Where should I get examples?
supporting evidence may be drawn from personal experience, academic
knowledge, current events, and/or history. Try to limit your use of
personal experience unless it is very compelling, relevant and effective.
Coming up with ideas is generally easier for students who have taken
government policy analysis courses. This section favors the student
who flips to the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. To get comfortable with public policy issues,
try reading the Wall
Street Journal, The
Nation, or The Economist regularly before the test.
International Students: Read these American publications
as much as possible to see how Americans structure their writing
and to stay updated on issues.
Stick to Conventional Positions
Many Analysis of Issue topics could have controversial answers. As you can never predict
who will read your essay, avoid gambling with highly
charged writing. Stick to uncontroversial "politically correct" ideas and opinions. Doing
so ensures that your reader will not be able to disagree with you
and potentially score you accordingly. An extreme or forceful essay
may also confuse the E-rater, since your essay will not resemble any of the
essays it has stored in its database.
Analysis of Issue expectations for a "6":
- Is well developed, logical and coherent;
- Demonstrates critical thinking skills;
- Uses varied sentence structure and vocabulary;
- Uses standard written English and follows the languages conventions;
- Is free of mechanical errors in spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.
Don't Get Off Topic
It is essential to fully and comprehensively address the question (or questions) posed in the prompt. Most often, this means borrowing wording from the prompt to stay parallel and avoiding off-topic tangents that complicate the answer with needless information. Do not waste time straying from the topic.
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 five paragraphs of four sentences
each over a four-paragraph rambling essay with ten sentences in each paragraph?
Keep the essays crisp, concise, and well structured.