GRE Essay Topics with Answers

GRE

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Rahul
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Sep 12, 2023 03:51 IST

GRE Analytical Writing:  The full form of GRE is Graduate Record Examinations and the GRE Analytical Writing section in the GRE Exam is designed to assess critical thinking and analytical writing skills, which is reflected by the candidate’s ability to express complex ideas clearly and effectively while maintaining a coherent and focused discussion. Many students lose sight of the fact that the test does not evaluate your content knowledge. So what opinion you provide has no right or wrong answer. In this article, we are going to be covering GRE Analytical Writing, GRE AWA topics, GRE issue pool, and GRE essay samples for the benefit of GRE test takers. 

The GRE Analytical Writing section has two different question types:

  • Analyze an Issue (Analytical Writing Assessment - AWA)
  • Analyze an Argument

Candidates are given 30 minutes to address each question.

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GRE Analytical Writing - GRE AWA Topics (Analyze an Issue)

As mentioned above the GRE essay is made up of GRE AWA topics and Analyze an Argument - topics. The following topics are on Analyzing an Issue. Candidates are required to write an essay in which they are required to respond to a brief statement on an issue of general interest. This task assesses the candidates’ ability to think critically about a general interest topic and express their thoughts in writing.

Candidates appearing for the exam will be given an issue statement that can be viewed from several different angles. They would be directed to adopt a position on the issue and to develop and support that position. Candidates should note that GRE Analytical Writing examples have been provided with each GRE AWA topic for the test taker to understand the format of the essay. 

GRE AWA Topic: 1

Some people believe that the most important qualities of an effective teacher are understanding and empathy. Others believe that it is more important for teachers to be rigorous and demanding in their expectations for students.

Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented. For a Response, Click Here

GRE AWA Topic: 2

Claim: Though often considered an objective pursuit, learning about the historical past requires creativity.

Reason: Because we can never know the past directly, we must reconstruct it by imaginatively interpreting historical accounts, documents, and artifacts.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which the claim is based. For a Response, Click Here

GRE AWA Topic: 3

We learn our most valuable lessons in life from struggling with our limitations rather than from enjoying our successes.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position. For a Response, Click Here

GRE AWA Topic: 4

In any field — business, politics, education, government — those in power should be required to step down after five years.

Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position. For a Response, Click Here

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GRE AWA Topic: 5

The effectiveness of a country's leaders is best measured by examining the well-being of that country's citizens.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position. For a Response, Click Here

GRE AWA Topic: 6

The general welfare of a nation's people is a better indication of that nation's greatness than the achievements of its rulers, artists, or scientists.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position. For a Response, Click Here

GRE AWA Topic: 7

The best test of an argument is the argument's ability to convince someone with an opposing viewpoint.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position. For a Response, Click Here

GRE AWA Topic: 8

It is more harmful to compromise one's own beliefs than to adhere to them.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position. For a Response, Click Here

GRE AWA Topic: 9

Claim: Major policy decisions should always be left to politicians and other government experts.

Reason: Politicians and other government experts are more informed and thus have better judgment and perspective than do members of the general public.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based. For a Response, Click Here

GRE AWA Topic: 10

Educational institutions should actively encourage their students to choose fields of study that will prepare them for lucrative careers.

Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position. For a Response, Click Here

GRE Essay Topics to Analyze an Argument 

The second part of the GRE Analytical Writing or the GRE essay topic belongs to the Analyze an Argument. The following pool of issue topics is to Analyze an Argument. Candidates are required to write on any one of the given GRE essay topics in which they are required to analyze a paragraph-length argument from the pool of issue topics provided to them. However, they are not required to present their own views on the argument's topic.

This task assesses the student’s ability to understand, analyze, and evaluate arguments from the pool of issue topics. The arguments will be presented in a brief paragraph that puts forth the author’s opinion or case. Candidates are required to determine if it is logically sound and evaluate the same. The GRE essay topics have been provided below along with GRE argument essay samples for the benefit of the test taker. 

GRE Essay Topic: 11

The following appeared as a letter to the editor from the owner of a skate shop in Central Plaza.

"Two years ago the city council voted to prohibit skateboarding in Central Plaza. They claimed that skateboard users were responsible for litter and vandalism that were keeping other visitors from coming to the plaza. In the past two years, however, there has been only a small increase in the number of visitors to Central Plaza, and litter and vandalism are still problematic. Skateboarding is permitted in Monroe Park, however, and there is no problem with litter or vandalism there. In order to restore Central Plaza to its former glory, then, we recommend that the city lift its prohibition on skateboarding in the plaza."

