GRE Sample Essays

Issue Task:

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Parents are the best teachers. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Parents have been there for us ever since we were born and it is without any doubt that we are influenced by them in many ways. Most of the 'first' things in life are taught by our parents and as such, the things that they teach will automatically have the most effectiveness (whether it is good or bad). They are the people who have been there for us since we were born and they also play an important role in shaping us. We may not listen to our teachers all the time but we most certainly listen to our parents.

Furthermore, there is a strong bond between parents and children that can never be broken. As such, they are in the position to teach and make their children understand why they should do things in a certain way so that the same will benefit them.
On the other hand, there may be times when children may not think that their parents are right and they may not even pay heed to what is being taught. An example of this would be when a child in question is a teenager. Everyone is aware that the teenage years are considered to be the overactive age where most children tend to disobey what they are being taught. Of course, this problem will generally subside when the child grows up.

Of course, not all the parents are good teachers because some are not responsible enough. These are people who are not in the position to teach anything as they themselves are not responsible. However, most parents take their duties seriously and they do everything to ensure that their children are following the right path. To conclude, I would say that parents are indeed good teachers and the advice that they offer are the best that they can think of because they want the best for their children.

Argument Task:

The following is from an editorial in the Midvale Observer, a local newspaper.

"Ever since the 1950's when television sets began to appear in the average home, the rate of crimes committed by teenagers in the country of Alta has steadily increased. This increase in teenage crime parallels the increase in violence shown on television. According to several national studies, even very young children who watch a great number of television shows featuring violent scenes display more violent behaviour within their home environment than do children who do not watch violent shows. Furthermore, in a survey conducted by the Observer, over 90 percent of the respondents were parents who indicated that prime-time television - programs that are shown between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. - should show less violence. Therefore, in order to lower the rate of teenage crime in Alta, television viewers should demand that television programmers reduce the amount of violence shown during prime time."

According to the editorial from the local newspaper, most of the crimes committed by the underage that take place in the country of Alta have been influenced by the violence shown on the television. The author also states that if the amount of violence shown on TV is reduced during the prime time, then the underage crimes in the country can be reduced. However, the assumption of the author is not very convincing.
Firstly, the writer automatically assumes that there is a strong relation between the violence shown on TV and the underage crime rate. This is not really convincing because the crimes that take place may be because of other factors, such as the social and political causes that may have an influence on the parents. There are also some underage who commit crimes because alcohol may also influence how the teenagers behave.

For another thing, the national studies reveal that children who watch violence-related shows are more prone to violent actions at home. However, it is to be noted that there are some children who act this way because they have problems at home or they are not getting enough care at home.
As per the survey carried out by the Observer, prime time shows have a great influence on child-related crimes. There is no proof that the shows shown on television between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. are actually influencing the children to act negatively. A high percentage of the people who participated in this survey were parents and they probably did not know about the other factors that may have influenced the underage to act violently. It could also have been that the parents were just persuaded by the interrogators to think that way.
To conclude, I would say that I am not convinced that the underage crimes that take place in Alta are actually influenced by violent shows on TV as there is not much evidence to support it.