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GRE Issue Essay: People Should Undertake Risky Action Only After They Have Carefully Considered Its Consequences - With A Free Essay Review



Prompt: "People should undertake risky action only after they have carefully considered its consequences. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position."

People are always pushed to take risks at many points in their lives and some people consider its consequences before taking the risk and other people dont think before they act. It is always good to consider the consequences carefully before taking any risk. Once the risk is taken and something big is lost, there is no point in regretting later about it. There are people who think only the positive results of all the risks that they take and feel that, even by thinking about negative results, they would end up with negative results. These people think that they are being optimistic, but actually are ignorant and would later regret taking the risk without considering the consequences. For example, consider the situation where someone wants to quit their job after having an argument with their boss. If the person quits just like that, they may have to stay at home and search for a job after that or they have the other option of holding on to this job a little longer and leave after they get another job. Those people who just quit, can take that action after considering the fact that they might or might not get a job immediately and only if they are ok with that. Otherwise they would regret it later.

However, risk-taking also depends on the mind-set of people who take the risk. There are people who take risk impetuously and dont feel bad or regret about it even if the consequences are bad. Those people are happy that they did what they wanted at the moment and stay happy with that satisfaction even if they have to face worst case consequences of their action. Those people do not need to think about the consequences as they are always happy.

Also, there are circumstances when one has to act impetuously and do not have time to think about the consequences and such risks also depend on people. Say for example, when someone is crossing the road, they see that a car is about to hit a kid. At that point they dont have the time to think and consider the consequences carefully. Again, saving the kids life on the spur of the moment depends on the induvidual people and morality interated with them. They might just jump in and save the kid or just stand there, watching, and waiting for someone else to jump in as they can be safe.

Hence, the given claim does not apply for everyone at every circumstance, but at most of the situations it is very important to consider the consequences carefully before taking any risky action. This could help avoid many problems later, even if the consequences are bad, since there would always be a back up plan as we have already considered positives and negatives of taking the risk.

_________________________

ESSAY REVIEW

When you make a risky statement such as "it is always good to consider the consequences carefully before taking any risk," you should consider the consequences! In other words, it is always a good idea to avoid the word "always." That statement is risky because that word "always" leaves you no room for possible error at all, and of course no room for nuance. In any case, you contradict this "always" later in the essay.

Your first argument seems to be that people who do not think before acting are "ignorant" and will regret their thoughtless risk-taking later. The assertion that such people are ignorant has little argumentative value, and of course not everyone who takes risky action without due deliberation comes to regret their decision. What the example seems to demonstrate, in any case, is that taking risks exposes one to risk, which would seem to go without saying. What you need to do here, I think, is specify the value of deliberation. What does consideration of possible consequences allow one to determine, in general, about the risk one contemplates taking? What does it allow one to avoid? The most banal answer to this last question is that consideration of consequences allows us to avoid negative consequences by choosing not to take the risk. But obviously sometimes we take risks even after considering the consequences, so presumably our answer ought to be a bit more complicated than that. Do we avoid taking "unnecessary risk" or "unprofitable risk," for instance?

Of course you also need to think about what we lose when we contemplate the consequences of risk, which is the point, I take it, of your subsequent paragraphs. Your first answer to that question is perhaps "fun" or "excitement." You don't explicitly state that we can lose the sense of fun or excitement that comes from taking risks without thought of the consequences, however, so the point of your paragraph about the impetuous and happy risk takers is a bit vague as a response to the prompt. You also don't consider any specific circumstances that would help to illustrate your point.

In your next paragraph, however, you do consider circumstances in which one might feel compelled to take risks without considering the consequences. Your example is clear enough, although one might argue that its value as an example is reduced by the fact that the circumstance you imagine are so exceptional. I stress that one _might_ argue that. In truth, I think it is always valuable to look at exceptional situations. However, I think you could probably complicate your argument even further in this case by considering the examples from everyday life. After all, we take risks all the time, including, for instance, every time we hurtle our mortal coil down a relatively narrow strip of asphalt concrete at a modest 100 km/h in a box of metal and plastic. Presumably we should think before doing that kind of thing while texting or drinking, but always considering the possible consequences of every minor risk (and our days are full of them) is potentially more paralyzing, so to speak, than a car accident.

Best, EJ


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