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation. GRE Argument Essay Response.

GRE Essay Topic: 12

The following appeared as part of an article in a Dillton newspaper.

"In an effort to bring new jobs to Dillton and stimulate the city's flagging economy, Dillton's city council voted last year to lower the city's corporate tax rate by 15 percent; at the same time, the city began offering generous relocation grants to any company that would move to Dillion. Since these changes went into effect, two new factories have opened in Dillion. Although the two factories employ more than 1,000 people, the unemployment rate in Dillton remains unchanged. The only clear explanation for this is that the new factories are staffed with out-of-town workers rather than Dillton residents."

Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.GRE Argument Essay Response.

GRE Essay Topic: 13

The following appeared in a memo from New Ventures Consulting to the president of HobCo, Inc., a chain of hobby shops.

"Our team has completed its research on suitable building sites for a new HobCo hobby Shop in the city of Grilldon. We discovered that there are currently no hobby shops in southeastern Grilldon. When our researchers conducted a poll of area residents, 88 percent of those who responded indicated that they would welcome the opening of a hobby shop in southeastern Grilldon. Grilldon is in a region of the nation in which the hobby business has increased by 300 percent during the past decade. In addition, Grilldon has a very large population of retirees, a demographic with ample time to devote to hobbies. We, therefore, recommend that you choose southeastern Grilldon as the site for your next HobCo Hobby Shop. We predict that a shop in this area will draw a steady stream of enthusiastic new HobCo customers."

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation. GRE Argument Essay Response.

GRE Essay Topic: 14

The following appeared in a newsletter published by the Appleton school district.

"In a recent study, more than 5,000 adolescents were asked how often they ate meals with their families. Almost 30 percent of the teens said they ate at least seven meals per week with their families. Furthermore, according to the same survey, teens who reported having the most family meals per week were also the ones least likely to have tried illegal drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. Family meals were also associated with lower rates of problems such as low grades in school, low self-esteem, and depression. We, therefore, recommend that families have as many meals together as possible. We predict that doing so will greatly benefit adolescents and turn troubled teens away from bad behaviors."

Write a response in which you discuss which questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.GRE Argument Essay Response.

GRE Essay Topic: 15

The following appeared in a health newsletter.

"Nosinia is a herb that many users report to be as effective as prescription medications at fighting allergy symptoms. Researchers recently compared Nosinia to a placebo in 95 men and women with seasonal allergies to ragweed pollen. Participants in the study reported that neither Nosinia nor the placebo offered significant relief. However, for the most severe allergy symptoms, the researchers reported that Nosinia was more effective than the placebo in providing relief. Furthermore, at the end of the study, participants given Nosinia were more likely than participants given a placebo to report feeling healthier. We, therefore, recommend using Nosinia to help with your severe allergy symptoms.

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation. GRE Argument Essay Response.

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GRE Essay Topic: 16

The following appeared on the Website Science News Today.

"In a recent survey of more than 5,000 adolescents, the teens who reported eating the most meals with their families were the least likely to use illegal drugs, tobacco, or alcohol. Family meals were also associated with higher grades, better self-esteem, and lower rates of depression. Almost 30 percent of the teens said they ate at least seven meals per week with their families. Clearly, having a high number of family meals keeps teens from engaging in bad behaviors."

Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument. GRE Argument Essay Response.

GRE Essay Topic: 17

According to an independent poll of 200 charitable organizations, overall donations of money to nonprofit groups increased last year, but educational institutions did not fare as well as other organizations. Donations to international aid groups increased the most (30 percent), followed by donations to environmental groups (23 percent), whereas donations to educational institutions actually decreased slightly (3 percent). Meanwhile, all of the major economic indicators suggest that consumer spending is higher than average this year, showing that potential donors have ample disposable income. Therefore, the clearest explanation for the decline in donations to educational institutions is that people actually value education less than they did in the past.

Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument. GRE Argument Essay Response.

GRE Essay Topic: 18

The following appeared in a letter to the editor of a Relannian newspaper.

