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All About GRE Essay Topics
This is one of the most in-demand test scores that you must-have when applying for higher-level education. It will show your "preparedness" for a university. This is considered a critical component when it comes to Fulbright applications and the top international universities. These institutions have selected it as the criteria to find students who qualify as the crop cream.
Even if the application does not specify this, and IELTS is on the list, you must still give it. This is because it will provide an extra boost to your profile. It also shows the grad school that you are a serious candidate. If you have already appeared for SATs, you will have a basic understanding of these tests. Do not take this one lightly, as this by no means is equal to the SAT or any other exams that are required for junior level.
About GRE Test Sections
This is a computer-delivered test. Unlike most exams, gre features questions that are based on or will reflect your thinking and skills. It is very student-friendly, as it lets you skip questions. If you are dubious about any questions, then go forwards. Once you are done with the entire section, you can return to this part and give it a little time. Before preparing for this exam, you must take a look at its structure.
It will test you on four different levels. These are critical thinking skills, analytical writing skills, verbal and quantitative reasoning. Now, you cannot learn these overnight, as they develop throughout the lifespan. The analytical part is all about how well you can support and articulate challenging ideas.
In contrast, the verbal reasoning portion revolves around meanings and the relationship between words. Just like the name suggests, the quantitative reasoning part is about numbers. This will measure your ability to solve mathematical problems related to algebra, geometry, and data analysis.
About GRE Essays
As discussed before, the analytical portion tests your ability to tackle complex ideas. This is always the first section and has a time limit of 30 minutes for the two tasks. You will either have to analyze an issue or an argument. Now, you cannot read essays and attempt one on the exam day.
Try to practice beforehand. Learn the GRE word list and do make a list of handy idioms and phrases. These will add an extra oomph to your writing. Try to practice the habit of brainstorming before penning down an essay. Read essays regularly that are written by professionals after you have attempted it yourself.
This will help you in figuring out your mistakes. You will also gather how professionals handle a topic and write on it from a 360-degree view. Do work on those commas and colons of yours. Your punctuation and grammar should be on point. This is something that you can improve over time and not only by reading out rules related to them. Check out an example of an analytical essay.
Check the structure, coherence, grammar, and ideas. Try to write a rough essay and get it checked by a professor. It is crucial to receive constant feedback. However, the golden words to remember here are "less reading and more writing." Spend more time in the actual writing part as opposed to reading essays from a stranger.
Type 1: Issue Essay
This essay type requires you to give your opinion on the given topic. There will also be a set of instructions that you must keep in view while responding to the quotation. Now the time limit is horrifying. You will have to brainstorm, form a response, and write your essay. If you answer any other issue if you deviate from the topic or the given set of instructions, you will be awarded zero marks.
Here are five strategies that you can use to avoid such a situation:
- Read the instructions carefully, highlight them, and do include them in your brainstorm "bubbles."
- Try to remain organized. Your essay must follow the standard structure that is: Introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
- It would be best if you gave examples or supporting points for your topic sentences.
- Do not repeat anything. Keep your essay engaging.
- Most importantly, stay in line with the issue. All of your points must make their way back towards the quotations.
Type 2: Argument Essay
This is the most exciting part that students can't wait to attempt. It is because the examiner demands you to write a critique on the topic. Here you will be given a short and exciting passage. It will be presenting an argument and specific instructions just as you were given for the issue essay. Again, you will have a limited time of 30 minutes that must be used wisely. Do not get carried away and deviate from the argument. Here are some tips that will help you with this type:
- The examiner is not looking for the "right" argument but is somewhat interested in critically assessing the situation and giving relevant supporting material.
- The graders have a limited time to check your essay. Try to make your paper readable. The structure must be clear.
- Do not jump to a conclusion without making your point clear. Try to write as much as you can without repeating anything.
- Always brainstorm and make an outline. Do not jump to the writing part immediately, as you will lose marks.
- Study the argumentative essay structure in detail.
Plan of Attack
Here is a summarized plan that you must use when you are in a GRE war zone. First, read all directions carefully and jot down the keywords on a rough page/space. After that, begin with brainstorming, and develop an outline. If you are writing an argument, then write down the pros and cons.
After that, choose a side. Try to come up with as many examples as you can. Do write to them in the outline, as there is a chance that you can forget them afterward. Think of a fantastic hook or attention grabber to start your essay with. Develop your thesis statement. After that, begin with the writing part. Once done, proofread and start with the editing. Fix all of those errors and make your work flawless.
Categories of GRE Essay Topics
To help you in the practicing phase, some GRE essay categories will be discussed in detail. You can use them as your homework help and practice them daily. You can either make new topics using these or pick from these and come up with an amazing essay. Try getting it checked by your GRE instructor, who will tell you if you have deviated from an issue or have any grammatical mistakes.
Feedback before the exam is a must. You should practice at least for a month or two. This time must be dedicated solely for writing purposes. The phase where you learn the grammar rules must come before the practicing part. Go through the online question bank. You can also solve the online grammar questions. In this way, you will receive quick feedback. Let's begin with the categories:
You will get a topic that revolves around "education". This can include any of the aspects. It can be the majors, curriculum, or other issues in education. You must have information related to such elements to produce a quality piece of writing in 30 minutes. You can be asked to comment on classroom sizes, teaching methods, or the role of technology in modern learning.
