This is the FIRST essay I've written so far for a Practice SAT test (so please don't be too contemptuous of my writing). I didn't time myself. Could someone please give me input so I could improve more quickly? Thanks SO much!
The prompt: SAT Essay - real responses to an SAT essay prompt
It is with objectivity alone that humans can be successful in making accurate observations, discoveries, and decisions. We are humans, and therefore we are emotional creatures. But to be guided by our feelings is to allow ourselves to fall victim to reckless behavior and personal prejudice. Countless instances in both history and my personal experiences have demonstrated that an individual or group guided by a calm, neutral stance will ultimately triumph over others guided by emotion or prejudice.
One guided by emotion or prejudice is giving to faulty decisions, twisted conclusions, and delusional thinking. In 1781, Great Britain officially lost its American colonies after a costly, strenuous war. But it never had to be so. When the Stamp Act was passed, the colonists reacted with fury and outrage; they protested, they boycotted taxed goods, and they threw rocks at British troops. Despite this hateful reaction, many historians believe that, were Great Britain to simply react calmly and sympathetically, the colonists' anger would have subsided and the American Revolution may not have taken place. However, the irate George III did not practice self-restraint; insulted by and hateful toward the colonists, he immediately worked to persuade Parliament to pass what the colonists would call the Intolerable Acts, thus dramatically worsening the already present hostility between the American inhabitants and Great Britain - George III's rash and anger-inspired decision prevented him from making a far better decision. Over two centuries later, one event in my life also demonstrates the problem that arises from subjective thinking. When I was about eight years old, my mother and I decided to bake a cake. After pouring the batter into the pan, we placed the pan in the oven, set the temperature and timer, and watched. I, observing the cake intently with joyful excitement and excessive optimism, exclaimed: "You can even see it grow if you look really, really closely," and my mother wholeheartedly agreed. It wasn't until about thirty seconds later that my mother intelligently glanced over at the power outlet and realized the oven was not plugged in. My excitement and optimism had caused me to make an entirely ridiculous and false observation. Thus, both King George III and a clueless 3rd grader fell victim to their emotions, causing them to make mistakes that could have otherwise been avoided.
On the other hand, by restraining one's emotions and attempting to remain calm and impartial, one can find success in his endeavors. As the Federalists and Anti-Federalists debated over the ratification of the Constitution, the nation kept a watchful eye on the Massachusetts convention. Without MA's ratification, the Constitution would be very unlikely to pass. After weeks of heated debate, the Anti-Federalists were vexed, impatient, and ready to give up - They exclaimed that their arguments were going nowhere and that they should all vote to get it all over with. And, were they to vote at that point, the Constitution would likely never have been ratified by MA, and thus, the United States. But it was the Federalist Sam Adams who remained composed, and recommended that it would be best to calmly continue talking about the issue. By not letting his frustration or impatience get the better of him, Sam Adams played an integral part in getting the Constitution passed. (I had another example, but I'm leaving it out because the essay would probably be too long)
Staying neutral and impartial in any situation will always allow a group or individual to make proper and accurate observations, discoveries, and decisions. This is not to say that we should all be in denial of our emotions, and thus in denial of human nature. We can allow ourselves to feel passion, enthusiasm, and optimism in all aspects of our lives. But perhaps the greatest virtue of any individual is the ability to recognize his emotions yet think, observe, and analyze with a calm, impartial eye.