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View Full Version : GMAT/GRE AWA: OK to defend both sides? Can we "take the middle road?"



davvy
11-10-2002, 11:30 AM
Question: In the essay must we defend one side strongly? Can we "sit on the fence?" Take the middle road/middle path? Take both sides?

hello friends i have a confusion regarding perspective on issue question. i was told by a friend, who took gmat and did rather well in it, that one has to support one position strongly in these questions and not sit on the fence by evaluating both viewpoints. but after reading many essays in arco book and even analyzing myself i feel that on some topics i am more comfortable striking a balance rather than take position strongly in favour of one viewpoint. what do u guys suggest . can it hurt if we strike a balance? is it necessary to favour one side?

Erin
11-10-2002, 08:11 PM
I've written about this a few times in these forums, and I always say the same thing--there are two schools of thought on this, and I am of the belief that one should discuss both sides of an issue.

In fact, I would say that most or all of the AWA Issue topics are written such that reasonable people would disagree about which stance to take. I believe that the test makers have carefully written the topics so that none of the answers are clearly one way or the other.

Whenever I have to write an essay on one of these topics, I take a 60/40 or 70/30 stance.

But again, there are two schools of thought. I think you can still get a 6.0 if you defend only one stance; I don't think anybody will tell you it's actually wrong to do so.

anmolsethy
07-11-2003, 12:45 AM
Can in a issue esaay we comment things like author's issue is very vague and it is not well defined.

Should we also describe in what way we will be using certain term and how we will be limiting their scope, at the start.

And what is a prefered line to begin..............yr stand or a slight overview of terms.

And does taking the middle-path harm ur score.Coz i belive taking the middle path is the easiest way to write a esaay.And this also lenthens it.

PEOPLE ANY COMMENTS..............

Erin
07-11-2003, 01:15 AM
You've got a lot of questions there. Let me point you in the right direction for one of them:

http://www.TestMagic.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1928&SearchTerms=sit,fence,middle,road,

I'll try my best to get back to the other ones if nobody else does. :)

Oh, one thing--all the essay topics are carefully researched, and I don't think it'd be a good idea to say that the idea is not well defined. In fact, I strongly believe that all the topics are in fact well defined, so if you have any questions about a certain topic, you can ask me.

anmolsethy
07-11-2003, 01:43 AM
ERIN

Basically u say thats its left to u . But whatever satnce u take ..........explain it in details and with good examples.

But what i feel personally is writing a miidle path essay is much easier then lopsiding.So that might play in the scoree's mind that by taking middle path u r simplying ur job .

What i feel is these esaays are meant to test ur decisoin making capabilities.And they help in a way.

Many a times when i start writing a essay .i have some other view.But when i begin to write down point ,details and examples my view changes.

Thats all i want to say

Do try to answer other queries plz.(Though i think u must be among the busiest people on earth)

:):D:cool:

anmolsethy
07-11-2003, 01:49 AM
Originally posted by Erin Billy

You've got a lot of questions there. Let me point you in the right direction for one of them:
Oh, one thing--all the essay topics are carefully researched, and I don't think it'd be a good idea to say that the idea is not well defined. In fact, I strongly believe that all the topics are in fact well defined, so if you have any questions about a certain topic, you can ask me.


Thin about this topic only :

The stability of a society depends on how it responds to the extremes of human behavior.

What is being meant by extremes .......negative/positive ?
Society....................a family or a country ?

Though i finally managed to integrate all of them together.I was feeling like its forced integration.

These terms like extremes,society depend on yr perception and view isnt it ?
(ok i accept maybe i shudnt write that the esay topic is stupid)
But maybe i can write the scopes inw hich i would be taking these terms. ?

Try to reply.........anyone

Erin
07-11-2003, 02:06 AM
Originally posted by anmolsethy

But what i feel personally is writing a miidle path essay is much easier then lopsiding.So that might play in the scoree's mind that by taking middle path u r simplying ur job .

What i feel is these esaays are meant to test ur decisoin making capabilities.And they help in a way.

