Brainstorming

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Today, I will take apart a prompt from the Issue task. That is I’ll brainstorm, coming up with pros and cons and specific examples to back up each side.

I’ve taken an example from the ETS website. If you don’t know already, their offers hundreds of sample essay prompts. Now if you’re not convinced and think, “Hey, I already have a book with sample essay prompts,” then consider this: test day the prompt you get will be one of the prompts on this site. It may very well be the following prompt:

To understand the most important characteristics of a society, one must study its major cities.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.

First off, make sure you not only read the issue, but that you read the directions. You must establish a position, and tell us your rationale for choosing this position. Your position should fall somewhere along the spectrum of disagree/agree. You probably don’t want to be too neutral (defending a default position is never that compelling), nor do you want to be too extreme: Unless you study the cities of a major society you will be forever doomed in trying to understand that society.

The first step is come up with positions for and against the prompt. Then you will want to choose the side you feel you have the best reasoning for, keeping in mind that you should, “consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true…”

For

All great civilizations have had a flourishing city. The government/king/queen have been here. To understand most of its people, the way in which it is ruled, we must understand the city. ‘Most important characteristics’ shows that life outside of a city can still help illuminate the society,...
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