SAT Essay (The College Panda)

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The C olle g e P an da
SA T E ssa y
The B attle -te ste d G uid e
Nie ls o n P hu
© C op yrig h t 2 016
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T ab le o f C on te n ts
1. I n tr o ductio n
2. H ow t h e S A T E ssa y i s G ra d ed
3. T he 7 E le m en ts o f a P erfe ct E ssa y
4. T he E le m en ts o f P ers u asio n
5. T he E ssa y T em pla te f o r a n y P ro m pt
6. T he N arra te -E xpla in -R eite ra te P atte rn
7. T he A rt o f Q uotin g
8. 7 F ata l M is ta k es S tu den ts M ak e o n t h e E ssa y
9. O ffic ia l P ro m pts & S am ple E ssa y s
10. A ppen dix A : A C opy o f m y A ctu al E ssa y
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1. I n tr o d uctio n
In th e past, th e S A T re q uir e d you to w rite a pers u asiv e essa y on a
p hilo so phic al questio n su ch as
Do ru le s and lim ita tio ns co ntr ib ute to a
p erso n's h appin ess?
The best ap pro ach was well- e sta b lis h ed : write an ex am ple -b ase d
r e sp onse , o ne b ase d o n c u rre n t e v en ts , lite ra tu re , a n d h is to ry to s u pport y our
s ta n ce. In fa ct, th e to p sc o re rs o fte n cam e in to th e essa y w ith a sle w o f
e x am ple s th ey had pre p are d befo re h an d an d co uld tw eak to alm ost an y
p ro m pt.
This tr e n d to w ard s " sc rip te d " e ssa y s a la rm ed n ot o nly T he C olle g e B oard
b ut a ls o th e S A T's c ritic s. H ow c an a s ta n dard iz ed te st a ccu ra te ly a sse ss th e
w ritin g a b ilitie s o f s tu den ts w ho a re r e g urg ita tin g m em oriz ed s e n te n ces in 2 5
m in ute s? W hat's e v en s c arie r is th at th ese e ssa y s w ere th e o nes th at d id th e
b est.
In lig ht o f th is , T he C olle g e B oard d ecid ed to o verh au l th e e ssa y in its
2 016 r e d esig n o f t h e S A T.
They w an te d a n e ssa y a ssig nm en t th at w ould p re v en t p re -p la n nin g a n d
s c rip te d re sp onse s. In th e fa ce o f s tif f c o m petitio n fro m th e A CT, th e S A T
n eed ed t o s h ed i ts r e p uta tio n a s a t e st t h at c o uld b e " g am ed ."
What th ey c am e u p w ith is a n a n aly tic al e ssa y a ssig nm en t, o ne in w hic h
y ou'r e a sk ed t o r e ad a p assa g e a n d d is c u ss h ow t h e a u th or p ers u ad es h is o r h er
r e ad ers . H ere 's w hat a t y pic al a ssig nm en t l o oks l ik e:
A s y ou r e ad t h e p assa g e b elo w , c o nsid er h ow A nth ony S im on u se s
ev id en ce, s u ch a s f a cts o r e x am ple s, t o s u pport c la im s.
re aso nin g t o d ev elo p i d eas a n d t o c o nnect c la im s a n d e v id en ce.
sty lis tic or pers u asiv e ele m en ts , su ch as w ord ch oic e or ap peals to
em otio n, t o a d d p ow er t o t h e i d eas e x pre sse d .
W rite a n e ssa y i n w hic h y ou e x pla in h ow A nth ony S im on b uild s a n a rg um en t
t o p ers u ad e h is a u die n ce th at stu den t c o m petitio ns sh ould p ro m ote d w ith in
s c h ools . In y our e ssa y , a n aly ze h ow S im on u se s o ne o r m ore o f th e fe atu re s
l is te d i n t h e b ox a b ove ( o r f e atu re s o f y our c h oic e) t o s tr e n gth en t h e l o gic a n d
p ers u asiv en ess o f h is a rg um en t. B e su re th at y our a n aly sis fo cu se s o n th e
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most r e le v an t f e atu re s o f th e p assa g e.
Your e ssa y s h ould n ot e x pla in w heth er
you ag re e w ith S im on's cla im s, but ra th er ex pla in how S im on build s an
arg um en t t o p ers u ad e h is a u die n ce.
In t h eo ry , s tu den ts w ould n't b e a b le t o r e g urg ita te r e sp onse s t o t h is t y pe o f
an a ssig nm en t.
And e v en if th ey c o uld , T he C olle g e B oard w ould b e a b le to m ain ta in
pla u sib le d en ia b ility . " B ut it h as a p assa g e th at a lw ay s c h an ges!" th ey w ould
sa y .
"T here 's n o w ay th at it's su sc ep tib le to p re p are d ex am ple s lik e it w as
befo re .
"T ak e t h is t e st i n ste ad o f t h e A CT!"
Yes, p re p are d e x am ple s a re n o lo nger r e le v an t to th e n ew f o rm at, b ut it's
ju st a s s u sc ep tib le to p la n ned r e sp onse s, a n d I to ok th e S A T m yse lf to p ro ve
it, g ettin g a p erfe ct 1 600 o n t h e t e st a n d a 2 1/2 4 o n t h e e ssa y .
In ta k in g th e S A T a s a te ach er, th e g oal w asn 't to g et a h ig h sc o re fo r
bra g gin g r ig hts . N or w as it to s h ow y ou f a n cy e ssa y s th at o nly I c o uld w rite .
The g oal w as t o d ev elo p a f r a m ew ork f o r a h ig h -s c o rin g e ssa y t h at c o u ld
be r ep lic a te d b y a ll s tu den ts a n d a p plie d t o a ll p ro m pts .
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In th e p ro cess, w hat I d is c o vere d is w hat I e x pecte d a ll a lo ng:
not o n ly
ca n t h e e ssa y s till b e g am ed , b ut i t 's e a sie r t h an e v er b efo re.
Where as p re v io usly y ou m ig ht h av e s tr u ggle d t o c o m e u p w ith s u pportin g
ex am ple s f o r y our s ta n ce, w rite r's b lo ck is h ard ly a n is su e o n th e n ew e ssa y .
Every th in g you need is in th e passa g e. A nd sin ce you'r e now giv en 50
min ute s in ste ad o f 2 5 m in ute s, y ou h av e p le n ty o f tim e to w rite a lo ng,
deta ile d r e sp onse .
As o ne o f t h e f ir s t g uin ea p ig s t h at t o ok t h e n ew S A T, I w ro te t h is b ook t o
sh ow y ou n ot o nly h ow e asy i t i s t o w rite a h ig h-s c o rin g e ssa y b ut a ls o h ow t o
av oid th e s u btle m is ta k es th at k ep t m e a n d s o m e o f m y s tu den ts f ro m a 2 4/2 4
essa y .
Hope y ou f in d t h ese i n sig hts h elp fu l.
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2. H ow t h e S A T E ssa y i s G ra d ed
Befo re w e get to how to w rite th e essa y , le t's get so m e back gro und
i n fo rm atio n o ut o f t h e w ay .
The S A T E ssa y i s o ptio nal, b ut m ost o f t h e t o p 4 0 s c h ools r e q uir e i t.
It's 5 0 m in ute s l o ng.
It's g iv en a t t h e e n d o f t h e t e st.
The p assa g e w ill b e 6 50-7 50 w ord s l o ng.
Though t h e p assa g e i s d if fe re n t f ro m t e st t o t e st, t h e a ssig nm en t i s a lw ay s
th e s a m e. I t s h ould n ev er s u rp ris e y ou.
You sh ould u se re aso nin g an d te x tu al ev id en ce fro m th e p assa g es to
su pport y our a n aly sis .
Once y our e ssa y is s e n t in , tw o re ad ers e ach g iv e it a s c o re fro m 1 -4 in
t h re e cate g orie s: R ead in g, A naly sis , an d W ritin g. The sc o re s fo r each
c ate g ory a re s u m med u p.
1st R ead er
2nd R ead er
Tota l
1-4
1-4
2-8
R ead in g
_______
+ _______
= _______
A naly sis
_______
+ _______
= _______
W ritin g
_______
+ _______
= _______
The t h re e t o ta ls a re t h en a d ded u p t o g et t h e f in al s c o re , a v alu e b etw een 6
( th e w ors t) a n d 2 4 ( th e b est) . T his i s t h e s c o re c o lle g es w ill l o ok a t.
Where as p re v io usly y our essa y sc o re w as co m bin ed w ith y our w ritin g
s c o re , n ow th e e ssa y s c o re is r e p orte d s e p ara te ly f ro m th e o th er s e ctio ns a n d
d oes n ot i m pact a n y o f y our o th er s c o re s.
Stu den ts w ho a re a p ply in g to to p 2 0 s c h ools s h ould a im f o r a t le ast a 2 1
o ut o f 2 4 ( a t le ast a 7 /8 in e v ery c ate g ory ). I f y ou f o llo w e v ery th in g I o utlin e
i n t h is b ook, a 2 1 s h ould n't b e h ard t o o bta in .
The g ra d in g r u bric f o r t h e S A T E ssa y i s a v aila b le o n T he C olle g e B oard 's
w eb site , b ut b ecau se it's p re tty v ag ue an d u nhelp fu l, I'l l re ite ra te o nly th e
p oin ts you need to know here . Futu re ch ap te rs w ill ex pan d on th ese
g uid elin es.
R ea d in g— Did y ou u ndersta n d t h e p assa ge?
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Mak e s u re t o m en tio n t h e m ain i d ea o f t h e p assa g e i n y our e ssa y .
Don't t w is t t h e a u th or's a rg um en t.
Analy sis — How w ell d id y ou e x p la in h ow th e a u th or b uild s h is o r h er
arg u m en t?
Focu s o nly o n t h e p arts o f t h e p assa g e t h at m ost c o ntr ib ute t o t h e a u th or's
pers u asiv en ess.
Your essa y sh ould ev alu ate ev id en ce, re aso nin g, an d/o r sty lis tic an d
pers u asiv e e le m en ts in th e p assa g e. N ote th at y ou d o n ot h av e to a d dre ss
all th re e. Y ou m ay ch oose to d is c u ss o nly th e sty lis tic ele m en ts , fo r
ex am ple .
Do N OT ta k e a s ta n ce o n th e is su e. Y our jo b is to a n aly ze th e a u th or's
arg um en t, N OT s h ow w hy y ou a g re e o r d is a g re e w ith t h e a u th or.
Writ in g— How w ell d id y ou w rit e y ou r r esp on se
Bre ak u p y our essa y in to d is c re te p ara g ra p hs (in tr o , b ody p ara g ra p hs,
co nclu sio n).
Vary y our s e n te n ce s tr u ctu re s ( s h ort a n d l o ng, s im ple a n d c o m ple x ).
Use s o m e c o lle g e-le v el w ord s.
Use c o rre ct p unctu atio n.
Main ta in a f o rm al s ty le a n d o bje ctiv e t o ne.
Don't w orry ab out k eep in g all th ese g uid elin es in y our h ead . Y es, it's
im porta n t to u nders ta n d w hat th e g ra d ers w ill b e lo okin g fo r, b ut w e'l l b e
giv in g y ou a t e m pla te t h at t a k es c are o f e v ery th in g f o r y ou.
Befo re w e g et to th at te m pla te , h ow ev er, w e n eed to w alk th ro ugh th e 7
ele m en ts o f a p erfe ct e ssa y in th e n ex t c h ap te r. T here , w e'l l e x pan d o n s o m e
of t h ese g uid elin es t o m ak e s u re y ou k now h ow t o i m ple m en t t h em .
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3 . T he 7 E le m en ts o f a P erfe ct E ssa y
Im ag in e th at y ou'r e T he C olle g e B oard a n d a fte r e ach a n d e v ery te st d ate ,
y our m ailb ox gets flo oded w ith hundre d s of th ousa n ds of essa y s fro m
s tu den ts a ll a cro ss t h e w orld . H ow o n e arth w ould y ou m an ag e t o g ra d e e v ery
s in gle o ne o f t h em i n 2 -3 w eek s?
