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Writing Strategy

SAT – The Essay Section

The SAT allows you to use examples of works that you have read to prove your point in the essay. Always use two examples of books or plays from the summaries you have written. It is easier to write the essay when you agree with the assignment sentence. Underline the title of a book and use quotes for the name of a play.

Use a four-paragraph construction as follows.

Paragraph 1: Paraphrase everything in the box and also the assignment statement. Then add a sentence using two books or plays that you have read that will prove the assignment sentence. Mention the author's name for your book or plays. Always agree with the assignment sentence. Include the title of the works (underline all books and quote any play) and the authors but do not use any characters.   (4-5 sentences)

Paragraph 2: Explain how your first example book or play proves the assignment sentence as according to the paragraph they gave you. It is important to reference the book or play but you do not need to state the author again as you did in paragraph one. You may use the author's name but only in context of your sentence. Include a specific character and using one example show how this character proves the assignment sentence. Make sure that the closing sentence of this paragraph ties back your example to agreeing with the assignment sentence. (4-5 sentences)

Paragraph 3: Explain how your second example book or play proves the assignment sentence as according to the paragraph they gave you.You may use the author's name in a sentence but not as an announcement. It is important to reference the book or play. Include a specific character and using one example show how this character proves the assignment sentence. Make sure that the closing sentence of this paragraph ties back your example to agreeing with the assignment sentence. (4-5 sentences)

Paragraph 4: Conclude using your characters with specific examples in a way that shows and reinforces your agreement with the assignment sentence. Talk about your characters separately and try not to lump them together. Your closing sentence should reflect how your characters proved the assignment sentence (you can now put both in the last sentence)   (4-5 sentences)

Emergency strategy if you are stuck on the test with only one of your books or plays that fit the essay question.

Use just one book or play and TWO characters (one for paragraph two and one for paragraph three) to prove your point.

General Rules for Writing the Essay

Avoid using contractions, vague words or all inclusive or weak phrases such as:

Don't, we'd, didn't, can't, wasn't, haven't, shouldn't, couldn't.

Many, Most, extremely, a lot, a lot of things, many times, all too often, very, everything, many, things, sometimes,

A perfect example of this, perfect, The best approach, The only way we can see this

In the book, In the story, In the tale, In the novel, In the beginning, In the play

Things happen, quite often, We often see, There are many things that. Too many times...

As the book goes on, however, at the end of the story, truly, by the end of the book

DO NOT use the following

I truly believe, it is my opinion, In my opinion, As you can see