Essay Samples Topics

GRE Argument Sample Essays

  1. Topic 755 - The following appeared in a letter to an editor. "In many countries, wood is the primary fuel used for heating and cooking, but wood smoke can cause respiratory and eye problems, and extensive use of wood causes deforestation, a major environmental problem. In contrast, charcoal, made by partially burning wood in a controlled process, is a fuel that creates less smoke than wood does. Moreover, although charcoal costs slightly more than wood, less charcoal is needed to produce the same amount of heat. Therefore, people who use wood as their primary fuel can, without experiencing economic hardship, switch to charcoal and can thereby improve their health and preserve the environment. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  2. Topic 779 - The following editorial appeared in a newspaper in the country of Solaria. "The Eliot Valley region was primarily agricultural twenty years ago. In the past twenty years, however, many computer-chip manufacturers have opened factories there. A recent study found that water pollution in the region was worse than in any other region in the country. Moreover, the computer-chip factories, which use large quantities of water to manufacture the chips, are probably responsible for the low levels of water in the region's lakes and reservoirs. Therefore, if the region's computer-chip makers had limits placed on the amount of water they could use, water quality would improve. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  3. Topic 912 - The following appeared in a memo written by a dean at Buckingham College. "To serve the housing needs of our students, Buckingham College should build a new dormitory. Buckingham's enrollment is growing and, based on current trends, should double over the next fifty years, thus making existing dormitories inadequate. Moreover, the average rent for an apartment in our town has increased in recent years. Consequently, students will find it increasingly difficult to afford off-campus housing. Finally, an attractive new dormitory would make prospective students more likely to enroll at Buckingham. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  4. Topic 825 - The following is a letter to the head of the tourism bureau on the island of Tria. "Erosion of beach sand along the shores of Tria Island is a serious threat to our island and our tourist industry. In order to stop the erosion, we should charge people for using the beaches. Although this solution may annoy a few tourists in the short term, it will reduce the number of people using the beaches and will raise money for replenishing the sand. Replenishing the sand, as was done to protect buildings on the nearby island of Batia, will help protect buildings along our shores, thereby reducing these buildings' risk of additional damage from severe storms. And since the areas along the shore will be more attractive as a result, the beaches will be preserved and the area's tourist industry will improve over the long term. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  5. Topic 951 - Woven baskets characterized by a particular distinctive pattern have previously been found only in the immediate vicinity of the prehistoric village of Palea and therefore were believed to have been unique to the Palean people. Recently, however, archaeologists discovered such a 'Palean' basket in Lithos, an ancient village across the BrimRiver from Palea. The BrimRiver is very deep and broad, and so the ancient Paleans could only have crossed it by boat, but there is no evidence that the Paleans had boats. And boats capable of carrying groups of people and cargo were not developed until thousands of years after the Palean people disappeared. Moreover, Paleans would have had no need to cross the river ?the woods around Palea are full of nuts, berries, and small game. It follows that the so-called Palean baskets were not unique to Palea. Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  6. Topic 796 - The following appeared in a health newsletter. "Eating a heavy meal may increase the risk of heart attack. A recent survey of 2,000 people who had had a heart attack revealed that 158 of them said they had eaten a heavy meal within 24 hours before their heart attack, and 25 of them said they had eaten a heavy meal within 2 hours before their heart attack. Eating and digesting food releases hormones into the bloodstream and temporarily increases heart rate and blood pressure slightly. Both of these things put stress on the heart. Therefore, people who are at risk of having a heart attack can lower that risk by not overeating. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  7. Topic 750 - The cities of East Sacunda and West Sacunda are in an earthquake-prone area. Since 1985 both cities have had stringent building codes requiring all new buildings to have specific features designed to prevent damage in an earthquake. Buildings built before 1985 are exempt from the codes, but many building owners have modified their buildings to make them conform to the 1985 codes. Last year a major earthquake hit the area, and many people lost their homes. The number of people who were left homeless was much higher in East Sacunda than in West Sacunda, however, so we can conclude that building owners in East Sacunda were less likely to modify their buildings so as to bring them up to the 1985 code standards. Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  8. Topic 877 - The following appeared in a recommendation from the president of Amburg's Chamber of Commerce. "Last October the city of Belleville installed high intensity lighting in its central business district, and vandalism there declined almost immediately. The city of Amburg has recently begun police patrols on bicycles in its business district but the rate of vandalism there remains constant. Since high intensity lighting is apparently the most effective way to combat crime, we should install such lighting throughout Amburg. By reducing crime in this way, we can revitalize the declining neighborhoods in our city. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  9. Topic 909 - The following appeared as part of an article in a local Beauville newspaper. "According to a government report, last year the city of Dillton reduced its corporate tax rate by 15 percent; at the same time, it began offering relocation grants and favorable rates on city utilities to any company that would relocate to Dillton. Within 18 months, two manufacturing companies moved to Dillton, where they employ a total of 300 people. Therefore, the fastest way for Beauville to stimulate economic development and hence reduce unemployment is to provide tax incentives and other financial inducements that encourage private companies to relocate here. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  10. Topic 901 - The following appeared as part of a memo from the manager of a hazardous-waste disposal company. "Our new plan will help us better protect our staff against exposure to toxic chemicals: We are fitting each new safety suit with an alarm that will sound in the main control booth when the suit is punctured. The control booth will notify the managers on duty, who will then take the necessary steps to ensure employees' safety. In addition to the obvious safety-related benefits, the fast reaction time will ensure minimal work stoppage and thus result in increased worker productivity and company profitability. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  11. Topic 950 - 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 proves that Dr. Field's conclusion about Tertian village culture is false, and thus that the observation-centered approach to studying cultures is invalid. Because they are using the interview-centered method, my team of graduate students working in Tertia will establish a much more accurate understanding of child-rearing traditions there and in other island cultures. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write
  12. Topic 830 - The following is a letter to the editor of a local newspaper. "As a local merchant, I wish to support the development of a ski resort in the state park north of our township. Along with many other merchants who favor the proposal by Ski the Slopes, Incorporated, I would, of course, experience a growth in my business. But I also know how much more prosperous, not to mention lively and interesting, our community would be if tourism increased. Since the main opposition comes from a few environmentalists* who do not even live in this community, I see no reason to give in to their views. The First National Bank has finally researched the project and agreed to fund it. As a result, I see no reason to delay development of the resort. "Environmentalists are people who advocate the preservation of the natural environment. Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Read | Write

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