Well, you w ould hir e a bunch of te ach ers w ho pre su m ab ly know
s o m eth in g ab out g ra d in g p ap ers . Y ou w ould als o sta n dard iz e th e g ra d in g
p ro cess s o th at s c o re s re m ain c o nsis te n t a cro ss th e b oard . H ow ? B y tr a in in g
t h e g ra d ers to p ut th eir o w n o pin io ns a sid e a n d b ase th eir sc o re s so le ly o n
m odels t h at h av e a lr e ad y b een s e t.
And to g et th ro ugh th e s h eer n um ber o f e ssa y s th at m ust b e re ad , y ou'd
r e q uir e t h em t o b e q uic k .
Well, t h at's p re tty m uch T he C olle g e B oard 's g ra d in g p ro cess.
The g ra d ers d on't s p en d a n y lo nger th an T W O M IN UTES re ad in g y our
p ap er. T w o m in ute s a n d th at's it. It's a s n ap ju dgm en t:
What d oes th is e ssa y
l o ok l ik e? A 4 /3 /3 . N ext!
A ny f la sh es o f y our l ite ra ry b rillia n ce w ill b e g lo sse d
o ver in a r u th le ss g ra d in g p ro ced ure th at o nly c are s a b out w heth er y our w ork
m atc h es t h e s ta n dard m odel.
You r j o b , t h en , i s n ot t o w rit e a m aste rp ie ce.
T his i s n 't y our A P E nglis h
c la ss. T he te ach er w on't b e lo okin g a t e v ery w ord a n d d is se ctin g a ll y our
p unctu atio n m ark s.
In ste a d , y ou r j o b is s im ply t o w rit e s o m eth in g t h at lo ok s lik e a 4 /4 /4 .
W rite s o m eth in g t h at l o oks s m art, s o m eth in g t h at l o oks l ik e a ll t h e e ssa y s t h at
h av e b een a w ard ed p erfe c t s c o re s b efo re , a n d y ou in tu rn w ill b e re w ard ed
w ith a p erfe ct s c o re . T hat's it. It d oesn 't h av e to b e in novativ e a n d it d oesn 't
h av e t o b e i n y our v oic e a n d s ty le . J u st g iv e t h em w hat t h ey w an t.
When ev er I e x pla in t h is m in dse t t o s tu den ts , t h ere 's a lw ay s a s lig ht o utc ry
b ecau se it co nflic ts w ith th e cre ativ e w ritin g p ro cess th ey 'v e b een ta u ght
t h ro ughout s c h ool. A lo t o f s tu den ts w an t to s ta n d b eh in d th eir o w n w ritin g
a b ilitie s in ste ad o f r e ly in g o n a n y k in d o f p re -s c rip te d f o rm ula . " I'm a lr e ad y a
g ood w rite r," t h ey s a y . " I d on't n eed t o f o llo w a t e m pla te ."
I to ta lly u nders ta n d. A s m uch a s I w ould lik e th e e ssa y p ortio n to b e le ss
o f a g am e a n d m ore o f a n in dic ato r o f tr u e w ritin g a b ility , it's n ot. A 5 0-
m in ute e ssa y is h ard ly a g ood w ay to m easu re o ne's c o m pete n ce a n d th e tr u th
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is , th ose w ho g o in p re p are d w ith a g ood id ea o f w hat th ey 'r e g oin g to w rite
do b ette r t h an t h ose w ho d on't .
The S A T i s s im ply n ot t h e p la ce f o r y ou t o g et f a n cy . T here w ill b e p le n ty
of o pportu nitie s la te r o n, w heth er y ou w an t th em o r n ot, to e x pre ss y ours e lf
more c re ativ ely . T he S A T is n ot o ne o f th em . Y our p urp ose is to a ce it a n d
get i n to c o lle g e, n ot s ta rt t h e n ex t g re at A m eric an n ovel.
Hav in g sa id a ll th at, le t's ta k e a lo ok a t th e c h ara cte ris tic s o f a p erfe ct
essa y .
1. L en gth
Most s tu den ts d on't r e aliz e ju st h ow m uch e ssa y le n gth a ffe cts th e s c o re .
You m ig ht th in k th at a sh ort e ssa y c an c o m pen sa te fo r its le n gth b y b ein g
well- w ritte n , b ut w hile q uality d oes c o unt, y ou'r e m uch b ette r o ff s a crif ic in g
so m e o f th at q uality fo r a lo nger e ssa y . In a 2 005
New Y ork T im es
a rtic le ,
write r M ic h ael W in erip r e p orts h ow D r. L es P ere lm an , o ne o f t h e d ir e cto rs o f
writin g a t M IT , p oste d s tu den t e ssa y s o n a f a r w all a n d g ra d ed t h em s o le ly o n
le n gth . A fte r h e fin is h ed , h e w as s tu nned b y th e re su lts -h is p re d ic tio ns h ad
been r ig ht o ver 9 0 p erc en t o f th e tim e. T he s h orte r e ssa y s r e ceiv ed th e lo w est
sc o re s a n d th e lo nger e ssa y s re ceiv ed th e h ig hest. M ore o fte n th at n ot, a n
essa y 's s c o re w as d ete rm in ed b y i ts l e n gth .
With th at in m in d, y ou w an t to f ill u p a s m uch s p ace a s y ou c an , a t le ast
2.5 p ag es o ut o f th e 4 p ag es th ey g iv e y ou. F illin g u p 2 .5 p ag es m ean s y ou
hav e to
writ e fa st
. R ead th e p assa g e a n d g o.
You w an t to s p en d a s m an y
min ute s w rit in g a s p ossib le .
Now th is d oesn 't m ean y ou s h ould s ta rt le n gth en in g th e s p acin g b etw een
word s. T he g ra d ers a re w ary o f e ssa y s w ith i n fla te d s p acin g a n d I c an t e ll y ou
fro m m y s tu den ts ' e x perie n ces th at it d efin ite ly d oesn 't w ork . W rite h ow y ou
would n orm ally b ut d o s o a t a m uch fa ste r p ace. M y e ssa y in A ppen dix A
sh ow s t h e d eg re e o f i lle g ib ility y ou c an g et a w ay w ith .
2. T hesis
As y ou p ro bab ly h av e le arn ed c o untle ss tim es f ro m y our E nglis h c la sse s,
a t h esis i s a s ta te m en t t h at c ap tu re s t h e m ain i d ea o r e sse n ce o f y our e ssa y . I t's
usu ally p la ced a t t h e e n d o f t h e i n tr o ducto ry p ara g ra p h.
Alw ay s h av e a th esis s ta te m en t b ecau se it's s o m eth in g g ra d ers c an e asily
sp ot a n d re w ard y ou fo r. T hey s h ould k now w here y our a n aly sis is h ead ed
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afte r re ad in g it. I'l l b e te ach in g y ou h ow to w rite e asy a n d e ffe ctiv e th esis
sta te m en ts i n t h e n ex t c h ap te r.
3. O rg an iz a tio n a n d S tr u ctu re
Alw ay s m ak e s u re y ou u se p ara g ra p hs a n d th at e ach p ara g ra p h s e rv es a
purp ose th at is dis tin ct fro m th e oth ers . In oth er w ord s, each of your
para g ra p hs sh ould co nta in a d if fe re n t id ea b ut o ne th at still re la te s to th e
overa ll a n aly sis .
Essa y s th at a re ju st o ne h um ongous p ara g ra p h d on't g et h ig h s c o re s, s o
mak e s u re y ou i n den t!
4. V oca b ula ry
Peo ple ju dge oth ers by th e le v el of th eir vocab ula ry . If you'v e ev er
th ought o f a p ers o n m ore h ig hly b ecau se o f h is o r h er a b ility t o u se w ord s y ou
did n't u nders ta n d, th en y ou p ro bab ly k now ju st h ow m uch v ocab ula ry c an
im pre ss p eo ple . W ell, t h e S A T e ssa y g ra d ers a re n o e x cep tio n. A fte r a ll, g ood
essa y s are good in part becau se th ey hav e so phis tic ate d yet w ell- c h ose n
word s. L ate r o n, w e w ill b e s h ow in g y ou n ot o nly w hat w ord s to u se b ut a ls o
so m e a u to m atic w ay s o f i n je ctin g t h em i n to y our e ssa y .
On th e f lip s id e, a v oid u sin g v ag ue w ord s lik e " stu ff" , " th in gs" , " lo ts o f" ,
"m an y c ase s" , " m an y re aso ns" , e sp ecia lly w hen y ou d on't c la rif y th em la te r
with s p ecif ic s.
5. S en te n ce V arie ty
Good w rite rs use a m ix of sim ple an d co m ple x se n te n ces. Essa y s
co nsis tin g s o le ly o f s im ple s e n te n ces d on't g et h ig h s c o re s. I m ag in e r e ad in g a
para g ra p h l ik e t h is :
Peo ple a re m ost p ro ductiv e u nder p re ssu re . T hey h av e to
th in k f a ste r. T hey w ork h ard er t o m eet d ead lin es. M ost p eo ple
are l a zy . T hey n eed m otiv atio n. P re ssu re i s t h e b est m otiv ato r.
Choppy a n d re p etitiv e-n ot w hat y ou w an t. L et's ta k e a lo ok a t a re v is e d
vers io n:
Peo ple are m ost p ro ductiv e u nder p re ssu re b ecau se th ey
hav e to th in k fa ste r an d w ork hard er to m eet dead lin es.
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With out m otiv atio n, m ost p eo ple a re la zy . F or th ose re aso ns,
pre ssu re i s t h e b est m otiv ato r.
Still n ot p erfe ct, b ut a w hole lo t b ette r. N otic e th at th e m ain id eas d id n't
ch an ge, o nly t h e w ay i n w hic h t h ey w ere c o nnecte d .
By d efin itio n, th e s e cre t to c re atin g c o m ple x s e n te n ces is
th e c o m ma
. B y
fin din g a p pro pria te w ay s o f in se rtin g c o m mas, y ou'l l n atu ra lly sta rt to a d d
more d eta il to y our s e n te n ces. L et's u se a n e x am ple s e n te n ce to s e e h ow th is
work s:
The t ig er a te m y a u nt e arlie r t o day .
Now l e t's a d d i n s o m e p hra se s:
Afte r s ta rv in g f o r s e v era l h ours
, t h e t ig er,
whic h h ad p re v io usly b een s o w ell-
beh av ed
, a te m y a u nt e arlie r t o day .
Notic e th at by ad din g in th ose phra se s, w hic h , by th e w ay , re q uir e d
co m mas,
we n ot o n ly m ad e th e s e n te n ce c o m ple x b ut a ls o m ad e it m ore
deta ile d , w hic h i s p art o f w hat g ood w rit in g i s a ll a b ou t.
Here i s a t o olb ox o f t h in gs y ou c an d o f o r s e n te n ce v arie ty :
Tool:
Use
beca use
Exam ple :
The t ig er a te m y a u nt e arlie r t o day b ecau se i t w as h ungry .
Tool:
Use
who, w hic h ,
o r
th at
Exam ple :
The tig er, w hic h h ad b een v ery h ungry , a te m y a u nt e arlie r
to day .
Tool:
Use a c o nju nctio n ( F A NBO YS)
Exam ple :
The t ig er w as h ungry a n d a te m y a u nt e arlie r t o day .
Tool:
Put
alth ough/e ven t h ough
i n f ro nt
Exam ple :
Alth ough it is usu ally w ell- b eh av ed , th e tig er ate m y au nt
earlie r t o day .
Tool:
Use a m odif ie r
Exam ple :
Alw ay s o n th e lo okout fo r fo od, th e tig er a te m y a u nt e arlie r
to day .
As y ou p ra ctic e, m ak e it a p oin t to p ut c o m ple x s e n te n ces a m ong s im ple
ones.
6. T ra n sit io n s
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Anoth er w eap on in th e s e n te n ce v arie ty to olb ox is tr a n sitio ns, w ord s th at
sh ow h ow y our id eas a re c o nnecte d . T hese a re s o im porta n t to g ettin g a h ig h
sc o re th at th ey d ese rv e th eir o w n se ctio n. If y ou lo ok a t th e o ffic ia l e ssa y
ru bric o n th e T he C olle g e B oard 's w eb site , it's c le ar th at g ra d ers a re r e q uir e d
to l o ok f o r t h em . N ot o nly d o t h ey s e rv e a s t h e " g lu e" b etw een y our i d eas, b ut
th ey a ls o g iv e y our s e n te n ces r h yth m a n d s tr u ctu re .
