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GRE essay on " the way people dress, look and act reveals their attitudes"


poorna 1 / 3  
Oct 9, 2009   #1
Topic is " The way people dress ,look ,act reveals their attitudes and interests. you can tell much about a society's ideas and values by observing the appearance and behavior of its people "

My Essay ,
" Never judge a book by its cover " goes a famous American idiom.I cannot agree more with the viewpoint expressed in the above idiom .In the same way ,judging people based merely on looks , the way they dress would be premature on our part . Let me elaborate why i feel this way by giving examples.

Let us take the example of workplace .In some countries people are allowed to dress in whatever clothes they feel comfortable in ,in other words "casual attire". This in no way means that , such people , or such organizations do not take their work seriously .It would be very foolish to come to the conclusion that people who wear causal attire are not serious about their work .

Coming to 'appearances'. Let us consider the example of Mahatma Gandhi , the man who was responsible for 'Indian Independence'. Who would have thought that the simple man , who just wore a "dhothi"( A simple Indian garment ) would have the determination to free his country from the British . That is why the British who had then colonized India at first did not even feel threatened by Gandhi . Only after repeated encounters and experiences with this simple looking man did they realize how powerful his concept of "Non -violence" was. ' Appearances can indeed be deceptive '.Another example would be Abraham Lincoln .He was not the most handsome president that the US had. But he had the beautiful mind to free slaves from slavery ,not to mention the courage to go through the turmoils of the Civil war.

How can you tell if a person is rich or poor, kind or unkind .Certainly not by 'appearances' for the richest man can choose to a dress in a most simplistic way . Take the example of a most recent Television celebrity 'Susan Boyle'. Certainly her appearance or attire did not in any way reveal her singing ability . The same analogy holds good for societies too . The way that people in any society dress, behave or look does not determine whether such a society is friendly towards outsiders/foreigners .Be it people or society , we need to look beyond appearances before we come to any conclusions about them .

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Please respond to my attempt and guide me as to how to write a good essay .
are there any things that i should keep in mind while writing an essay for GRE?
what i mean to say is , how do i give a good introduction ? should i straight away state whether i agree or disagree? And the conclusion should i restate my stand on the issue? what about the body of the essay?

any guidance would really help me .
thanks
poorna

EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Oct 9, 2009   #2
First, you tend to throw in extra spaces before your punctuation, which is off-putting.

Second, you need to go into much more depth on your topic. The prompt doesn't just ask about appearances, but also about behavior, and it doesn't ask about judging an individual, but about judging society by looking at the individuals who live in it. You have written an essay on a much simplified version of the prompt, rather than on the prompt itself.
OP poorna 1 / 3  
Oct 9, 2009   #3
Thank you Sean for your response and pointers.
from your response it seems to me that i have not handled the topic effectively .
please guide me how to approach such a topic.
i am truly grateful to you for your help !
Thanks
Poorna
EF_Stephen - / 264  
Oct 9, 2009   #4
" Never judge a book by its cover " goes a famous American idiom.

This is really not an idiom. It is more properly a maxim.

Sean is right. Think of it this way. Americans are famous for wearing jeans. Many people think we're cowboys. Americans are famously aggressive. Many people think we are greedy and only think about money. America is famous for Hollywood. Many people think we are obsessed with beauty and celebrity. All of these things contribute to people's beliefs about us.
OP poorna 1 / 3  
Oct 9, 2009   #5
Thanks very much stephen, now i know how to approach the topic!
my GRE test date is on november 6th ...do you think i can brush up my
general knowledge by reading few magazines? since i have'nt written essays in a long time,i figure it might help me if i read .Do you have any suggestions (on what magazines i shld pick up for current affairs?).Your advice would greatly help me ....

Thanks in advance !
poorna
EF_Stephen - / 264  
Oct 9, 2009   #6
You're welcome. :-)

Of course anything you might read would help. Any news magazines would be good, like Time Magazine or Slate (online). Those are good ones to begin with.


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