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Writing Skills for the GRE and GMAT Tests 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0768910940
ISBN-10: 0768910943
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Peterson's; 1 edition (July 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0768910943
  • ISBN-13: 978-0768910940
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #656,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Bordman on April 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was my bible for writing the Issue and Argument essays on the GRE. I scored 5.0 (out of 6.0) on the analytical writing section and you can decide for yourself whether that score is a worthy result from using this book. Considering that I struggle with standardized tests, I commend the author for writing a useful and comprehensive book for GRE essay composition--I can't speak for the GMAT. The book provided valuable pointers for planning, outlining, and writing my essays. I used the book in conjunction with a printout of the essay topic pools from the ETS website. As the author states, these current essay topics for both the Issue and Argument essays are vital tools for practicing both essays.
The author (I say "author" because I couldn't find an author other than the Thompson/Peterson publishers) gives a structure for timing each stage of the essay process. Planning the Issue Essay, for example, included: five minutes for brainstorming and outlining; 30 minutes for composing; and 10 minutes for review. It was the brainstorm and outline planning I found particularly helpful for both essays.
For the Argument essay, outlining advice included quickly listing the evidence presented and then analyzing it. For outlining the Issue essay, the author suggests using a pro-versus-con technique for brainstorming both sides of the topic. Both approaches helped me to quickly organize ideas. As I practiced more, I got away from the suggested outlining and started to develop my own style, but the book's structure gave me a strong foundation to start with.
As far as the example essays in the back of the book, they are not written under a time constraint and are probably beyond what is possible to write under timed conditions.
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Format: Paperback
This book helped me score a 5.5 out of 6 on the writing portion. When I first began studying fot the GRE, I was intimidated by all the elements of the writing section: a vast pool of vague topics, impossible time limits, and my own cluttered opinions. I found Peterson's guide to be a practical refresher on rhetoric, fine tuned for maximum performance on the 45 minute and 30 minute essays.

My first few practice essays were rushed and unclear. On the day of the exam, I found myself with EXTRA time to edit and even add an extra paragraph. This could not have happened without Peterson.

I located this book at the public library a few days before the GRE- one of the best preparation decisions I made. It prompted me how to use supporting examples without letting them become cumbersome, develop a nuanced but clear line of reasoning, and skillfully deconstruct the arguments given in the argument-analysis portion.

This book might be a few years old, but its contents far outperform Barron's 2006/7 section on the GRE writing portion. I recommend using Barron's for everything else (verbal, quantitative tips and review, and the practice tests)- but complement your study with Peterson's book.

Also, I would recommend checking out the A&E video series "Biography of the Millennium: 100 People, 1000 Years" for an overview of western culture and history. It supplies some great examples to use in your essay.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best GMAT AWA prep book around. It is even more helpful to the non-native speakers who have not been trained in writting essays in English. I, a non-native speaker, used this book to prepare for AWA and scored 5.5 (90 percentile). Moreover, this book not only teaches you how to write for the AWA, but also teaches you real writing techniques that can be used in your everyday job and life.
A job well done, Mark Alan Stewart (the author)! Kudos to you!
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Format: Paperback
This first half of this book provided a much needed refresher on rhetorics, for someone (like me) who hasn't done such essays for some time. Using this book definitely contributed to my getting 6/6 on the GRE essay test.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book about a month before my test. I only used it like 4 days before my test. The night before I knew there wasn't much I could do so I just read as many of the essays as I could so I could get in my head how to "run" with issues and make some arguments. So the next morning I'm taking my test and one of the argument essays was MY argument essay word for word. I was so excited! Of course I didn't remember the essay word for word but I remembered the arguments and had ample time to add my own. The book was definitely worth the money :)
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I purchased this book only about a month and a half before I was scheduled to take the GRE because the prep course that I took did not go into as much detail as I would have liked about the writing section. They told me how it was graded and what makes a strong essay versus a weak one, but this book made it practical. I appreciated the dissection of the issue essay and the arguments essay. I needed a structure to input my thoughts quickly and that is what I got with this book. I got stuck on starting and ending that I wasted precious time. When the day of the test came I had more time left over to proof-read and revise my essays, and I was satisfied with my score.
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