Com mon T ra n sit io n W ord s
Exam ple :
I l o ve e a tin g v a nilla i c e c re a m .
How ever
, t o o m uch o f i t m akes m e
sic k.
Tra n sit io n :
pre se n ts a n o pposin g p oin t o r b ala n ces a p re v io us s ta te m en t
Sim ila r T ra n sit io n s:
fo rtu nate ly , o n th e o th er h and, c o nverse ly , w here a s,
while , i n c o ntr a st
Exam ple :
Math tr a in s yo u to appro ach pro ble m s m ore analy tic a lly .
Furth erm ore
, it h elp s y o u c a lc u la te th e e xa ct a m ount o f tip to b e le ft fo r th e
waite r.
Tra n sit io n :
ad ds n ew a n d s u pportin g i n fo rm atio n
Sim ila r Tra n sit io n s:
in additio n, als o , m ore o ver, and, to o, as well,
additio nally , n ot t o m en tio n
Exam ple :
Pandas are ra pid ly beco m in g extin ct.
In fa ct
, so m e exp erts
pre d ic t t h at p andas w ill d ie o ut i n 5 0 y ea rs.
Tra n sit io n :
giv es e m phasis t o a p oin t b y a d din g a s p ecif ic d eta il/c ase
Sim ila r T ra n sit io n s:
as a m atte r o f fa ct, in deed , to illu str a te , fo r in sta nce,
fo r e xa m ple
Exam ple :
The sta te is fa cin g a flu ep id em ic .
Con se q u en tly
, all hosp ita l
ro om s a re f ille d a t t h e m om en t.
Tra n sit io n :
sh ow s c au se & e ffe ct
Sim ila r T ra n sit io n s:
as a re su lt, beca use , hen ce, th ere fo re , th us, as a
co nse q uen ce, a cco rd in gly
Exam ple :
Gra n te d
, th e S A T is a lo ng a nd te d io us e xa m , b ut it's n ecessa ry
fo r c o lle g e a dm is sio ns.
Tra n sit io n :
co nced es a p oin t t o m ak e w ay f o r y our o w n p oin t
Sim ila r T ra n sit io n s:
neverth ele ss, a lth ough, e ven t h ough, d esp ite , e ven i f
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Exam ple :
Pla ce th e b re a d o n a n u ngre a se d b akin g s h eet.
Fin ally
, b ake in a
pre h ea te d o ven f o r 1 0 m in ute s.
Tra n sit io n :
sh ow s o rd er o r s e q uen ce
Sim ila r Tra n sit io n s:
su bse q uen tly , pre vio usly , afte rw ard s, next, th en ,
even tu ally , b efo re
Exam ple :
Socia l se cu rity n um bers u niq uely id en tify c itiz e n s.
In th e sa m e
way
, I P a ddre sse s i d en tify c o m pute rs.
Tra n sit io n :
sh ow s s im ila rity
Sim ila r T ra n sit io n s:
sim ila rly , l ik ew is e , b y t h e s a m e t o ken
Exam ple :
In co n clu sio n
, th e w orld w ould be a happie r pla ce w ith out
nucle a r w ea pons.
Tra n sit io n :
giv es a s u m mary
Sim ila r T ra n sit io n s:
in a ll, to s u m mariz e , in s u m , to s u m u p, in s h ort, a s
men tio ned , t h us
You'l l w an t to in clu de s e v era l tr a n sitio n w ord s in y our e ssa y to s h ow th e
gra d er th at y ou u nders ta n d th eir im porta n ce a n d h ow th ey 'r e u se d . T he e ssa y
te m pla te in th is b ook w ill g iv e y ou e asy w ay s to a d d b oth tr a n sitio ns a n d
se n te n ce v arie ty t o y our e ssa y .
7. Q uote s f r o m t h e P assa ge
If y ou re ad a n y o f th e to p-s c o rin g s a m ple e ssa y s o n T he C olle g e B oard
web site , y ou'l l n otic e t h at t h ey a ll q uote e x te n siv ely f ro m t h e p assa g e.
Why i s t h is t h e c ase ?
Becau se to w rite an an aly tic al essa y , y ou m ust p oin t o ut w hat y ou'r e
an aly zin g b efo re y ou a n aly ze it. If, fo r in sta n ce, y ou'r e d is c u ssin g a w rite r's
gre at c h oic e o f w ord s, it o nly m ak es s e n se to p ro vid e s p ecif ic e x am ple s o f
th ose w ord s befo re you ta lk ab out how th ey co ntr ib ute to th e artic le 's
pers u asiv e p ow er. H ow d o y ou d o t h at? B y q uotin g f ro m t h e p assa g e.
Quote s a re t h e f o undatio n o f e v ery a n aly tic al e ssa y . T he e ssa y s t h at s p eak
of th e p assa g e in g en era l te rm s w ith out c itin g a n y s p ecif ic s a re th e o nes th at
do t h e w ors t.
Of c o urs e , y ou sh ould n ev er in clu de q uote s ju st to b eef u p y our e ssa y .
You m ust q uote w ith p urp ose a n d w ith p ro per p unctu atio n. D on't w orry . W e'l l
be c o verin g e v ery th in g y ou n eed to k now in a f u tu re c h ap te r d ev ote d e n tir e ly
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to t h e a rt o f q uotin g.
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4. T he E le m en ts o f P ersu asio n
In th is c h ap te r, y ou'l l le arn a b out a ll th e e le m en ts o f p ers u asio n a n a u th or
m ig ht u se to b uild h is o r h er a rg um en t. N o p assa g e w ill c o nta in e v ery s in gle
o ne, s o it w ill b e y our jo b to id en tif y w hic h e le m en ts a re p re se n t in th e o ne
y ou'r e g iv en .
For each ele m en t, I'v e in clu ded an ex am ple o f its u sa g e as w ell as a
s u m mary of th e effe cts it m ig ht hav e on th e re ad er. Y ou'l l fin d th ese
s u m marie s e x tr e m ely h elp fu l o nce y ou s ta rt w ritin g e ssa y s u sin g th e te m pla te
i n t h e n ex t c h ap te r.
I co ver th e ele m en ts th at sh ow up th e m ost fir s t. W ord ch oic e an d
s ta tis tic s a re u se d i n n early a ll t h e a rtic le s y ou'l l r e ad .
In ad ditio n, y ou'l l o fte n se e m ultip le ele m en ts b ein g u se d at th e sa m e
t im e. F or ex am ple , a rh eto ric al q uestio n m ig ht als o co nta in an ap peal to
e m otio n. E ven th ough I dis c u ss each ele m en t se p ara te ly , th is overla p is
c o m ple te ly n orm al an d sh ould g iv e y ou ev en m ore to ta lk ab out in y our
a n aly sis .
Fin ally , t h e e x am ple e x cerp ts y ou s e e i n t h is c h ap te r h av e a ll b een a d ap te d
f ro m a rtic le s w ith t h e f o llo w in g m ain a rg um en ts :
There h as t o b e a lie n l if e o n o th er p la n ets .
Anim als s h ould b e t r e ate d a s i f t h ey w ere p eo ple .
Sav e t h e e n vir o nm en t, n ot t o s a v e t h e E arth b ut t o s a v e o urs e lv es.
The U nite d S ta te s s h ould h av e a d ir e ct d em ocra cy , in ste ad o f a s y ste m o f
re p re se n ta tiv es.
Gir ls m ak e e q ually c ap ab le e n gin eers a s b oys.
Hav in g a b est f rie n d i s n ecessa ry f o r c h ild s u ccess.
R heto ric a l E le m en ts
1 . W ord C hoic e
Word c h oic e r e fe rs to u sin g in te n se , liv ely , o r th em atic ally -s im ila r w ord s
i n a m an ner t h at l e av es a c erta in i m pre ssio n.
U se s i n clu de:
ev okin g e m otio ns o r i m ag es ( im ag ery )
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ch ara cte riz in g a s u bje ct o r t o pic i n a p artic u la r w ay
asso cia tin g p ositiv e o r n eg ativ e c o nnota tio ns w ith s o m eth in g
se ttin g t h e t o ne
Exam ple 1
Arg um en t:
Anim als s h ould b e t r e ate d a s i f t h ey w ere p eo ple .
Excerp t:
There a re n 't e n ough d if fe re n ces b etw een h um an s a n d a n im als
to c o ndone t h e w id esp re ad p ra ctic e o f
fa cto ry
f a rm in g, w hic h
dif fe rs fro m
co n cen tr a tio n ca m p
co nditio ns only in th at
an im als a re o verfe d ra th er th an u nderfe d , a n d
in je cte d
w ith
gro w th h orm ones ra th er th an
gasse d
, a ll s o w e c an
butc h er
th em f o r m ore m eat.
Analy sis :
The au th or use s quite a fe w str o ng w ord s to portr a y th e
dep lo ra b le w ay a n im als a re tr e ate d . T he w ord s in b old e v oke
im ag es of The H olo cau st, effe ctiv ely asso cia tin g all th e
horro r o f N azi G erm an y t o f a cto ry f a rm s.
Exam ple 2
Arg um en t:
Anim als s h ould b e t r e ate d a s i f t h ey w ere p eo ple .
Excerp t:
Dolp hin s
wave
to th eir tr a in ers an d
lis te n
fo r in str u ctio ns.
They 'l l t h en
hold a b rie f c o n fe ren ce
u nderw ate r t o
pla n
t h eir
sy nch ro niz ed
ju m ps
t h ro ugh t h e h oops.
Analy sis :
The a u th or's m ain a rg um en t i s t h at w e s h ould t r e at a n im als a s
if th ey w ere p eo ple . B y u sin g w ord s th at ty pic ally p erta in
only to p eo ple , th e a u th or is a b le to " h um an iz e" d olp hin s in
th e re ad er's m in d an d h opefu lly ev oke sy m path y fo r th em .
This l ite ra ry d ev ic e i s c alle d a n th ro pom orp his m .
Exam ple 3
Arg um en t:
The U nite d S ta te s s h ould h av e a d ir e ct d em ocra cy , in ste ad o f
a s y ste m o f r e p re se n ta tiv es.
Excerp t:
Fir s t so m eo ne su bm its a bill. O nce it gets th e re q uis ite
sp onso rs h ip in C ongre ss, it g oes to a c o m mitte e. T his
gaggle
of
su ppose d ly e n lig h te n ed
p olitic ia n s th en
dilly -d allie s
o ver
th e fin e p rin t, p uttin g w hate v er
mum bo ju m bo
th ey w an t in
th e b ill b efo re i t's v ote d o n.
Analy sis :
The a u th or u se s th e w ord s in b old to c h ara cte riz e p olitic ia n s
as in co m pete n t, b um blin g f o ols . T his is e sp ecia lly p ers u asiv e
becau se it im plie s th at ev en th e re ad er w ould be m ore
effe ctiv e i n g overn m en t t h an t h ey a re . B y m ak in g r e ad ers f e el
good a b out t h em se lv es, t h e a u th or i s a b le t o w in t h em o ver.
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2. S ta tis tic s/D ata
Possib le u se s:
to i n dic ate a p ro ble m
to m ak e a n id ea h ard to a rg ue a g ain st b ecau se n um bers a re p erc eiv ed a s
fa cts , n ot o pin io ns
to g ro und t h e a u th or's a rg um en t i n r e ality
to s u rp ris e r e ad ers
to p ut o ne q uan tity i n r e la tio n t o a n oth er f o r c o m pare /c o ntr a st
Exam ple 4
Arg um en t:
There h as t o b e a lie n l if e o n o th er p la n ets .
Excerp t:
The U niv ers e is s im ply to o v ast, to o fille d w ith p la n ets a n d
sta rs , f o r u s to b e a lo ne. T he M ilk y W ay c o nta in s 1 00 b illio n
sta rs , in clu din g our ow n S un. In th e co urs e of su rv ey in g
th ousa n ds of sta rs over th e la st fe w years , th e K ep le r
te le sc o pe h as f o und t h at n early a ll o f t h em h av e p la n ets a n d a t
le ast 1 7% h av e E arth -s iz ed w orld s o rb itin g t h em .