Many a times when i start writing a essay .i have some other view.But when i begin to write down point ,details and examples my view changes.Yes, you've "hit the nail on the head." It's often difficult to take a stance, and the point of an essay is to persuade, not to present.

You may explain the pros and cons of each, but in the end, you must take a stance.

essay, by the way, comes from the French word essayer, which means to try. The point of an essay is to try to convince the reader of one's opinion.

[French essai, trial, attempt, from Old French, from essayer, to attempt, from Vulgar Latin *exagire, to weigh out, from Late Latin exagium, a weighing : Latin ex-, ex- + Latin agere, to drive; see ag- in Indo-European Roots. V., from Middle English assaien from Old French assaer, assaier, variant of essayer.]

Erin
07-18-2003, 12:06 AM
Originally posted by anmolsethy

The stability of a society depends on how it responds to the extremes of human behavior.

What is being meant by extremes .......negative/positive ?

Society....................a family or a country ?I think "extremes" has broader connotations and could be interpreted in different ways, so you're fairly safe there, I think. Extremes, by definition, however, could be either positive or negative, so that doesn't really matter.

And I think the meaning of "society" is fairly clear--"society" refers something (probably) larger than a family, perhaps as large as a country.

HTH :)

xmen
06-23-2004, 07:12 AM
On issues like
"Employee should keep their private lives as seprate as possible from work"

can i take stand that it is though neccessary but should not interfere with job at workplace. And argure for balance b/w mixing private life ( like social activities involving families at work) and not ldoing excessice discussions on personal intrests.


Or do we need to take any one stand ( for or against) and reason that

please advise
thanxs

Erin
06-23-2004, 07:39 AM
I think your stance seems perfectly reasonable.

Also, I was able to find a couple other discussions on this topic:

[topics merged into this thread]

xmen
08-17-2004, 08:47 PM
For (Issue) essays topic like below, Do I need to take one side. Or can I take middle path explaining that both kind of products are important and have their benefit. Some kind of products should be made to last long and other for should have main emphais on cost and in real world both types of products are required.

I sometimes takes middle path for question "Discuss the extnet to which you agree or disagree with opinion expressed"

People Often complain that products are not made to last. They feel that making products that wear out quickly wates both natural resources and human resources. What they fail to see is that such manufacturing practices keeps costs down for comusimer and simulate deman.

Which do you find more compleling : complain about product that do not last or response to it.

thanxs
xmen

nutan606
10-28-2004, 11:27 AM
Hi
I have been through a few web sites and have found contrasting views about what should be written in issue topic. Some say one side MUST be taken and others say one can take the middle path, giving qualified support to both the sides. And this has confused me a lot. Could any one tell me what is the right approach?

awhig
10-28-2004, 05:02 PM
Hi
I have been through a few web sites and have found contrasting views about what should be written in issue topic. Some say one side MUST be taken and others say one can take the middle path, giving qualified support to both the sides. And this has confused me a lot. Could any one tell me what is the right approach?
Well , it depends on the topic.If you feel middle path is correct then take middle stand.Generally, the topics given by ETS are such that they will compel you to take a side.

amit_g
11-08-2004, 05:41 PM
Erin, in the first of the above two posts you say you advocate "sitting on the fence" though different schools of thoughts preach differently, and neither is wrong.

In the second of the two posts, you say in general you should take a stance.

Didn't you contradict yourself?

Erin
11-08-2004, 07:31 PM
Erin, in the first of the above two posts you say you advocate "sitting on the fence" though different schools of thoughts preach differently, and neither is wrong.

In the second of the two posts, you say in general you should take a stance.

Didn't you contradict yourself?I don't think I've contadicted myself. Here's what I say in the first post:


Whenever I have to write an essay on one of these topics, I take a 60/40 or 70/30 stance.
Perhaps this next part is confusing:


I am of the belief that one should discuss both sides of an issue.Discussing both sides of an issue doesn't necessarily mean discussing both sides equally.

