8 SAT Essay Strategies (page 2)
Here is a list of 8 SAT Essay Strategies:
1. Be ready for the essay. On SAT day, you need to go in with a clear understanding of what SAT essay readers are looking for: a clear and consistent thesis, specific and well-explained examples, logical organization, and good language skills.
2. Put aside 6 minutes to plan. When the essay section starts, take 6 minutes to think carefully about the question, consider your examples, develop an interesting thesis, and write a quick outline. You should still have plenty of time to write a solid essay, and it will flow much more easily.
3. Get your examples before your thesis. Don't put the cart before the horse. Don't pick a thesis until you've considered what the most interesting examples actually say about the question. Remember to look at the question from all sides.
4. Write at least 4 paragraphs. According to The College Board, a good SAT essay "is well organized and clearly focused, demonstrating clear coherence and smooth progression of ideas." This means that you must use paragraphs effectively. Think of your paragraphs as the "stepping stones" of your argument. Two or three steps isn't much of a journey, is it?
5. Have at least five "high-yield" sources ready. Have at least five (but preferably about a dozen) "high yield" examples from literature, history, and personal experience ready to discuss in your essay. Specific and relevant examples earn big points on your essay.
6. Know the common essay themes. The SAT essay questions tend to focus on nine basic themes, which are listed on page 13A in this insert. Although there is no guarantee that your essay question will be on this list, there's an excellent chance that it will. Be ready to write on any of these questions, and think carefully about how to use your "high-yield" examples on each one.
7. Focus like a laser on your thesis. As you write your essay, never lose sight of your central purpose: to articulate, support, and explain your thesis. For each example you present, explain clearly how it supports your thesis.
8. Write a real argument. Every argument has more than one side. Don't just list reasons why your thesis is correct. Also remember to consider any viable counter-arguments to your thesis and explain why they're wrong.
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