Analy sis :
By n otin g th e in cre d ib le n um ber o f s ta rs a n d o rb itin g p la n ets ,
th e a u th or m ak es a s tr o ng c ase b ase d o n s h eer p ro bab ility t h at
th ere i s l if e o n o th er p la n ets .
Exam ple 5
Arg um en t:
The U nite d S ta te s s h ould h av e a d ir e ct d em ocra cy , in ste ad o f
a s y ste m o f r e p re se n ta tiv es.
Excerp t:
For e x am ple , e ach sta te g ets tw o S en ato rs so th at a ll sta te s
hav e e q ual r e p re se n ta tio n. T his s e em s g ood u ntil y ou c o nsid er
th at Calif o rn ia has 80 tim es th e num ber of peo ple as
Wyom in g.
That m ea n s a s in gle r esid en t o f W yom in g h as
th e sa m e S en ato ria l p ow er a s 8 0 r esid en ts o f C alif o rn ia
co m bin ed .
Analy sis :
The b old ed s e n te n ce s h ock s th e r e ad er a n d in cite s a s e n se o f
unfa ir n ess. B y c o m parin g W yom in g r e sid en ts w ith C alif o rn ia
re sid en ts u sin g a n e x act n um ber, th e a u th or s h ow s th e e x te n t
to w hic h o ur s y ste m o f d em ocra cy i s b ro ken .
Exam ple 6
Arg um en t:
Gir ls m ak e e q ually c ap ab le e n gin eers a s b oys.
Excerp t:
Why d oes A m eric a h av e s o f e w f e m ale e n gin eers ? M ore th an
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50% o f A m eric an c o lle g e s tu den ts a re n ow fe m ale , b ut o nly
ab out 1 in 5 e n gin eerin g fa cu lty o r te ch s ta rtu p fo unders a re
wom en .
Analy sis :
The a u th or u se s s ta tis tic s to p oin t o ut n ot o nly a p ro ble m b ut
als o th e ex te n t of it. R ead ers are fille d w ith a se n se of
in eq uity .
Exam ple 7
Arg um en t:
Gir ls m ak e e q ually c ap ab le e n gin eers a s b oys.
Excerp t:
Ira n is n ot a w om en 's rig hts h av en . In th is c o untr y , w om en
can a ctu ally b e s to pped in p ublic b y a ctu al m ora lity p olic e if
th eir c lo th es a re d eem ed to o tig ht o r re v ealin g, a n d m arrie d
wom en h av e to a sk th eir h usb an ds' p erm is sio n to le av e th e
co untr y . Y et s o m eh ow , 7 0% o f I ra n 's s c ie n ce a n d e n gin eerin g
stu den ts a re w om en a n d s o a re a h uge p ro portio n o f its te ch
sta rtu p f o unders . H ow d id t h at h ap pen ?
Analy sis :
Usin g th e 70% fig ure , th e au th or dra w s an im plic it
co m paris o n b etw een th e U nite d S ta te s a n d Ira n , w hic h h as a
much h ig her p ro portio n o f w om en in te ch a n d e n gin eerin g
fie ld s. If a co untr y th at lim its w om en 's rig hts can p ro duce
su ch g re at n um bers o f fe m ale e n gin eers , th en s u re ly th ere is
no e x cu se fo r th e d is p arity b etw een m en a n d w om en in th e
U.S . T his c o m paris o n e ffe ctiv ely s h if ts t h e b urd en o f p ro of t o
th e s k ep tic s.
3. A ppea l t o A uth orit y
An a p peal to a u th ority u su ally c o nsis ts o f q uote s fro m a u th ority fig ure s,
re se arc h fro m re sp ecte d univ ers itie s, or actio ns of govern m en t or oth er
au th orita tiv e b odie s. I t c an
ra is e c re d ib ility b y s h ow in g t h e a u th or i s n ot t h e o nly o ne w ho b elie v es i n
an i d ea
in cre ase t r u st b y s h ow in g t h at a n a rg um en t i s w ell- re se arc h ed
gain a ccep ta n ce o r s y m path y f ro m r e ad ers w ho i d en tif y o r t h in k h ig hly o f
th e a u th ority f ig ure
esta b lis h a p re ced en t th at p uts p eer p re ssu re o n o th er p eo ple to d o th e
sa m e
Exam ple 8
Arg um en t:
Anim als s h ould b e t r e ate d a s i f t h ey w ere p eo ple .
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Excerp t:
In 2013, fo r ex am ple , th e govern m en t of In dia decla re d
dolp hin s to be "n on-h um an pers o ns." T his m ad e keep in g
th em c ap tiv e f o r e n te rta in m en t p urp ose s i lle g al e v ery w here i n
th e c o untr y .
And in 2 015, a N ew Y ork ju dge ru le d th at tw o
ch im pan zees c o uld n ot b e " u nla w fu lly d eta in ed " f o r r e se arc h
purp ose s, c itin g th e w rit o f
habeu s c o rp us
.
Habeu s c o rp us
,
lite ra lly m ean in g " sh ow m e th e b ody," s ta te s th at n o p ers o n
may be deta in ed w ith out ev id en ce of w ro ngdoin g. In th is
ru lin g, th e ju dge ex te n d ed Constitu tio nal pro te ctio n fo r
"p ers o ns" t o c h im pan zees.
Analy sis :
The f a ct th at p la ces a s f a r a w ay f ro m e ach o th er a s I n dia a n d
New Y ork C ity h av e p asse d r u lin gs in s u pport o f th e h um an e
tr e atm en t of certa in an im als giv es th e au th or's arg um en t
cre d ib ility an d esta b lis h es a p re ced en t. In o th er w ord s, th e
id ea h as a lr e ad y b een a ccep te d , a n d th e p re ssu re is o n o th er
govern in g ag en cie s to d o th e sa m e. It's easie r to p ers u ad e
peo ple t o d o s o m eth in g w hen t h ey w on't b e t h e f ir s t t o d o i t.
Exam ple 9
Arg um en t:
There h as t o b e a lie n l if e o n o th er p la n ets .
Excerp t:
World -re n ow ned p hysic is t S te p hen H aw kin g a g re es. " T o m y
math em atic al b ra in , th e n um bers a lo ne m ak e th in kin g a b out
alie n s p erfe ctly ra tio nal. T he re al c h alle n ge is w ork in g o ut
what a lie n s m ig ht a ctu ally b e l ik e."
Analy sis :
By q uotin g S te p hen H aw kin g, w ho is k now n an d ad m ir e d
both in sid e an d outs id e th e physic s w orld as a brillia n t
sc ie n tis t, th e au th or m ak es his arg um en t m uch hard er to
dis m is s. F or re ad ers to d is a g re e w ith th e a u th or, th ey w ould
als o h av e to d is a g re e w ith o ne o f th e w orld 's m ost re sp ecte d
physic is ts .
4. A ck now le d gin g t h e o th er s id e/M ak in g C on cessio n s
A c o ncessio n is a p oin t th at is str a te g ic ally g iv en u p o r g ra n te d to th e
opposin g s id e. A ck now le d gin g t h e o th er s id e a llo w s a n a u th or t o
ad dre ss c o unte ra rg um en ts , d oubts , o r f e ars r e ad ers m ay h av e
esta b lis h c o m mon g ro und
pav e th e w ay f o r n ew p oin ts to b e m ad e, in ste ad o f g ettin g b ogged d ow n
in o ld o nes
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Exam ple 1 0
Arg um en t:
The U nite d S ta te s s h ould h av e a d ir e ct d em ocra cy , in ste ad o f
a s y ste m o f r e p re se n ta tiv es.
Excerp t:
Of co urs e , we'd be dis m an tlin g th e very sy ste m th at
Am eric a's f o undin g f a th ers p ut in p la ce. A fte r a ll, th e s y ste m
of g overn m en t w e h av e n ow is b ase d o n th e C onstitu tio n th at
th ey d ra fte d . H ow ev er, th ere w ere s o m e lo gis tic al b arrie rs to
a d ir e ct d em ocra cy w hen th e C onstitu tio n w as w ritte n . T here
was, f o r e x am ple , n o I n te rn et. N o w ay f o r e v ery A m eric an to
weig h in o n a g iv en is su e in a tim ely f a sh io n. B ut n ow th ere
is . A nd i f t h e f o undin g f a th ers w ere a liv e t o day , t h ey 'd s e e t h e
possib ilitie s a n d a d vocate fo r a s y ste m th at's m ore in clu siv e
of e v ery one.
Analy sis :
The a u th or w illin gly a ck now le d ges th at a d ir e ct d em ocra cy
would r u n c o unte r to th e C onstitu tio n. T hat w ay , h e is a b le to
ad dre ss it an d carv e a w ay past a m ajo r obsta cle to his
arg um en t. I n d oin g s o , h e i s a b le t o f ra m e A m eric a's f o undin g
fa th ers n ot as en em ie s b ut as allie s. If th e au th or d id n ot
ack now le d ge th e o th er s id e, h e w ould n ot b e a b le to q uell th e
doubts t h ey m ay h av e.
Exam ple 1 1
Arg um en t:
Sav e th e en vir o nm en t, not to sa v e th e E arth but to sa v e
ours e lv es.
Excerp t:
Durin g th e P erm ia n E xtin ctio n, E arth g ot s o h ot th at th e la n d
mass n ow k now n a s R ussia b ecam e o ne g ia n t la v a flo w . I'm
su re so m e sk ep tic s o f clim ate ch an ge w ill sa y , "S ee? T he
Earth su rv iv ed th at. S ure ly it can su rv iv e our puny little
gre en house g as em is sio ns w ith out a p ro ble m ." W ell, y eah .
The E arth c an su rv iv e a lr ig ht. B ut w hat w e se lf is h h um an s
mig ht w an t to k now a b out th e P erm ia n e x tin ctio n is th at o ver
90% o f a ll sp ecie s liv in g o n E arth d ie d o ut. T hat's w hy w e
don't s e e th ose c u te little a m monite s th at y ou c an o nly b uy in
fo ssil s to re s n ow , o r th ose a w eso m e fe rn -ju ngle s y ou s e e in
pain tin gs o f a n cie n t E arth . T hey d ie d o ut. W e w ould h av e t o o,
as I 'm p re tty s u re s k yro ck etin g g lo bal t e m pera tu re s a n d g lo bal
dese rtif ic atio n w ould h av e k ille d a ll o f o ur f o od c ro ps.
Analy sis :
The a u th or e sta b lis h es c o m mon g ro und w ith th ose w ho m ay
not b elie v e in s a v in g th e E arth b y fir s t a g re ein g w ith th em :
The E arth w ill su rv iv e w hate v er w e d o to it. H ow ev er, th is
co m mon gro und only pav es th e way fo r his prim ary
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arg um en t: Earth will su rv iv e, but we won't . By fir s t
id en tif y in g w ith h is o pponen ts ' w ay o f th in kin g, th e a u th or is
ab le to w eak en a n y re sis ta n ce h e m ay fa ce in le ad in g th em
dow n h is o w n l in e o f r e aso nin g.
Exam ple 1 2
Arg um en t:
Hav in g a b est f rie n d i s n ecessa ry f o r c h ild s u ccess.
Excerp t:
Man y ad ults are n ow sa y in g th at ch ild re n sh ould n ot h av e
best frie n ds. In re cen t y ears , c h ild p sy ch olo gis ts h av e ra is e d
co ncern s ab out th e ex clu siv ity an d pote n tia l fo r
posse ssiv en ess in th ese r e la tio nsh ip s, w hic h m ay d etr a ct f ro m
th e v arie d s o cia l in te ra ctio ns im porta n t to c h ild hood le arn in g,
or re su lt in h urt fe elin gs if o ne's b est frie n d m oves o n. A s a
pare n t, n one o f th is w orrie s m e a t a ll.
