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Issue Essay 1

Bearcats17Bearcats17 Joined: 11/29/2017
Here is one issue essay I recently wrote. The prompt for this essay is: The perceived greatness of any political leader has more to do with the challenges faced by that leader than with any of his or her inherent skills and abilities. Here is my response to this prompt. 
Why is it that people remember some political leaders more than others? Is it because of their skills or abilities? Is it because they have kind hearts? Is it because of their personalities? Is it because they are famous. The answer to this question is none of the above. While having great skills and abilities are important for political leaders, the most important quality they need to have is the ability to overcome challenges. Some of the greatest political leaders people remember in history are the ones who are able to overcome challenges. Therefore, the greatness of political leaders has more to do with the severity of challenges they face and overcome than their political skills and abilities.

            Challenges are things that many political leaders are willing to take. They want to face and find solutions in order to overcome these challenges. This is what political leaders crave while they are in power. Finding ways to overcome challenges helps build the political leaders’ characters and makes them reach down deep. By overcoming these challenges, the political leaders will gain confidence and will be willing to take on any challenges that will come their way. Some of the challenges political leaders could face include war and economic problems.

            Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, is one of the most beloved political leaders in history because of his ability to overcome some of the most difficult challenges the United States has ever faced. There was tension between the North and the South to a point where a Civil War within the nation took place. In addition, slavery was huge problem. Lincoln faced this challenge and was able to overcome it by ending the war in 1865 by creating peace within the country and abolishing slavery. Lincoln’s ability to overcome the challenge of Civil War and slavery is why Lincoln is considered one of the greatest political leader in the United States history.

            Similarly to Lincoln, another former United States president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, is another beloved political leader that people remember because of the way he handled the challenge of the Great Depression and World War II. He found a way to end the Great Depression and rallied the country together when the country got attacked on the Pearl Harbor by Japan. The United States was able to be victorious in the war that Roosevelt led most of the way. Roosevelt’s ability to overcome the challenges of the Great Depression and World War II are the reason he is one of the greatest political leaders in the world.

In conclusion, the greatness of any political leader has more to do with the challenges they face and overcome than their skills and abilities. People remember those political leaders who are able to overcome the most grueling of challenges that could affect a nation. This is why Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt are considered and remembered by many people as the two great political leaders in the United States history. 

I would to have someone give me a feedback on this essay and let me know what I do to improve on it. Thank you. 



  • Jonathan EvansJonathan Evans PowerScore Staff Joined: 10/31/2016
    edited Sat Dec 2, 2017
    Bearcats, Thank you for posting. Here's a breakdown of what you're doing right and where you can improve.

    • Excellent organization
    • Well delineated paragraphs 
    • Clear sentence structure
    • Clear thesis
    • Easy to follow your argument
    • Good length
    • Clear examples
    • Engaging opening
    Areas for Improvement:
    • Need to be less vague and more concrete in first two paragraphs. Engage the reader with a compelling example or a preview of upcoming examples. 
    • Consider addressing an alternate point of view. Your essay can be stronger if you address an opposing position on its merits, even if only to counter it later.
    • Try for greater variety in examples. You picked two American presidents. Great! But consider as examples other kinds of leaders, whether in science, religion, education, the arts, etc. 
    • Reach for examples that will enlighten the reader. Play to your strengths. What do you know a lot about that not many other people are familiar with? 
    • Always back up your assertions with evidence. In your second paragraph, there are several statements that do not have adequate support in the passage and/or the train of thought connecting these assertions to evidence is too tenuous.
    • Less is more. Take a sentence such as: "Challenges are things that many political leaders are willing to take." Consider rephrasing or omitting sentences like this. Punch it up. "All political leaders face challenges. Not all political leaders are endowed with innate skills." Go for short, strong statements backed up immediately with evidence.
    My overall grade using the Issue Task Scoring Guide is a 3.5.

    You're on your way to a great essay. One step could be to revise this essay to reinforce these skills. 

  • Bearcats17Bearcats17 Joined: 11/29/2017
    Hi Jonathan. Thank your feedback. It was really helpful. One example I wanted to put was Martin Luther King Jr. But I don't think he was a political leader and I thought prompt only wanted political leader. How long is a typical essay suppose to be? What is your advice on how to do outlines within a one or two minute span? 
  • Jonathan EvansJonathan Evans PowerScore Staff Joined: 10/31/2016
    Hi, Bearcats!

    I would absolutely consider Martin Luther King, Jr. a political leader, but let's use that example to illustrate a larger point.

    When you're choosing examples, feel free to go for more of a "reach" example if you consider it relevant. Try to think "outside the box." Your goal is to write an engaging, captivating essay that someone will both enjoy reading and find persuasive. 

    As long as your essay is well-organized, there is no upper limit on length, but be sure to avoid filler. You want your essay to express complex ideas in a focused manner. 

    Spend perhaps 3-5 minutes brainstorming examples, getting a rudimentary outline, and establishing your thesis.
  • Bearcats17Bearcats17 Joined: 11/29/2017
    What is the best way to incorporate the opposing side I am arguing against 
  • Jonathan EvansJonathan Evans PowerScore Staff Joined: 10/31/2016
    When you are doing your brainstorming, try to express the topic from opposing points of view. Here, for instance, you chose challenges over expertise. Imagine what it would have been like if it had been expertise over challenges. Try to think of an example of a leader who had great expertise that enabled him or her to face different challenges.
  • Bearcats17Bearcats17 Joined: 11/29/2017
    Is the confirmation email considered my admissions ticket for the GRE exam? 
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