Good topics for SAT II writing essay?

<p>Does anyone know of any good, broad history topics that can be used on alot of SAT II writing essay prompts?</p>

<p>Is it better to talk about history, or perhaps to use something from your personal life?</p>

<p>Choose a novel recommended by Princeton Review for Ap English lit and know it by heart. I chose the Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky and can relate it to virtually almost everything.</p>

<p>I'm on the same boat as dusk2k.</p>

<p>Thanks, krazykamikaze, that's great advice. But do you (or anyone) know of any topic that is broad enough and yet requires less reading time than Brothers Karamazov? Since the test date is approaching (so threateningly), I don't think I'll have time to finish a novel.</p>

<p>I'm also wondering whether talking about my personal experiences will hurt my score. Barron's says it doesn't, but Kaplan says it does. Has anyone ever written an essay purely about his/her personal experiences and gotten a 12?</p>

<p>Anyone, please?</p>

<p>i would stay away from any personal experience. It makes you look more intelligent if you have a broad historical and literary knowledge that you can apply to the prompt. Most of the time these prompts are so open that you can literally use the first prominent historical figure that comes to mind and get an 11 or 12.</p>

<p>Do all of you focus your essays on one example?</p>

<p>Or would you mix a literary, historical, and sometimes personal experience...one paragraph each, in the body?</p>

<p>I highly recommend using personal experience. If the reader doesn't like your analysis of a particular book, you're just asking for trouble. If you use a personal anecdote, though, no one can tell you that you're wrong - and if you get stuck, you can always make something up.</p>

<p>800 Writing, 12/12 Essay - used personal experience!</p>

<p>While redbarn has a good point about the personal anecdotes and no wrong interpretations ... I've always thought that the mention of advanced history and literature would make a person appear to be well-read.</p>

<p>It's a writing test, not a reading test. Writing about a personal experience should be fine. The graders have but a few moments to scan your essay, so I'm sure as long as you have good structure, etc., everything will turn out well. I think it would be more important to focus on the grammar and structure of your writing on the SATII: WRITING, rather than the type allusions you make. I'm taking the test on Saturday, too. That's just what I think.</p>

<p>i got an 11/12 using anna karenina...having annotated the thing for ap lit, i could apply it to EVERYTHING</p>

<p>Now I wish I had read a major literary work, but now it's too late. My school didn't even have reading lists! No APs, Honors, no nothing whatsoever. I did read Pride and Prejudice on my own, but I can't seem to apply it to most topics. The breadth of the novel is pretty narrow.</p>

<p>Ummm...how about making up a book? How will a grader know?</p>

<p>yeah readers go thru essays in 3 minutes they wont look it up.</p>

<p>nazi germany can be applied in most places.</p>

<p>Nice idea, laterdaysluke. :)</p>

<p>Thanks, I may also make up past life experiences such as living in a crack house and being the first person in my family going to college!</p>

<p>as funny as laterdaysluke may seem, i think hes right.</p>

<p>theres no way these graders would know if youre lying. so if you cant think of something, make it up! make up an obscure 17th century french leader, make up an incident where your parents were killed in a car crash, make up a novel that conforms to the prompt perfectly. go wild! have a little fun!</p>

<p>it's not about the validity of your statements, but rather how they are conveyed and how well you support them.</p>

<p>The graders only have a couple minutes to grade your essay. I doubt they even care if you're lying or not, my guess is they just want to see you right. </p>

<p>My advice would be to know a book like "The Brothers Karamazov" like someone suggested earlier. Alternatively, you can try to relate it to a historical event. If you do, try to keep it to a topic that will have universal appeal (don't write about how well Bush did in the 2004 election; write about how unjust Hitler's policies were). That way you don't run the risk of ticking the writer off.</p>