SAT Essay Additional Help
Every Essay is a Persuasive Essay
"I've heard that SAT essay questions are pretty similar. Can you explain?"
While subjects may vary, every assignment asks you to take a stand or develop your point of view on an issue. That means you need to write a persuasive essay, one whose goal is to persuade the reader to accept your opinion. Persuasive essays use logic and reasoning to make their case; even when emotions are meant to be included, the writer has a specific reason for doing so. He or she expects those emotions to get the reader to accept the essay's viewpoint.
If you were writing a persuasive essay for a class, you would have time to do some research. Simply stating your case isn't enough. You need to support it with evidence, examples, facts, statistics, and even quotes from experts. But during the SAT, you won't have access to the Internet or any other research tool. That's one of the reasons it's so important to develop content ahead of time. In Chapter 3, you'll learn how to generate topics that will strengthen and support your point of view—no matter what the writing assignment.
What Doesn't Work:
Persuasive essays reveal firm opinions and are developed to persuade the reader of the validity of those opinions. Waffling (admitting you might be wrong or that the other side of the argument is just as valid) will weaken your argument. a confident tone and a viewpoint that's backed up with meaningful examples creates a high-scoring essay.
Budgeting Your Time
"I have a hard time answering all the multiple-choice questions in 25 minutes. How can I write an essay in such a short time?"
Twenty-five minutes can go by quickly without a plan. But knowing exactly how you'll spend this time—and practicing—before the test will help you make sure you use each minute to your advantage.
Spend the first four to six minutes planning your essay. Skipping this step can result in an essay that wanders, rather than one that logically develops a point of view. It can also lead you off topic (remember that the only way to get a 0 is to write an essay that fails to address the assignment). You'll want to write a thesis statement in which you take a stand on the assignment's question, and then come up with three ideas that help you develop your point of view.
The next 14–17 minutes will be spent drafting your essay. Finally, use any remaining minutes to check your essay for missing words or grammar and mechanics errors.
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