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Writing the SAT Essay

Your personal game plan for writing the SAT Essay

Welcome one and all to the wonderful world of SAT Essay writing! To a good portion of us that world isn't so wonderful. Think the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog's bloodied lair—nightmarish. So, we created this short SAT Essay course to assuage your essay-writing worries and woes. This course, in essence, is your holy hand grenade.

Though the twenty-five minute time limit may sound like a threat bellowed from the throat of Full Metal Jacket's Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, this course is anything but. Here, we'll guide you through the SAT's Essay section, breaking it down into manageable, bite-sized pieces for easy digestion. With Shmoop's SAT Essay course, time is on your side.

With this course, you'll get:

  • A step-by-step guide and outline to writing a superb essay in under twenty-five minutes
  • Three sample SAT Essay prompts in tandem with scaffolding instruction toward mastering the essay
  • Shmoop's secret recipe for acing the Essay

Course Breakdown

Unit 1. Writing the SAT Essay

In four lessons, we'll take you through:

  • What the Essay section looks like
  • Brainstorming your response
  • Outlining and essay structure
  • Writing and Proofreading

Sample Lesson - Introduction

Lesson 3: Outlining and Structure

Remember that five-step process we gave you earlier? Well, now that you are brainstorming rock stars, we can move on to the next step in the process. Nope, we know you're frothing at the mouth to get that essay written and done with, but we're not going to start writing yet. We're going to take those key ideas we settled on in the brainstorming process and turn them into a nice, logical outline.

This is Geoffrey Chaucer, and as far as we know, he never said anything about outlining. But we think he'd be on our side.

In this lesson, we're going to walk through the kinds of things an outline should include and how they should look. And we'll let you in on a little secret: The best way to prepare to outline an essay is to actually outline an essay. Did we just rock your world, or what? Then prepare to be rocked even further by this activity, where you'll have the opportunity to outline an essay just like you would for the SAT.

And this is one opportunity you don't want to pass up, or you risk getting trapped in the middle of the SAT writing maze with no way out. Think of this activity as your map. For, as the great Chaucer himself once said, "I doth outlin'd my books, prior to writing them, and that's why I became assign'd high school reading." Or something like that.

  • Course Length: 1 week
  • Grade Levels: 11, 12
  • Course Type: Short Course
  • Category:
    • College Prep
    • Writing
    • Test Prep
    • High School

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