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Issue and Argument Essay Review


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Hello, can anyone critique my practice GRE essays? 


Prompt: Technology, while apparently aimed to simplify our lives, only makes our lives more complicated.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.

Technology is a growing industry over the last decade. In a quickly growing world, technology has to keep up with the demand of their consumers. Many individuals are continuing to adopt this field with the goal to discover new and better forms of technology to create a easier way of life. Technology is aimed to simplify our lives, not complicate it further.

Technology has always been fast growing, from the cell phone cars to light weight touch screen cell phones. Technology has always given individuals a way to communicate. A letter that would've taken weeks to send across the country now can be sent in seconds through a cell phone or e-mail. This ability to communicate has made lives more simple and allowed individuals to stay close to connected to others all around the world. It's easy to say that none of those connections could have been as sturdy if it weren't for computers, phones, facetime etc. Through out this busy society the best way to stay in contact is through technology.

The birth of technology immediately gave individuals a sense of freedom. The sense of freedom where they can travel, and be less dependent on their lives at home. Allowing an individual to travel and experience the world is a great way to broaden their minds by experiencing a new culture and make them appreciate what they have or where they come from. If technology never continued to grow individuals would still not know whats out in the world, yet alone be able to experience it for themselves.

Although technology has made life more simplistic due to all the power one holds in a device, it also has created individuals that cannot think for themselves and have become dependent on their phone or technology within their everyday lives. Being dependent on technology would create individuals that have a lack of knowledge in specific areas such as directions, mental math, searches, and spelling. many of us as a society have learned that life is easier when the answer can be given to us through our technology than actually working to get it. Many millennial today don't know directions or how to read a map. They also struggle to do mental math or spell words because a calculator or spell check is so readily at their finger tips.

Even though technology is making lives more simply, is it making everyday lives more dependent on it to function.



Prompt: SuperCorp recently moved its headquarters to Corporateville. The recent surge in the number of homeowners in Corporateville proves that Corporateville is a superior place to live than Middlesburg, the home of SuperCorp's original headquarters. Moreover, Middlesburg is a predominately urban area and according to an employee survey, SuperCorp has determined that its workers prefer to live in an area that is not urban. Finally, Corporateville has lower taxes than Middlesburg, making it not only a safer place to work but also a cheaper one. Therefore, Supercorp clearly made the best decision.

Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on the assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted.

The following argument is flawed for numerous reasons. The argument is primarily based on the unstated assumptions that moving Supercorp to Corporateville was the best decision.

This argument fails to give any justification that the move to Corporateville from Middlesburg will provide the company with the best outcome. Prior to moving to Corporateville, SuperCorp should have done more thorough background checks to insure that the moved would have been the best decision. Even though there was surge in the number of homeowners in Corporateville the information does not provide any statistical amount. The surge may have increased, but the question is by how much and whether or not there is enough homes to provide housing for the employees of SuperCorp if they were to move.

SuperCorp chose to provide employees with a survey to determine whether or not they are in support of the move. The assumption is that all the majority stated they would rather live in Corporateville. However, the argument failed to state if every employee took the survey and the percentage of employees that approved and disapproved of the move. Providing the reasons for employees to approve the move and the exact percentages would greatly strengthen the argument.

Lastly, the argument states that Coporateville has lower taxes, which makes it cheaper and safer to live. In order to strengthen this argument, it would have to prove that by having lower taxes it automatically makes the town safer to live in. The argument should provide statistical comparisons between Middlesburg and Coporatevilles taxes, resident population, and background.

The argument would have to further provide more statistical evidence that the move from Middlesburg to Corporatville was the best decision for not just the company, but the employees as well.


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1st essay: Note; the prompt was asking you to agree or disagree on if technology actually complicates our lives further (or on the flip side makes it easier). But it seems like you are taking the stance that it is AIMED at making our lives easier. This is a problem; the prompt is asking you to focus on the effect of technology but you're leaning towards the cause, which already tells the reader you're somewhat drifting away. A better way to have put it is that "...technology simplifies our lives for numerous reasons"- this is very different because, in this case you are focusing on the effect- what technology does for our lives, but not the cause- what technology was aimed to do for our lives (which is clearly not what the prompt wants).

In the first paragraph, you fail to state the point you would be discussing. The reader has to dig in a little bit further into the paragraph to fully appreciate the idea you are communicating. Always make sure you start your paragraph with the topic sentence, and make sure every sentence that follows in the same paragraph adds meaning to the topic sentence- in other words, center each paragraph around the same idea

There is a paucity of points to fully convince the reader that technology has made our lives simpler (based on your essay which discusses only speed of communication and freedom). And even these are not fully fleshed out to convince the reader. Make sure to state the point, explain it, and cite a specific example to support that point. (at least if you hope to score a 4/6 on the first essay).

Finally and possibly the biggest mistakes of your essay are the last but one and last paragraphs. I understand that the prompt asks you to consider instances where the statement might not hold true and how this might affect your position. At this point the reader simply wants you to be a fair player and acknowledge that your viewpoint is not infallible. DO NOT under any circumstances change your stance at this level (which is technically what you did by concluding in the final paragraph, that "Even though technology is making lives more simply, is it making everyday lives more dependent on it to function." At this level, simply acknowledge that there could be a view contrary to yours, but conclude by reaffirming your stance.

That said, the essay vaguely addresses some ideas relevant to the prompt but fails to develop each point clearly and therefore is not cogent. This essay earns a 3/6.

