I remember that one of the biggest challenges I faced when tackling the SAT essay was having a wide variety of examples at my fingertips. Although the SAT essay is intended to measure your writing and argumentative skills, and not your knowledge of any particular subject, it is necessary to use good examples in your SAT essay to create a persuasive argument. Many of the essay prompts given on the SAT tend to be open-ended questions with multiple perspectives one can take. Almost all of these essay prompts deal with basic moral, social and psychological issues such as the meaning of freedom or courage.
[Continue reading to find out how to develop useful SAT essay examples…]
Your copy of David Copperfield has more highlighter marks than your younger sister’s hair; you’ve been staring at your computer screen so long your eyes are changing color; and you may or may not be able to see pink streaks of dawn outside your bedroom window. Essay writing, you tell yourself, should not be like this.
Need help from something other than SparkNotes? I’m gladly here to give it. Follow these essay TLC tips and no matter where you are at in the writing and editing process, your paper will automatically improve. They cannot guarantee an “A” grade—that is ultimately up to you!—but they will make your paper stronger. And the good news: you don’t need to pull an all-nighter to follow them!
Midway through the year in my twelfth grade A.P. English class, my teacher tossed a small, nondescript book with blue dog-ears on our desks and professed it to be one of the most foundational texts of contemporary English language usage. The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White. All I could recall of E.B. White was something about a swan and a trumpet—and maybe Stuart Little…?
We were skeptical, especially considering the fact that Strunk and White’s book was small but crammed with—ugh—rules of grammar. Though I laboriously and disinterestedly copied out Strunk and White’s iconic rules of usage and composition then, today in college the little book is back on my bookshelf. I pass it on to students in tutoring sessions and find myself gushing with the same words my teacher used four years ago: “Read it. Memorize it. Succeed.”
The rules of The Elements of Style (8 rules of usage, 10 of composition)may seem fairly straightforward, but they are absolutely spot on. Strunk and White identify the most common problems in writing and using the English language and attack them straightforwardly and concisely. These rules just happen to be what every English teacher you encounter in high school (and college) will expect you to know, for several reasons: writing clear, intelligent essays; performing well on standardized tests; and forming arguments in speech and other discourses. And guess what? These golden rules aren’t secret. They’re free for everyone!