SAT Essay Help: Sample Essay 1 (page 2)

Updated on Apr 4, 2011

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Score and Analysis

This essay received a 12. It demonstrates the kind of clear and consistent mastery required to achieve the highest possible score from both readers. Overall, it creates a strong argument regarding the benefits of anger, using appropriate examples that are rich in detail. Recall the five areas scorers are evaluating to determine their holistic score:

  1. Developed a point of view supported by appropriate examples and evidence? To earn a score of 12, essays must demonstrate outstanding critical thinking. This piece does that by focusing on two excellent examples of positive results stemming from anger. It clearly links Edison and Picasso to the assignment through the use of heartbeat words (anger and positive)—these words are used 12 times in four paragraphs. Each example is then developed with ample evidence. The Edison story (which begins with the two predetermined background sentences) explains clearly how his situation at school angered his mother, what her subsequent actions were, and how they created a positive result. The Picasso example also contains the details needed for development. It includes a number of themes, including his delay in choosing a subject, his previous belief that art should not be political, his reaction to the bombing, and his depiction of it.
  2. Wrote with a clear focus, transitioned smoothly from one point to the next? The heartbeat words and choice of examples demonstrate a clear focus on the assignment. The essay is also coherent—it does not veer off course; every sentence contributes to the argument. Note the interesting transition used by this writer: Because she knows when Edison died and when Picasso painted Guernica, she was able to tie these two examples together not just thematically, but also chronologically (Just a few years after Edison's death, on another continent, anger created another positive result).
  3. Avoided errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage? The essay shows a skillful use of language. The introduction begins with a question, and the conclusion contains an analogy. It is also free of grammar, mechanics, and usage errors.
  4. Varied sentence structure? Simple, complex, long, and short sentences are used in the essay.
  5. Showed evidence of a varied and intelligent vocabulary? Words such as resonates, foster, and depicting demonstrate a varied and accurate use of vocabulary.


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