第一部分：分析性写作部分(Analytical Writing)包括两个任务，分别要求应试者对一个问题发表个人的观点(Issue Task)和分析一个论点(Argument Task)。每个任务各30分钟，共计一个小时的考试时间，满分为6分。
包括两个任务，分别要求应试者对一个问题发表个人的观点(Issue Task)和分析一个论点(Argument Task)。每个任务各30分钟，共计一个小时的考试时间，满分为6分。写作考察重点包括：清楚有效地阐明复杂观点、用贴切的事理和事例支撑观点、考察/验证他人论点及其相关论证、支撑一个有针对性的连贯的讨论、控制标准书面英语的各个要素。
GRE Argument Sample
The following appeared in an article written by Dr. Karp, an anthropologist.
“Twenty years ago, Dr. Field, a noted anthropologist, visited the island of Tertia and concluded from his observations that children in Tertia were reared by an entire village rather than by their own biological parents. However, my recent interviews with children living in the group of islands that includes Tertia show that these children spend much more time talking about their biological parents than about other adults in the village. This research of mine proves that Dr. Field's conclusion about Tertian village culture is invalid and thus that the observation-centered approach to studying cultures is invalid as well. The interview-centered method that my team of graduate students is currently using in Tertia will establish a much more accurate understanding of child-rearing traditions there and in other island cultures.”
Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.
It might seem logical, at first glance, to agree with the argument in Dr. Karp’s article that children in Tertia actually are raised by their biological parents (and perhaps even, by implication, that an observation-centered approach to anthropological study is not as valid as an interview-centered one). However, in order to fully evaluate this argument, we need to have a significant amount of additional evidence. The argument could end up being much weaker than it seems, or it might actually be quite valid. In order to make that determination, we need to know more then analyze what we learn.
The first piece of evidence that we would need in order to evaluate Dr. Karp’s claims is information about whether or not Tertia and the surrounding island group have changed significantly in the past 20 years. Dr. Field conducted his observational study 20 years ago, and it is possible that Tertia has changed significantly since then. For example, if we had evidence that in teh intervening years Westerners had settled on the island and they introduced a more typical Western-style family structure, it would certainly weaken Dr. Karp’s argument. In that case, the original study could have been accurate, and Dr. Karp’s study could be correct, as well, though his conclusion that Dr. Field’s method is ineffective would be seriously weakened.
Another piece of evidence that might help us evaluate this claim involves the exact locations where Dr. Karp’s interviews took place. According to this article, Dr. Karp and his graduate students conducted interviews of “children living in the group of islands that includes Tertia.” If we were to learn that they never interviewed a single Tertian child, it would significantly weaken the conclusion. It could turn out to be the case, for example, that children on Tertia are raised communally, whereas children on other islands nearby are raised by their biological parents.
In order to fully evaluate this article, we would also need to learn more about the interview questions that Dr. Karp’s team used. What exactly did they ask? We don’t know, nor do we know what the children’s responses actually were. What did they say about their biological parents? The mere fact that they speak more frequently about their biological parents than they do about other adults does not meant hat they are raised by their biological parents. It would significantly undermine Dr. Karp’s argument if it turned out that the children said things like how much they missed their parents or how their parents had left them in a communal environment. Without knowing WHAT the children said, it is hard to accept Dr. Karp’s conclusion.
It is slightly more difficult to discuss teh evidence we might need in order to evaluate the more interesting claims in Dr. Karp’s article, namely his extension of the results of his study to a conclusion that interview-centered methods are inherently more valid than observational-centered approaches. In order to fully evaluate this claim, in fact, we would need to look at many more examples of interview-based and observation-based anthropological studies and we would also need to look into different study designs. Perhaps Dr. Field did not conduct an effective observational study, but other observational approaches could be effective. In order to make such grandiose claims, Dr. Karp really needs a lot of additional evidence (ideally a meta- analysis of hundreds of anthropological studies).
Clearly, then, we need to have additional evidence in order to get a more complete understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of Dr. Karp’s article. We need to know about Tertia and the surrounding islands, whether or not they have changed over the past 20 years. We also need to know about study design (Dr. Karp’s and Dr. Field’s). And we really need a lot more information if we want to extend the results of a study about one island culture to all anthropological fieldwork.
This outstanding response clearly addresses the specific task directions and presents a cogent, insightful analysis by specifically detailing the impact that different pieces of evidence would have on the argument. The introductory paragraph sets up the organization of the response, and each body paragraph provides the sort of compelling development typical in responses that receive a score of 6. For example, after the writer discusses possible evidence that Tertian child-rearing practices have changed over the past 20 years, he or she clearly explains the impact information about those changes might have on the argument, saying, “In that case, the original study could have been accurate, and Dr. Karp’s study could be correct, as well, though his conclusion that Dr. Field’s method is ineffective would be seriously weakened.” Not only is this argument compelling, but it also demonstrates sophisticated syntax and facility with language. There is more insightful development in the fifth paragraph, in which the writer examines Dr. Karp’s claims about interview-based studies. Although there are a few typos and minor errors here, nothing in the response distracts from the overall fluency of the writing. Sentences like this one demonstrate the fluent and precise diction and varied syntax that are evident throughout the response: “It could turn out to be the case, for example, that children on Tertia are raised communally, whereas children on other islands nearby are raised by their biological parents.” Because of its compelling and insightful development and fluent and precise language, this response fits all of the bullet points for a 6.
