” Or my personal (non-)favorite: the controversial “Is reality television good or bad? You were then asked to develop your point of view on this debatable issue and support it with examples taken from your “readings, studies, experience or observations.”Disgruntled SAT graders got fed up with formulaic essays that started with the rather jarring phrase, “As can be seen in the examples of Huckleberry Finn, my little brother, and Hitler…” and decided there was no hope for the future of society.
Ok, maybe that wasn’t the entire reason for the change, but it was a contributing factor.
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For example, one of the sample essays released by the SAT asks you to “explain how Eliana Dockterman builds an argument to persuade her audience that there are benefits to early exposure to technology.”This question appears after the passage, but read it first.
This way you will already know that Dockterman thinks there are benefits to early exposure to technology before you start reading (you already know the main idea!Just as the overhaul of the SAT in general was motivated by a purported desire to more closely parallel what students were learning in school, the change in the essay prompt is also an attempt to better align with the writing tasks students are asked to do in their English classes: namely, “read this [novel, poem, short story, article, speech, etc.] and tell me what it is doing.”And so that, in a nutshell, is the new SAT essay.You can find sample SAT essay prompts on the College Board website, which I highly recommend you check out.As I mentioned, this is probably the type of essay you write most often in your English classes: “Here’s The Great Gatsby,” says your teacher, “How does F. ” or “Here’s ‘The Road Not Taken.’ How does the poet Robert Frost convey his attitude about choices?” Or at least the College Board hopes this is the case, so you can’t accuse them of unfairness and you will hopefully write them better essays.) and you can read specifically looking for the support for this.Tip 2: Spend a full 15 to 20 minutes reading, taking notes, and planning your essay.Your introductory paragraph should always include a thesis statement that states the author’s perspective and alludes to the ways in which he or she supports and develops this perspective.For example, maybe the three strategies you saw the author use (which then become developed into your three supporting paragraphs) are a “personal anecdote, historical references, and rhetorical questions.” Introduce this in your intro paragraph, then develop each one as a paragraph of its own, and finish with a conclusion that wraps it up.The highest scoring sample student essays on the College Board’s website are not much longer than they used to be on the old essay when you had only 25 minutes.So make sure you use the extra time to find good support in the text and organize it into cohesive supporting paragraphs.