Don 't g et m e w ro n g—
I'v e h ad m y sh are of tr ia ls an d tr ib ula tio n s w it h b est
fr ie n ds w hom I'v e had to sa y good bye to . B ut th ese
rela tio n sh ip s, in g ood tim es a n d in b ad , h ave g iv en m e
in valu ab le p ra ctic e f o r h an dlin g a d ult p artn ersh ip s.
Analy sis :
The a u th or id en tif ie s w ith th e a u die n ce a n d c o nced es th at s h e
hers e lf has had bad ex perie n ces w ith best frie n ds. This
ack now le d gm en t a llo w s h er to m ak e a v ery str o ng p oin t—
th at e v en w ith th ose b ad e x perie n ces, th e b en efits o f h av in g
best f rie n ds o utw eig h t h e c o sts .
5. A nalo gie s/C om paris o n s
Analo gie s a re c o m paris o ns b etw een t w o t h in gs. I n g en era l, t h ey
allo w re ad ers to u nders ta n d m ore c o m ple x c o ncep ts b y c o m parin g th em
with s im ple r o nes
asso cia te n ew i d eas w ith o nes t h e r e ad er i s a lr e ad y f a m ilia r w ith
le ad th e re ad er in to ag re em en t by co nnectin g so m eth in g new w ith
so m eth in g t h e r e ad er h as a g re ed w ith o r d one
Exam ple 1 3
Arg um en t:
There h as t o b e a lie n l if e o n o th er p la n ets .
Excerp t:
In 2010, an aly sis of data fro m th e M ars G lo bal S urv ey or
fo und th at meth an e co ncen tr a tio ns in th e re d pla n et's
atm osp here in cre ase d urin g th e w arm se aso n. W hy is th is
in tr ig uin g? B ecau se m eth an e is c re ate d b y b acte ria l lif e h ere
on E arth .
And a n yon e w ho's e v er t a k en o u t s tin ky g arb age
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durin g th e s u m mer w ill te ll y ou th at b acte ria l lif e g ro w s
much fa ste r— an d p ro d uces m uch m ore stin ky g as lik e
meth an e— when i t 's w arm .
Analy sis :
By c o m parin g m eth an e o n m ars t o t a k in g o ut t h e g arb ag e, t h e
au th or m ak es h is p oin t re la ta b le an d easie r to u nders ta n d.
Read ers m ust fir s t u nders ta n d s o m eth in g b efo re th ey c an b e
pers u ad ed b y it. F urth erm ore , th is an alo gy str e n gth en s th e
lin k b etw een b acte ria l lif e o n E arth an d th e p ossib ility o f
bacte ria l l if e o n M ars .
Exam ple 1 4
Arg um en t:
There h as t o b e a lie n l if e o n o th er p la n ets .
Excerp t:
While n ay sa y ers p oin t o ut th at w e'v e n ev er re ceiv ed ra d io
sig nals fro m a n oth er c iv iliz atio n d esp ite sc an nin g th e sk ie s
fo r su ch sig nals fo r decad es, Haw kin g has an oth er
ex pla n atio n fo r th e sile n ce. He belie v es th at a sm art
ex tr a te rre str ia l c iv iliz atio n w ould h id e its e x is te n ce to a v oid
bein g a tta ck ed b y o th ers .
"If a lie n s v is it u s," H aw kin g s a ys,
"th e o u tc o m e w ou ld b e m uch a s w hen C olu m bus la n ded
in A m eric a , w hic h d id n't tu rn ou t w ell fo r th e N ativ e
Am eric a n s." I f w e'r e n ot h ea rin g f r o m a lie n c iv iliz a tio n s,
it 's pro b ab ly beca u se th ey 'v e le a rn ed to keep th eir
co m munic a tio n s priv ate , lik e an y sm art fa m ily in a
cro w ded n eig h borh ood .
Analy sis :
The an alo gie s to C olu m bus an d "a n y sm art fa m ily in a
cro w ded neig hborh ood" ad d valid ity to th e au th or's m ain
poin t an d re la te s th e id ea to co ncep ts re ad ers are alr e ad y
fa m ilia r w ith . The co m paris o ns m ak e it se em lik e it's
co m mon s e n se t h at a lie n s w ould n ot w an t t o c o nta ct u s.
Exam ple 1 5
Arg um en t:
The U nite d S ta te s s h ould h av e a d ir e ct d em ocra cy , in ste ad o f
a s y ste m o f r e p re se n ta tiv es.
Excerp t:
Som e s u ggest t h at t h e r is k s o f h ack in g a n d v ote r f ra u d a re t o o
gre at. R eally ? Y ou d o all y our b an kin g o nlin e an d y ou'r e
te llin g u s t h e I n te rn et i s n ot s e cu re e n ough f o r v otin g?
Analy sis :
By c o m parin g o nlin e b an kin g to o nlin e v otin g, th e a u th or is
ab le to d ow npla y th e r is k s o f a d ir e ct d em ocra cy in w hic h w e
all v ote o nlin e. A fte r a ll, if w e a lr e ad y tr u st o nlin e s y ste m s to
han dle o ur m oney , th ere 's n o re aso n w e s h ould n't a ls o a llo w
th em t o h an dle o ur v ote s.
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6. J u xta p osit io n
Ju xta p ositio n is pla cin g tw o th in gs sid e by sid e fo r co m paris o n or
co ntr a st. U nlik e a n a n alo gy, it d oes n ot tr y to re la te o ne c o ncep t to a n oth er.
In ste ad , it m ere ly p ositio ns th em to geth er in su ch a w ay th at a sig nif ic an t
dis tin ctio n i s h ig hlig hte d o r o ne o ptio n i s m ad e t o s e em b ette r t h an t h e o th er.
Exam ple 1 6
Arg um en t:
Sav e th e en vir o nm en t, not to sa v e th e E arth but to sa v e
ours e lv es.
Excerp t:
The id ea o f b ein g " k in d to th e p la n et" a ssu m es a c o uple o f
th in gs. F ir s t, it assu m es th at w e are cap ab le o f h elp in g o r
harm in g E arth in s o m e m ean in gfu l w ay . W e'r e n ot. E arth h as
weath ere d aste ro id im pacts an d clim ate ch an ge th at w ould
hav e b lo w n u s o ff th e m ap a d ozen tim es o ver, a n d E arth 's
eco sy ste m s h av e a lw ay s a d ap te d . H um an a ctiv ity is n oth in g.
Earth w ill b ounce r ig ht b ack f ro m a n y h av oc w e m ay c au se . I t
alw ay s d oes. H um an s, h ow ev er, w ill n ot.
Analy sis :
By ju xta p osin g E arth a n d h um an s, th e a u th or c o ntr a sts th e
fra g ility o f h um an s w ith th e d ura b ility o f p la n et E arth . T he
in te n t is to m ak e u s f e el s m all a n d in sig nif ic an t, e sp ecia lly o n
a s c ale th at in clu des " a ste ro id im pacts " a n d " c lim ate c h an ge."
By m ak in g u s f e el th is w ay , th e a u th or c o m pels u s to id en tif y
with h er a rg um en t th at w e a re m ost a t ris k w hen w e d on't
sa v e t h e e n vir o nm en t, n ot E arth i ts e lf .
In S A T e ssa y p assa g es, y ou w ill o fte n s e e a u th ors ju xta p ose th e p ast a n d
th e p re se n t, o r o ne c o untr y w ith a n oth er, to e m phasiz e a p ro ble m (e .g . In
1960, 8 3% o f o ur c lo th in g c am e f ro m f a cto rie s i n t h e U nite d S ta te s. B y 2 013,
th at p erc en ta g e h ad d eclin ed t o 1 8% .)
Exam ple 1 7
Arg um en t:
The U nite d S ta te s s h ould h av e a d ir e ct d em ocra cy , in ste ad o f
a s y ste m o f r e p re se n ta tiv es.
Excerp t:
Who w an ts ric h , p riv ile g ed b ure au cra ts b ossin g u s aro und
when w e c an h av e p eo ple lik e y ou a n d m e fig htin g fo r o ur
ow n c au se s?
Analy sis :
By ju xta p osin g " b ure au cra ts " w ith " p eo ple lik e y ou a n d m e,"
th e au th or cre ate s an "u s vers u s th em " m en ta lity . The
im plic atio n is th at p olitic ia n s a re to ta lly o ut o f to uch w ith th e
co m mon p eo ple th ey 'r e su ppose d to se rv e. F urth erm ore , th e
re ad er i s p ut i n to a s itu atio n w ith s e em in gly o nly t w o o ptio ns,
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an d o f c o urs e , o ne is m ad e o ut to b e m ore e n tic in g th an th e
oth er.
7. C halle n gin g A ssu m ptio n s
By c h alle n gin g c o m mon a ssu m ptio ns, a n a u th or
en ab le s a n a rg um en t t o p ro ceed f ro m a c le an s la te
dis m is se s a n y p re co nceiv ed id eas o r b ia se s th at m ay r u n c o unte r to h is o r
her a rg um en t
Exam ple 1 8
Arg um en t:
Anim als s h ould b e t r e ate d a s i f t h ey w ere p eo ple .
Excerp t:
I'v e h ad to th in k tw ic e a b out o rd erin g a b urg er e v er s in ce I
fo und o ut th at c o w s h av e b est frie n ds.
That's rig ht— sc ie n tis t
Kris ta M cL en nan d is c o vere d in 2 011 th at c o w s p air o ff, a n d
not in a m atin g s e n se . I n ste ad , a f e m ale c o w w ill d ev elo p a n
esp ecia lly c lo se b ond w ith a n oth er f e llo w c o w a n d s h ow s ig ns
of s tr e ss i f t h ey a re s e p ara te d .
Analy sis :
The au th or ch alle n ges th e assu m ptio n th at an im als don't
beh av e o r fe el as h um an s d o. B y m ovin g th e re ad er aw ay
fro m w hat is lik ely a w id ely -h eld b elie f, th e a u th or is a b le to
arg ue fro m a cle an sla te an d dis m is s an y pre co nceiv ed
notio ns t h at m ay s a b ota g e t h e a rg um en t.
Exam ple 1 9
Arg um en t:
There h as t o b e a lie n l if e o n o th er p la n ets .
Excerp t:
Recen t ex perim en ts h av e sh ow n th at o rg an is m s can th riv e
with ju st tw o re q uir e m en ts : a te m pera tu re th at allo w s fo r
ch em ic al bondin g an d an en erg y so urc e su ch as th e su n.
Wate r is n ot n ecessa ry . In fa ct, c erta in p ro te in s th at u su ally
co nta in w ate r su ch as m yoglo bin can fu nctio n ju st fin e
with out i t. A nd t h at's j u st E arth -b ase d o rg an is m s w e'r e t a lk in g
ab out. T here 's n o re aso n th e b io ch em is tr y o f an alie n lif e -
fo rm c an 't r u n o n s o m eth in g o th er t h an w ate r.
Analy sis :
The a u th or te ars a p art th e c o m mon k now le d ge th at w ate r is
necessa ry fo r lif e . B y doin g so , he open s up m an y m ore
possib ilitie s f o r a lie n lif e to e x is t. T he a b ility to p ers u ad e th e
re ad er i s n o l o nger c o nstr a in ed b y a l im itin g a ssu m ptio n.
8. A necd ote s
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Anecd ote s a re s h ort s to rie s, o fte n p ers o nal, t h at a re u se d t o m ak e a p oin t.
Exam ple 2 0
Arg um en t:
Anim als s h ould b e t r e ate d a s i f t h ey w ere p eo ple .
Excerp t:
A 2 008 stu dy fo und th at c ro w s a re a b le to d is tin guis h o ne
hum an fro m a n oth er a n d re act d if fe re n tly d ep en din g o n h ow
th ey a re tr e ate d . In 2 011, a fo ur y ear o ld S eattle g ir l n am ed
Gab i M an n d ro pped a c h ic k en n ugget o nly to h av e a c ro w
sw oop in to eat it. S he so on re aliz ed th at th e cro w s w ere
watc h in g h er, lo okin g fo r a n oth er b ite . A s tim e w en t o n, s h e
beg an fe ed in g th em o n a re g ula r b asis . T hat's w hen th e g if ts
sta rte d a p pearin g: a m in ia tu re s ilv er b all, a b lu e p ap er c lip , a
bla ck b utto n, a y ello w b ead , a n d th e lis t o f s h in y o bje cts g oes
on. It's a pecu lia r co lle ctio n of obje cts fo r a little gir l to
tr e asu re , b ut t o G ab i t h ese t h in gs a re m ore v alu ab le t h an g old .
