THE SAT ESSAY (ideas are adapted from Sparknotes and Hubpages.com)
Main Idea: A GRADER SPENDS AN AVERAGE OF ___________ [insert time] reading an ESSAY.
TIPS ON WHAT GRADERS NOTICE WHEN THEY FIRST GLANCE AT YOUR ESSAY:
1. Neatness/Readability: If a grader cannot read your writing, you will receive a low score (1 or 2)
2. How Long the Essay Is: You should write at least 1 ½ pages.
3. That the Essay has Paragraphs: You should be writing a 4 or 5 paragraph essay (intro, body paragraphs with examples, conclusion); indent each new paragraph
4. Spelling/Grammar Errors: Readers are trained to look for patterns of grammatical errors
5. Sentence Structure: Graders will quickly notice if you always begin sentences the same way every time (i.e. The president is supposed to … The president is allowed …)
6. Good Vocabulary/Good Diction: Avoid slang and use a few well-placed “sophisticated” words
HOW TO WRITE A GOOD ESSAY:
STEP ONE: Consider the prompt (1 minute)
a. If the “Assignment” is very broad, begin by rephrasing it (Sparknotes).
Example Prompt: “Is there truly no success like failure?”
Rephrased: “Can our failures provide us with lessons which help us to avoid making mistakes in the future?”
b. If the “Assignment” is straightforward, move on to the next step.
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.
A colleague of the great scientist James Watson remarked that Watson was always “lounging around, arguing about problems instead of doing experiments.” He concluded that “There is more than one way of doing good science.” It was Watson’s form of idleness, the scientist went on to say, that allowed him to solve “the greatest of all biological problems: the discovery of the structure of DNA.” It is a point worth remembering in a society overly concerned with efficiency.
Adapted from John C. Polanyi, “Understanding Discovery”
Assignment: Do people accomplish more when they are allowed...