Within ETS's pool of issue tasks, you might see some that look like this:
Claim: The surest indicator of a great nation must be the achievements of its rulers, artists, or scientists.
Reason: Great achievements by a nation's rulers, artists, or scientists will ensure a good life for the majority of that nation's people.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.
These prompts might seem different from the others, but the strategy for writing the essay is essentially the same as in any issue task. To write the essay, you first need to choose a side (agree or disagree), then provide a few reasons why your opinion is the more sensible one, and briefly look at how the other side could be tempting but is ultimately not the right path.
In the prompt that asks about a claim and a reason, the main idea which you must either support or contradict is the claim. The reason given just provides you with material for your reasons. If the given reason is weak, then you have an opportunity to explain why it is weak and therefore how you came to your own conclusion about the claim. If you agree with the reason, then you can expand it further with concrete examples.
Most important, you need to either agree or disagree with BOTH the Claim AND the Reason. When you write your response and argument, you must take into account the reason and specifically focus your area around that reason.
For more information on this task, please check out our blog post about it: