The SAT test changed its format for its SAT essay section a few years back. You are provided a passage to read, which is almost always an excerpt from a longer article. The excerpt is approximately 650 to slightly over 700 words in length. You then have to analyze how the author uses persuasive and rhetorical techniques to support his or her claim. You are scored on how they read, analyze and organize their essay.
1. The SAT Essay section will give you a passage between 650 and 750 words which you should read carefully. You are given 50 minutes to write an essay which leaves you about 5 minutes to brainstorm your approach.
2. I encourage students to use the 5 body paragraph method, with one introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs and one conclusive paragraph. The length expected is between 650 and 750 words.
3. The whole rationale for this new format is to allow students to showcase their ability to analyze the argument of a passage. You therefore need to focus on how the author uses evidence, reasoning and rhetorical elements to make his or her claim and be persuasive. In other words as you explain HOW a message is being relayed, you will use WHAT techniques and type of information have been utilized.
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