*You have 25 minutes to write the essay. *You will be provided with a short excerpt and will be asked to present your views on the subject.
*The grader reads your essay ONCE and takes about ONE to TWO minutes to do so. *In that time, the grader will answer the following questions: ~Does the essay answer the question? ~Is the essay well-organized? ~Does the essay make use of specific examples? ~Is the essay free of grammatical mistakes? *You will be given a HOLISTIC score between 1 and 6. This score counts for 30% of your final Writing section score.
The Prompt ~The prompt will be fairly open-ended; you can address the prompt in a variety of ways. ~You will probably agree with the prompt; agree, but with certain exceptions; disagree with the prompt; or disagree, but with certain exceptions. ~There is no right or wrong answer to the prompt.
The Introduction ~Let the reader know what the topic is and tell the reader what you will say in your essay about the topic. ~Restate the prompt and then state your thesis. ~It's that simple!
Body Paragraphs ~Each body paragraph should discuss only one example: historical facts, current events, and literature are all good examples for your essay. Avoid too many personal examples: these essays are not scored as highly as those which use examples that have been learned in school. ~Use transitions to begin your body paragraphs. ~The paragraph should stay on topic. The example should support the topic at hand. ~Fill up as many available lines as you can!!
*Spend about five minutes reading the prompt and brainstorming examples. Try to come up with at least three examples. *Use the middle 15 minutes to write your essay. Aim for 5 paragraphs. *Take the last five minutes to proofread your essay. Check grammar and spelling.
*The visual appearance of your essay is important (believe it or not!). ~Avoid double spacing. ~Indent your paragraphs. ~Neatly erase all mistakes. ~Write as legibly as possible. *Making the grader's job easier = a better score for you!
*Ask yourself the following questions after you've written an essay. Make sure each section of your essay is complete. 1. Introductory paragraph: does it contain a strong topic sentence that lets the reader know what the paper will discuss? Does it mention what examples your paper will include? Does your intro paragraph end with a clear thesis statement?
2. Body paragraphs: you should have two to three of these. Does each body paragraph contain a nice clear transition sentence? Does each body paragraph develop one and only one example? Does your example clearly support your thesis statement?
3. A conclusion: it has one, right?! Did you restate your thesis? Did you summarize how your examples support your thesis?
4. Grammar and style: does your essay contain a minimal amount of grammatical mistakes? Focus on creating proper subject/verb agreement, eliminating ambiguous pronouns, and keeping all verb tense the same. Check misspellings (if you're not sure how a word is spelled, find another one!!). Indent your paragraphs. Be neat!
I’ve provided you with a few example essays from real SAT prompts. Read each essay, and according to the guidelines I’ve explained, grade the essay either 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. 1 is the lowest score and 6 is the highest. 3 is about average. We’ll discuss our answers and reveal the true grade each essay earned.