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GRE Issue Essay: Many Important Discoveries Or Creations Are Accidental - With A Free Essay Review
Prompt: “Many important discoveries or creations are accidental: it is usually while seeking the answer to one question that we come across the answer to another. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.”
I disagree with the statement that many important discoveries or creations are accidental because even though there are many examples of great discoveries that are indeed fortuitous, the chances for these odds are small, and there are many more important discoveries or creations that are not accidental, and are well planned with clear purposes.
First of all, I believe that many discoveries are not accidental, and scientists investigate them on purpose. Wright brothers invented the airplane, because they were interested in the idea of being able to fly like birds. Once they had that goal, they went through trials and errors to make that goal come true. After all, they built the prototye of modern airplanes. In addition, nowadays, before most scientists start their projects, they need to present proposals, in which they have to show clear plans and goals to carry out their projects. This can ensure the many projects are purpose-oriented. A clear purpose can not only prevent scientists from wasting time on trivial ideas, but also help scientists focus on particular topics they interested in, and this can increase the chance of discovering new things. For this reason, I believe that the majority of discoveries are not accidental.
However, it is true that many important discoveries are accidental, and it is true usually while seeking the answer to one question that we come across the answer to another. The history of man is full of samples that many important discoveries are accidental. For instance, Columbus discovered the new continent—America while his primary goal was to find his way to India. After all, instead of finding West India, he was known for be the first one found America. In addition, Mendel was a botanist working in a garden of a church. He was primarily interested in botany, but he eventually came up with the concept of gene, which helped build the foundation of modern genetics. Even though there are many of these examples, the odds for these cases is very small, and they are only a small fraction of numerous discoveries. For this reason, I believe many discoveries are not accidental.
To sum up, I disagree that many important discoveries are accidental, because though there are many successful examples showing that many discoveries are found on the way of solving other problems, the chances are small; thus, many discoveries are not accidental.
The prompt asks you to consider "ways" in which the statement might or might not hold true; other prompts ask you to consider "circumstances." Only the latter can be interpreted as an explicit demand for examples (and in those instructions where you are asked to consider "circumstances" you are also asked to explain how "these examples" shape your position; that is not the case here. So you need to do more than rely on examples here to justify your position. That is not to say that this essay does rely exclusively on examples. You make the reasonable argument, for instance, that research is specifically designed to be purpose-driven. But there is no other attempt to identify issues relevant to a discussion of the role of accident in the process of discovery. What is it, for instance, about the nature of experiment, that allows for accidental discovery?
The other problem with the essay is that you claim at the outset to disagree with the original claim, and then flatly contradict that opening statement in the first sentence of your third paragraph: "I disagree with the statement that many important discoveries or creations are accidental"; "However, it is true that many important discoveries are accidental." I take it that this contradiction occurred because you initially confused "many" with "most" and so felt that the claims "many important discoveries are accidental" and "many important discoveries are not accidental" were mutually contradictory.