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When the SAT was revamped in 2016, the SAT Essay underwent significant changes. Many colleges still require students to submit an SAT Essay score, however, so this change is not as major as those that occurred to the essay’s structure and purpose.The old SAT essay consisted of a question for debate, and students were to present a clear argument for one side.
So if you find yourself not at the level you want to be after comparing essays, don’t be down!
It’s really all about practice and always keeping track of how you can do better next time.
Earlier, I wrote a post with a sample new SAT essay prompt and an example on how to annotate the text to look for evidence while you are reading it.
Today, I’m going to give you an example of how those annotations were used to write a perfect, 8-point essay.
In the New York Times article “The Selfish Side of Gratitude,” Barbara Ehrenreich asserts that although expressing gratitude is important, particularly toward those that deserve our thanks, in practice, gratitude has evolved into a rather selfish act.
Ehrenreich reasons through concrete, real-world examples as well as appeal to pathos to convincingly reveal that the common practice of gratitude has definately become about the self as opposed to about others.Also, make sure that your essay makes sense and is communicating your intended argument effectively.Sadhvi is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley, where she double majored in Economics and Media Studies.Finally, Ehrenreich artfully uses appeal to pathos to draw a distinction between how gratitude is practiced and how it should be practiced.Ehrenreich is ultimately arguing that we should not do away with gratitude but rather we should practice “a more vigorous and inclusive sort of gratitude than what is being urged on us now.” She then lists the menial labor done to ensure one has food on the table and emphasizes that those who enact the labor are actual people with “aching backs and tenuous finances.” These descriptive details of these jobs and the workers serve to generate compassion and perhaps even guilt in the reader—who, as an NY Times reader, is likely a member of a privileged class—for not considering a more inclusive practice of gratitude.About comparing essays: Writing an 8-point essay can be really, really hard to do, even for capable writers.As Elizabeth referred to in this post, 50 minutes is not a lot of time to read and analyze a text and then write a beautifully articulate essay about it.When you complete an SAT essay, two graders from College Board will score it, and they will give your essay a score from 1-4.Then, those two scores are added together to create your cumulative score, which can range anywhere from 2-8.‘You’ and ‘you.’” By analyzing the excerpt of the gratitude advice itself, the audience can see Ehrenreich’s point for themselves, in which popular messaging about gratitude is inherently self-serving.Furthermore, isolating Ehrenreich’s pithy analysis of the advice serves as an effective stylistic technique to ensure that the reader truly focuses on the central argument.