Writing the SAT Essay means you have to demonstrate your reading, writing and analytical skills in 50 minutes. It may seem a bit daunting, but securing a good SAT score is manageable. By systematically organizing your thoughts, you can write an effective SAT Essay.
Read and Understand the Prompt Before Reading the Passage
You will find the author’s argument in the opening line of the prompt. For example, please write an essay to explain how Mr Michael constructs an argument to convince his audience that media outlets need to maximize professional foreign news coverage for the masses in the United States. You would require to deconstruct this argument in your Essay.
Writing a thoughtful SAT essay comprises four main steps:
- Reading: 6 to 10 minutes.
- Analysis and Planning: 6 to 12 minutes
- Writing: 24 to 35 minutes
- Proofreading: 2 to 3 minutes
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Students work at their own pace. For example, some people can quickly read and comprehend the prompt. Others may take a bit longer to read and understand the meaning, but they may demonstrate better analytical skills. Time management will be the key; make sure you timely complete everything about the Essay.
Writing takes the primary time out of the allocated 50 minutes, but reading, understanding and analysis hold equal importance in the overall process.
Step 1: Read the Passage (6 to 10 minutes)
You can read through the passage through a couple of methods, and each has its benefits. Whichever strategy you employ, keep track of the time so that you can timely manage all the aspects.
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Reading through the passage, fluently without any hiccups is a useful approach. This method works fine for the students who are naturally fast in reading as they do not feel any pressure of being distracted.
If you are not a fast reader, be mindful about reading the passage on time. If you think that the topic of the article is ambiguous, you would want to skim the article. Skimming an article refers to detecting the central idea of the author.
You can understand what is the main point of the author through the introductory paragraph before you read the subsequent parts of the article. In this way, you will read the article in parts multiple time to understand it comprehensively.
When you go through the detailed parts of the article, start focusing on argument-building strategies. Try to be precise and objective. At first, you should consider the situation. Bring clarity in your thinking.
Build a claim and substantiate your position through evidence. Also, take into account the main objection. Construct the argument and iterate your main point.
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Step 2: Analysis and Planning (6 to 12 minutes)
Several students do not focus on planning the SAT Essay because they think they would not have adequate time for reading and writing. They need to keep in mind that thorough planning would enable them to write Essays in a much better way.
The SAT Essay graders check for a proper structure of the Essay. Your Essay should consist of a clear introduction, relevant arguments and evidence in the main paragraphs with a solid conclusion. Without planning, it’s not easy to write the Essay in a Structured way.
You can underline or circle the main idea. In this way, when you need to quote the author, you would not have to search the text for the quote.
Numbering the example and the passage would also be helpful for you. Another approach is to write a short detail out of the passage while outlining and arrangement alongside the location of the description.
By doing so, you will be saving your time as you would not have to search for the relevant point from the passage while writing. While reading the passage, prepare a framework of the Essay in your mind and make a note of that. Try to note down the evidence and any figures first.
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Step 3: Write Until 2 to 3 minutes before the Time is Over (24-35 minutes)
After the completion of analysis and planning, now it’s the stage of writing fluently. Do not spend too much time thinking. If you have already taken the notes and done the plan, you should be able to transfer your ideas on the paper quickly.
The introductory part is a brief statement of the author’s main argument. In other words, you have the write the main concept of the article in a few lines. The thesis statement could be the last line of the introductory paragraph.
A thesis statement is the crux of your Essay. You have to summarize the main argument in one line. Please use quotes for stating your thesis statement.
Read More: Essay Introduction Paragraph Examples
For many students, crafting body paragraphs is more comfortable than the introductory part. If you are one those students, begin with the body paragraphs, and leave 8-10 lines at the top so that you could include the introduction later.
An example could take up to 1-2 paragraphs. After writing the body paragraphs, you will have a clear idea of what to state in the introduction. Do not forget to write an introduction. Write the introduction by summarizing your thoughts that you have demonstrated in the body paragraphs.
You would write a recap of the Essay. You need to stress the main point and the argument of the author in the last lines of your Essay. You restate your thesis statement in different words, but the core concept remains the same.
Read More: How to Write a Thesis Statement?
Step 4: Proofreading (2 to 3 minutes)
For some student, proofreading is not necessary, and it’s not the right approach. Proofreading or revision makes your Essay more refined. After completing your Essay, carefully analyze it.
Look for grammatical errors, and check the overall vocabulary that you have used. If you think you can replace some words with more appropriate words, do it. Make sure, and you have added punctuation correctly.
SAT Essay is an assessment of your reading, writing and analytical skills. You need to understand the main argument of the author in the given article, and write a strong introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion.