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SAT Essay examples - must they be specific?

zhangvictzhangvict 142 replies51 threads Junior Member
Writing is actually my best section, but that is because of the multiple choice questions I do good in. I feel insecure about writing the essay because I feel it is so much dependent on luck what topic you get and happen to know examples to use.

Do you have to use specific x, y, z examples like specific events or quoted from texts? Like for example, if the prompt asks you to asses whether the world is getting better or worse, and you just do a general paragraph about pollution in the environment rather than talking about a specific oil spill or nuclear meltdown.

If you do use non-specific examples, will it affect the markers impression of your essay and can you get a 12/12 with only general examples and reasoning?
edited March 2011
4 replies
Post edited by zhangvict on
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Replies to: SAT Essay examples - must they be specific?

  • 314159265314159265 4195 replies81 threads Senior Member
    Your topics need not be incredibly specific. Talking about a specific oil spill/nuclear meltdown might be a bit specific (though there are several well-known oil spills/nuclear meltdowns), while discussing pollution in general may be too vague. Perhaps one paragraph on oil spills and another on nuclear meltdowns would be ideal.

    Check out threads in the SAT Preparation forum for more help; the SAT Subject Test forum might not give you as much information as you'd like about the SAT.
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  • zhangvictzhangvict 142 replies51 threads Junior Member
    oh, sorry I have not realized that I posted in the wrong section.

    Moderators, an you please move this thread to the SAT preparation forum?

    more opinions and input from different people would be nice thanks!
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  • Jimmy797Jimmy797 810 replies58 threads Member
    Generally, if you're specific, it helps, but don't be specific as in tell everything. Only use what aids your argument, of course, and do your best to fill up both pages with that. When I got an 11, I used a TV show, explained its basic principles briefly, gave a quick examples (totaling 3 lines at most), and then proceeded to reason everything on my own, using the show as a backbone and referencing it several times.
    Also, if you can, use a big word instead of a small one. And make your intro/conc. brief, to the-point, clear, purposeful, and well-written. And impactful. Generally, your writing strength and general opinion are based on those two paragraphs. The body paragraphs (use 3) can be written hastily, so as not to waste time, but use proper grammar, complex sentence structure, and good, well-explained examples, always with your own input.
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  • zhangvictzhangvict 142 replies51 threads Junior Member
    How long should an intro and conclusion be? My intro is usually 1/2 page long, and my conclusion 1/4 page. I use one sentence to introduce each of my 3 examples, plus the thesis statement (2 sentences), total 5 sentences usually.

    What do you mean by hastily written? like poorly explaining the example or not worrying about the wording etc? How can you rush something but still make it effective at the same time?
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