我们都知道新版的GRE作文issue有6种写作指引，而argument有4种写作指引。不遵循写作指引的作文，无论文笔、内容多么出色，能取得的分数肯定会大打折扣。在issue的写作中，有一种写作指引要求我们讨论自己的论述可能受到的挑战：Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.
题目中的关键词是写命题作文的根本所在，如果在写作中不能充分的回应关键词或者偏离了关键词所设定的讨论范围，这篇文章就有偏题的风险。从e-rater的角度来讲，我们写的文章里的单词会被转换为向量和不同分数的样品文章所转化的向量进行比对然后决定属于那一个档次的文章。要想我们用的词和高分文章用的词相类似，一个基本的原则和策略便是要紧扣题目中的关键词。以issue 57 为例： The main benefit of the study of history is to dispel the illusion that people living now are significantly different from people who lived in earlier times.
Moreover, the study of history helps us to do even better in the future, and go forward becoming different from what we are today. 这段话的内容主要是讨论学习历史的其他好处，但是作为统领全段的主题句并没有明确的指出这段的目的就是讨论其他的好处。
"In a laboratory study of liquid antibacterial hand soaps, a concentrated solution of UltraClean produced a 40 percent greater reduction in the bacteria population than did the liquid hand soaps currently used in our hospitals. During a subsequent test of UltraClean at our hospital in Workby, that hospital reported significantly fewer cases of patient infection than did any of the other hospitals in our group. Therefore, to prevent serious patient infections, we should supply UltraClean at all hand-washing stations throughout our hospital system.”
这个问题和前面两个相似，也是和审题有关的。比如说 issue 33 Aswe acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but morecomplex and mysterious 有位同学在讨论了关于small pox的医学知识时，写道 Therefore, people don’t be afraid of smallpoxanymore. 先不说这里的语法问题，原题讨论的是能否事物能否被理解还是变得更复杂或神秘，而作者在这里却讨论了对某件事（small pox）的恐惧。当然因为无知或不理解而导致恐惧也是可能的，但是不能将这两者关联起来，这里的讨论就脱离了题干的内容了。
而在argument 22中，题目清楚指出 During the past year, Quiot Manufacturing had 30 percent more on-the-job accidents than at the nearby Panoply Industries plant, where the work shifts are one hour shorter than ours. 而某位同学却在文章中写道：To begin with, the authorassumes that longer work shift is the reason why Quiot has 30 percent higheraccident rate (30 percent more on-the-job accidents) than Panoply. 很明显原文讲的是意外的数量，而这位同学却篡改题目变成了意外发生率。而事实上这正是需要探讨的问题所在。
总所周知，我提出的1+3模型是以开头段的主旨句和中间段的主题句为基本框架的。有些同学在运用这个模型时，对主旨句和主题句内容的设置上出现偏差。这种偏差的出现就意味着整篇文章基本上废掉了。因此，强烈建议初学者不要急于写全文，而应该先写提纲，找版友对提纲提意见结合我的范文思路修改提纲后再写全文。比如某同学写的issue 34 (In any situation, progressrequires discussion among people who have contrasting points of view)的主旨句是这样的：
Whether the statement holds true depends onwhich area we are discussing here. In scientific research, it is absolutelytrue that progress often times requires discussion among people who havecontrasting points of view. Similarly, in politics, the eclectic solutionsbetween two parties holding contrasting views are often better than the eitherof the two extreme ones. However, in the business world, contrasting points ofviews would often times do more harm than good.
To begin with, scientificresearch showed that taking in the contributions of two contrasting points ofviews often gives rise to a new and more accurate description of the fact.
In the thesis statement, the student writerclaims that the issue statement holds true in the context of scientificresearch. Yet, in the topic sentence, she suggests that the statement holdstrue according to some scientific research. These are two different claims as the one in the thesis statement is aboutscientific research whereas the one in the topic sentence is about some unknowntopics the discussion of which has been studied scientifically. Therefore, there is a mismatch between thethesis statement and the topic sentence despite their seemingly similarcontents.
这里是某同学写的 issue 65(Every individual in a society has a responsibility to obey just laws and todisobey and resist unjust laws)的其中一段的节选：
Other than just laws, one should alsocomply with unjust laws established in the society.… For instance, still on thefree way, a person exceeds the speed limit and is caught by a police needs topay a fine according to the law. In this case, the person might think the lawis unjust, as this person does not hurt anyone, but need to be punished.However, if everyone over-speed on the free way and not taking responsibilityfor the mistake, the road will become a mess.