Analy sis :
The a u th or u se s t h e a n ecd ote o f G ab i's c ro w s t o f o rm a s tr o ng
em otio nal b ond b etw een h um an s a n d a n im als in th e re ad er's
min d. B y g iv in g a n illu str a tio n o f h ow a n im als c an a ct lik e
hum an s, th e au th or open s us up to accep tin g his m ain
arg um en t.
Exam ple 2 1
Arg um en t:
Hav in g a b est f rie n d i s n ecessa ry f o r c h ild s u ccess.
Excerp t:
Gro w in g up, I w as alw ay s a bit of an odd duck . I w as
in te re ste d in th in gs th at o th er c h ild re n w ere n 't a n d b ore d b y
th in gs th ey lo ved . I d id n't re ally h av e a b est frie n d I c o uld
re la te to u ntil th e fif th g ra d e, a n d w hen I d id , it w as s o , s o
valid atin g. We would sq uir re l ours e lv es aw ay fro m
ra m bunctio us s p orts g am es to g o fo r w alk s in th e fo re st. W e
would g et to s c h ool e arly to c h at a b out o ur little h obbie s. M y
bestie d ra g ged m e t o p la ces I w ould n't h av e v en tu re d t o a lo ne.
These ex perie n ces help ed m e gro w in to th e pers o n I am
to day .
Analy sis :
The au th or sh are s so m e of her pers o nal m em orie s an d
ex perie n ces in o rd er to c o nvey th e im porta n ce o f h av in g a
best f rie n d. H er s to ry i s o ne t h at n early a ll r e ad ers w ill b e a b le
to re la te to an d fin d sim ila ritie s w ith . By esta b lis h in g
co m mon g ro und th ro ugh th is a n ecd ote , s h e o pen s u p a s tr o ng
co nnectio n w ith t h e r e ad er.
9. R heto ric a l Q uestio n s
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A rh eto ric al q uestio n is o ne th at is n 't a n sw ere d b y th e a u th or. E ith er th e
questio n d oesn 't n eed to b e a n sw ere d b ecau se th e p oin t b ein g m ad e is s e lf -
ev id en t o r i t's d esig ned f o r r e ad ers t o a n sw er t h em se lv es.
Possib le u se s:
pro ds r e ad ers i n to a g re ein g o r a n sw erin g f o r t h em se lv es i n a c erta in w ay
gets t h e r e ad er t o i m ag in e a c erta in s c en ario
la y s o ut c o m mon g ro und o r a ssu m ptio ns th at th e a u th or c an th en b uild
upon
Exam ple 2 2
Arg um en t:
Sav e th e en vir o nm en t, not to sa v e th e E arth but to sa v e
ours e lv es.
Excerp t:
To u nders ta n d ju st h ow m uch te m pera tu re s ro se d urin g th e
Perm ia n E xtin ctio n, c o nsid er t h is : h av e y ou e v er b een o uts id e
on a r e ally h ot d ay ? L ik e, r e ally h ot. W e'r e n ot ta lk in g a b out
so m e w im py 84° day s. I m ean lik e, 104° heat. M assiv e-
ep id em ic -o f-h eats tr o ke h eat. T hat's h ow h ot t h e o cean w as.
Analy sis :
The a u th or u se s a r h eto ric al q uestio n to m ak e th e e x perie n ce
of a h ot s u m mer d ay m ore r e al a n d v is c era l. B y r e ach in g o ut
to th e re ad er's s e n se s, th e a u th or m ak es a d eep er im pre ssio n
when s h e l a te r s ta te s, " T hat's h ow h ot t h e o cean w as."
Exam ple 2 3
Arg um en t:
The U nite d S ta te s s h ould h av e a d ir e ct d em ocra cy , in ste ad o f
a s y ste m o f r e p re se n ta tiv es.
Excerp t:
Dem ocra cy is th e grea te st sy ste m of govern m en t ev er,
rig h t?
It's th e only sy ste m w here W e T he P eo ple get to
decid e w hat g oes o n in o ur la n d— not so m e o verlo rd s w ho
ru le u s b y f o rc e.
Analy sis :
By en din g th e b old ed se n te n ce w ith "rig ht? " th e au th or is
nudgin g th e re ad er to re sp ond m en ta lly in th e a ffir m ativ e. A
sm all g estu re o f a g re em en t e sta b lis h es c o m mon g ro und a n d
giv e t h e a rg um en t m om en tu m .
Exam ple 2 4
Arg um en t:
The U nite d S ta te s s h ould h av e a d ir e ct d em ocra cy , in ste ad o f
a s y ste m o f r e p re se n ta tiv es.
Excerp t:
The m aze o f A m eric an p olitic s is su ch th at fe w A m eric an s
ev en unders ta n d w ho m ak es our la w s— much le ss w here
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th ose p eo ple c o m e f ro m . D oesn 't t h at s tr ik e y ou a s a p ro ble m ?
Analy sis :
The s h arp r h eto ric al q uestio n c o m pels th e r e ad er to a n sw er in
a fra m e o f lo gic th at h as b een s e t b y th e a u th or. O bvio usly ,
th e an sw er is "y es," b ut b y le av in g it u p to th e re ad er to
an sw er in th e a ffir m ativ e, th e a u th or is a b le to in duce r e ad ers
to pers u ad e th em se lv es. A fte r all, th ere 's noth in g m ore
pers u asiv e th an th e th oughts a n d b elie fs w e o urs e lv es c o m e
up w ith .
Exam ple 2 5
Arg um en t:
The U nite d S ta te s s h ould h av e a d ir e ct d em ocra cy , in ste ad o f
a s y ste m o f r e p re se n ta tiv es.
Excerp t:
So la w s in A m eric a to day a re m ad e b y e lite p olitic ia n s w ho
are e le cte d t h ro ugh a c o nvolu te d s y ste m t h at d oesn 't r e p re se n t
an yone. W hat i f W e T he P eo ple j u st m ad e t h e l a w s?
Analy sis :
The r h eto ric al q uestio n a t th e e n d p ro m pts r e ad ers to im ag in e
an id eal sc en ario in w hic h th ey a re th e o nes w ho m ak e th e
ru le s. E ven if th at sc en ario is fa r re m oved fro m re ality , th e
au th or is a b le to p ers u ad e ju st b y p uttin g th e p ossib ility in to
th e m in ds o f r e ad ers , a n d th ey a re c o m pelle d to a t le ast th in k
ab out t h e i s su e f o r t h em se lv es.
In g en era l, s ta y a w ay f ro m a n aly zin g r h eto ric al q uestio ns a s a s ta n d-a lo ne
pers u asiv e te ch niq ue o n th e S A T E ssa y . W hy? B ecau se th ere 's ty pic ally o nly
one or tw o rh eto ric al questio ns in an y giv en artic le , an d th at's ju st not
sig nif ic an t e n ough f o r a n e n tir e p ara g ra p h's w orth o f a n aly sis . I n ste ad , f o cu s
on rh eto ric al ele m en ts th at occu r th ro ughout th e artic le , not ju st in one
se n te n ce.
How ev er, if th e a u th or m ak es h eav y u se o f rh eto ric al q uestio ns o r th ey
work a lo ngsid e a n oth er p ers u asiv e e le m en t, th en m en tio nin g th em is a g ood
move. F or ex am ple , y ou w ill o fte n se e ju xta p ositio n o r a ch alle n gin g o f
assu m ptio ns w ork ed i n to r h eto ric al q uestio ns t h em se lv es.
10. H yp oth etic a l S it u atio n s
The hypoth etic al situ atio n is alm ost lik e a sib lin g to th e rh eto ric al
questio n b ecau se th e u se s a re m uch th e s a m e e v en th ough it's n ot in q uestio n
fo rm .
Possib le u se s:
Gets th e re ad er to im ag in e c erta in p ossib ilitie s w ith out h av in g to sta te
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th em e x plic itly
Allo w s th e a u th or to d esc rib e c erta in o utc o m es in a w ay th at b en efits h is
or h er a rg um en t
Exam ple 2 6
Arg um en t:
Sav e th e en vir o nm en t, not to sa v e th e E arth but to sa v e
ours e lv es.
Excerp t:
The E arth b ecam e sc o rc h in gly h ot a t le ast o nce b efo re , a n d
th ere 's n o r e aso n it c an 't h ap pen a g ain . I f it d oes, w e c o uld g o
th e w ay o f th e d in osa u rs a n d b eco m e p opula r little f o ssils f o r
th e h yperin te llig en t lif e -fo rm s o f th e f u tu re to b uy in je w elr y
sto re s.
Analy sis :
The a u th or p uts fo rth th e h ypoth etic al s c en ario o f th e E arth
beco m in g to o h ot fo r h um an s to b ear. In d oin g s o , h e g iv es
him se lf a n o pportu nity to d esc rib e th e c ata str o phe th at m ay
occu r if w e d on't p ro te ct th e E arth . If h e d id n't b rin g u p th is
hypoth etic al situ atio n, he would n't hav e th is ad ditio nal
av en ue o f p ers u asio n.
Exam ple 2 7
Arg um en t:
Hav in g a b est f rie n d i s n ecessa ry f o r c h ild s u ccess.
Excerp t:
Im ag in e a w orld w ith out th e b est f rie n d y ou h av e n ow . W ip e
out a ll th ose tr ip s y ou w en t o n to geth er, th e b ir th day p artie s
you c ele b ra te d , a n d t h e l o ng c h ats y ou h ad o ver t h e p hone.
Analy sis :
The a u th or p ain ts a sta rk h ypoth etic al situ atio n in o rd er to
win r e ad ers o ver e m otio nally . T hey a re f o rc ed to th in k a b out
th e a u th or's a rg um en t o n a p ers o nal l e v el, i n t e rm s t h at m atte r
to t h em .
11. A ppea l t o I d en tit y
An a p peal to id en tity is o ne th at ta k es a d van ta g e o f th e c o m mon v alu es
an d belie fs of a gro up. It's pers u asiv e becau se hum an bein gs are so cia l
cre atu re s th at se ek belo ngin g, an d w e gra v ita te to w ard s th ose id eas th at
en han ce t h at s e n se o f b elo ngin g.
Exam ple 2 8
Arg um en t:
The U nite d S ta te s s h ould h av e a d ir e ct d em ocra cy , in ste ad o f
a s y ste m o f r e p re se n ta tiv es.
Excerp t:
What is
re a lly
s to ppin g u s f ro m b rin gin g d ir e ct d em ocra cy to
Am eric a? I w ould a rg ue th at it's s im ply fe ar o f c h an ge.
Fear
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of c h an ge d id n't s to p o ur fo re fa th ers fro m c ro ssin g a n o cean
an d s e ttlin g a n ew c o ntin en t. I t d id n't s to p t h e F re ed om R id ers
fro m ris k in g th eir o w n liv es in p urs u it o f e q uality fo r a ll. It
is n 't w hat in ven te d th e In te rn et o r p ut sm artp hones in o ur
pock ets .
As A m eric an s, w e a s a p eo ple h av e a lw ay s e m bra ced
ch an ge. A nd w e d ese rv e a c h an ge t h at w ill p ut t h e p ow er o f a
tr u ly d em ocra tic s o cie ty in o ur o w n h an ds.
If w e w an t to s e e
th is dre am beco m e a re ality , w e m ust act. A fte r all, th e
wealth y p olitic ia n s o f W ash in gto n are n ot g oin g to b e th e
ones to put th em se lv es out of pow er.
So le t's sta rt our
petitio ns. L et's put it on our ballo ts .
Let's em bra ce dir e ct
dem ocra cy , t o geth er.
