Argument essay template, if anyone wants it

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by smushakhian » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:09 am
Dear friends
Who can help me with the following argument to put in this template (Myhommy's template) ??? :(((
"Woven baskets characterized by a particular distinctive pattern have previously been found only in the immediate vicinity of the prehistoric village of Palea and therefore were believed to have been made only by the Palean people. Recently, however, archaeologists discovered such a "Palean" basket in Lithos, an ancient village across the Brim River from Palea. The Brim River is very deep and broad, and so the ancient Paleans could have crossed it only by boat, and no Palean boats have been found. Thus it follows that the so-called Palean baskets were not uniquely Palean."

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by praneeth konduri » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:41 pm
This is the best template I have ever come across. I hope this would make wonders for me in my AWA section. I have tried an essay using this template and the output was very good. I will follow this further and use this template in my real test, which I am going to give on 13th of this month(June '13). Thanks again for this invaluable help.
myohmy wrote:Hey guys-

I'm not hugely qualified to give GMAT advice (I'm not an instructor), but I took the GMAT twice and got a 6.0 essay score both times, so I hope someone will find my essay templates/advice useful.

Analysis of Argument
Paragraph 1
I always start begin with a broad statement about the issue at hand. For instance in an argument essay about whether it was necessary to conserve energy, I would begin with:

Energy conservation has become a hot topic in the United States as of late. There are those who debate climate change and those who affirm it, those who assert that humans are depleting the world's natural resources, including fossil fuels, and those who believe that humans are barely making a dent in consuming the resources the earth has to offer.

This sets up a fluid introduction to my essay, and by starting with an introductory sentence, I felt I would set myself apart from the majority of other test takers who begin "I agree" or "I disagree" -- remember, you want to distinguish yourself from other essay writers (in a good way) right from the start.

I always continue by saying, "In the preceding statement, the author claims that (paraphrase of the author's argument)." This shows that I understand the author's argument. I continue with my disagreement (and, as has been often said, ALWAYS disagree with the author's reasoning, and I pretty much always used the same thesis statement, something like:

Though his claim may well have merit, the author presents a poorly reasoned argument, based on several questionable premises and assumptions, and based solely on the evidence the author offers, we cannot accept his argument as valid.

I can use that statement for pretty much any argument essay I encounter. The beginning shows that I see the issue as nuanced, rather than black and white, and I recognize that though the author may have arrived at the correct answer, his reasoning is flawed. I also use "we" but I try to avoid using "I". Take that as you will.

Paragraph 2
For me, paragraph two always attacks the premises of the author's argument. I usually jot down a couple of premises on my board -- these are things that show up in the author's argument, usually without any evidence provided. So 99% of the time, I attack the lack of evidence that the author bases his premises on. I usually begin with some version of:

The primary issue with the author's reasoning lies in his unsubstantiated premises.

I like "primary" and "secondary" as transitional tools because they are more complex than "first" and "second". Throughout the first paragraph, I show flaws in the author's premises by pointing out his lack of evidentiary support (they pretty much always lack evidentiary support) and where they are open to holes or alternate explanations. I usually have two or three, but one would be fine if it it was strong. I generally end with something like:

The author's premises, the basis for his argument, lack any legitimate evidentiary support and render his conclusion unacceptable.

Paragraph 3
In the third paragraph, I always attack the assumptions - again, I jot down a couple assumptions on my notepad while reading the prompt. Generally, the issue with assumptions is that they need to be clearly explicated - the author is asking the reader to make a jump with them, but the reader may well veer off course if the author doesn't explicitly state his arguments. I usually begin with some variation of:

In addition, the author makes several assumptions that remain unproven.

Again, I begin with a transitional phrase that the e-grader can pick up on. As with the premises, I spend this paragraph attacking a couple of the author's assumptions. The easiest way to do this is to find an alternate explanation -- ie, what if the assumption wasn't true? I usually have two or three, again. My assumption paragraph ends with something like:

The author weakens his argument by making assumptions and failing to provide explication of the links between X and Y he assumes exists.

