ok guys, im taking my SAT exam this saturday (11th oct) and was wondering what are some exceptionally good historic/lit examples that can be used with most of the prompts. i will really appreciate the responses
You can use almost anything. Here, I will give you the breakdown of how to write an SAT essay, with some very extensive tips.
To candidly answer your question, the Civil Rights movement can be used with almost every prompt. I’ve noticed a lot of rising up against authority questions; the Civil Rights movement is perfect. However, if you’re gunning for a top score, avoid the Civil Rights movement.
The tips will be long, but I will try to make it as entertaining as possible.
(Do NOT stress over the essay. Just because the tips are long doesn’t mean it’s the most vital thing on the SAT. The multiple choice is way more important. You will get a lot of press by your parents because that’s probably the only thing they feel they know about. Solving math problems might as well be speaking Swahili, but they’ve done essays. Again, don’t take the essay too seriously.)
Here’s how I do it (I got an 11 on my essay once, but 10s consistently):
I’m going to use the prompt “What is the most important quality of a leader?”
Introduction: (YOUR MOST VITAL PARAGRAPH)
Sentence 1: Give a broad response to the topic. However, don’t make it stupid. For example, don’t write “The most important quality of a leader is perseverance.” It’s so dull. Write something more creative. Fancy it up, such as “Of all the traits a leader might possess, the most essential is perseverance.”
Sentence 2: Mention an abstract, nonspecific case. For example, “Any person can come up with a way to get past an obstacle; to keep others from moving forward despite being thwarted is far more of an admirable trait any person can possess.” This takes some practice. On the real SAT or some timed SAT, if you can’t write this sentence or if it sounds poopy, just skip it.
Sentence 3: Give the reason WHY this is true (aka, your thesis). This is the most important sentence of your entire essay; your essay hinges on it. Write “Leaders not only pose ideas, but model behavior for the rest of us to follow and nothing is more comforting than a leader whom we can always rely on.” Some graders will pay a lot of attention on this single sentence.
Sentence 4. Write “This can be shown through the cases of ____ and ____” to introduce your examples. It’s best if you use two examples. Never use three. In fact, some of the best essays used only ONE example.
First and Second Body Paragraphs
Sentence 1: Topic sentence, like “One of the most prolific leaders of all time was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Sentence 2-4: Discuss the examples (Make sure you add some background information, even to personal examples).
Sentence 5: Tie back to thesis, such as “Hence, one can see that King, through his adamant protests and captivating and riveting speeches, shows what a true leader should do.”
Your conclusion does not need to be great. It doesn’t even have to be good. As long as you have one and you don’t BS it, you’re good.
Sentence 1: Restate your thesis, varying in syntax.
Sentenced 2-3: Conclude with random things, like if you forgot to mention something minor that relates to your thesis.
Some other important stuff:
THIS IS THE KEY TO YOUR ESSAY IF YOU WANT A 12!!!! You’re given two pages to write. FILL ALL THE PAGES. A study by an MIT professor shows that essays that fill all the pages received better scores and those that didn’t. At a news conference, some other dude held up randomly chosen SAT essays and stood on the other side of the room, just so the professor could just see how much each person wrote; he guessed every essay’s score correctly. If your handwriting is small, make it bigger. If it’s big, make it stay big. Don’t plan out a lot. I know this goes against Essay Writing 101, but quantity is better than quality in this case. If you want a near guarantee for a 6, then write 500-600 words (of course, your essay should be written in at least decent quality. Maybe a ‘4’ essay quality. If you start talking about how much you hate pelicans in 550 words and the prompt is “Do goals have value only if they are achieved?”, the best you’ll get is a 0/12 unless both of your graders are very kind and hate pelicans, too).
According to this one book, punctuation is also a good addition. Your essay is sent to two cranky readers (probably former teachers who need money) and they grade the essay. Add semicolons and dashes. Essay graders look for indications of a good essay since they’re cantankerous because they’re underpaid and they have to grade the essays on the same… exact… topic. Talk about mind-numbing. By chance, they may be watching Jerry Springer while grading your essays, so you would want to appeal to them more. Make it good; add those punctuation marks (yoooo, you see what I did there?).
And obviously, make it original. Only worry about this if you’re gunning for a top score. You can get a four or even a five from each grader by writing a bland and unambitious essay. But to get a 6, don’t write something your grader read 22 million gazillion times. So try to imagine what the typical student would say, and claim something radically different. Just don’t go offensive and start praising Hitler.
What I do a lot (and by “a lot,” I mean all the time) is make up a personal experience and “realistic historic events” (quotation marks indicate that I make up my universal examples, too) and then write about them. I made up a book for my March 2014 exam (“In My Blue Jeans” by Rosa Marie Taylor) and got an 11; in my essay, I said that some girl named Alice Tarrence was having trouble in her troubled city and then she raged against authority and then became a dictator of the city until some girl named Taylor Inwawu killed her and took over as a republic mayor. One of my friends made up a NATION that was in Africa called Mamatimba; he wrote that Mamatimba was a country off the coast of Madagascar and was ruled by the infamous Mufasa Turbihana and wrote about a “recent uprising” by the people. He actually got a 12 on his essay. I don’t recommend this; he just happened to be a fascinating liar.
Really, you could use almost anything. You may write about the recent Simpsons episode you watched, or some random anime, or some NASCAR driver you despise.
You want to make it as original as possible to impress your grader.
Say your essay is “What is the most important quality of a leader?” (the prompt that I used before). If you want to make the topic very original, you might say “carelessness” and expand on that. If you write it well enough, you will pretty much be guaranteed at least a 10. However, say you decide to go with a more trite answer and say ‘perseverance.’ Don’ t choose typical leaders like, Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi. Those are banal; choose, like, an obscure saint and a president in Thailand, or a recent uprising in Burma and the president of your school. Go ahead and make it up. The College Board won’t go to your house and ask you if this is true (if this were to be true, the College Board would have to send officials to about two million homes). Start with a personal (or “personal”) example if you really can’t think of a (real) universal example in a minute. As you’re writing your first body paragraph and you come across a prime example that a lot of people know about, use it. Or, if it’s original, actually choose a real life even that only two people in the world know about. Or, just make up something. Another one of my friends wrote for her SAT essay a Supreme Court case Moore v the Association of Twenty Men; obviously this case is fake. If you want to be safe, then take the last names of random people from your school (like, Gomes v Ashubury) and then make up what they were fighting for. If you want to play it really safe, just make a random case, but don’t actually mention the case name (just say “a Supreme Court case in 1954…”). Your only exceptions are however, controversial topics, like gay marriage, affirmative action, gun control, and abortion. The last thing you want to do is you hating on gun control in your essay and then the College Board sending your essay to the president of the NRA.
On the side note:
Don’t sweat facts and figures. If you’re writing about drafting the US Constitution and aren’t sure whether it was written in 1777 or 1767, just pick one and go with it. Your grader probably isn’t sure and it’s officially not permitted to count off for factual inaccuracy. Better to state facts boldly, even if you’re unsure.
Just don’t say that the USSR broke up two months ago, or that Justin Timberlake is Abraham Lincoln’s cousin, or that you saw Jesus walking on water. As long as it’s feasible, it’s safe.
Another one of my friends wrote about the modernism period in art, used artists from the Renaissance period, used paintings that were from the Neoclassical period, used dates that were from the Romanticism period….. and still got a 12.