And in the second post:
The first rule is this: You must follow directions. If it says choose one, then choose one. If it says discuss both and choose one, you must do that.

In general, though, you must always take a stance, and not "sit on the fence." I hope that's clear and doesn't need any explanation. :)

But, to summarize my opinions: I believe it helps an essay to discuss both points of view; however, I do believe that the essay must overall argue one view over the other, even though you may see merit in the opposite view.

Again, these are just my opinions. The person who reads your essay may not agree with me. :D

papakehteyhain
11-08-2004, 08:49 PM
Should employees leave their personal lives entirely behind them when they enter the workplace, as the speaker suggests here? While I agree that employees should not allow their personal lives to interfere with their jobs, the speaker fails to consider that integrating personal life with work can foster a workplace ambiance that helps everyone do a better job, thereby promoting success for the organization.

Engaging coworkers in occasional conversation about personal interests and activities can help build collegiality among coworkers that adds to their sense of common purpose on the job. Managers would be well advised to participate in and perhaps even plan the sharing of personal information—as a leadership tool as well as a morale booster. An employee feels valued when the boss takes time to ask about the employee’s family or recent vacation. The employee, in turn, is likely to be more loyal to and cooperative with the boss. Company-sponsored social events—picnics, parties, excursions, and so forth—also help to produce greater cohesiveness in an organization, by providing opportunities for employees to bond with one another in ways that translate into better working relationships.

Admittedly, employees should guard against allowing their personal life to impinge upon their job performance or intrude on coworkers. Excessive chatting about non-business topics, frequent personal telephone calls, and the like, are always distracting. And romances between coworkers are best kept confidential, at least to the extent they disrupt work or demoralize or offend other employees. By the same token, however, employees who are too aloof—sharing nothing personal with others—may be resented by coworkers who perceive them as arrogant, unfriendly, or uncooperative. The ill-will and lack of communication that is likely to result may ultimately harm the organization.

In the final analysis, employees should strike a careful balance (strike a balance) when they mix their personal lives with their jobs. Although there are some circumstances in which bringing one’s personal life to the job may be counterproductive, for many reasons it is a good idea to inject small doses of personal life into the workplace.

gmat168
11-08-2004, 09:30 PM
Why are some phrases highlighted in blue?

THOCON
01-09-2005, 01:44 PM
Hi,Erin and every one.
I've read thru' all of yr posts, i also get confused that whether i shld strike a balance or encourage one point strongly.

Anyboy can help me in this topic?
#08 OG
" For hundreds of years, the monetary system of most countries has been based on the exchange of metal coins and printed pieces of paper. However, bcos of recent developments in technology, the international community shld consider replacing the entire system of coins and paper with a system of electronic accounts of credit and debits"
Discuss the extent to which u agree or disagree with the opinion expressed above. Support your point of view with reasons and/ or explames from yr own experience, observation, or reading.

Anybody can recommend your point of view? Because i'm thinking that computerized payment system is very useful in this century,hence it can be replaced the coins and paper system but someone may argue that how can poor people use the automatic system since they do not afford a PC in order to make transactions, and the idea of cashless world is unrealistic.
i need yr help so badly becos i'm taking the test in couple of weeks. But i'm not so confident in my writing.
Thanks all

grenerd
08-02-2014, 05:06 PM
I'm new to GRE. Should examples be used to support the reasoning? I noticed some of the AWA essays offer more opinions. Or I may need to get better review material.

Erin
08-02-2014, 08:58 PM
I'm new to GRE. Should examples be used to support the reasoning? I noticed some of the AWA essays offer more opinions. Or I may need to get better review material.Are you thinking of a specific essay prompt? If so, could you summarize it for us? I think I'd be better able to help if I saw a specific essay prompt.

Erin

grenerd
08-04-2014, 04:44 PM
I noticed for the GRE AWA Issue, there are a lot of essays going directly into examples pertaining to life experience. Is it OK to do that? If I do decide to discuss life experience in my own essay, how can I write it where I do not seem to jump to conclusions?