Dos and Don'ts of SAT Essays

Things you MUST keep in mind when writing an SAT essay.

It's Not All About YOU!

  • -Your essay is obviously written by you, so there is no reason to say "I think," "I feel," "I believe," and so on.
  • -You actually do not need to say "I" at all unless you are telling about a particular instance that happened to you.
  • -Even when you are telling about a story that happened to you, you still need to use "I" as little as you can. The reader already knows its about you, so don't say "I all the time.
  • -Instead just make the sentence be a more powerful, direct statement.

ex) I think that life is not fair. TURN IT INTO--> Life is not fair.


You need to be SPECIFIC!!!

  • -When you are writing an SAT essay, you need to remember that you MUST give specific examples.
  • -The prompt says "Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations."
  • -This would be Text to Text, Text to World, and Text to Self.
  • -You only have to do 2 of these to have an effective essay.
  • For example, talk about how society cannot be fair because then we would not have capitalism, which is people working hard for more rewards. If life was just fair, then we would life in a socialist society, where everyone got the same thing, wore the same thing, lived in the same house, etc.


Frequent Mistakes that are Easy to Fix

  • HAVE A THESIS (This is a direct statement about what you believe based on the prompt.)
  • Make sure that you have an Introduction. (This will be where you state your thesis and your main points.)
  • Have transition sentences that lead your reader from one point to the next.
  • Fully explain each point that you are trying to make. (You want your reader to believe you.)
  • Have a Conclusion that restates your thesis (not word for word) and your main points, so you wrap everything back up for your reader.


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