Paragraph 4
Paragraph 4 is where I talk about how the author could strengthen his argument -- that is, I go back to my claim that his argument could have some validity, but not as it stands. I usually begin this paragraph with something like:

While the author does have several key issues in his argument's premises and assumptions, that is not to say that the entire argument is without base.

Then I provide some concrete ways the author could strengthen his argument. The easiest way to do this is to give examples of what kind of evidence the author could provide, and discuss how he can fill the holes in his assumptions. I generally end with something like:

Though there are several issues with the author's reasoning at present, with research and clarification, he could improve his argument significantly.

Paragraph 5
This is my conclusion paragraph. I pretty much always conclude with the same sentence:

In sum, the author's illogical argument is based on unsupported premises and unsubstantiated assumptions that render his conclusion invalid.

I usually use "in sum" because it's considered better stylistically than "in conclusion" but signals to the e-grader that you're at your conclusion. I usually add a couple sentences of fluff in between and then I end with:

If the author truly hopes to change his readers' minds on the issue, he would have to largely restructure his argument, fix the flaws in his logic, clearly explicate his assumptions, and provide evidentiary support. Without these things, his poorly reasoned argument will likely convince few people.

...And that's pretty much it.

So the cliff notes:

P1- Intro with generic thesis statement that works for 99.9% of argument essays.

P2 - Attack the premises of the argument.

P3 - Attack the assumptions of the argument.

P4 - Discuss what type of evidence or reasoning would strengthen the argument.

P5 - Conclusion.

Hope that helps someone out there and good luck on your essays!

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by [email protected] » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:13 am
the best template till date!

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by mohit_1607 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:07 am
thanks @myohmy for this great template.Saved me a lot of time during the exam.
Got a score of 5.5 :)
thanks again...truly the best template till date.
Polish your skills till you achieve perfection.

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by praneeth konduri » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:53 pm
This essay template has helped me a lot. I just came across this template a week before my test and then I have left aside all other templates I knew for this one. I got a good 5.5 on my AWA :D Thanks Myohmy, God bless you :) A non-english speaker like me, scores a 5.5 with the help of your template, it's the BEST template anyone can get.

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by sandmandreams » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:59 am
I'm used this template in my last GMAT and I could barely finish the essay. I'm doing some practice ones now, and I can't finish it within the 30 minute time limit.

I'll probably tweak it and merge the "lack of evidence" with the "strengthening with suggested evidence" portions.

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by tonyblundetto » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:17 am
I feel obligated to thank you for the 6.0. I have great writing skills but my ADD turns a timed writing exercise into a nightmare. Your template was indispensable. I would not have been able to finish in time without already having memorized half of my sentences beforehand.

I'm sure there are many other useful templates out there, but this is the one I stumbled across and my score would have suffered without it.

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by tonyblundetto » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:18 am

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by ShanMin » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:56 am
thanks a lot!

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by sandmandreams » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:19 am
I just wanted to share this to others who had a hard time using the template: ... -awa-score ... -the-gmat/

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by amirhakimi » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:20 am
First, I want to take a moment and express my gratefulness to myohmy for it's great template.

Today, I wrote the template over and over and with several hours I could write the template within 11 minutes. I just don't know about my pace since I just wrote the template itself and didn't put argument premises and assumptions inside it.

Just for clarifying my mind, are these true?

1) In the second paragraph, I should add information on how premises are not well supported.
2) In third paragraph, I should add information on how assumptions are flawed.
3) In forth paragraph, I should provide several evidences to strengthen the argument.
4) In fifth paragraph, I should restate my points from 2nd paragraph and 3rd paragraph.

The only place that "Success" comes before "Trying" is in the dictionary!

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by HungryBear » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:42 pm
thanks for the advice!

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by josneha » Wed May 07, 2014 7:03 pm
Thank you so much, very very valuable.

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by janxavier » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:29 pm
Can someone please tell me what an Issue based Essay is ? I am not aware of it :(

And wonderful post myohmy Thanks a zillion:)

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by Sirarpi01 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:34 am
Thank you very much! I'm facing a difficulty with the essay part, becausue my brain works that way: I can never make it simple. I just switch to one topic, then shift back to what has already been said. I need to put myself together