What to Remember If You Decide to Write the SAT Essay - dummies

What to Remember If You Decide to Write the SAT Essay

By Geraldine Woods, Ron Woldoff

Part of SAT For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The new SAT features an optional essay, which is always the last section of the exam. It adds 50 minutes to your morning, but may enhance your college application. The essay is based on a short nonfiction passage that makes an argument. The prompt is always the same: Explain how the author’s writing choices help convince the reader of the author’s point of view. Keep these ideas in mind when you write the SAT essay:

  • Go beyond the main idea and analyze the supporting points or subtleties of the argument.

  • Check the structure of the passage and analyze the chain of logic.

  • Decide how the author’s choice of words influences the reader’s reactions.

  • Note figurative language (metaphors, similes, and so forth) and show how this technique adds meaning.

  • Discuss appeals to emotion, logic, and authority (if present).

  • Allow time to plan and to revise the essay.

  • Support your analysis with evidence (quotations and specific references to the passage).

  • Don’t give your own opinion of the topic.