GRE Issue Sample
The best way to teach is to praise positive actions and ignore negative ones.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.
The recommendation presents a view that I would agree is successful most of the time, but one that I cannot fully support due to the “all or nothing” impression it gives.
Certainly as an educator I agree fully that the best way to elicit positive response from students is to make use of students’ positive energy and then encourage actions that you would like to see repeated. It is human nature that we all want to be accepted and achieve on some level, and when people in authority provide feedback that we have done something well, the drive to repeat the action that was praised is bound to be particularly strong.
This blanket statement would obviously pay dividends in situations in which a teacher desires to have students repeat particular behaviors. For example, if an educator is attempting to teach students proper classroom etiquette, it would be appropriate to openly praise a student who raises his or her hand when wishing to speak or address the class. In such cases, the teacher may also help shape positive behaviors by ignoring a student who is trying to interject without approval from the teacher. In fact, the decision to ignore students who are exhibiting inappropriate behaviors of this type could work very well in this situation, as the stakes are not very high and the intended outcome can likely be achieved by such a method. However, it is important to note here that this tactic would only be effective in such a “low-stakes” situation, as when a student speaks without raising her hand first. As we will discuss below, ignoring a student who hits another student, or engages in more serious misbehaviors, would not be effective or prudent.
To expand on this point, it is important for teachers to be careful when working with the second half of this statement, only ignoring negative actions that are not serious. Take for instance a student who is misbehaving just by chatting with a fellow class- mate. This student might not be presenting much of a problem and may be simply seeking attention. Ignoring the student might, in fact, be the best solution. Now assume the negative action is the improper administering of chemicals in a science experiment or the bullying of a fellow student. To ignore these negative actions would be absurd and negligent. Now you are allowing a problem to persist, one that could potentially lead to much bigger and more dangerous issues. In a more serious situation, addressing the negative actions quickly and properly could stop the problem it in its tracks. It is for reasons like this that I do not advocate the idea that a teacher can be successful by simply ignoring negative actions.
I do, however, greatly support the idea that the central focus of teaching should be to build on and encourage positive actions. However, the author’s all-encompasing statement leaves too many negative possibilities for the classroom. Perhaps a better way to phrase this statement would be to say, “The best way to teach is to praise positive actions and ignore negative ones that are not debilitating to class efficiency or the safety of any individual”.
Thus, in the original statement, there are indeed some good intentions, and there could be a lot of merit in adopting its basic principles. Data proves that positive support can substantially increase motivation and desire in students and contribute to positive achievements. In fact, most studies of teaching efficacy indicate that praising positive actions and ignoring negative ones can create a more stable and efficient classroom. It needs to be stressed, however, that this tool is only effective at certain levels of misbehavior. As mentioned above, when the behavior is precipitated by feelings of revenge, power or total self-worthlessness, this methodology will likely not work. It is likely to be very successful, however, when the drive behind the misbehavior is simple attention seeking. In many of these instances, if the teacher demonstrates clearly that inappropriate behavior does not result in the gaining of attention, students are more likely to seek attention by behaving properly. Should the student choose this path, then the ignoring has worked and when the positive behavior is exhibited, then the teacher can utilize the first part of the theory and support or praise this behavior. Now it is much more likely to be repeated. If the student does not choose this path and instead elects to raise the actions to a higher level that presents a more serious issue, then ignorance alone cannot work and other methods must be employed.
In conclusion, one can appreciate the credo expressed in this instance, but surely we all can see the potential error of following it through to the extreme.
This response receives a 6 for its well-articulated, insightful analysis of the issue. Rather than simply rejecting or accepting the prompt, the writer argues that the recommendation made by the prompt can often be true but is too “all or nothing” to be endorsed without qualification. The writer turns this idea into an insightful position by providing examples and evidence to fully and persuasively support its nuanced argument. The response offers nicely detailed situations that provide compelling support for a claim that the recommendation can, in fact, work. At the same time, it also highlights the recommendation’s limits using additional specific, detailed examples. Particularly persuasive is the fourth paragraph, in which the writer compares the impact of ignoring minor behavioral problems like talking in class to the potential costs of ignoring more serious issues like bullying. Thus, the writer recognizes that the prompt’s claim, as well as his/her own, is inevitably dependent on the specific context for its success or failure. Throughout the response, the writer demonstrates the ability to convey ideas fluently and precisely, using effective vocabulary and sentence variety. This sentence demonstrates the level of language facility seen throughout the response: “It is human nature that we all want to be accepted and achieve on some level, and when people in authority provide feedback that we have done something well, the drive to repeat the action that was praised is bound to be particularly strong.”
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