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Essay about woven baskets from the prehistoric village of Palea (GRE)

chiwchang 1 / 2  
Jan 19, 2020   #1

GRE Arguments practice

I am prepared for GRE, and I choose one topic from GRE Arguments topic, hope someone could give me some feedback about the points I made and if there is anything I could work on to improve my GRE arguments essay. Many thanks!

The topic I choose is:
Woven baskets characterized by a particular distinctive pattern have previously been found only in the immediate vicinity of the prehistoric village of Palea and therefore were believed to have been made only by the Palean people. Recently, however, archaeologists discovered such a "Palean" basket in Lithos, an ancient village across the Brim River from Palea. The Brim River is very deep and broad, and so the ancient Paleans could have crossed it only by boat, and no Palean boats have been found. Thus it follows that the so-called Palean baskets were not uniquely Palean.

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.

My essay is:
While it may be true that the Palean baskets may not only be made by the Palean people, this author's argument does not make a cogent case. It is easy to understand why people would assume that the woven basket is not unique for Palean, but this argument is rife with holes and assumptions, and thus, not strong enough to lead to this conclusion.

Judging by how deep and broad the river is, the author asserts that the residents can only cross the river by boat. It is not clear, however, boats are the only way for citizens to cross the river by. For example, ancient Egyptian could build the colossal Pyramids without crane but with the mysterious method we have not even figured it out till now. Ancient people can come up with inconceivable ways to cross the river, too. Unless the survey is fully representative, it cannot be used effectively back to the author's argument.

Additionally, the author implies that the baskets could be made by other tribes, despite its distinctive pattern, because they find no boats around. While no boat could indicate no one crosses the river. The article does not give us a lucid historical background to support there are indeed no boats a long time ago there. Though there is no boat to be found, we do not know if the archaeologists miss somewhere nearby or the boats were too fragile to remain intact. Some boats may leave nothing but debris, which could barely be found by people. To strengthen his/her argument, the author should prove there are no boats in the very beginning.

Building upon the implication that there is no boat in Palea, the author suggests that woven baskets would from a different region other than Palea. If the river has been deep and board since the very beginning, this may be true. But if a long time ago Palea is connected with Lithos, this may not be true. As the weather changed dramatically since the glacier era, it could be no river before. Consequently, whether there are boats or not may have no impact on the origin of woven baskets. Regardless of whether there is no river or not, the author does not effectively show a connection between the boats and the baskets.

Examine all the various angles and factors involves, the argument does not justify ruling out the Palea as the only place produced the woven baskets. While the evidence does highlight a possibility, more information is required to warrant the assumption.

Holt [Contributor] - / 7,892 2170  
Jan 19, 2020   #2
I guess the best way to explain how your essay might be scored would be to present my assumption of your possible scores based on each scoring criteria. Let's get started:

Quality of Ideas and Organization:
A possible 4. The examples you chose to use in the essay, specifically the Egyptian pyramid reference was genius. It totally relates to the position you have taken regarding the weakest point of the essay. It could have used further discussion though. Next time, try to outline your topics for discussion first, then write the essay. Having a writing guide should help you develop better ideas and a more organized and coherent presentation.

Writing Style:
Maybe a 3. Try to mix up the sentence lengths to show more writing style variety. Review your vocabulary and make sure that you use "big" words in the proper context. Make sure to proof read your paper for grammatical errors and problematic sentence styles. These seem to be the most evident problems with this presentation. By the way, try to avoid using pronouns to refer to gender. Be non-gender specific. Simply say " to strengthen THE argument." A reference to the discussion does not require a gender. Neither does a reference to the author. Learn to use synonyms to build your vocabulary properly.

Grammar and Usage:
Could be a 3. You need to practice writing English sentences using the proper vocabulary and sentence structures. You should familiarize yourself more with how the American English language is structured using writing rules, verbs, nouns, pronouns, phrases, keywords, punctuation marks, and other sentence foundation considerations.

Another 3. The analysis is good but the presentation needs work. You clearly understood the discussion but could have more coherently expressed yourself. Remember, the key to any effective essay is review, revise, finalize. You need to catch your mistakes before the examiner does and that, is done during the editing phase, prior to submitting the essay for scoring.

Again, I just presented my opinion. It is meant to be a critical analysis of your work, looking for points of improvement. I believe that I have clearly indicated the problematic areas of your writing in my review.
OP chiwchang 1 / 2  
Jan 20, 2020   #3
Thanks Holt! I'm gonna work harder! Again, thank you for your advice. I really appreciate.

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