SAT Essay Help: Reviewing Assignments by Theme (page 2)

Updated on Dec 20, 2010

Modern Society

  • Does a strong commitment to technological progress cause a society to neglect other values, such as education and the protection of the environment?
  • Are there benefits to be gained from avoiding the use of modern technology, even when using it would make life easier?
  • Has today's abundance of information only made it more difficult for us to understand the world around us?
  • Is the most important purpose of technology today different from what it was in the past?
  • Have modern advancements truly improved the quality of people's lives?
  • Do newspapers, magazines, television, radio, movies, the Internet, and other media determine what is important to most people?
  • Should modern society be criticized for being materialistic?
  • Should people give up their privacy in exchange for convenience or free services?
  • Are the values of a society most clearly revealed in its popular culture?
  • Is it easier now to form friendships than ever before?

Choices/Problem Solving

  • Should people choose one of two opposing sides of an issue, or is the truth usually found in the middle?
  • Are decisions made quickly just as good as decisions made slowly and carefully?
  • Should people change their decisions when circumstances change, or is it best for them to stick with their original decisions?
  • Should people let their feelings guide them when they make important decisions?
  • Does having a large number of options to choose from make people happy?
  • Is using humor the best way to approach difficult situations and problems?
  • Is compromise always the best way to resolve a conflict?
  • Is it always necessary to find new solutions to problems?
  • Should people take more responsibility for solving problems that affect their communities or the nation in general?

Past versus Present

  • Do all established traditions deserve to remain in existence?
  • Do people need to unlearn, or reject, many of their assumptions and ideas?
  • Should people always prefer new things, ideas, or values to those of the past?
  • Do incidents from the past continue to influence the present?
  • Do memories hinder or help people in their efforts to learn from the past and succeed in the present?

Behaviors and Emotions

  • Should people always be loyal?
  • Do circumstances determine whether or not we should tell the truth?
  • Can deception—pretending that something is true when it is not— sometimes have good results?
  • Is it sometimes necessary to be impolite?
  • Is acting an essential part of everyday life?
  • Is identity something people are born with or given, or is it something people create for themselves?
  • Are people more likely to be happy if they focus on goals other than their own happiness?
  • Can people have too much enthusiasm?
  • Is it better to change one's attitude than to change one's circumstances?
  • Does everyone, even people who choose to live alone, need a network or family?


  • Do people put too much emphasis on learning practical skills?
  • Is the main value of the arts to teach us about the world around us?
  • Can books and stories about characters and events that are not real teach us anything useful?
  • Do images and impressions have too much of an effect on people?
  • Can common sense be trusted and accepted, or should it be questioned?
  • Does true learning only occur when we experience difficulties?
  • Is education primarily the result of influences other than school?
  • Should schools help students understand moral choices and social issues?
  • Should society limit people's exposure to some kinds of information or forms of expression?
  • Do we really benefit from every event or experience in some way?
  • Are all important discoveries the result of focusing on one subject?
  • Can knowledge be a burden rather than a benefit?
  • Do people learn more from losing than from winning?
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