How to Master the SAT Essay Section

SAT Writing Tutorial

How to Master the SAT Essay Section


Most students find that no matter how much they study for the SAT, the essay section still seems daunting. In this short tutorial I will show you a simple outline that will guarantee you full points on this section!

Sample Problem

The prompt of the new SAT essay section is usually a pre-selected passage containing around 700 words. For example, let’s say they chose a newspaper article about the recent hurricanes that have devastated Texas, FLorida and Puerto Rico, and how climate change is to blame.
Then the sample prompt states: Analyze how the author of this article establishes a strong and logical argument about how global warming is a real and pressing issue.


Step 1: Take a deep breath! Ok now read the article again carefully and underline any information that you can use in your essay. Remember, SAT essay readers want to see if you can establish a clear, concise argument in your essay and follow through with it to the end. The first step to doing this is finding good, solid evidence to support your argument.

Step 2: Establish a STRONG thesis. The problem with most low scoring essays is that the student did not establish a strong thesis, and this caused the essay to stray in all different directions. To prevent this from happening, after you have underlined your important evidence, create a solid thesis.

Thesis Example: The author of this article provides overwhelming evidence in the form of statistics and history to establish their argument about how global warming is not just a speculation, it is a very real phenomenon that is changing weather patterns all over the world.

Step 3: Now we have to fill in the gaps of our essay with evidence from the article. Here is an outline of what the final product should look like.

Topic sentence
Closing sentence

Body 1,2,3
Begin with your evidence. State the part of the thesis you are proving and follow it with evidence from the article.

Here is where you want to tie everything together. Restate your topic sentence and your thesis and summarize all the evidence you brought together to support your argument. Then end the essay with a sentence about the subject matter.

Good luck!

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