SAT Essay Help: Sample Essay 2 (page 3)
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When we witness an injustice or the violation of a principle, anger can give us the courage to act, not react. Productive anger can be a guide to appropriate, powerful, and healing action. All the political and social movements of our time are rooted in anger, including the struggle against apartheid, the fight for civil rights, and many environmental and animal protection initiatives. The founders of these movements experienced healthy anger against conditions they considered to be unjust and unacceptable.
—Adapted from The Ultimate Guide to Transforming Anger,
by JANE MIDDELTON-MOZ, LISA TENER, AND PEACO TODD
(Health Communications, 2004)
Can anger be used for positive results? Organize and compose an essay that establishes your viewpoint on this issue. Substantiate it with examples and evidence derived from what you have read, studied, experienced, or observed.
Anger can produce positive results. The lives of some very famous people indicate that it can promote creativity. In some cases, that could mean better problem solving. In others, great works of art can be made.
Thomas Edison (1847–1931) has been described as more responsible than anyone else for creating the modern world. In his research laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, he invented the phonograph, made the electric lightbulb, and started the motion picture industry. But his success wasn't because of his education. It was because of his mother. Mrs. Edison was angered by the way her son was treated by his teacher so she took him out of school and taught him herself. He became a famous inventor—all because of his mother's decision.
Pablo Picasso is another example of someone who had positive results from his anger. In 1937 he painted a mural for the Worlds Fair in Paris. It depicts the aftermath of the German bombing of Guernica, a city in his native Spain. Picasso was so angry about the bombing that he used it as the subject of his painting, even though he once said art should never be political. Guernica shows the violence and brutality of war, and it is still considered one of the most powerful anti-war paintings in the history of art. As Picasso said, "Art enables us to see the truth."
These two examples clearly show that anger can produce the result of creativity. Whether in the form of a better solution to a problem, or an expressive work of art, anger can be a positive force.
Your Notes and Reactions
Score and Analysis
This essay received a 10, demonstrating reasonably consistent mastery.
- Developed a point of view supported by appropriate examples and evidence? Strong critical thinking is evident in the selection of the Edison and Picasso examples, and the link to the creativity that can result from anger, making anger a positive force. The essay uses heartbeat words (anger and positive) nine times in four paragraphs to show the link between each example and the assignment. Each example is supported with evidence, but notice that the Picasso paragraph is better developed. The Edison story (which begins with the two predetermined background sentences) states that his situation at school angered his mother, but doesn't explain why. The last two sentences are also unsupported statements. The Picasso example contains more pertinent and thorough details. 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 in his painting.
- 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—the examples are briefly mentioned in the introduction, and there is a clear link between them (both illustrate the creativity that can result from anger).
- Avoided errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage? The essay shows a facility in the use of language. It is nearly free of grammar, mechanics, and usage errors.
- Varied sentence structure? Simple, complex, long, and short sentences are used in the essay.
- Showed evidence of a varied and intelligent vocabulary? Words such as brutality, native, and expressive are evidence of an appropriate vocabulary.
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