Here are some ideas:
- What should be the limit of modern classroom size to ensure that every student gets individual attention from the instructor?
- Claim: Universities must place a cap on the number of students enrolled every year.
- Should schools prioritize more creative and critical thinking skills?
- What role should technology play in the classroom?
- Are there alternative pathways to success that don't require a traditional four-year degree?
- How can schools better support minority and lower-income students to ensure they have equal access to quality education?
- Should schools teach life skills, such as financial literacy and time management?
- How can teachers effectively integrate multicultural perspectives and diversity into their curriculum?
- What impact do extracurricular activities, such as sports and clubs, have on student development?
- Is it ever appropriate for teachers to share their personal beliefs and values with students?
- How can we improve the quality and effectiveness of teacher training programs?
- Should schools prioritize vocational education and job training over traditional academic subjects?
- How can we address the growing issue of bullying and create safe and supportive school environments for all students?
- Is homeschooling a viable alternative to traditional schooling?
- To what extent does the education system contribute to social and economic inequality?
As the GRE exam is a test for grad school, the education-related topics come up more often than others. Try to collect facts and figures. These must be universal so that you can write them in an essay that is from this area.
Society And Technology
This is a broad area. You can get general topics as well as some specific ones too. Try to have updated information about advanced technology and its role in different aspects of our life. You must conduct your research on how technology saves time, money, and energy. Here are some examples:
- Life-saving technology investments are more crucial than investing in luxurious technologies.
- The new war zones lie in having robust technology.
- The goal of developing countries is to have the most advanced technology.
- The most significant technological breakthroughs were unplanned and are a result of accidents.
- Technology has impacted the way we form and maintain relationships in modern society.
- What role should technology play in combating social and economic inequality?
- Widespread use of social media contribute to a more informed and engaged citizenry.
- How can technological advancements be used to promote greater inclusivity and accessibility for individuals with disabilities?
- Technology help address the critical issues facing the environment and global sustainability.
- Should governments be making greater efforts to regulate the use of technology, particularly when it comes to issues of privacy and security?
- Technological innovations can be leveraged to address issues of food security and agriculture in rural communities.
- In what ways are technological advancements enabling new forms of work and labor?
- What role can technology play in addressing public health threats, such as pandemics and infectious disease outbreaks?
- Individuals and organizations should be responsible for mitigating the negative impacts of technology on society.
- How can technological innovations be used to promote greater transparency and accountability in government and corporate institutions?
This may seem like a random essay topic area, but you must trust that most of the topics are related to this. Here are some examples that you can use as essay topics.
- The quality of life in a planned vs. unplanned city.
- Claim: Businesses have greater chances to prosper in urban cities.
- The pollution in urban cities is the primary cause of crop damage.
- Is gentrification a positive or negative force in urban areas?
- Should cities invest in public transportation or work towards becoming more pedestrian-friendly?
- How can cities balance the need for economic growth with preserving historic districts and cultural heritage?
- Is urban sprawl sustainable in the long-term, or should cities focus on increasing density?
- Governments should prioritize affordable housing initiatives in cities.
- How can cities mitigate the negative effects of pollution and improve air quality for their residents?
- Gated communities and private urban enclaves are detrimental to overall social cohesion in cities.
- The pros and cons of implementing a congestion charge or toll for entering city centers during peak hours.
- Cities should invest in "smart city" technologies to improve efficiency and quality of life for citizens.
- How can cities address the issue of food deserts and ensure access to healthy, affordable food for all residents?
- What role do public parks and green spaces play in the health and well-being of urban populations?
- Are bike-sharing programs effective in reducing traffic congestion and promoting sustainable transportation in cities?
If you have a knack for art, then here are some exciting topics for you. You can be extremely artistic with words and expressions while writing such content. Always brainstorm before you get to the writing part. This is because such topics can be pretty challenging. Here are some examples for you:
- The government should encourage the film-makers to come up with content that addresses real public issues.
- Artists are shifting towards social media platforms to showcase their artwork as there is less traffic in the art museums.
- Modern art vs. historical pieces.
- Is the use of technology in art, such as digital art, a positive or negative development?
- Does the market value placed on art reflect its true merit?
- Art is often seen as an elitist pursuit. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
- Can art be used as a tool for social change?
- Does art have a responsibility to address political or social issues?
- Is the concept of beauty subjective or objective in art?
- To what extent does cultural background influence the interpretation and understanding of art?
- Are traditional art forms becoming obsolete in the face of modern art?
- Can art be used to challenge or subvert existing power structures?
- Are artists obligated to create socially conscious works that raise awareness about pressing or controversial issues?
- Does censorship have a place in the art world?
- What is the role of art in human society?
Now, this might not be an exciting area for some of you. However, the ones who readily consume information about governmental affairs can quickly write on it.
Here are some examples:
- Democracy vs. bureaucracy.