Analy sis :
Thro ughout th is en tir e ex cerp t, th e au th or m ak es a str o ng
ap peal t o t h e A m eric an i d en tity . S he m en tio ns o ur f o re fa th ers
an d th e F re ed om R id ers to s tir u p o ur n atio nalis tic p rid e. S he
als o b rin gs u p k ey w ord s a n d id eas th at re so nate w ith e v ery
tr u e A m eric an —
dem ocra cy, ch ange, p ursu it o f eq uality
. In
doin g s o , s h e's a b le t o f ra m e t h e i d ea o f a d ir e ct d em ocra cy a s
one t h at u phold s A m eric an v alu es.
12. S tr o n g D ir ectiv es w it h t h e C olle ctiv e P ro n ou n " W e"
Dir e ctiv es are ju st an oth er n am e fo r a str o ng su ggestio n o r co m man d,
su ch a s " L et's g ra b p iz za!" . N ot o nly d o th ey in fo rm th e re ad er o f th e n ex t
ste p s t o t a k e b ut t h ey a re a ls o a c all t o a ctio n.
Typic ally , d ir e ctiv es a re u se d w ith th e c o lle ctiv e p ro noun " w e". W hy is
"w e" s ig nif ic an t? B ecau se it s e rv es to c o nnect th e a u th or a n d th e re ad er a s
bein g p art o f a la rg er g ro up w ith a c o m mon c au se . B y u sin g " w e," a n a u th or
portr a y s h im o r h ers e lf a s b ein g o n th e s a m e s id e a s th e a u die n ce, o ne w ho
will s ta n d b esid e t h em i n u nis o n.
We'l l u se t h e p re v io us e x am ple t o i llu str a te .
Exam ple 2 9
Arg um en t:
The U nite d S ta te s s h ould h av e a d ir e ct d em ocra cy , in ste ad o f
a s y ste m o f r e p re se n ta tiv es.
Excerp t:
What is
re a lly
s to ppin g u s f ro m b rin gin g d ir e ct d em ocra cy to
Am eric a? I w ould a rg ue th at it's s im ply fe ar o f c h an ge.
Fear
of c h an ge d id n't s to p o ur fo re fa th ers fro m c ro ssin g a n o cean
an d s e ttlin g a n ew c o ntin en t. I t d id n't s to p t h e F re ed om R id ers
fro m ris k in g th eir o w n liv es in p urs u it o f e q uality fo r a ll. It
is n 't w hat in ven te d th e In te rn et o r p ut sm artp hones in o ur
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pock ets .
As A m eric a n s, w e as a peo p le have alw ays
em bra ced c h an ge. A nd w e d ese rv e a c h an ge th at w ill p ut
th e p ow er o f a t r u ly d em ocra tic s o cie ty in o u r o w n h an ds.
If w e w an t to se e th is d rea m b eco m e a r ea lit y , w e m ust
act.
A fte r a ll, th e w ealth y p olitic ia n s o f W ash in gto n a re n ot
goin g to b e th e o nes to p ut th em se lv es o ut o f p ow er.
So le t's
sta rt ou r petit io n s. L et's put it on ou r ballo ts .
Let's
em bra ce d ir ect d em ocra cy , t o geth er.
Analy sis :
The bold ed se n te n ces se rv e to unif y th e au die n ce an d
esta b lis h a c o m mon b ase o f A m eric an v alu es. T he s e n te n ces
to w ard th e en d are calls to actio n th at in cite im passio ned
re ad ers t o w ork t o w ard s a d ir e ct d em ocra cy .
Evid en ce
Though th is c h ap te r f o cu se s m ain ly o n th e r h eto ric al e le m en ts y ou s h ould
know , th at's n ot a ll y our e ssa y is lim ite d to . T he a u th or's u se o f e v id en ce is
als o s o m eth in g y ou c an d is c u ss. I'l l g o o ver tw o c o m mon ty pes o f e v id en ce
here : r e su lts f ro m r e se arc h a n d s u pportin g e x am ple s.
13. R esu lt s f r o m R ese a rch /S tu die s
Exam ple 3 0
Arg um en t:
Anim als s h ould b e t r e ate d a s i f t h ey w ere p eo ple .
Excerp t:
In M cL ella n 's case , her te am m easu re d th e heart ra te s of
co w s, w hic h , lik e in h um an s, g o u p w hen th e an im als are
fe elin g s tr e sse d , a n d th e le v els o f c o rtis o l, a s tr e ss h orm one,
in th eir b lo od. S ure e n ough, w hen c o w s w ere s e p ara te d f ro m
th eir b est b uddy, th eir h eart ra te s w en t u p a n d so d id th eir
co rtis o l le v els , a lm ost a s if th ey w ere w orrie d a b out th eir b est
frie n d's a b se n ce.
Analy sis :
By d ra w in g u pon th e re su lts o f an ex perim en t, th e au th or
so lid if ie s h er arg um en t o n a sc ie n tif ic b asis , w hic h b uild s
more cre d ib ility an d re in fo rc es th e sim ila ritie s betw een
hum an s a n d a n im als .
14. S upportin g E xam ple s
Exam ple 3 1
Arg um en t:
Sav e th e en vir o nm en t, not to sa v e th e E arth but to sa v e
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ours e lv es.
Excerp t:
You m ig ht b e th in kin g th at I'm b lo w in g th is w hole " c lim ate
ch an ge" th in g out of pro portio n. A fte r all, you'v e bare ly
notic ed a n y c h an ges in th e w eath er, r ig ht?
Unle ss, o f c o urs e ,
you liv e in o ne o f th e U .S . sta te s th at h as e x perie n ced th e
pola r v orte x , w here c h an ges to c o nvectio n c u rre n ts d ue to a
warm in g o cean l e d t o w eek s o f - 4 0° t e m pera tu re s.
Or y ou'r e a
re sid en t o f C alif o rn ia , w hose n early e m pty a q uif e rs h av e le d
to e x tr e m e w ate r ra tio nin g m easu re s in so m e o f th e b ig gest
popula tio n c en te rs in N orth A m eric a.
Or y ou'r e r e ally h opin g
th at th ose tr o pic al b ugs th at c arry Z ik a a n d C hag as d is e ase
an d m ala ria w ill s ta y a ro und th e e q uato r w here th ey b elo ng,
an d not sp re ad north as th ey hav e been fo r th e past fe w
decad es.
Analy sis :
The au th or pro vid es more th an one ex am ple of th e
detr im en ta l e ffe cts o f c lim ate c h an ge to m ag nif y th e e x te n t o f
th e pro ble m . T he varie ty gets re ad ers to th in k of clim ate
ch an ge not as an is o la te d pro ble m but as one th at w ill
ev en tu ally affe ct th em if th ey d on't d o so m eth in g ab out it.
In deed , t h e a u th or c le arly w an te d t o m ak e t h e i s su e o f c lim ate
ch an ge lo om la rg e in th e re ad er's m in d. The ex am ple s
th em se lv es d esc rib e d ir e cir c u m sta n ces th at elic it fe ar an d
desp air .
Logos, P ath os, a n d E th os
Logos
Logos is an ap peal to lo gic or re aso n. U sin g sta tis tic s, ch alle n gin g
assu m ptio ns, a n d b rin gin g u p re se arc h a re ty pic al w ay s o f m ak in g a lo gos-
base d a rg um en t.
Path os
Path os is a n a p peal to e m otio n (p ity , s a d ness, g re ed , fe ar, jo y, a m bitio n,
etc .) . W hile usin g pers o nal an ecd ote s or em otio nally -c h arg ed w ord s are
co m mon w ay s o f in vokin g p ath os, w hat a n a u th or c h oose s to d is c u ss (th e
actu al s u bje ct m atte r) is th e p rim ary w eap on o f p ath os. C haritie s h opin g to
ra is e m oney f o r d ev elo pin g c o untr ie s d esc rib e in fa n t c h ild re n w ho d ie in th e
arm s of th eir m oth ers becau se th ey know it in sp ir e s guilt, pity , an d
co m passio n. C om pan ie s se llin g h om e ala rm sy ste m s o verp la y th e n eed to
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pro te ct y our f a m ily t o m ak e y ou b uy o ut o f f e ar. A C EO w ho w an ts c o m pan y
em plo yees to w ork h ard er m ig ht s to ke th eir a m bitio ns b y te llin g th em th eir
work i s c h an gin g t h e w orld .
Eth os
Eth os is an ap peal to th e au th or's ow n id en tity , ch ara cte r, or
tr u stw orth in ess. Thin k of a pre sid en tia l can did ate desc rib in g his
acco m plis h m en ts a n d m ilita ry s e rv ic e t o a p peal t o v ote rs .
I p ut lo gos, p ath os, a n d e th os a t th e e n d o f th e lis t o f r h eto ric al e le m en ts
becau se I c o nsid er th em o ver-a rc h in g te rm s o f p ers u asio n r a th er th an g ro und-
le v el t e ch niq ues. M ost o f t h e t im e, w hat y ou s e e a s l o gos, p ath os, o r e th os c an
actu ally b e b ro ken d ow n in to o th er e le m en ts o f p ers u asio n ( e .g . s ta tis tic s a re
ty pic ally a co m ponen t o f a lo gos-b ase d arg um en t) . W hen th at h ap pen s, I
pre fe r to d is c u ss th e g ro und-le v el te ch niq ue (i.e . s ta tis tic s) a s th e p ers u asiv e
ele m en t r a th er t h an t h e m ore a b str a ct G re ek t e rm ( i.e . l o gos).
In c ase s w hen I d o w an t t o b rin g u p l o gos, p ath os, o r e th os i n m y a n aly sis ,
I lik e to r e fe r to th em n ot b y th eir n am es b ut b y th eir m ore n atu ra l s o undin g
defin itio ns. R ath er t h an s a y in g t h at a n a u th or i s i n vokin g p ath os, f o r e x am ple ,
I m ig ht in ste ad sa y th at h e's a p pealin g to e m otio n o r fe ar. I'v e fo und th at
while u sin g a G re ek t e rm i n y our e ssa y m ig ht s e em i m pre ssiv e, i t c an a ctu ally
lo ok f o rc ed a n d c o ntr iv ed if d one in th e w ro ng w ay . H ow ev er, th is is ju st m y
pers o nal s ty le . Y ou a re c erta in ly w elc o m e t o m en tio n l o gos, p ath os, a n d e th os
as m odes o f p ers u asio n i n y our e ssa y .
Afte r re ad in g th is ch ap te r, you m ay hav e notic ed th at a lo t of th e
ex am ple s sh ow case m ore th an one te ch niq ue. This is not unco m mon.
Rheto ric al q uestio ns w ill o fte n p ose h ypoth etic al s itu atio ns. S ta tis tic s m ay b e
use d i n c o nju nctio n w ith w ord c h oic e. A n a p peal t o i d en tity c an a ls o a p peal t o
em otio n.
This o verla p i s g ood b ecau se i t g iv es y ou m ore t o t a lk a b out.
The w ay t o h an dle o verla p i s t o f o cu s o n o ne m ain p ers u asiv e e le m en t f o r
each p ara g ra p h an d u se th e o th er ele m en ts as ad ditio nal re aso ns fo r w hy
so m eth in g in th e p assa g e is p ers u asiv e. D on't w orry if th is is a b it v ag ue o r
co nfu sin g. Y ou'l l g et a b ette r s e n se o f h ow to p ut e v ery th in g to geth er in th e
nex t t w o c h ap te rs .
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5. T he E ssa y T em pla te f o r a n y
Pro m pt
Now th at you'v e le arn ed w hat co nstitu te s a perfe ct essa y an d th e
p ers u asiv e ele m en ts you'l l be lo okin g fo r, th is ch ap te r w ill in tr o duce a
r e p eata b le f ra m ew ork th at w ill m ak e e ssa y w ritin g e asy . A fte r a ll, a n e ssa y is
m ore th an ju st an aly sis ; th ere need s to be an underly in g str u ctu re th at
o rg an iz es it. T his is T H E te m pla te th at m y s tu den ts h av e u se d to g et p erfe ct
s c o re s. It m ay se em c o m plic ate d a n d h ard to m em oriz e a t fir s t, b ut if y ou
a ctu ally p ra ctic e it a f e w tim es, y ou'l l s e e h ow e asy it is to p ro duce a m azin g
e ssa y s.
