5 Tips to Pump Up Your AWA Essay

Are you having a hard time writing a solid “6” AWA, or getting some disappointing feedback from instructors, tutors, or friends? The good thing about AWA, is that its easily improved. Going from an “average” 4 to a “perfect” 6 is achievable by just about anyone who can read, memorize, and practice.

Let’s examine a “4” and pump it up!

PROMPT:

Political organizations that advocate the use of violence to achieve their goals should be prohibited from operating within our country. Such groups are only interested in achieving short term goals which lead to more serious long term problems.

ESSAY:

Political organizations that advocate the use of violence to achieve its goals can sometimes lead to destruction and devastation. However, that claim that such groups are detrimental to society does not follow the same line of reasoning. These groups might be of great help to certain sections of society. Also the claim that short term solutions can only lead to more serious long term problems is stated without any evidence. Hence the above argument is flawed.

Firstly, political organizations might be of great help to certain sections of society. Take for example the Indian National Congress party that helped tons of Indian’s voice their views to the British government during the British rule in india. Although this political organization advocated the use of violence, the organization was critical to India becoming a free of British rule in 1947.

Secondly, the argument assumes that short term solutions lead to more serious long term problems. Short term solutions are often very important in achieving long term goals, irrespective of whether the organizations advocate violence or not.

The argument must also state clearly what constitutes violence. In a free country, such as the United States, to prohibit any political organization is to put a hold on their freedom. As long as the violence or aggressive behavior is not illegal, one can not prohibit a political organization from operating.

Thus although the argument seems to convey a valid point, that political organizations that advocate the use of violence should be prohibited from operating, it is worded to strongly and lacks evidence to support its claims that these groups are detrimental to society.

RECAP:

More is not always better, but a student who can write 5-6 well-developed paragraphs within the given time frame definitely will stand out as a better planner. This essay’s length is s bit short, and its ideas underdeveloped. Furthermore, some minor grammar and spelling mistakes interfere with the essay’s clarity. It doesn’t seem like the author was able to spend 2-3 minutes proofreading, so as the reader, we can assume he wasn’t able to manage his time.

In addition, the thesis, “Hence the above argument is flawed…“ is not as strongly worded as it could be, and doesn’t stand on its own as a powerful declarative statement. The conclusion also weakens the essay by admitting the argument conveys “a valid point”; many “4”’s take this “middle-of-the-road” approach – never contradict yourself! Concessions can be powerful, but this concession, without being more specific, weakens the overall thesis. The takeaway: “pumping up” the length, specificity, and strength of argument will take this “4” to a “6.”

Remember:

  • Develop your ideas
  • Proofread your essay
  • Make a powerful declarative statement
  • Never contradict yourself
  • Write a strong thesis and always work to support it

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Vivian Kerr is a regular contributor to the Veritas Prep blog, providing advice to help students better prepare for the GMAT and the SAT. 

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