIntroductionMeet GRE MathMath 101Problem SolvingQuantitative ComparisonsData InterpretationMeet GRE VerbalSentence CompletionsReading ComprehensionAntonymsAnalogiesMeet GRE EssaysThe Issue EssayThe Argument EssayPracticing with Practice TestsThe Future of the GRETop 15 GRE Test Day TipsFinal Thought
 13.1 Argument Essay X-Ray 13.2 Argument fundamentals 13.3 argument essay step method

 13.4 A Sample “6” Argument Essay 13.5 A Sample “3” Argument Essay
A Sample “6” Argument Essay
Below is our sample argument topic, which we’ve been working with throughout this chapter:

Studies show that, as we’ve become more technically advanced, our health has deteriorated rapidly. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and virtually every major ailment are far more common today than they were thirty years ago. The primary reason for this deterioration is the sedentary lifestyle associated with today’s high-tech jobs. Clearly, our health will continue to decline as long as we persist in our technological advances.

As you read the sample response, notice how we’ve marked certain sentences and paragraphs to illustrate where and how the essay conforms to our template. The info in brackets should remind you of what your own Argument essay needs to include.
Why This Essay Deserves a “6”
Now we’ll take a look at what makes this essay so deserving of a “6.” First, we need to assess whether this essay contains proper structure, as well as the cast of characters needed for a “6” Argument essay. Here they are again:
• An Argument
• Evidence
• Varied Sentence Structure
• Facility with Language
The essay is definitely organized, with all three assumptions clearly stated in Act I and analyzed in Act II. The analyses in Act II certainly show how the implications of the assumptions might make the conclusion invalid. Finally, Act III states the essay’s thesis and explains what the author could do differently to strengthen the topic’s argument. This essay also features all the characters. Argument? Yup—this essay argues that although the topic’s conclusion might be true, the assumptions made by the author diminish the strength of the author’s conclusion. Reasons and evidence? Yes and yes. This essay clearly discusses the three unstated assumptions that weaken the argument.
Also, the essay has varied sentence structure: a semicolon here, beginning with a gerund there, and linking ideas using if . . . then and but . . . also constructions. Our writer does not take risks with unfamiliar vocabulary but instead chooses a few out-of-the-ordinary words such as tacit, detrimental, and presumes. No significant grammar errors disrupt the fluidity. The essay concludes with a well-placed quote. You may have noticed that the quote isn’t precisely the same as the original, albeit translated, version. That’s okay. The essay graders are sympathetic to the fact that you only have 30 minutes for each essay—and the quote just adds spice.
A Note on Length
Our sample essay is twenty-six sentences long. As we noted in the previous chapter, a “6” essay is not based on the particular length of the essay but instead on the quality of the writing and adherence to ETS’s grading criteria.
Now let’s look at our essay from the point of view of an essay grader by taking a look at the ETS evaluation criteria for graders and the criteria for our Argument essay template.
 ETS CRITERIA YES OR NO? Responds to the argument given in the topic YES Identifies the key features of the argument and analyzes each one in a thoughtful manner YES Supports each point of critique with insightful examples and analysis YES Develops its ideas in a clear, organized manner, with appropriate transitions to help connect ideas together YES Demonstrates proficiency, fluency, and maturity in its use of sentence structure, vocabulary, and idioms YES Demonstrates an excellent command of the elements of standard written English, including grammar, word usage, spelling, and punctuation—but may contain minor flaws in these areas YES OUR CRITERIA YES OR NO? Uses the three-act essay structure YES States conclusion in first sentence of paragraph 1 YES Three reasons that support the thesis listed in paragraph 1, in the order in which they’re discussed in essay YES Topic sentence for reason 1 in paragraph 2 YES Development sentences to analyze reason 1 YES Topic sentence for reason 2 in paragraph 3 YES Development sentences to analyze reason 2 YES Topic sentence for reason 3 in paragraph 4 YES Development sentences to analyze reason 3 YES Conclusion (paragraph 5) rephrases thesis YES Conclusion (paragraph 5) expands position YES
 Jump to a New ChapterIntroductionMeet GRE MathMath 101Problem SolvingQuantitative ComparisonsData InterpretationMeet GRE VerbalSentence CompletionsReading ComprehensionAntonymsAnalogiesMeet GRE EssaysThe Issue EssayThe Argument EssayPracticing with Practice TestsThe Future of the GRETop 15 GRE Test Day TipsFinal Thought
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