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Would you please review my GRE Issue essay?

Dylan Paeng

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Thanks for your great help! :)


Claim: Government officials should not blindly carry out the will of the people they serve; instead, they should base decisions on their own judgment.


[Intro] Government at diametrical position with the will of the people often caused severe problems to the nation. Dictatorship in Russia brought about blind citizens and scared media. Over 200 innocent high school students died in Sewol ferry with despair in Korea, while the President Park was in beauty salon to take care of her hairstyle.

[Intro 2] At a glance, the claim seems to advocate autocracy. It suggests government officials should rather decide on their own judgment than blindly follow the will of the people. Of course, I believe autocracy is a precursor of a country’s tragic era. However, the claim holds true when people lose their minds, either because of disruptive events or anachronistic cultural norms, and when people doesn’t have profound knowledge on specific social issues.

[Body 1] People who otherwise would advocate the principles built by themselves sometimes become irrational when incensed. September 2001, after two planes hit the heart of New York City, many Americans readily gave up their civil rights and racially profiled against Arabs. Actually, during the first few weeks after the tragedy, some mosques were attacked. In such time, government officials should not be on the side of majority; they have to oppose the unjust attack on innocent people in order to uphold the immutable principles of constitution. Likewise, there was a popular brutality across American South after the Civil War. Some factions outraged when seeing slaves were emancipated and joined the society. Black were lynched and abused in the public. When the will of the people brings about social unfairness and danger like above, an appropriate leadership will rather oppose to people than follow them.

[Body 2] Even without disruptive event, people often hold back progress with particular cultural norms. Across the world in some modern-day Middle East countries, people have been keeping immoral practices: lapidation, or stoning, whereby a group of people kill the criminal by throwing stones until the person dies. Even though it is a cultural practice that most people agree, a good leader should not follow the grain of the people and enforce equal rights to life for criminals, too.

[Body 3] Finally, government experts are better-suited to decide particular policies that require complex and sophisticated approach. For instance, in 2014, public fear of Ebola virus spread out in Korea. People hided in their houses, spending plunged, and economy slowed down. They showed popular antipathy to their government, which later turned out to be an overreaction. Other issues such as national science funding or inflation control can be better tackled by government experts, because public lacks profound knowledge of nanotechnology or mathematical model to simulate macroeconomics.

[Conclusion] Realizing people’s will is a government’s primary role. That is undeniable. Well then, what is the will of people? People believe in their principles. As we know well, however, what we believe is right and what we actually do are not always in agreement. That is why government officials should remove transient noises and focus on the immutable principles.


(523 words)

(30 minutes; 45 minutes; 65 minutes)

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