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GRE Issue Essay 2 (GRE grading required please)


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Hi all,


I was hoping I could get someone to give my essay a score out of 6 and some constructive criticism on the topic. Thanks in advance!




The main benefit of the study of history is to dispel the illusion that people living now are significantly different from people who lived in earlier times.

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.



History repeats itself. Over the years, we've learnt that it's more than just a quote but a quintessential reality of life. If there is anything the past has taught has us, it is this; those that have not paid heed to history have suffered badly. The study of history offers the major benefit of understanding the past and ensuring that our present/future is optimised for better co-inhabitation. 


This is best illustrated with an example; the massive clash of the world major powers, World War I in 1914. If something should have been learnt from the end of the 37 million casualty war, it was never to repeat it again. However, it took the world a mere 25 years to forget/suppress this past and the world powers were challenging each other again in 1939 that ended in 60 million casualties. Consequently, this was 2.5% of the population at the time. Unfortunately, there is an innate hunger within mankind to repeat our historic failures, regardless of the deadly consequences of the past. The current global situation in Iran attests to this as the world is set up for a repeat of the first two wars with an extra I at the end. 


Studying and learning from history offers the only extensive evidential base for the contemplation and analyse of how societies function. It provides a vast pool of evidence from which experiences and results of situations can help determine how to reach to issues today. Historians look to uncover factors that were overlooked in the midst of crises, triggers that were never identified and alternate scenarios that may have produced better results. Like any science experiment where conditions are determined and tested in the 'field', feedback allows us to tweak the conditions to achieve succinct results. How can we evaluate war if a country is currently in peace and history is ditched as a useless art? 


This is not a recurring theme only in war, but in many aspects of life. The Great Depression that had a domino effect across the world in the 1940s, resulted in millions of lives ruined. Millions across nations were stripped of their assets and were left to sell cars worth thousands for two digit figures. Mismanagement of resources had led to this man-made disaster and governments worked hard to wipe memories clean many years after the period. However, they could not stop repeating the error in the 2007 credit crunch which saw a similar result spread globally. Consider an alternate scenario where history had not been neglected once the new millennium had reached. Governments/private bankers responsible for the crunch would have understood the consequences of their actions and seen first hand the effects of the disaster. In some ways, it provides a glimpse in to a future, that can be changed.


On a micro scale, history has a tangential function of providing identity to individuals. It is the key element producing that patriotism for our country or the love for our families and friends. A child studying an array of family portraits, sees his father posing grandly with his uncle and aunt. He notices the family landscape picture and identifies those members that he knows. It gives him a sense of belonging to the family and subsequent love. 


In essence, history does not have a sole main benefit, but rather consists of macro and micro elements. With a large evidence base, history provides a much less convoluted action base that can be taken in situations that are bound to arise from time to time. It allows families to get together and enjoy a family barbecue or a soldier to proudly salute his flag as it is raised. History is a significant factor of tomorrow's future.

Edited by ishas
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  • 3 months later...

I am a college CRLA certified writing tutor which doesn't mean I am James Joyces but I can recognize fundamental issues quickly.


You didn't answer the prompt so I didnt get any further. 


The main benefit of the study of history is to dispel the illusion that people living now are significantly different from people who lived in earlier times.


You discussed why it matter that we recognize that humans are the same by saying history repeats itself. You also give us a basis for that to be significant  but you do not ever directly make the claim that this is because people are the same today as they were in the past.... That they were evil then and evil now. They are driven by greed then and nothing has changed now..they all still have blues eyes. You then do not state that these similarities which are demonstrated by all the rest you  bring up as illustrations are why you do not believe that there is a significant  difference. The wars are a symptom of the sameness but you can not state that war is fought today for the same reasons as it was in the past without bringing in your argument on why that is true. and by what basis has man cause it to happen then and again today. Dont forget what you are arguing.


You write beautifully. That is what I saw as the problem and that would be a auto fail. :(.  


Just my observation. Read the prompt and look what you are to argue. I hope I didn't misread or that I have not helped :) I wrote quick.

Edited by alesso
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