还有一位同学再写issue 33的时候提到一个很偏门的例子：Today,as people know more knowledge about sleep, they understand that sleep paralysisis a common disease caused by stress and can manage to recover. 这里sleep paralysis 也许是相关的例子但是由于读者可能没听说过，所以也不宜在考场上使用。
仅仅有合适的例证是不够的，我们还需要在文章中提供足够的细节来解释例子如何支持观点。比如某同学写的issue 65 (Every individual in a society has aresponsibility to obey just laws and to disobey and resist unjust laws)的其中一个中间段：
There will surely be concerns about the consequences of implementingunjust laws and forcing people to obey them. To address such concerns, thereshould be ways through which people can express their disagreement within thelegal framework. For example, laws once gave people different rights based ontheir race or gender, which was totally unjust. Martin Luther King Jr. and hisfollowers chose to express their disagreement in a peaceful way, to call forattention on the inequity and urge the improvements of laws. Similarly, withlegal pretests feminists expressed their requirements on equal pay, equalrights of vote and other social rights. In such ways, unjust laws would beabolished and replaced by just laws, without driving the whole society intochaos.
这里主题句里提到了consequences，但是后面的讨论中并没有具体指出是什么后果。例子中提到的laws once gave people different rights based on their race or gender, which was totally unjust这句话显得比较笼统，可能加上 in the US这个限定词会更好一些。总的来说这段写的不算太差，相信还有很多同学在写中间段的时候都面临没有很好地解释例证的问题。
再比如说某同学写的issue 78 (People'sattitudes are determined more by their immediate situation or surroundings thanby society as a whole)
As children begin to study in schools, they have more opportunities tointeract with the society but are still limited by their families, resulting inthe society and their immediate surroundings to equally impact their attitudes.On the one hand, as students, children can meet plenty of schoolmates and canuse the Internet to get more information from the society. For instance, theymay start to watch TV episodes and discuss with their peers. In this case, theywill form their own attitude towards fashion. On the other hand, they are stillconstraint by their families as long as they live with their family members. Aserious parent may not allow their kids to use drugs, or they may even taketheir kids to a higher-quality institute simply to avoid their kids to contactwith any drug.
这个问题主要是在Argument中出现。由于Argument里经常要在信息不充足的情况下讨论各种可能性，所以不能用很肯定的语气来写。具体来说，我们要多用might/could/ perhaps/ maybe这类词。
In an essay by Cui for issue 15, the following sentence was found: “Their performance in academic or work can’t meet even the basic requirement of their fields, not to mention making huge success in them.” Here it is more appropriate to use “might not” instead of “can’t” to reduce the degree of certainty conveyed by the author. In another essay by Cui for issue 13, a similar issue could be found here: “Finally, the reason why some people don’t agree with this statement is that studying course outside of students’ major will occupy lots of their time and therefore they can’t study their own major well. From my perspective, …” Since the student writer is speculating about what others may think about this issue, it is more appropriate to use hedges here to reduce the writer’s commitment to such speculation.
In an essay written by Karen for argument 84, the student writer discussed the likelihood of an outcome: “Additionally, even if the numbers and species of amphibians in the park were truly decreased, the introduction of trout would not be the only explanation of the declination.” Without more information to prove or disprove the claims, the modal verb “might” instead of “would” should be used instead. In another essay by Yun for argument 31, the writer claimed that the assumptions did not hold when, in fact, nobody knows for sure whether this was the case: “However, some of the author’s assumptions are unwarranted and thus prevent us to correctly evaluate his or her argument.”
However, to decide if the conclusion and suggestion are reasonable, weneed first answer questions about the changes of amount for water that’sconsumed, the real attitude of the residents, and the possibility of expandingthe restriction to other buildings.
Flowerdew - 2013 - Discourse in English language education.pdf (2.57 MB, 下载次数: 9)
正如Elements of Style中所提到，我们写文章要Omit Needless Words，做到every word tell。
Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
某位同学的issue 33（As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more complex and mysterious）是这样开头的：For years, the issue about whether obtaining more knowledge will make things more complex and mysterious, or will it make things more comprehensible, arouses much controversy among people with different backgrounds.
很明显这是在用模板。而这个模板用在这里实在是很不合适。因为这种对知识进行哲学层面的讨论是不太可能arouses much controversy among people with different backgrounds。因此，这样套用模板就写出了一堆废话。
再比如某同学写道：As far as I am concerned, Ihold the view that citizens should voice their concerns to the government in alegal way, which might let the government to revise the unjust laws.本来As far as...和I hold...其中一个放在这里都是可以的，但两个都放在这里就画蛇添足了。 很想知道这样的句子是怎么写出来的。
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.
I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy - ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness--that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. Thisis what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what--at last--I have found.
issue 13: Universitiesshould require every student to take a variety of courses outside the student'sfield of study.
I agreewith the statement and believe that both undergraduate and graduate studentsneed to be encouraged to take a variety of courses outside the students' fieldof study. For one thing, many courses outside of student's field of study willprovide relevant information thus largely benefit their study of their ownsubjects. For another thing, a broad perspective also better prepare studentsfor their future life and careers. There may be concerns that within thelimited amounts of time in school this will be too much work for the students, thusit's better for the universities to keep it as a recommendation instead ofrequirement and provide guidance on class registration.