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You’ll have 50 minutes to write the essay, which will come at the end of the SAT.You’re given two double-sided, lined pages to write on, so be sure you can include everything you want to say in that space, but don’t feel you need to fill up all the pages.This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, Ph D.
First there’s a passage for you to read and analyze. Write an essay in which you explain how [the author] builds an argument to persuade [his/her] audience that [author’s claim].
According to The College Board, all passages are written for general audiences, focus on a reasoned argument, and are taken from published works in the general areas of arts, sciences, civics, politics, or culture. In your essay, analyze how [the author] uses one or more of the features listed above (or features of your own choice) to strengthen the logic and persuasiveness of [his/her] argument.
You’ll have 50 minutes to read a 500- to 750-word passage and explain how the author uses rhetorical devices to make their argument.
The key is to analyze persuasive elements such as factual evidence, logical reasoning, and stylistic choices instead of discussing your opinion on the topic.
Here are 5 tips for writing a killer SAT essay, should you decide to add on that section: The thing to remember here is that ETS (the company that writes the test) is not asking you for your opinion on a topic or a text. Unfortunately, this is one occasion where your skill with a pencil matters. If they cannot decipher your script, they will lower your score. Remember the basic essay structure you learned in school: introductory paragraph, body paragraphs and a conclusion? Your introduction should describe the text and paraphrase the argument being made, as well as introduce the specific elements of the passage and argument that you will discuss in the essay.
So be sure to maintain formal style and an objective tone. Your conclusion should restate the goal of the passage/argument and sum up the points you made. When describing how the author builds his or her argument, “appeal to the emotions” is fine instead of specifically referencing “pathos.” And “comparison of two things” can be used instead of referring to a metaphor.Because this never changes, you’ll know the directions ahead of time and save yourself time on the test.Here’s what you’ll see on the essay portion of the SAT. The prompt (question) shown below, or a nearly identical one, is used for every essay question.If you are not sure where you will apply, you should strongly consider signing up for the essay.Your essay score will appear on every score report you send to colleges, regardless of whether or not the school requires an essay.They all require analysis of complex, subtle subject matter. Be sure that your analysis focuses on the most relevant features of the passage.Your essay should not explain whether you agree with [the author’s] claims, but rather explain how the author builds an argument to persuade [his/her] audience.Writing just for the sake of taking up space is a bad idea, and one the readers will recognize and penalize you for.Because the format and directions for the SAT essay are always the same (but the passage changes), you can memorize them and practice writing essays.In this article, we'll discuss what it takes to get a perfect 8/8/8 on the SAT essay and what you need to do to train yourself to get this top score.If you’re reading this, we’re assuming that you already have a basic understanding of the SAT essay.