Graders of the Analysis of Issue essay expect an essay that:
- Is well developed, logical and coherent;
- Demonstrates critical thinking skills;
- Uses varied sentence structure and vocabulary;
- Uses standard written English and follows the language’s conventions;
- Is free of mechanical errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization.
How do I write a well-balanced essay?
Acknowledge both sides of the issue to show that you understand it fully. At the same time, you must pick a side and persuade the reader that, despite the counter-arguments, your position is the strongest one overall.
Show the reader that you see both sides of the issue by occasionally using qualifiers (we discuss this later in chapter 5) when describing each side. This will allow you to acknowledge the opposing view and appear scholarly. (Note that overuse of qualifiers will make the essay appear vague and dilute your argument).
Be as politically correct as possible in your essay. You can never predict who will be reading your essay, so it is best not to gamble with highly charged writing. Stick to uncontroversial ideas and opinions. Doing so assures 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 essays it has stored in its database. Nevertheless, you must take a stand. Pick the side you feel most comfortable arguing make your opinion clear throughout the essay.
Note: Do not write an unsubstantiated opinion. Write an argument that consists of your thesis and logical arguments to support it.