5 Tips for Writing a Better Essay
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The SAT essay and even the ACT essay are part of a standardized test and must be graded in a fashion that is
always the same. Thus, the essay cannot be graded
the way your English teacher would grade it.
So don't write as if your English teacher is grading it, write as a means to an end. You need to concentrate on
- an opening
- the body and
- the closing
Start by deciding if you are PRO or CON on the subject assigned. Don't worry aboutt which view you choose the
readers don't have time to evaluate your thesis. They will be reading hundreds of essays and must score them
objectively or it won't be a standardized test. The best thing to do is choose the view that makes you feel most
comfortable and you will write more confidently.
Once you have decided on your position, create a quick outline using your opening, the points you will make and
your closing. If your write each of these points in a sentence it will help you create your paragraphs.
Now, write your essay. It should be about five paragraphs long and express the view you chose. Don't get overly
concerned about spelling or grammar errors and make sure you stay on topic. Staying on topic and not letting your
thoughts wander is of the utmost importance.
But wait a minute you want to write an exceptional essay, right?
Well, here is a list of strategies to make your essay even better, if you practice ahead of
Stay focused on your theme. Every sentence and paragraph should reinforce your topic.
2. Attention Grabbers
You must get the attention of the reader within the first few sentences. Make them want to read more. You can do
this by using a quote, asking a question or revealing a discovery. You need to come out punching.
3. Active Verbs
Use action verbs like run, jump, excite and motivate. Passive verbs like is, am, was, and were simply exist. The
more action involved the more likely the reader will continue.
4. Connected Paragraphs
Each paragraph should logically connect with the next. Your outline will help you this process. Write your
points on the subject, prioritize them, place them order of importance to your theme and include the two or three
most important points in your final paragraph.
5. Close Strong
The closing is probably the most important part of your essay. If you don't have a closing your essay is doomed.
So end powerfully or even dramatically if you can. You can do this by using a quote or creating a call to action. A
call to action is a great way to end if the topic is controversial.
There you have it 5 things you can to do improve your SAT essay. But remember, this means nothing if you don't
practice. The number one thing you can do to prepare for the SAT is practice.