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Argument essay template, if anyone wants it

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by rcsrini » Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:31 am
Thank you. excellent template.

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by masudaatta » Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:20 am
Thank you so much for this post. I didn't have time to study for the essays and I saw this post the day before my exam. I followed the template and I got a 5. Thank you so much :)

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by ronnie1985 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:39 am
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!
Hey can you please tell us how big an essay should be to be awarded 5 rating if contents are well presented and persuasive? I mean is there any minimum word limit exists?
Follow your passion, Success as perceived by others shall follow you

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by ank_1 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:46 pm
Great template and it works. I have psyched about AWAs. I hardly spent 10 hrs on them in addition to writing the essays on test. Scored 5, may not be great for many but I am content with the score.

Thanks!
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by onisciente » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:40 am
Excellent template!!!

I hardly studied for the AWA, I've already got quite good grammar for someone that is not a native speaker.

With this template I was able to score 6.0 on the essays!!! Thanks!!!

Regards.

Tc

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by petersa2 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:54 pm
Hi there, I wonder if I can start the 1st paragraph with a question about the topic. For example, if the topic is related with the relation between natural resources and pollution, maybe i can start with a question about it. Is it a good idea?
Thanks in advanced!

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by spider » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:29 am
Thank You, the template is very nice. I would like to try it out.

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by NQW » Wed May 09, 2012 8:59 am
Thanks myohmy! I used your template and I scored a 6.0. My previous scores were already above 5- 5.5. But your template made it effortless and will be easy to replicate when I take it again.

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by nimi_vora » Fri May 11, 2012 6:29 am
Thanks Myhommy. Wonderful template. Builds confidence to get a good score in AWA :)

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by gauravrathore81 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:56 pm
Thanks Mate! This looks wonderful.

Le me try that out tomorrow (my D-Day)!

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by bond0007 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:45 am
this is the best thank you. I got a 6.0 using this

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by abir1085 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:28 pm
please rate my essay ,I have tried to use your instuctions.

The following appeared as part of an annual report sent to stockholders by Olympic Foods, a processor of frozen foods:
"Over time, the costs of processing go down because as organizations learn how to do things better, they become more efficient. In color film processing, for example, the cost of a 3-by-5-inch print fell from 50 cents for five-day service in 1970 to 20 cents for one-day service in 1984. The same principle applies to the processing of food. And since Olympic Foods will soon celebrate its 25th birthday, we can expect that our long experience will enable us to minimize costs and thus maximize profits."

Frozen food processing nowadays is one of the hot topics in world. There are those who debate the storage facilities and those who affirm it. Those who assert that processing of frozen food is more critical than that of normal food, such as
In the preceded statement author claims that a processor food company that deals with frozen food has developed expertise in making his process very cost effective, and that happens due to continuous development in its working procedure which is only achieved by being in the field for so many years. In other way we can say that as much as you gain experience or as long as you are in the field you will get to learn how to do things better , that clearly shows a positive effect on your productivity and profits.
Though his claim may well have merits , the author presents poorly reasoned argument, based on the several questionable premises, and based solely on the evidence the author offers, we cannot accept this argument as valid.

The primary cause with the author's reasoning lies in the unsubstantiated premises. First is the ,as time passes on ,the cost effectiveness increase because of attaining efficiency. But the prime concern is time is not the main factor of gaining efficiency, one of the main factor of higher productivity is technology and innovation, the more you improve your technology, the greater will be the chance of high productivity, the more you develop innovative ideas, the higher will be the chance of your winning in the competition in the parallel market. Second is the example of color film processing, it can be clearly seen that the cost reduction of 3-by-5 inch print form 50 cents for five day to 20 cents for one day during 14 years is a good point to solidify the author's claim but the point that should be care about that is the film processing firm actually gain efficiency in processing film with the same technology that it has been using for last 14 years or are there some other thing that should be discuss before come into the author's conclusion. The author's premises, the basis for this argument lack any legitimated evidentiary support and render this conclusion unacceptable.
In addition,the author makes several assumptions that remain unproven...first is the time makes thing perfect ir-respective of the fact that the whether the necessary elementary improvements has been done with it or not. It's true that a company who is been in the field for so many years makes his strategy according to the present scenario but we can't rely on it. There are lots of things that should be taken care of like the competition in the market, if you have long list of competition than just getting your technology better is not the only way to develop. you should have to change your marketing strategy,the Way of representation. Advertising and many thing else. you can not relate a food market ,specially frozen food processing market with the film processing market, as the consumer group are very vastly diversified from each and every income group and to carry out such an enormous group on the way of your own is not a piece of cake .Even the Milkman food company who has been dealing with the milk processing for last 25 years has largely distributed its market in vastly categorized milk products even though it was one of the large revenue generated companies at the time when it just processing milk .now with this diversification it leaves all its competitor on the half way run. The author weakens this argument by making assumption and failing to provide explication of link between processing firm and the processing company, author assumes exists.

While the author does have severe key issues in his argument's premises and assumptions.That is not to say that the entire argument is baseless. Time is indeed a great factor in making your things more
Perfect day by day, the failure you received during the journey helps you to clear the pot holes between you and the success. Time will make the company to know the market better, long running company always make them sustained in the time of economic crisis, market crisis, recession. Though there are several issues with the author's reasoning at present ,with research and clarification, he could improve the argument significantly.

In sum, the author's illogical argument is based on unsupported premises and unsubstantiated assumption that render this conclusion valid. But if he points out the main improvement or the breakthrough in the field of food processing that Olympic food achieved or will be going to achieved in near future as it can be predict by watching the present scenario than surely we can expect that company's long experience will enable it to minimize costs and thus maximize profits.
If the author truly hopes to change his reader's minds on the issue, he would have to largely restructure his argument, fix the flaws in logic clearly explicate his assumptions and provide evidentiary support. Without these things, his poorly reasoned argument will likely convince few people

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by gmat1014 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:38 am
I'm having problems with identifying premises and assumptions.
Could someone please help out by confirming the following is correct?
The following appeared in a corporate memorandum of a beverage manufacturer:

"Our promotional price reductions on energy drinks have been highly successful, as we have seen a dramatic increase in unit sales. Further, surveys of our consumers indicate that this promotion was favorably received by the majority of our customers. Therefore, to improve our company's profitability and enhance its perception in the eyes of consumers, similar price reductions should be offered on all drinks produced by our firm
The premises in the aforementioned argument are:

"we have seen a dramatic increase in unit sales"
"surveys of our consumers indicate that this promotion was favorably received by the majority of our customers"

The assumption is:

"to improve our company's profitability and enhance its perception in the eyes of consumers, similar price reductions should be offered on all drinks produced by our firm"

Thanks!

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by smushakhian » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:42 am
Hi myohmy,
Thanks for your best template
It is really efficacious but for clarifying more and more could you give an complete example with this template.
Thanks for your consideration :)