- Business and lobbying.
- Governmental decisions that can affect business activities.
- The foremost goal of a leader must be to promote innovation.
- Government should have the power to regulate big tech companies such as Facebook and Google?
- Is democracy the best form of government, or are there better alternatives?
- Should free healthcare be provided to all citizens?
- Is government responsible for ensuring equal access to education and job opportunities for all citizens?
- Is the current two-party system in the United States effective?
- Should political campaigns be publicly funded?
- It is government's responsibility to address and combat climate change.
- Government should regulate the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food production.
- Should the United States switch to a parliamentary system?
- Should the Supreme Court have term limits?
- Are current immigration policies effective and just, or do they need to be reevaluated and reformed?
Here are some examples that you can use to practice:
- Scientific fields require more research and development as compared to other fields.
- Individuals can develop brilliant ideas; however, ground-breaking ideas develop when a diverse group of individuals comes together.
- Is the pursuit of knowledge ultimately valuable for its own sake, or only for its practical applications?
- In what ways do intellectual endeavors contribute to society, and what responsibilities do intellectuals have to use their knowledge for the greater good?
- Reading, writing, and debating can help individuals develop more critical perspectives on social and political issues.
- How do cultural differences shape intellectual pursuits?
- It is necessary to challenge our own beliefs and assumptions in order to truly engage in intellectual discourse and discover new ideas.
- Are academic institutions adequately equipped to support and encourage intellectual inquiry and creative work?
- How can we balance the benefits of specialization in intellectual fields with the need for interdisciplinary collaboration and holistic understanding?
- What role do intellectual pursuits play in shaping our individual identities?
- How can intellectual endeavors contribute to solving contemporary global problems such as climate change, inequality, or political instability?
- What ethical responsibilities do intellectual leaders have in terms of how their work is interpreted and used by others?
- Explore the relationship between intellectual freedom and censorship, and the importance of protecting the former.
- Intellectual diversity and its implications for knowledge creation and innovation.
- The challenges and opportunities of collaborative intellectual endeavors.
Some examples of philosophy related essay topics are:
- The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that the former continually seeks out opportunities.
- Self-criticism is valuable and it is much more crucial than that received from others.
- Humans are innately good-natured.
- Impact of philosophical ideas on political ideologies.
- Can all moral dilemmas be solved through ethical reasoning?
- Is there a purpose to life beyond survival and reproduction?
- Is it possible to know anything for certain?
- Is free will an illusion or a fundamental aspect of human nature?
- Can we be truly free if everything we do is determined by prior causes?
- Does the existence of evil in the world prove that God cannot exist?
- Can secular ethics provide a meaningful basis for morality?
- Is the mind separate from the body, or are they fundamentally interconnected?
- Is there an inherent meaning to life, or is it up to each individual to create their own meaning?
- Does the universe have a purpose, or is it fundamentally meaningless?
- Does morality come from God, or is it a product of human reasoning?
You will be stated along with some instructions. It would be best if you did not deviate from these as you will lose marks. Here are some examples of such essays:
- One must study the major cities to understand the characteristics of a society.
- Governments must make sure that small businesses receive financial support to keep on operating.
- Every university student must take minors that fall outside their field of study.
- Nations should have flexible laws to tackle various situations.
- Should governments prioritize environmental policies over economic growth for long-term sustainability?
- Is the death penalty an effective means of deterring crime and protecting society?
- Should universities prioritize diversity and inclusivity in their admissions process?
- Ethics of genetic engineering and its potential societal implications.
- Impact of automation on employment, income inequality, and job security.
- Role of government in regulating the pharmaceutical industry and ensuring access to affordable healthcare.
- Effectiveness of international aid and development programs in addressing global poverty and inequality.
- Impact of globalization on cultural identity and social cohesion.
- Ethics of surveillance and government monitoring in the name of national security.
- Should schools implement mandatory mental health counseling for students?
- Is it ethical to use animals for scientific research?
Try to select some interesting argumentative essay topics to work on. These require a lot of practice as you are required to provide your opinion on it. It would be best if you learned the art of giving a thesis and antithesis. For this part, you will be given a short passage along with specific instructions. It can be related to any of the categories mentioned above. Go through the passages that are available online or in the practice books. You will be asked to write a response or for specific evidence that you will need to evaluate the argument. You will also have to explain whether that evidence strengthens or weakens the argument.
Impeccable GRE Argument Essay
Once you have practiced the "plan of attack" mentioned above and have practiced the online passages, you will no longer be in hot water. The key to success is time management and that outline of yours. Nail these, and you are set to score the highest marks. Here is some advice: "do not beat around the bush." Students tend to deviate from the topic. Stay on the topic. Discuss it in detail and take sides. Otherwise, you will be awarded a score of zero, and that is something you cannot afford at any cost.
How Not To Stress Out?
GRE can be very scary. That is why you must begin your preparation a few months before the exam. Keep practicing essays and general grammar. Some websites offer a plethora of topics and passages. You must read, understand, solve, and get them checked by an instructor. Plan and master the art of student time management.
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