Hi! I'm prepping to take my SAT with Essay on August 29 but I've been having some trouble with my essay. I wrote this for Khan Academy's SAT Prep course and got a 7/5/8, and I'd really like to know why my analysis score was so low and what I could do to improve it (both the analysis and just overall). My essay is below, and I can also provide the prompt essay if needed. Thank you!
"In his piece, "Viewpoint: Air-Conditioning Will Be the End of US", Eric Klinenberg uses exaggerated language, appeal to emotions, and statistical evidence to persuade his readers into supporting his stance of the misuse of air-conditioning systems contributing to the climate change crisis.
Klinenberg often writes in exaggerated language to emphasize the urgency or absurdity of certain situations. For example, he declares, "What's indefensible is our habit of converting homes, offices, and... commercial outlets into igloos on summer days regardless of how hot it is outdoors." With his use of the word "igloo", the author implies how absurdly low the temperatures in these buildings are to him. Another instance is when Klinenberg claims that this pumping of "arctic air" and the subsequent burning of fossil fuels that results from it as being "in suicidal fashion". This strong, intense wording urges readers to recognize how these actions may not be as inconsequential as many think.
His nearly hyperbolic word choice also contributes to how Klinenberg appeals to readers' emotions throughout his piece. At times, he does this to demonstrate the ambivalent nature of the invention of artificial cooling. He explains how he believes that groups like "old, sick and frail people", "isolated elders", and "farm workers who toil in sunbaked fields" need air-conditioning; he even states that he has "long advocated public-health programs that truly help [these] vulnerable people." With this recognition of the benefits of A/C, Klinenberg establishes himself as a "good guy" in the minds of his readers. However, he also uses this appeal to emotions to encourage readers to take action. At the end of his essay, Klinenberg implies that his readers should use air conditioning less "before it's too late". Once again, this shocking and suspenseful statement calls for the recognition of the negative impacts of A/C on our climate.
Yet another literary technique Klinenberg utilizes is statistical evidence to establish the validity of his argument. For instance, he asserts that "Americans use twice as much energy for air conditioning as we did 20 years ago, and more than the rest of the world's nations combined." This striking comparison of where American stand now as opposed to where they did in the past or where they stand internationally makes readers rethink their energy consumption. Klinenberg urges his American readers to rethink their position internationally again when he mentions the impact of American influence on other countries, stating how the sales of air conditioning units have risen in India and China. The issue is no longer one contained to the confines of the borders of US states or even the country as a whole; it is truly global.
Through the literary techniques of exaggerated language, appeal to emotions, and statistical evidence, Eric Klinenberg calls upon his readers to understand the long-term impacts of simply cranking up their air conditioners on a hot summer's day. According to him, we must act now, before artificial cooling is not even powerful enough to save us."