Unpacking the SAT Essay Prompt
SAT Essay: Unpacking the prompt
"...explain how the author builds an argument to persuade the audience..."
"... consider how the author uses evidence to support claims."
- quotations from (other) experts
- the results of experiments or other research
"...consider how the author uses reasoning to develop ideas and to connect claims and evidence."
- Discuss how the author uses (or fails to use) clear, logical reasoning to draw a connection between a claim and the evidence supporting that claim.
- Evaluate the impact that particular aspects of the author’s reasoning (e.g., unstated assumptions) have on how convincing the argument is.
"...consider how the author uses stylistic or persuasive elements to add power to the ideas expressed."
- Appeals to the audience’s emotions, like fear or anger
- Appeals to the audience's sense of honor, patriotism, justice or decency
- Word choice - tone, diction, register
- Vivid descriptive language or imagery to create a mood of excitement, anticipation, anxiety or whimsy
- Point out instances in which the author uses such devices and evaluate their role or their effectiveness in convincing an audience to action.
- Analyze and evaluate the varying extent to which logic and emotion contribute to the persuasiveness of the text.