GMAT Tip of the Week: Three Simple Rules to Writing a Well-Organized AWA Essay

As students approach their GMAT test dates, it becomes more and more important to them to be able to handle the AWA essays at the beginning of the test both efficiently and capably, earning a score of 5 or 6 without much effort.  This can actually be fairly easy to do, most notably through the emphasis of each author on an essay that is well-organized and easy for the reader to process.  Therefore, anyone looking to perform well on the AWA section should read the following paragraphs for steps that they can use to write a well-organized, high-scoring essay.

One easy way to write a well-organized essay is to begin with a clear introduction and conclude with a clear conclusion.  For example, the paragraph above offers a clear introduction to this essay, noting that organization is a key component of a well-written essay and inviting the reader to look at the subsequent paragraphs like this one for tips on how to write a well-organized essay.  With a clear introduction and, as you’ll see below, a  clear conclusion, it becomes easy for the grader to follow your essay and to provide you with a high s core.

Another effective way to ensure that your essay is well-organized is to use structural cues in your writing, such as “also” and “furthermore” to show that you’re adding support to a point, or “however” and “conversely” to show that you’re changing directions.  One example of that is the word “another” at the beginning of this paragraph, which clearly demonstrates to you that this paragraph will add one more method for organized writing to the paragraph above, which was clearly opened with the phrase “one easy way.”  By including these transitions, an author can clearly show the reader what will happen in each paragraph, making the essay easy to process and understand.

A third method for writing an effective essay is to use the last sentence of each paragraph to tie that paragraph’s significance back to your main point.  As you’ll see in the next sentence, we will accomplish that by showing how this tip directly relates to the main point of writing a well-organized essay. When each paragraph directly relates back to the thesis statement of the essay, the reader is constantly reminded of that main point, and will accordingly be impressed by the organization of your essay.

Some may argue that this method sucks much of the creativity out of one’s writing and can lead to a bland, formulaic style.  Admittedly, you’re likely to find today’s “how to write an effective AWA essay” blog post to be much less entertaining than previous posts, even if you kind of dig the concept of writing an AWA essay about AWA essay writing.  However, remember that your job in the AWA is not to entertain the reader,  but rather to demonstrate that you can write clearly and logically, and a formulaic approach to writing makes that very easy for the grader to immediately grasp.  As a result, you will likely want to sacrifice a bit of creativity in favor of organization, saving your brainpower and energy for the multiple choice questions that follow and that create your scale-of-800 score.

In conclusion, it is critical for AWA authors to write clear, well-organized essays in order to achieve high scores on this section and to save their energy for the remainder of the test.  This can efficiently be done by writing clear introductions and conclusions, using structural language to show the reader the purpose of each paragraph, and tying each individual paragraph to the overall main point.  Make these items a focus of your writing on test day and you’ll quickly and efficiently guarantee yourself a high AWA score and be ready to move on to the rest of the test.

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