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GRE Essay Advice


Brenda Lopez
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Hello, all! I'm new on this forum and currently studying for the GRE. I would greatly appreciate any comments on the following issue essay. It is an exercise I undertook in the Magoosh practice test.

Here is the passage: "Technology, while apparently aimed to simplify our lives, only makes our lives more complicated."

Here is my response:

I disagree with the present passage because it states a bias and incomplete argument. Technology has offered humanity a set of tools to simplify everyday activities, since computers, microwaves, freezers, laundry machines, etc. Before these technologies, every person had to spend quite an amount of time working in repetitive as well as domestic task. Since the invention of electricity, several innovations came along that made life much easier. Light itself allowed us to overpass day light and be capable of working at any hour we found fit to our routine. In a sense, this advantage gave way to economic growth as it allowed to do activities that were not possible during daylight. Furthermore, as mentioned, electricity lead to electro domestic which facilitated the housing responsibilities, giving more time to leisure and work.

On the other hand, one cannot deny that technology demands more from us as it requires us to learn how to use it. However, this learning cost is overweighted by its benefits. Thus, in the long run, the cost of learning (time and resources spent) will be less than the expected benefits (efficient exploitation of resources). For example, the introduction of typing machines, and then computers, implied learning costs for companies and all kind of organizations, as these enterprises had to invest resources to qualify their employees for getting the skills to manage those technologies. However, the long run costs saved and the increased productivity had a positive impact on margins. As a matter of fact, there were savings on inputs, and in human resources. A repetitive task such as data collection on a big scale could be done by one computer instead of by two or more employees, and furthermore, in a shorter amount of time.

Some have stated that technology, as the example above shows has let people without jobs. Nonetheless, this reading is misleading because what innovation has done is to save human resources from repetitive monotonous task and help to reallocate this resources into more productive and prolific activities. The real issue that has taken jobs from humans is no technology, but lack of qualification and higher education. Therefore, technology, in fact, has done its part in simplifying our lives. However, humans have not done enough to respond to this changes in order to take advantage of human capacity for keeping the phase of innovation and progress.

In conclusion, it is an erroneous statement to deny completely the benefits of technology as the passage does. Though technology has made our life easier, it is true that technology has made manufacturing works and works that require repetitive task less available for human capital. However, technology is not the one to blame for this complication in our life. Instead, humans are responsible for not keeping ahead of technology in order to educate people for developing greater abilities and acquired an acumen of new insights for exploiting their full capacity into more prolific activities.

In advance, thank you for taking the time and for your comments! Hope everyone has a great day and week!

Regards,

Brenda :lol:

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Alright, I'm not a professional writer and others are going to be far more qualified to critique, but I did get a 6 on the writing and here's some advice. Feel free to accept it or reject it however you like. If you really want a high writing score, look for paid resources, they'll be better than a random person such as myself.

Regarding the 1st paragraph, I feel like you're better off splitting it in two. Start the paper with your 2nd sentence, it's a much smoother opening to the paper. Then hit them with your thesis, your first sentence. Your thesis clearly states your position, which is good, but in almost too straight forward of way, if that makes sense. I took these suggestions and reworked it a bit.

"Technology has offered humanity a set of tools to simplify everyday activities, since computers, microwaves, freezers, laundry machines, etc. While the statement in the prompt has some merit to it, I disagree with the present passage because it states a bias and incomplete argument."

Careful about calling it a bias, that term carries a negative attitude. While you are disagreeing with the person and presenting why you believe they are incorrect, it's generally better to do so by considering the benefits of their argument and discussing why other things are outweighed. You do that in your paper, but the term bias feels out of place and a bit harsh in my opinion. 

Then you can continue on with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th sentence all making a case backing up your initial claim in what would be your new 2nd paragraph. By breaking it up into 2 smaller paragraphs, it's more clear to the reader where your opening thoughts/thesis, and then body paragraphs are.

2nd paragraph is good. I'd warn against too many "howevers, on the other hand, or Thus's". Use these to really highlight the statements where you're shifting from benefits to negatives, or want to emphasize a point. Too many, and I don't think you have too many but it's close, lowers the impact. Use these to highlight to the reader a key point that must be understood.

Your 3rd and 4th paragraphs have a fair amount of grammatical errors. Make sure you're leaving enough time for review (I left 5 minutes and found it about perfect, you may need more or less depending on length and reading speed).

Your word choice is pretty impressive and would get you some points, but the amount of grammatical errors is noticeable. The very first thing when reviewing is making sure there are no grammatical mistakes. Beyond that, I'd try to work on sentence structure a bit (though it's not bad), because right now it reads a little choppy due to what I mentioned about the 2nd paragraph.

This hopefully won't come off as too harsh a critique, because I don't think it's that bad and your positives are there for sure. I just think that GRE readers are likely to hit you for the grammatical errors, especially those in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th paragraphs so try to work on those. While now I review my critique I notice I spent a lot of time on your 1st and 2nd paragraphs, know that those are more stylistic and nit-picky, the grammatical errors in the 2nd half of the paper should be your #1 focus. I would hazard a guess from reading it that you were in the process of reviewing it and the 30 minutes ran out sometime towards the end of the 2nd paragraph?

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