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09/04/2019

How do you write a good SAT essay?

QUESTION
How do you write a good SAT essay?
I have a problem expressing my ideas coherently. Like it makes sense to me, but I guess to other people it’s jibble jabble.

ANSWER
Organization is usually the best way to make sure you make sense, both in the overall essay as well as down to the sentence structure. For the overall essay, the best model is an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs (1 per example), and a conclusion. The conclusion is rarely a full paragraph as you would be used to in say an English class, so it can be a very short paragraph or just a concluding sentence at the end of your last paragraph. Simply using this model doesn’t guarantee you more points just as using a different one doesn’t guarantee you less, but most readers are familiar with this style of writing, so it’s easier for them to follow. At the paragraph level, you want to order the paragraph from the most important to the least important; so you want your strong statement in each paragraph to come out first, rather than beating around the bush, and then go into your explanation which is less dynamic, but necessary to support your first allegation. At the sentence level, you want to do the reverse: least important to most important. Since sentences aren’t as long as paragraphs, you can afford to build the sentence up to the peak.