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my first full practice-could someone grade my AWA?

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tpearce Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
07 Jan 2017
Posted:
2 messages

my first full practice-could someone grade my AWA?

Post Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:46 am
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    Just took my first full practice test today. Could someone help me and provide feedback to my AWA? Thank you so much in advance!
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    Xin Chao Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
    Joined
    09 Jun 2016
    Posted:
    5 messages
    Thanked:
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    Post Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:31 am
    Hi tpearce,

    First of all, let me just tell you that I am no expert. However, since I frankly never received any feedback on my essays I thought I would at least try to help someone else. Also, please take no offense if I am too critical.

    Firstly, your essay is rather short. It has just 308 words - did you try to write this under 30minutes? I would suggest writing about 500 words (if time permits of course). If I were you I would initially focus on content and then later on speed. In this case the speed will come Smile However, for the other sections of GMAT you should time yourself! To put differently, it would be silly to train math and verbal without any time limit.

    For second, you mention 3 different counter arguments: lack of evidence, vagueness, and "author assumes that the labor force is growing slowly because of a lack of education and training, for which the government is proposing to cut funds". Notice how long is your last argument. It should be short and sweet - about 1-3 words (as the other two). The vague language is good point. However, I don't really like the "lack of evidence" and the last argument. The reason for this is that there will be always some information missing and thus simply pointing out that more information is needed is not sufficient. What arguments would I select?

    1) Vague language - increasing demand, increasing rapidly, growing slowly....ok, all these are increasing BUT how much. Is it 1% increase or 100% increase? Is it increase in comparison with the last year? Also, increasing for how long? Perhaps, there was a spike in demand for technical jobs over 2 years....perhaps, the labor force is growing slowly just in the last year. In other words, there is not going to be "serious labor shortage". It is not really clear whether these are minimal changes or substantial changes. Furthermore, in the text it is said that "the government is proposing to cut funds for aid to education". Now, what kind of education is this? Is it aid to primary schools or undergraduate marine biologists? It is simply not clear. This is important as we want to know whether the aid to education is somehow connected to the previously mentioned "technical and professional occupations". Perhaps, there is no overlap whatsoever. You actually mention this to some extent Smile though you could have been more "to the point". By the way, the author would not necessarily need to define what is "highly skilled technical and professional occupations". It would be sufficient if the author would have said that the aid is for technical and professional occupations. Thus, we would know there is some relation....though the more specific the better Smile I just wanted to highlight something you may have not thought about. Also, notice the term "near future". Again what does it mean in 1 year, 10 years, 100years? If the government is going to cut aid to education in 100years...that's not going to have any effect now. Notice that after claiming that the term "near future" is insufficient, I am essentially showing the lack of evidence by providing possible alternatives. As said before, I would not put lack of evidence as specific point but I would always point out possible alternatives under each paragraph. This way you can also show how you would strengthen the argument. For example, under the vague language paragraph you could mention that had the author defined when is the government going to cut the aid and to what education this would have helped to make the argument more convincing Smile

    2) Imprecise comparisons - what do I mean by this? This is to some extent linked to what I wrote under vague language. For instance, comparing aid to education with technical jobs maybe irrelevant if we do not know whether there is an overlap between the two.

    3) Errors in causality - the argument claims that demand is increasing and therefore there will be serious labor shortage. You can think of errors in causality as because of A there will be B. However, what if the specialized labor force is going to increase. Just think of any alternatives why this might not be the case. Also, note that the argument claims "serious labor shortage". The problem here is the word serious it is what I would called "extreme language". Try to read "The Economist" or "Wall Street Journal". You will notice that these sources use words that are balanced and thoughtful. Thus, if you notice extreme words in AWA you could point out that the problem lies in overconfidence Wink

    Some other things to watch out for:
    1) Try not to quote the author too much using quotations marks, you used it quite excessively (put it into your own words):
    - this nation will soon face a serious labor shortage. (first sentence)
    - the total labor force is growing slowly," while "positions in technical and professional occupations are increasing rapidly. (4th sentence)
    2) Try to use more diverse vocabulary/don't repeat words - e.g. you used the word "author" 8x times....you could say: "it is claimed, it is said", "the statement/text argues that", etc. By doing this you are also using various sentence structure Smile
    3) Make conclusion paragraph - In conclusion, the argument is flawed due to the reasons described above and is thus unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author avoided vague language and provided more specific evidence for his conclusion.
    4) Don't use personal pronoun - you used "I would suggest the author...", in academic writing this should be avoided. To be honest, I am not sure how it is with GMAT but I would argue that not using personal pronouns should make your argument more rational/objective.

    Hope this helps (I didn't expect I would spent so much time putting this together) Very Happy

    Thanked by: nadia.a
    tpearce Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
    Joined
    07 Jan 2017
    Posted:
    2 messages
    Post Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:55 am
    Wow, great advice! Thank you for taking the time to review the essay. I will keep these pointers in mind for future practice tests and the actual test in a few weeks!

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