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(GRE) Is it necessary for people questioning the authority?

yjhsgi 1  
Jun 6, 2018   #1

The well-being of a society is enhanced when many of its people question authority

Is it necessary for people questioning the authority? It depends on the characteristic of the authority. The more the authority represent will of people, the less questions people need to raise about the authority's activities.

First of all, well-being of society is improved by questioning authority that doesn't have legitimacy. Because illegal authority normally doesn't try to improve lives of people. Their major concern is maintaining their power. In this situation, people cannot expect the authority would take responsibility of improving people's well-being. For example, Korean people protested authoritarian regime for their legitimate rights and well-being in the 1970s. They demand political rights such as making political parties and so on. Through struggles, they could gather people's attention on the problem and finally attained political democracy. Under the democratic political order, people's well-being was significantly improved comparing with that under authoritarian regime. Without their questioning the authority, their well-being could not be enhanced.

Secondly, the authority could betray well-being of people even if it has legitimacy in some extent. Because the authority could be vulnerable to strong interest groups such as big business owners. Economical moguls can give enormous political funding to political power. Then the political power would be likely to represent not people's general will but will of several powerful persons. In this situation, people need to question the authority and enforce political power to represent their interests. Of course, the easier way of making politicians represent the general people's will is voting for alternative politicians. However, this strategy is not always effective. If we consider politicians and political parities under a democratic political system such as U.S., U.K., etc. we can know how the strategy is not enough for political power to represent general will of people. Questioning the authority and protesting for their well-being, they could gather people's attention and form public opinion that is favorable for alternative political power that represents people's well-being. For example, U.S. citizens succeeded in making major political power legislate regulation of excessive financial institutions after protests in the late 2000s.

In the last place, people need to trust the authority and political process when political parties try to improve people's well-being. In this situation, raising excessive question to the authority could delay a proper compromise and consequence for enhancing people's well-being.

In conclusion, questioning the authority is available to improve their well-being, which contributes to make political power represent people's general will insofar as it's not too excessive to delay the appropriate political process.

Holt [Contributor] 1505  
Jun 7, 2018   #2
Jihun, the score for this GRE essay will not be higher than a 2 because you totally disregarded the discussion instructions. The aim of this essay is to have you provide a response that either agrees or disagrees with the statement you were provided. Since you were asked to agree or disagree with the statement and provide supporting reasons, as well as present counter arguments to weaken any opposing point of view, based on analytical reasoning, you did not properly develop the response essay. What should have been an analytical and logical analysis was instead written from a personal perspective / point of view. Which is not what the GRE test is all about.

It is important that you provide a clear thesis statement based upon the given instructions in your opening statement. Since you neither agreed nor disagreed with the discussion points provided, and your reasoning was not aligned with the original prompt information, your whole response to the essay became irrelevant and seriously flawed.
rubychautran 6  
Jun 7, 2018   #3
Hi, your essay has some very interesting points that showcase your background knowledge upon this matter (if you're Korean, as I suppose, then this topic is especially relevant to you isn't it?). However, as Mary Rose said, your development is not as clear and objective as it should be, and will likely give the examiners a hard time reviewing your essay.

That's why I think I'll propose my own approach to this question. I'm not an expert of any kind but I think this can be of helpful reference for you.

First of all, I would rephrase the statement and claim that I fully agree with it (according to my experience, your essay always appears stronger and more straightforward at the start if you choose only one view).

My first point would be: It is for the society's benefits that every single one of its member actively participate in the operation of their own community, and they can do so firstly by paying attention to the authority's work and speak out their inquiries. (I would develop this with reasons such as the authority might make mistakes, and they need opinions from people to make better decisions etc)

After I develop that idea, the following one would be: It is not exceptional for governments to be corrupted and disregard the well-being of their people (true though, all governments are corrupted to some degree). Such cases are where the people's criticalness proves crucial as people need to realize the the authority's wrong-doings and stand up for their community. This is where the example of the Korean protest slips in, but I wouldn't make it more than 1 sentence long though.

Then the counter-argument kicks in: Those disapproving this idea may argue that too much questioning towards the authority may create a toxic environment among the community, and that people need to have trust in their authority. However, this argument is invalid because the matter lies in the way people's "questioning" is carried out. This questioning could be in the form of friendly inquiries and constructive criticism, which in no way will create a toxic environment...

And finally, I would conclude by summarizing my presented ideas.

Hope this is helpful for you!

And @Holt could you review this outline please? I'm afraid I might give some bad advice for the OP =))
Holt [Contributor] 1505  
Jun 8, 2018   #4
For starters, essays of these kind, analytical essays, do not always have to agree with a given statement. It can be in disagreement if that is the side that the writer wishes to support. Just make sure that you are not disagreeing simply for the sake of disagreeing. Remember, this type of essay is based on public opinion rather personal bias. The personal opinion must be supported by logic and reasoning. Therefore, to write the essay, without referring to the public discourse about the topic will cause an essay to fail.

The GRE is a more complicated English test than the IELTS and TOEFL. It has specific formats and expectations far removed from the way an IELTS or TOEFL is set up because the GRE test is meant for foreign college graduates wishing to enroll in graduate study courses in the United States. Thus it is a separate and highly different test from the TOEFL which is used mostly for assessing college entry level foreign students enrolling in America.

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