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SAT Essay - Please Grade!

mczchlmczchl 26 replies6 threads Junior Member
edited August 13 in SAT Preparation
Here is my practice SAT Essay. I appreciate any feedback! Thanks!

Practice Essay #1 - Jimmy Carter, Foreword to "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge"


From the moment America was founded, Americans have had the desire to expand and conquer. That still happens even today. In a foreword to “Arctic Wildlife National Refuge”, former president Jimmy Carter urges the protection of this wildlife refuge from industrialization such as oil drilling. Although there may seem to be a host of economic benefits in developing this wilderness, Carter successfully establishes and defends his argument to protect it, through skillful word choice leading to an emotional appeal, vivid description and imagery, and a number of facts combined with reasoning.

Throughout the piece, Carter purposefully chooses words that powerfully defend his claim, leaving an emotional impact on the reader. In the third paragraph, Carter describes his own trip to the Arctic Refuge as an “once-in-a-lifetime wildlife spectacle.” Furthermore, in the final paragraph, Carter insists that by preserving this “extraordinary land” it will be a “grand triumph for America” and the “greatest gift we could pass on to future generations.” By using such dramatic language, Carter leaves readers with the belief that the Refuge is truly something unique and remarkable. Thus, Carter’s argument becomes more valid because of the value of what he wants to protect. Additionally, Carter uses word choice to examine the potential effects of industrializing the Refuge. He alludes to the “countless number of animals that depend” on the Refuge, and the “tragedy” that would occur if it no longer existed. He also mentions not only animals, but humans. In the sixth paragraph, he describes the indigenous peoples who depend on the Refuge, and their struggle for “one of their precious human rights.” Once again, Carter’s dramatic language convinces readers that this is an extremely important issue, and by destroying the Refuge, there will be incredible consequences.

Carter also uses vivid imagery and description to further emphasize the beauty of the Refuge, thus painting an image in readers’ minds that convince them that the Refuge is a place that must be kept. In the first three paragraphs, Carter describes the “magnificent area”, where animals give birth, where “wolves howl in the midnight sun”, and where trails are filled with a “brilliant mosaic of wildflowers.” He goes on to describe aspects of different animals and their dependence on the Refuge. Through this vivid imagery and description, Carter appeals to readers’ sense of sight and adds to his argument that the Refuge is a truly remarkable place that must be preserved.

Finally, Carter uses a number of facts paired with reasoning to add strength to his argument and give authority to his voice. In the seventh paragraph, he explains that the Refuge would provide no more than one or two percent of the oil our country uses each day. He then goes on to explain that this amount can easily be obtained by using the resources we already have more efficiently. This adds credibility to his argument because he shows readers that, not only is he completely aware of the economic benefits of industrializing the Refuge, but he also proposes alternative solutions to gain these benefits. Furthermore, he uses simple logical reasoning in the eighth paragraph to further explain the value of the refuge. He explains that as American settlers gradually conquered the country, the land that remained was a “precious wilderness.” Carter explains that the Refuge is the last wilderness that we have, and the loss of it would mean the loss of our “national heritage”, given the historical significance of the frontier.

Throughout the passage, Carter uses word choice, imagery, and reasoning to establish and defend his argument of preserving the Refuge. By using these techniques, Carter successfully appeals to the emotions of readers, as well as their sense of sight and logical reasoning. He passionately and vividly describes the beauty and importance of the Refuge, for both people and animals, then uses a key fact and sufficient reasoning to explain the uselessness of drilling the Refuge, thereby strengthening his argument by weakening that of the opposition’s. Carter leaves readers with a sense that, if the Refuge were not preserved, America would lose one of its only great treasures.
edited August 13
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