SAT Essay Help: Sample Essay 6

Updated on Apr 4, 2011

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The worship of artists as heroes is both commonplace and misguided. Why does the creation of a work of art impose on the artist the obligation to lead an exemplary life? The artists have fulfilled their contracts with us by producing work that gives us pleasure or insight or both. Why hold them to an unwritten morals clause?

—Adapted from "Loves of a Poet," by RHONDA KOENIG


Is it valuable to view artists and other public figures as heroes? 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.


It is not good to value people as heroes. People are not as good as you think they are and you will get disappointed when you figure out that they are not who you think they are. It's not fair to them either.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne has a character who is a hero to people. Arthur Dimmesdale is a minister and everyone thinks he is really good. But he is secretly Pearls father. He is a sinner and he feels bad about that. But no one else knows it except Hester and Pearl.

This happened with Tiger Woods too. People looked up to him as if he was perfect, and he made a lot of money through that view of himself. He was not just a great golfer, he was a "clean" guy did not do anything wrong. But then people found out the truth. This of course hurt Tiger, but it also hurt the companies that were using Tiger for their products. They paid him millions of dollars to be the prefect golfer and perfect man but then he wasn't.

It is not valuable to think of people as heros. Arthur Dimmesdale and Tiger Woods prove that. When you see somebody as a hero, you don't see the truth of them, only a perfect image that nobody can really live up to.

Your Notes and Reactions

Score and Analysis

This essay received a 6. It displays developing mastery, with some critical weaknesses.

  1. Developed a point of view supported by appropriate examples and evidence? Both examples attempt to support the thesis that it is not good to value people as heroes. Neither example is developed well through details or evidence; both body paragraphs are almost all telling with little showing.
  2. Wrote with a clear focus, transitioned smoothly from one point to the next? While the essay isn't well developed, it is coherent. Repetition of the heartbeat words maintains a focus on the thesis. The transition from the second to third paragraph is adequate (This happened with Tiger Woods too).
  3. Avoided errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage? The essay contains a number of errors.
  4. Varied sentence structure? There is little variation in sentence structure.
  5. Showed evidence of a varied and intelligent vocabulary? Vocabulary is very basic.
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