The Essay – Part 1 The essay is one of the easiest places to pick up points on the SAT. Most students have no idea what SAT graders are looking for. Here is the grading rubric for a perfect score of 6 on the essay: An essay in this category demonstrates clear and consistent mastery, although it may have a few minor errors. A typical essay: • • • • • Effectively and insightfully develops a point of view on the issue and demonstrates outstanding critical thinking, using clearly appropriate examples, reasons, and other evidence to support its position.Is well organized and clearly focused, demonstrating clear coherence and smooth progression of ideas Exhibits skillful use of language, using a varied, accurate, and apt vocabulary Demonstrates meaningful variety in sentence structure Is free of most errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics. Of these areas, the two that you can improve the most between now and the SAT are “using clearly appropriate examples, reasons, and other evidence to support your position” and writing “well organized” essay.Before we take a look at these areas, let’s read three sample essays: Think carefully about the issue presented in the following except and the assignment below.
Honesty is important, of course, but deception can actually make it easer for people to get along. In a recent study, for example, one out of every four of the lies told by participants was told solely for the benefit of another person. IN fact, most lies are harmless social untruths in which people pretend to like someone or something more than they actually do (“Your muffins are the best! ”).Adapted from Allison Kornet, “The Truth About Lying” Assignment: Is deception ever justified? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience or observation. This essay scored 2 out of 6: In the late seventeen hundreds, the American colonies had entered a war for independence against the oppression of King George III.
General George Washington, leader of the American troops, employed a young man to infiltrate the British lines in order to determine their army’s position.The man was disguised as a school teacher and successfully penatrated the British lines. After completing his mission and giving Washington the upper hand, he was betrayed, captured and killed.
Thanks to the many men who offered people. their lives and the cunning use of deception, American won that war for the freedom and liberty of her people. I agree that deception can sometimes be justified.
This essay scored 4 out of 6: The use of deception is usually thought of as a bad thing. But there are times when deception is justified.In the cases of Holden Caufield and Abigail Williams their use of deception is acceptable because of the situations in which they are placed. The main character of The Catcher in the Rye by J.
D. Salinger, is Holden Caufield. Holden is a depressed character that the ends up going crazy. In the weekend that the book takes place, Holden is constantly using deception. He pretends to be older and more sophisticated then he really is. This is appropriate for him because he is trying to feel accepted in the predominantly adult atmosphere that he puts himself into.Holden wants to be smarter and better at everything than all the people he meets, so he acts that way. Even though Holden is using deception, he is using it to feel better about himself when he is at a very difficult part of his life.
After being kicked out of four schools, having his brother die, and not having many friends Holdens use of deception is rightly justified. Another character from a book that uses deception is Abigail Williams from The Crucible. Abigail is a orphan child who has with stayed with many different families, none of which have liked her.Abigail is also in love with a man named John Proctor who does not love her back. Abigail uses deception to make her town of Salem Village think she sees witches. Abigail does this largely to get attention from the people who never gave it to her, and to get back at John Proctor for not loving her. Abigail ruins other peoples lives through deception to make herself feel better.
Even though the deception is bad, it is justifiable in Abigails situation because of the situation harsh life she has lived. justifiable. As seen in the characters Holden Caufield and Abigail Williams, deception is sometimes justifiable.
In both these characters cases it was because their lives were on a downward spiral and they were trying to climb back up. This essay scored a perfect 6: “Honesty is always the best policy may be a trite saying, but it holds an enormous amount of truth. Though deception often allows one to escape immediate repercussions, the truth will always emerge. IN most situations, one will find that deception does not offer most longthe same long-term benefits as honesty does.
Sometimes deception occurs in the form of white lies. For instance, my cousin Joanne was invited to her friend’s wedding in Hawaii and she asked from my opinion on her dress.Her dress was a hideous creation; it looked like a mass of cabages sewn together.
But I smiled and told Joanne that the dress was beautiful anyway. How could I ruin her excitement over the dress? Looking back at that moment, I probably should have told her the truth, considering that the guests laughed at her. Se had trusted m to give an honest, helpful opinion, but, instead, I led her to humiliation. dire With regards to more serious matters, however, deception can lead to more dire consequences. Cheating on a test, for example, may result in failure of a class or expulsion from school.My brother had helped his best friend cheat on a math test, but forced confessed the truth to the teacher immediately afterwards. The teacher only forced the two boys to retake the test because she appreciated their honesty. If my brother had not approached his teacher, he might have been kicked out of school.
Furthermore, my students. brother’s decision serves as an example of morality to his friend and other students. Thus, he saved his friend from more serious punishment, which would have been his justification for lying anyway.Despite these advantages to telling the truth, deception can still be rather tempting.
For instance, how can one explain the death of a relative to an innocent child? Is it justified to lie to him in order to protect him from the harshness of reality? Should a sugarthey child learn about war? If one gives children sugar-coated versions of the truth, they may feel even greater shock when they discover the facts. Deception is often a kind, protective gesture, but truth can prepare a child for the future. If revealed gradually, truth offers valuable knowledge. Thus, one can view deception as a sweet treat.It is like a cookie that satisfies hunger and gives immediate pleasure. However, the cookie will only cause poor health in the future.
Similarly, deception appears to be a justifiable and sometimes even compassionate, but it only holds future problems. Possible essay topics on the SAT: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • What motivates people to change? Is there always another explanation or point of view? Is deception ever justified? Do changes that make our lives easier not necessarily make them better? Is conscience a more powerful motivator than money, fame, or power? Can success be disastrous?Do we need other people in order to understand ourselves? Is the world changing for the better? Do you think that ease does not challenge us and we need adversity to discover who we are? Should heroes be defined as people who say what they think when we ourselves lack the courage to say it? Should people change their decisions when circumstances change, or is it best for them to stick with their original decisions? Is striving to achieve a goal always the best course of action, or should people give up if they are not making progress? Does planning interfere with creativity?Do highly accomplished people achieve more than others mainly because they expect more of themselves? As you can see, most of these essay questions are talking about very similar things. The more you practice, the better chance you’ll know exactly what to say on the SAT essay. TIP 1: Be Specific—and lie if you have to! The biggest problem students have on the SAT is that they are not specific enough. This is the sort of paragraph I have seen far too often: Topic: What motivates people to change? One reason people change is because of the people around them.Other people can make you change by telling you things or doing things to you.
Other people can also make you change by giving you advice. They might tell you that your hair is bad or that you should stop doing something that you are doing. They might also make you change by telling you what they think of you. These are ways other people make you change. There is one specific detail in that paragraph: your hair is bad. Everything else is basically repeating the second sentence of the paragraph. Graders on the SAT want to see specific examples.If you can’t think of specific details, make them up! Nobody is going to call you up to confirm whether that friend you wrote about really exists.
You don’t want to make up facts about history (i. e. George Washington was motivated to change by his sister who told him to get false teeth), but as long as you are writing about something personal, invent away! To make sure your supporting paragraphs are specific, imagine you are answering the question “Tell a specific story of why a person changed. ” Then write a five-to-ten sentence story of why someone changed.