Edited by thisguy2017
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2nd Essay: 

Rule number 1 for the argument; ALWAYS BEGIN BY SUMMARIZING THE ARGUMENT. It shows the reader that you understand what is going on in there. It would go something like this: 

The argument concludes that Supercorp made the best decision to transfer its headquarters from Middlesburg to Corporateville because the latter is a superior location. This is based on three main reasons; the surge of homeowners in corporateville, a survey used by supercorp to determine that its employees prefer to live in an area that is not urban, and the lower taxes in corporateville compared to middlesburg making it a safer and cheaper place to live. This argument however depends on a number of assumptions that when examined can establish the viability or vacuousness of it's conclusion.

The next thing to keep in mind is to ANSWER THE QUESTION. The prompt is asking you for three main things: To examine the assumptions (stated and/ or unstated), explain how the argument depends on the assumptions, and finally to discuss the implications IF the assumptions prove unwarranted.

In your first paragraph you talk about how SC failed to show how moving would provide the best outcome. You also talk about how they should have done a background check to that effect, and how an there is a need for statistical info about the increase and how it is not indicative that SC employees would have a place to live. I kind of get in this case that what you are trying to communicate is that the company assumes that an increase in home ownership means easy access to housing. But again, I had to read through the paragraph to infer that. ALWAYS STATE your MAIN IDEA in the first sentence of the paragraph. In this case, the reader does not see the STATED assumption and so will assume you have no control over the essay. Then, you had to explain how the argument depends on the assumption. That was lacking! You would have to discuss that because the company assumes that increase in home ownership indicated location superiority, then they believe moving to CV (corporateville) is the best decision. Finally you had to explain the implications IF this assumption is unwarranted. You had to (and always for this type of question SPECULATE). Use words like "If...THEN..." in this case.An example could be something like this; "although the argument suggests that lower taxes are indicative of a safer environment, IF the lower taxes do not lower the crime rate in corporateville, THEN it is inadequate to claim on these grounds, that moving to the new location is the best decision.

Overall, PLEASE, make sure you answer what the prompt is asking you. The question is not asking you what evidence would be needed to assess the conclusion (sometimes the argument essay asks you this BUT this was not the question in this case. So be very alert).

Essay Comment

The response points out some flaws in the argument but has failed to tackle the fundamental problem to be solved as indicated in the prompt. This essay therefore scores a 2/6


****For reference my score was 98th percentile on the writing :) Let me know if you have additional questions***

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Hi, there! I had the same prompts as the OP. Could anyone grade mine?


Dealing with new technology is indeed a feat that does not come naturally to the majority of people, specially to those who are used to more traditional ways of leading life.

To arrive at the release stage, an idea is refined over and over again by vanguardist minds, until it surpasses criteria that determine that a new product is ready to suit its target user groups. New products are then launched in the market filled with innovative, promising features. However, when the production process does not involve the average, naive user, and is mainly coordinated by people who are used to dealing with such novelties, no instruction manual is captivating enough to ameliorate the stress of undergoing a steep learning curve. Our grandparents would surely find it easier, at a first glance, to sweep the house "the old way", instead of reading dozens of jargon-filled vacuum robot manuals.

Another point to notice is that products nowadays are launched at a far faster pace, throwing into obsolescence items and services that have barely even achieved fraction of their warranty period. This wave of always requiring the consumer to acquire new technology given that they have barely grown accustomed to their current products can, indeed, be seem as a hassle. If one is not motivated by the thrill of unboxing a new smartphone or of testing the power of a new computer, having to constantly switch to newer products is not an ideal scenario.

Notwithstanding the overhead of learning and the new consuming patterns, technology brings positive aspects that far compensate its ailments. Humanity is walking towards an ever more comfortable way of life: diseases that killed thousands in the past are now treated as easily as common colds; self-driving cars are promising ways of eradicating accidents caused by errors; exciting and life-like entertainment systems are filling with joy the life of people who were once stuck in stale, depressive routines. Technology enables research to be pushed further than ever before, giving power to scientists and business owners to create relatively simple solutions to what were once complex problems.

While technology does bring a new overhead of learning into people's lives, it also enables a more comfortable, secure and healthy lifestyle.



SuperCorp has moved its headquarters to Coporateville based on a few premises: that Corporateville is safer and cheaper to live than Middlesburg; that the surge of homeowners in Corporateville indicates its superiority in relation to Middlesburg; and, finally, that its workers prefer to live in areas that are not urban. Of the assumptions made, only the latter is presented along indication of data, which was gathered through a employee survey.

Analyzing the first statement, there is no indication, in the statement, that Corporateville is indeed a safer city than Middlesburg, apart from the assumption that it is located in a less urban site. In this case, one could argue that a city in the countryside of a developing country is more unsafe than a urban center in a developed one. Or even, cities in the same state can have steep crime rates that do not necessarily correspond to the trend of their particular geographic (urban or rural) setting.

If lower taxes do imply in lower cost of living, the surge of homeowners in Corporateville could be seem as a response from new family units to not being able to afford housing in Middlesburg. This choice alone does not imply that a city is superior to the other, rather it can be seen an indicator of the average economic status of each city's residents. The cost of living of each setting could also have impacted on SuperCorp survey, adding a bias towards rural locations, since workers could be in a position where affording housing in urban areas may reflect financial distress.

Finally, there is no further details of how the survey was conducted, how many participants were responded and what are the demographics of the workers at SuperCorp. Without further information, the validity of the results do not prove preference of an area over another. As stated in the previous paragraph, workers could prefer less urban areas due to economic reasons, without taking into account the lifestyle at each scenario, which, in turn, does not predict long term satisfaction with their housing situation.

Because SuperCorp arguments are based on assumptions that Corporateville is a rural, safer and preferential setting, rather than factual data about each city, it is not clear that the decision to move was the best. A more detailed assessment including the points made previously and a study of SuperCorp's market response is necessary to conclude whether this was the best move.

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