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  1. Harvard Business School
  2. Stanford Graduate School of Business
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  4. Kellogg School of Management
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  8. Haas School of Business
  9. Columbia Business School
  10. Stern School of Business

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  5. Salem International University
  6. University of Phoenix
  7. Walden University
 

GMAT Analysis of Issue


One of the two essays is called Analysis of an Issue. The topic paragraph presents a subject for debate, and your job is to select one side and argue for it. The instructions require you to state your choice and support it by giving relevant reasons and examples. Here's a sample:

Internet-based music distribution, in which a consumer can locate online thousands of songs to download for free, has become a lively topic of debate in recent years. Most record companies and many recording artists oppose free distribution, arguing it deprives them of their rightful income, and in so doing limits the growth potential of individual artists and the industry as a whole. On the other hand, many consumers and the high tech start-ups that have pioneered this technology claim "free" distribution is merely a symptom of problems in the industry itself. They point to inflated prices for CDs and poor selection as reasons why consumers reject traditional distribution. Furthermore, they state that the income artists lose from free distribution is more than offset by the cheaper access they have to new fans and international markets.

Which argument do you find more convincing: that in favor of free Internet-based music distribution, or opposed? Use relevant reasons or examples (drawn from your reading, observations or personal experience) to support your choice.

The surest, quickest way to fail this essay is to write off the topic - and you'd be surprised by how many people do! Don't touch the keyboard until you've asked yourself the same questions journalists do: What's is the issue? (Downloading music off the internet for free); Who's involved? (record companies and recording artists vs. consumers and DotCom companies); When? (now, of course); Where? (not important in this case); Why do the two sides disagree? (loss of revenue and growth potential vs. low prices, selection and cheap access to new fans and markets).

Your answers to these questions form the "boundary" for what you discuss in your essay. Don't ever stray outside! Once you've set your boundary, you're ready to respond to two more questions (and get a top score in the process): Which side do you support? And, why should the reader believe you?

 




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