The prompt is always formatted the same way. There is a statement with information about where the excerpt came from. Then there is a quoted statement, which is followed by:
“Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.”
In each case, the GMAT is looking for you to find the flaws in the argument. Specifically, you should address: questionable assumptions, faulty lines of reasoning, lack of evidence, and additional evidence that is needed. This persuasive essay ought to not only showcase your knowledge of business and the market, but should also prove your ability to articulate yourself in a clear and logical way. Thus, you should follow the M.E.E.A.L method of writing (Main Idea, Explanation, Evidence/Examples, Analysis, Link back to thesis) for the body paragraphs, as well as make sure to have clear introductory and concluding paragraphs including an obvious thesis statement. For more details about general writing strategies like this, click here.
Since all essay prompts are unique, there is no one-size-fits-all template for the AWA Argument Essay of the GMAT. Nevertheless, here is guideline for the possible structuring of your response. The words and phrases in the parentheses are hints for what to include in that sentence, depending on the specific info in the given prompt. Find example prompts, along with other GMAT prep material, by clicking here.
AWA Argument Essay Template:
This arguments states that (intended change and potential outcome). This conclusion is based on the premise that (premise). This argument is substantially flawed. It presents inconclusive information, offers dubious support, and draws unreasonable conclusions.
There are several assumptions that may not necessarily apply to this argument. For example, (possible negative effect of the change). Also, one must look at the plausibility of (possible negative effect of the change). And finally, because (conclusion is true in some cases) does not necessarily mean that (conclusion is true in all cases).
Another issue to be addressed is whether (implementing the change) justifies (potential outcome). Clearly, one could argue that if (change) causes (possible negative effect of the change), then it would not make sense to (implement change). For example, (example that illustrates this). To consider this, (additional information/analysis) must be made.
This argument also relies on the idea that (false assumption). This is not always the case. Perhaps (other considerations). For instance, (example that illustrates this). Furthermore, (original problem) may not be the only issue. (Other issues) may also play a role in (problem), for instance. Other types of analysis must be made such as (additional information/analysis) in order to determine if (original problem) is indeed impacted by (premise and/or intended change).
Finally, one must understand that (conclusion does not apply to all situations). For example, (example to illustrate this). Thus, (change) could result in (potential negative outcomes).
In conclusion, this argument is neither sound nor persuasive. While at first it may seem to make sense to (change), a deeper evaluation reveals that this is not always a viable option. Before any decision is made, all aspects of this issue ought to be thoroughly considered, not just the (premise).