Issue Analysis Essay

You should be aware of both sides of an issue given in an AWA essay for isuue analysis. The trick to doing this is to persuade the reader that, despite the counter-arguments, your position is the strongest one overall. Try to "straddle the fence" between both sides of the issue by making limited use of qualifiers. This will allow you to acknowledge the opposing view and appear scholarly. Be caucious that overuse of qualifiers will make the essay appear too vague and dilute an argument you are making.

In general, take a politically correct opinion or an opinion that a majority of top scorers might take. However, if you do not think you can write an effective politically correct essay, adjust your content to fit what you can comfortably express. In general, though, stay non-controversial and balanced. Do not use it as a forum to be an ideologue. Writing a highly charged essay might evoke a bias from the reader and it also may confuse the E-rater, since your essay will not resemble any essays it has stored in its database.


Where should I get examples?

The instructions (with only a few exceptions) allow you to draw upon your personal experiences in developing your answer to each essay question. This practice is acceptable, but don't overdo it. You should generally rely more on academic knowledge than personal experiences.

Your examples and knowledge can be impressive, but you shouldn't go too far. Don't try to impress the grader with you expertise in a narrow area. The AWA tests analytical writing, not specific subject knowledge.

Keep it concise

Put yourself in the position of a grader. They grade essays all day. Wouldn't you favor a concise and effective essay with 5 paragraphs of 4 sentences each more than a 4 paragraph rambling essay with 10 sentences in each paragraph? The bottom line: keep the essays crisp, concise, and written in a manner appealing to the grader. This is particularly important on the Analysis of Issue question, where you essay expresses personal opinions.

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