Industry analysts report that the number of dairy farms in Relanna has increased by 25 percent over the last decade. Also, recent innovations in milking technology make it possible for farmers to significantly increase the efficiency of the milking process, allowing them to collect more milk in less time with minimal human intervention. In fact, data from the Relannian Department of Agriculture indicate that labor costs at the majority of Relannian dairy farms are actually lower now than they were ten years ago. Despite increased efficiency and lower labor costs, a carton of cream — a dairy product made from milk — at the local food market costs twice as much as it did two years ago. The only explanation for this dramatic price increase is that farmers are inflating the price of cream to increase their profits.

Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument. GRE Argument Essay Response.

GRE Essay Topic: 19

Archaeologists have long thought that an artifact called the pemchint was used by Dodecan people solely as a musical instrument. Pemchints consist of hollowed pieces of bone, shell, or wood that are tied together with long straps. When whirled in the air, the pemchints create pleasant tones. Until recently, pemchints were found only at locations known to be used for Dodecan rituals and celebrations. Additionally, they were always excavated in proximity to other musical artifacts. Recently, however, a pemchint was found along with Dodecan hunters' tools located miles from the nearest known Dodecan settlement, while no other music-related objects were found in the area. Clearly, then, the pemchint was used by Dodecan hunters, who most probably used the sounds to repel dangerous wildlife.

Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.GRE Argument Essay Response.

GRE Essay Topic: 20

Several recent studies have shown a link between health and stair usage. One recently completed study shows that people who live in stairs-only apartment buildings (that is, buildings without elevators) live an average of three years longer than people who live in buildings with both elevators and stairs. A second study shows that elderly residents of buildings with elevators make, on average, twice as many visits to doctors each year as residents of buildings without elevators. Furthermore, several doctor's offices are reporting that residents of stairs-only buildings scored higher than average on questionnaires administered to new patients, in which the patients were asked to rate several aspects of their own health (e.g., fitness, sleep quality, susceptibility to injury, etc.). The clearest explanation for these findings is that the moderate daily exercise required of residents who must use the stairs instead of elevators increases people's health and longevity.

Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument. GRE Argument Essay Response.

(source: ETS)

The 7 Categories of GRE Essay Topics

  1. Education
  2. Technology and Society
  3. Cities
  4. Arts
  5. Government and Power
  6. Intellectual Endeavors
  7. Philosophical

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FAQs

Q. Are essay topics repeated in GRE?

A. Similarly, there may be some arguments that are repeated across prompts in the GRE Argument pool, but they'll each be followed by a different task, so it's important to read the entire essay prompt (including the task) before beginning your analysis.

Q. Are 400 words enough for a GRE essay?

A. Yes, it is enough to write a GRE essay of 400 words. An essay should include at least four indented paragraphs and consist of 350–600 words—ideally somewhere in the 500–600-word range. Quality is most important, but in order to achieve that, you'll need to provide a solid line of reasoning and excellent examples—both of which require length.

Q. How do you get a 6 on the GRE essay?

A. You have to write at least three practice essays, Don't waffle, Choose very specific real-world examples, BUT, make sure your examples are relevant to the topic, Avoid first-person and self-reference, Make strong, declarative statements, and Refute the opposing view in your conclusion 7 Tips for a Perfect GRE Issue Essay.

Q. Can GRE be cracked in 1 month?

A. Yes, it you can crack GRE Exam in 1 month but it totally depends on the hard work. Studying for GRE in one month requires an exceptional study plan with proper practice. However, Studying for the GRE in one month and scoring a high score requires commitment and efficient time management.

Q. Is a 4 on GRE essay good?

A. Very high and very low GRE writing scores are uncommon. A 4.0, 4.5 or 5.0 is a good GRE writing score, and a 5.5 or 6.0 is exceptionally good. Even a slightly lower score might not seriously affect your applications, as long as you can demonstrate your writing skills in another way.
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Written by
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

Rahul Singha is a seasoned editor with Shiksha Study Abroad, specializing in overseas education. With over 8 years of domain experience, he has made a significant impact in contributing to the study abroad industry ... Read Full Bio

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Comments

(2)

I can't get response to see please help me to find out the responses of the following topics

Reply to Harshitha Yannamsetty

A

Anshara Ali

a year ago

thank you so much for sharing these topics, topic 15 same came in my test, thank you again. It was really helpful.

Reply to Anshara Ali

R

Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

a year ago

Hello Anshara. I am glad this article has been able to help you with your GRE test. Wishing you all the best in your future endeavours.

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