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Essays on GRE Issue Tasks

Updated on August 11, 2009


Here you will find some samples of the Issue task essays given in the Analytical section of the GRE. You might also be interested in some samples of the Argument tasks given here.

GRE Issue Topic 1

Young people frequently fall into the trap of assuming that the difficulties they face today are greater and more troublesome than those faced by previous generations. As they gain experience and maturity, however, they eventually become aware of the falsity of this assumption.

Most of the young people are emotional and take even the slightest aspect of their life very seriously. They have, most of the time, in mind a desire to excel and get into a leading position. This makes them overly sensitive to the problems any person might experience in the course of life and they start believing that the difficulties they are facing today have never been faced by anyone before. This belief of the young has several aspects, which I am going to discuss here.

Firstly, and most importantly, the reason for such behaviour is a lack of knowledge. Since the younger generation generally does not know about the past, they are unable to realize the conditions and problems that their older generations have faced. This is exacerbated by the fact that most of the time they are not interested in learning about the past. For example, except the students of economics, who among the younger generation would care much to learn and understand about the period of severe economical downturn faced by the world after world wars? It was a time of great struggle and difficulties. The problems were already there due to the destruction caused by wars and were made worse by the economic crisis.

Secondly, even if the youth has some knowledge of the past, it is difficult for them to understand the actual gravity of those difficulties. It is only after experiencing something that a person can fully understand and appreciate the meaning of it. It is a human nature to grasp the fine points of an event only by experiencing it himself. This is the reason that as the youth of today becomes the youth of yesterday they start realizing the events in a more cogent manner.

Furthermore, the nature of difficulties also plays an important role in the reaction attributed to the young people in this topic. At this age, people are mostly concerned about matters related to jobs and relationships. These are the factors of prime importance in the life of any young person. These factors actually drive the life of a youth. Therefore, they readily assume that the difficulties they are facing are more troublesome than anyone has ever faced.

There is another interesting aspect of this behaviour. It is not that the older generation which is still living among the young people are now prone to difficulties and problems. They still face problems. Then why do the youth not observe and learn the way these problems are being tackled by the experienced lot? In my opinion, it is due to the fact that after years of experience, the older people have learned the skill of avoiding problems. For those problems which inevitably fall, they know how to tackle them. It is something which can be attributed as intrinsic to them. It is therefore due to these reasons that the youth despite of being living among more experienced is unable to learn. They are simply unaware of this process.

So if youth around you keeps complainig about petty issues and elevate very simple problems to the status of extreme importance, do not get upset. This is just one of the interesting and unique features of people at this age. Once they get mature and gain experience they will also understand that this is the pattern of life which will continue for genrations to come. Though the conditions and nature of problems are never the same but the actual gravity and seriousness is more or less of similar significance.

GRE Issue Topic 2

While some people will find it a useful technique to counter the security-threatining elements, I believe that employing random stop-and-search procedures is not a viable option.

It is a known fact that elements which pose threat to the safety of our society, mostly the urban areas, have a capacity to evade such primitive measures of security checks. In order to curb this problem it will not be enough to implement the stop-and-search methods. Modern urban neighbourhoods which are more prone to negative activities of these criminals can be more properly secured by using modern hi-tech machnery for this purpose. The scanners that we commonly see at airports are the best options. Properly installed and managed at locations which are most frequently visited by people like hospitals, malls, libraries, stadiums, universities etc. will help a lot to preserve safety of people. This will also prove to be a much faster, efficient and user-friendly solution.

This brings us to another reason for my belief-discomfort for people. I believe that random security checks will cause trouble and unease among people. It is highly probable that people will not like themselves to be searched. Some might even find it against their honour. They might claim that why they have been chosen to be searched among so many people. It will be difficult for the security personnel to calm such citizens. Most of the time people will not be supportive to police or security staff. This can cause difficulties for the security personnel too and there will be a great chance of friction between people and the security which is definitely not desirable in a respectable, civilized society.

Another reason for my belief is that some criminals might start mugging people by posing as police officials. It has been observed several times that people have been looted by criminals posing as police. Though such cases happen at places which are not much frequented by people, there is an elevated danger especially at highways. It is very easy to stop people traveling on highways at night and deprive them of their money and valuables.

