Structure the GRE Issue Essay

Structure the GRE Issue Essay


In this video, GRE expert Nick from Kaplan claims that you have to let what the essay graders are looking for drive how you construct your GRE Issue Essay. So, what do they want to see?


  1. Can you respond to the specific instructions of the premise?
  2. Can you demonstrate that you understand the complexities of the issue?
  3. Can you organise your essay properly?
  4. Can you use relevant evidence and examples to support the claims that you make?
  5. Can you use standard written English, i.e. avoid a grammatical calamity?


In your intro paragraph you have to show that you understand what the task is and also the complexities of the argument. The best way to start is by summarising the opposite side. You can say that “some people believe this and this based on this evidence”. Then, you will turn this around, saying that you are taking the opposite side and providing evidence. Make sure that your thesis statement very clearly declares that you are taking the opposite stance.

Check out: 12 Free GRE Preparation Resources


In your body paragraph you support your position. Don’t forget to use the three “Fs” (first, furthermore, finally) as a structure for transitions. At the beginning of the body paragraph, you provide the strongest piece of reasoning, your strongest claim as to why people should take your position.


A lot of people don’t know how to write effective conclusions. You can end by saying that while it’s not a terrible idea to do the opposite thing, you believe that your stance is more reasonable based on the evidence that you provided and that’s why you are going with your position. In other words, you finish your essay the way you started, showing test graders that you know what the task is and understand both sides of the issue.

Watch the video and good luck on your GRE Issue Essays!


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