Analytical Writing - AWA

The analytical writing Assessment section is designed to assess your ability to think critically and to communicate complex ideas. The writing task consists of two sections that require you to examine the composition of an issue, take a position on the basis of the details of the issue, and present a critique of the conclusion derived from a specific way of thinking. The issue are taken from topics of general interest related to business or to other subjects. There is no presumption of any specific knowledge about business or Other areas.

GMAT - Preparation

Analytical Writing - AWA Strategies

Following the instructions is critical to doing well on AWA essays. Free-form brilliance or stream-of-consciousness has not generally been rewarded by human GMAT essay-graders and it may really confuse the e-rater. Here are some basic strategies to help you write clear, concise, and effective (i.e. high-scoring) essays:

Top AWA Strategies

1. The e-rater cannot judge creativity, so a structured approach to writing essays is essential.

2. Before you begin to write, outline your essay. Good organization is vital to your score.

3. Vary the structure of your sentences. Both human and computer graders will appreciate it.

4. Use transitional phrases like first, therefore, since and for example, so that the computer can recognize the structured argument.

5. Avoid spelling and grammar errors. Although the e-rater doesn't grade spelling per se, if it can't identify the words you were trying to use or it thinks you used the wrong words, it could lower your score.

6. Use synonyms for important terms. The computer views them as indicators of a wide range of knowledge. For example, if your essay is about promoting a product, include synonyms for the word "promotion": advertising, marketing, publicity, etc. Also include pertinent examples of promotional campaigns.

7. Think about the best points you can make, but also think about the kinds of things that make a good GMAT essay. Essay topics often require you to spot unwarranted assumptions or recognize the basic structure of an argument. Practicing beforehand is particularly helpful.

AWA - Analysis of an Issue

Some analysts complain that consumers do not receive enough information to make rational purchase decisions. When the consumer is unable to make rational decisions, the economy suffers. Behavioral scientists contend that emotional and psychological factors play an important role in the satisfaction of consumer wants and that the measurable quantitative information being proposed others is not as relevant for consumer decision-making as purported to be. Which do you find more convincing: the complaint of the analysts or the contention of the behavioral scientists? State your position using relevant reasons nd examples from your own experience, observation, or reading.

AWA - Analysis of an Issue Strategies

  1. Identify the issue or argument.

In the example, the claim or conclusion is that the economy suffers when consumers cannot make rational decisions. Consumers cannot make rational decisions whenever information is lacking. The counter view is that consumer decision-making is based more on emotion than on rational reasoning. If that is the case, then information is not so important.

2. Outline your ideas. You are asked to take sides. If you believe that consumers make decisions mainly on a rational basis, you will have to support your view by giving examples based on experience or on the facts that you have acquired from study or reading. You must state why you support this view and not the other. Do you have any facts on the issue? If so, list them along with examples. If you do not have facts, you will need to deal with the issue inferentially-by reasoning inductively. Here, experience and observationwill be important to buttress your claims.

Another possibility in this case is that consumer decision-making depends on the sort of product. When it comes to purchasing a house or making a similar capital investment, the decision is mainly rational, and so it depends on a good deal of information. Most consumer purchases, however, are not of this kind; for example, clothing, food, leisure activities-whose motivation is largely emotional. Thus, for most purchases, a lot of information is not necessary, and so the economy does not suffer as is claimed.

Analysis of an Argument

The computerized water-irrigation system to be installed by farmers will prevent crops from drying out. The soil moisture is measured by sensors in the ground that send signals back to the irrigation control system. On the basis of this information, the system automatically regulates the amount and time of irrigation. Discuss how logically persuasive you find this argument. In presenting your point of view, analyze the sort of reasoning used and its supporting evidence, in addition, state what further evidence, if any, would make the argument more sound and convincing or would make you better able to evaluate its conclusion.

Test-Taking Tactics

  1. Identify the parts of the argument.
  2. State how convincing (or unconvincing) you find the argument.

The persuasiveness of an argument depends on its logic; that is, on whether the conclusion follows from the evidence presented. You are also asked to discuss what would make the argument more sound and persuasive or would help to evaluate its conclusion. To make an argument more sound, it is necessary to provide more evidence that will buttress the conclusion.

In the example, the conclusion is found in the first sentence: the irrigation system will prevent crops from drying out. What evidence is given that the irrigation system will indeed perform this task? Overall, the argument is sound and convincing, assuming that proper irrigation is all that is needed to keep crops from drying out. What then could strengthen the conclusion? Evidence that systems similar to the one described are already in place and working. This last point is important because we have no evidence about the reliability of the system. Moreover, there may be a question of cost-effectiveness. Will farmers be willing to adopt such a system? If evidence of these factors could be provided, the conclusion would be strengthened.


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