Though it is very difficult, but let us assume for a while that all the above mentioned problems are somehow controlled. In that case too the random stop-and-search method will fail in cities with large population. This technique is not at all feasible as in the presence of so many people there will be much less chance to catch criminals.

To sum it up, i would say that though the mentioned technique could help in some instances, like using it in sparsely populated areas, it is not a feasible option for modern cities with large pouplation. There are much better options, both in terms of security efficiency and user-friendliness which should be opted in place of random checking.

GRE Issue Topic 3

If I can not have freedom, I’d rather not be alive.

Last century has seen a number of nations gaining independence from powers who have enjoyed years of rule over them. Some of the most striking and most cited examples include the independence of India and South Africa from British rule. Gandhi or Nelson Mandela-both have spent their precious lives just for independence. This truly suggests that freedom is something worth more than our lives. There are countless people, most of them not even recorded in the history throughout the world, who have sacrificed their lives for freedom-freedom for their people, for their children, for their nation.

Nations are characterized and identified by their unique values, faith and culture. These are the characteristics the nations are proud of. They have nurtured and preserved these values, customs, cultures through centuries. These values define the basic structure of their living pattern, their rights, responsibilities, aims etc. without which they lose a visible direction to follow. Once their freedom is taken away, all these characteristics are at stake since the aggressors implement the tactics of ripping the dependent nations of their values. Once their values are taken away the nation lose the sight and sense of direction and hence wanders in the darkness of confusion and aimlessness. This is done in order to subjugate them easily.

Subjugation follows taking away of rights. Most of the rights are denied and once an independent nation assumes a status of a third degree nation within their own land. How painful it would be to see your institutions closing their doors for you. You will see your MASTERS occupying jobs and important positions. The lands which once used to be yours will be used to reap fruits for someone else. In extreme cases, your children will be deprived of education and if allowed to go to schools they will be bombarded by the ideals and values which are alien to them. As a result they will lose their confidence. Dale Carnegie in his famous work on psychology suggests that confidence is the only quality which can lead a wretch to a success. So the implications of losing one’s freedom can be much more severe than it would appear.

History is witness to instances where the aggressors have influenced the dependent nations so much that even the faith which is considered to be the most basic value of a human being was changed by force.

All these reasons are why I believe the heroes like Gandhi and Mandela struggled so hard. They sacrificed their lives and presented excellent examples of the phrase that if I cannot have freedom, I ‘d rather not be alive.

GRE Issue Topic 4

An author should be judged on the complete body of his or her work, rather than on one outstanding example.

Definitely, it is not always possible to produce a great piece of work, but this does not suggest that an outstanding piece of work should only be used as a measure of the overall quality of an author. There is always a general sense of quality present in work. The work produced by an author throughout his life provides a measure of its quality.

An author throughout the course of his life uses his pen to compose pieces of work on several topics. Normally, these topics cover a vast spectrum providing a chance to readers belonging to different walks of life to enjoy the creation. It is in this manner that we get to know the ideas and views of an author and the way he perceives the world. This holistic view provides a better framework for the judgement of an author.

Besides getting an insight of the author’s way of thinking, another reason that I believe in referencing the complete body of work for judgement is that it represents a correct measure of popularity. It is obvious that people have different interests and tend to bend towards books belonging to the subjects of their interest. So, if an author has a number of fans belonging to different walks of life, it suggests his popularity among masses due to his collective work, not just because of his single creation. Hence, this provides a better judgment of an author as a single outstanding work does not capture the attendance of general public.

Most of the time, the authors who get fame due to one outstanding work in the early stages of their career become loathe and tend to capitalize on their one by-chance masterpiece. This, on one hand might be seen as deceiving general public and on the other hand it would be tantamount to destroying one’s own career. If the author is quality sensitive, he will continue to produce work which will keep his fans glued to his work even if he fails to produce another masterpiece. Consistency is the key in this case. Why does everybody remember Shakespeare, Charles Dickens etc while the names of some other authors who managed to produce a masterpiece is not usually in the mind of people? Certainly, it’s the consistent quality of work present in all of the creations of these famous authors that have elevated them to such a prestigious position.

It is therefore due to these reasons that I strongly believe critics should seriously consider an author’s lifetime efforts, rather than concentrate on a single famous piece of work, to judge him.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      thanks a lot!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      great and very helpful!!!!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      greatttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttest and useful essays

    • profile image

      GRE girl 

      9 years ago

      great essays,thank you!!!!


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