Presentation on theme: "Quirk of the Day. SAT Writing ESSAY Here are the facts: 30% of your writing score is the essay. Students have 25 minutes to read the prompt and complete."— Presentation transcript:
Here are the facts: 30% of your writing score is the essay. Students have 25 minutes to read the prompt and complete the essay. To establish fairness, two readers score the essay according to a rubric that is posted by the College Board. The top possible score to earn is a 6 (from one reader). Top possible score from two readers is a 12. Readers are trained to grade holistically; aka, they will not be focusing on small mistakes. The essay is the first section on the exam. Typical writing prompts stem from either one or two quotes, building a question that asks students to evaluate the claim(s) and develop a point of view, i.e., argument using various means of evidence for support.
BEFORE WRITING… It should take you no longer than one minute to read the prompt and carefully consider which way you lean. Though the prompt suggests developing a “point of view,” the test makers are really asking you to develop an argument. Take a stand; don’t waste time with indecision. Go with a gut instinct since it does not matter which side you take, but rather how you develop your support. Always sketch out your ideas with prewriting; clustering, bullet list, Venn Diagram. Take 2 to 3 minutes building your blueprint.
BLUE PRINT Position/ Thesis :____________________________ Why I’m right #1?_________________________ Why I’m right #2?_________________________ Why I’m right #3?_________________________
Blue Print Practice 1 Prompt: "That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only which gives everything its value." -Thomas Paine Assignment: Do we value only what we struggle for? Plan your response, and then write an essay to explain your views on this issue. Be sure to support your position with specific points and examples. (You may use personal examples or examples from your reading, observations, or, knowledge of subjects such as history, literature, science.)
Blue Print Practice 2 Prompt: Many societies believe that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human right. But it is also true that attainment of happiness remains elusive. Perhaps Bertrand Russell had it right when he said, “To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.” Assignment: What gives us more pleasure and satisfaction: the pursuit of our desires or the attainment of them? Plan your response, and then write an essay...
Blue Print Practice 3 Prompt: “A little inaccuracy saves a world of explanation.” - C.E.Ayers Assignment: Is it always essential to tell the truth, or are there circumstances in which it is better to lie? Plan your response, and then write an essay...
A few more things: Use a map & follow it. Organization = high scoring. After mapping there will be approximately 20 minutes for writing and editing. It is better to have stronger examples and less fluff than loosely connected, forced examples and more fluff. Though we will see that the 6 essay certainly has a particular length, students make the mistake of thinking more writing automatically equates to more points- this is not true! Leave some time, perhaps 2-3 minutes, for editing. You should never finish the last sentence and submit at the 25th minute. Always read over your SAT essay at least once
Excessive use of crossed-out words and arrows that squeeze in forgotten words force review of the sentence- sometimes a few times before the grader gets the idea. The presentation does not have to be perfect but constant carelessness prevents the SAT grader from reading through your essay smoothly. Show care for your ideas by dressing them in neatness. SAT Graders earn more money by the number of essays they grade. Any delay is a delay in possible money earned. This little trick may be the little push he needs to tip the scale for a higher score.
WRITING WELL Some keys ingredients to a good essay
No Thesis, No Points: Develop an argument using a thesis statement that clearly establishes your position on the topic. Fact/Non-Thesis: The Lakers wear purple and gold uniforms. Argument/Thesis: The Lakers have had one of the most successful basketball teams since they use triangle defense. The first statement merely declares a fact. It’s not debatable; it’s the type of statement that either is or is not. think of your thesis as the topic sentence and all successive paragraphs as your development.
Paragraphs and sentences In paragraph writing, English instructors characterize well-written paragraphs using two main terms: unity and coherence. Every sentence that you write must develop and add to the initial idea. With examples: Remember Quality vs. Quantity. If you have extra time, spend it on editing rather than fluffing.
Building your argument with solid, tangible evidence is essential. Use examples from history, literature, current events, personal experiences, etc. Here is an awful example, one that uses wandering insights that point to nothing solid for development: Most top coaches would agree with the quote. “The object is to win-to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don’t think it is”. Through my water polo career all my coaches would agree with this quote, the objective of the game is to win it doesn’t matter what it takes. This means sometimes one has to play unsportsmanlike and execute whatever it takes to win, one cannot give their opponent any mercy.
A more practical approach is to use scholastic examples that add what we call academic muscle to your essay. Take the same question answered by a student who uses a concrete example: Second, winning is important, but knowing how to lose is just as important since losing teaches a more valuable lesson that may lead an athlete to success later in his or her life. For example, the greatest basketball player, Michael Jordan, was cut from his high school basketball team, but he did not quit and came out more determined than ever, eventually becoming of the NBA’s legendary players.
CLINCHERS Conclude ideas: avoid a full conclusion
There is no need to develop a conclusion in the course of 25 minutes. Your introductory paragraph for the SAT essay should be solid enough to leave no mystery about the clarity of your position. Use clincher sentences to be your final battle cry at the end of each paragraph. Good writers present paragraphs that float like butterflies and sting like bees. The final sentence, the clincher, is that chance to hammer the idea. Remember that the clincher sentence ALWAYS accentuates the initial thesis; this move demonstrates that you are aware of organization and that you are intentionally moving forward with your ideas.
Blue Print Practice 4 Prompt: “A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.” -Alexander Pope Assignment: Do we learn more from finding out that we have made mistakes or from our successful actions? Plan your response, and then write an essay...
Blue Print Practice 5 Prompt: A man who waits to believe in action before acting is anything you like, but he is not a man of action. It is as if a tennis player before returning the ball stopped to think about his views of the physical and mental advantages of tennis. You must act as you breathe. -Georges Clemenceau Assignment: Is it true that acting quickly and instinctively is the best response to a crisis? Or are there times when an urgent situation requires a more careful consideration and a slower response? Plan your response, and then write an essay...
Blue Print Practice 6 Prompt: “What man calls civilization always results in deserts. Man is never on the square – he uses up the fat and greenery of the earth. Each generation wastes a little more of the future with greed and lust for riches.” -Don Marquis Assignment: With our modern awareness of ecology are we likely to make sufficient progress in conservation, or are we still in danger of damaging the earth beyond repair? Plan your response, and then write an essay...