As you go th ro ugh th e te m pla te , notic e th e tr a n sitio ns an d co m ple x
s e n te n ces th at h av e b een in te g ra te d b y d esig n. T hey e n su re th at y our e ssa y is
b uilt o n a s o lid f o undatio n.
I n tr o d uctio n
T he id ea th at
Main a rg um en t o f th e p assa g e
h as its ro ots in
Noun
b ut th e
u nderly in g r e aso ns a re o fte n o verlo oked .
I n
Title o f p assa g e
, a u th or
Auth or o f p assa g e
p uts fo rth a d eta ile d a rg um en t
f o r
Noun
.
I n d oin g s o , h e/s h e e m plo ys a v arie ty o f rh eto ric al e le m en ts to p ers u ad e th e
r e ad er, in clu din g
Pers u asiv e e le m en t 1
,
Pers u asiv e e le m en t 2
, a n d
Pers u asiv e
e le m en t 3
.
B od y P ara gra p h 1
A uth or o f p assa g e
's d eft u se o f
Pers u asiv e ele m en t 1
b eg in s w ith h is /h er
d is c u ssio n o f
Noun
.
Y our a n aly sis u sin g t h e N arra te -E xpla in -R eite ra te P atte rn ( c o vere d i n t h e n ex t
ch ap te r)
(6 + s e n te n ces)
A lth ough
Pers u asiv e e le m en t 1
m ay c o m e o ff a s h yperb ole /p an derin g/o verly
d ra m atic ,
Your r e b utta l ( re in fo rc e w hy i t's e ffe ctiv e)
.
B od y P ara gra p h 2
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Ju st as pers u asiv e as his /h er use of
Pers u asiv e ele m en t 1
is
Auth or of
passa g e
's
Pers u asiv e e le m en t 2
.
Your a n aly sis u sin g t h e N arra te -E xpla in -R eite ra te P atte rn ( c o vere d i n t h e n ex t
ch ap te r)
6+ s e n te n ces
With out
Pers u asiv e e le m en t 2
,
Auth or o f p assa g e
's m essa g e w ould l o se
Noun
.
Bod y P ara gra p h 3
Lastly ,
Auth or o f p assa g e
b ols te rs h is a rg um en t b y u sin g
Pers u asiv e e le m en t
3 .
Your a n aly sis u sin g t h e N arra te -E xpla in -R eite ra te P atte rn ( c o vere d i n t h e n ex t
ch ap te r)
6+ s e n te n ces
Con clu sio n
In su m mary ,
Auth or of passa g e
—usin g
Pers u asiv e ele m en t 1
,
Pers u asiv e
ele m en t 2
, a n d
Pers u asiv e e le m en t 3
—--e ffe ctiv ely m ak es th e c ase th at
Main
arg um en t o f t h e p assa g e
.
It's h is /h er u se o f p ers u asiv e e le m en ts th at n ot o nly in fo rm th e re ad er o f th e
pro ble m b ut a ls o s p ur t h e r e ad er i n to a ctio n.
At th is p oin t, y ou'r e p ro bab ly v ery co nfu se d an d o verw helm ed . D on't
worry ! U sin g m y v ery o w n e ssa y , I'l l illu str a te e x actly h ow th is te m pla te is
use d . F ir s t, I 'm g oin g t o b e h onest— I'm n ot a n atu ra lly t a le n te d w rite r. I w as a
so lid B s tu den t in m ost o f m y h ig h s c h ool E nglis h c la sse s. B ut b y u sin g th e
te m pla te a b ove, I w as a b le g et a 2 1/2 4 o n th e M ay 2 016 e ssa y w ith a fe w
min ute s to sp are (I'l l sh are th e m is ta k es I m ad e in a la te r ch ap te r). T he
fo llo w in g is th e ty ped -u p, w ord -fo r-w ord v ers io n o f m y e ssa y . S ee A ppen dix
A f o r a c o py o f t h e o rig in al h an d-w ritte n v ers io n.
Even th ough I c an 't re p ro duce th e p assa g e h ere (c o pyrig ht is su es), y ou
sh ould b e a b le to s p ot e ach c o m ponen t o f th e te m pla te in th is e ssa y . S om e
co m ponen ts a re a little o ut o f o rd er, b ut it's a ll th ere . I f y ou'd lik e to r e ad th e
passa g e, se arc h th e In te rn et fo r "V ie w poin t: A ir -C onditio nin g W ill B e th e
End o f U s" b y E ric K lin en berg .
The id ea th at w e sh ould re d uce o ur d ep en den cy o n fo ssil fu els h as its
ro ots in e n vir o nm en ta lis m b ut its u nderly in g r e aso ns a re o fte n o verlo oked . I n
"V ie w poin t: Air -C onditio nin g W ill Be The End of Us," au th or Eric
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Klin en berg p uts f o rth a d eta ile d a rg um en t t h at s o cie ty a s a w hole m ust r e d uce
its c o nsu m ptio n o f a ir -c o nditio nin g to th w art c lim ate c h an ge. I n d oin g s o , h e
em plo ys a v arie ty o f lite ra ry e le m en ts a n d su pportin g e x am ple s, in clu din g
sta tis tic s, c o ncessio ns, a n d w ord c h oic e.
Klin en berg 's deft use of sta tis tic s beg in s w ith his dis c u ssio n of air -
co nditio nin g u se in A m eric a in p ara g ra p h o ne. H e w rite s, " T oday A m eric an s
use t w ic e a s m uch e n erg y f o r a ir -c o nditio nin g a s w e d id 2 0 y ears a g o," f u rth er
notin g th at th is is " m ore th an th e r e st o f th e w orld 's n atio ns c o m bin ed ." T his
sta tis tic g ro unds h is a rg um en t i n r e ality , s o t h at e v en s k ep tic al r e ad ers w ill n ot
be ab le to dis m is s him so easily . T he ju xta p ositio n of A m eric a's en erg y
co nsu m ptio n w ith n ot o nly its p ast b ut a ls o th e r e st o f th e w orld in dic ate s th e
in te n sity o f t h e p ro ble m . T he i m plic atio n i s t h at w e h av e d ra stic ally i n cre ase d
air -c o nditio nin g u se ag e b ey ond w hat is r e aso nab le . B y u sin g th ese p artic u la r
sta tis tic s, K lin en berg so unds th e ala rm on our en erg y use , sig nallin g to
re ad ers ju st h ow r a m pan t a n d e x cessiv e th eir h ab its o f c o nsu m ptio n m ay b e.
Late r, in p ara g ra p h 5 , K lin en berg b rin gs u p y et a n oth er s ta tis tic — sa le s o f a ir
co nditio ners r o se 2 0% in I n dia a n d C hin a la st y ear. H ere , h e m ak es it e x plic it
th at a ir -c o nditio nin g i s n ot a p ro ble m d is tin ct t o A m eric a, b ut a g lo bal o ne.
Ju st a s p ers u asiv e a s K lin en berg 's u se o f s ta tis tic s is h is re la ta b ility a n d
ack now le d gem en t o f th e o th er s id e. In p ara g ra p h 2 a n d 3 , h e id en tif ie s w ith
th ose w ho m ay b e h esita n t to a ccep t h is a rg um en t: " I'm h ard ly a g ain st a ir -
co nditio nin g," h e a sse rts . I n deed , h e c o ntin ues to e n um era te m ay a d van ta g es
of air -c o nditio nin g, w hic h in clu de sa v in g "th e liv es o f o ld , sic k an d fra il
peo ple " an d en han cin g "p ro ductiv ity in offic es." By gra n tin g th ese
co ncessio ns, K lin en berg e sta b lis h es c re d ib ility a s s o m eo ne w ho h as th ought
th ro ugh h is p oin t o f v ie w . R ead ers a re m ore lik ely to p erc eiv e h im n ot a s a n
ex tr e m e e n vir o nm en ta lis t h ell- b en t o n c u ttin g o ff th e lu xurie s o f A C b ut a s
so m eo ne w ho r e aliz es m odera te a ir -c o nditio nin g h as i ts p la ce. T here fo re , t h ey
are lik ely to b e m ore re cep tiv e to h is sta n ce, k now in g th at th eir p ote n tia l
obje ctio ns hav e been heard . K lin en berg sm artly fra m es him se lf as an
ad vocate o f " p ublic h ealth p ro gra m s," f u rth er c re atin g tr u st w ith h is a u die n ce
by p uttin g t h e g re ate r g ood f ir s t.
Lastly , K lin en berg b ols te rs h is a rg um en t w ith h is s p ecif ic w ord c h oic e. I n
para g ra p h 3, he ch ara cte riz es th e dam ag e cau se d by air -c o nditio ners as
"ir re v ers ib le ." In para g ra p h 4, he portr a y s sto re s in N ew Y ork C ity as
"p um pin g a rc tic a ir " w hile " b urn in g th ro ugh f o ssil f u els in s u ic id al f a sh io n."
By u sin g w ord s s u ch a s " a rc tic " a n d " su ic id al," h e in vokes a n in te n se k in d o f
im ag ery , o ne th at d ra m atiz es th e e x cessiv e w ay in w hic h w e c o nsu m e A C.
In deed , w e tu rn o ur "h om es, o ffic es, a n d m assiv e c o m merc ia l o utle ts in to
ig lo os." K lin en berg 's m essa g e to th e re ad er is lo ud a n d c le ar: o ur " b urn in g
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th ro ugh fo ssil fu els " is e x tr e m e, su perflu ous, a n d e v en rid ic u lo us. T here is
sim ply n o n eed to u se u p e n erg y a t th e le v el w e a re d oin g s o to day . A lth ough
so m e m ay s a y t h at K lin en berg 's c h oic e o f w ord s b ord ers o n h yperb ole , i t i s a n
effe ctiv e w ay o f tu rn in g re ad ers ' a tte n tio n to a n is su e th at lik ely a p plie s to
th em o n a d aily b asis . I t r e in fo rc es th e p oin t th at o ur o w n e n erg y h ab its h av e
le ft u s i n a d ir e s itu atio n t h at w ill o nly g et w ors e i f c h an ges a re n 't m ad e.
In s u m mary , w rite r E ric K lin en berg — usin g s ta tis tic s, a ck now le d gem en ts
to th e opposin g vie w , an d sp ecif ic w ord ch oic e— mak es th e case th at
re ctif y in g c lim ag e c h an ge r e q uir e s a s u bsta n tia l r e d uctio n in a ir -c o nditio nin g
usa g e. It's th ose p ers u asiv e e le m en ts th at n ot o nly in fo rm th e re ad er o f th e
pro ble m b ut a ls o s p ur t h e r e ad er i n to s o lv in g i t.
Ste p -b y-s te p
Notic e how clo se ly m y essa y fo llo w s th e te m pla te pre sc rib ed in th is
ch ap te r. T here is a b so lu te ly n o w ay I w ould 'v e b een a b le to c ra n k o ut th at
essa y in 5 0 m in ute s if I d id n't a lr e ad y h av e a s o lid b lu ep rin t to f o llo w . H ere 's
my s te p b y s te p p ro cess a fte r I f ir s t o pen t h e w ritin g b ookle t:
1 .
Read th e e n tir e p assa g e f ro m b eg in nin g to e n d, u nderlin in g a n y w ord s o r
se n te n ces th at c o ntr ib ute to its p ers u asiv e p ow er. N ex t to e ach p art y ou
underlin e, q uic k ly j o t d ow n t h e p ers u asiv e e le m en t b ein g u se d .
2 .
When y ou f in is h th e p assa g e, g o o ver th e p arts y ou u nderlin ed a n d m ak e
a m en ta l l is t o f t h e p ers u asiv e e le m en ts y ou i d en tif ie d .
3 .
Fro m t h at l is t, c h oose t h re e p ers u asiv e e le m en ts t h at y ou'l l d is c u ss i n y our
essa y . T ry t o c h oose o nes t h at a re u se d t h ro ughout t h e e ssa y s o t h at y ou'l l
hav e a lo t to ta lk a b out. D on't c h oose p ers u asiv e e le m en ts th at a re u se d
only i n o ne s e n te n ce.
4 .
Read th e essa y ta sk . It w ill te ll you ex actly w hat th e au th or's m ain
arg um en t i s .
5 .
At th is p oin t, it's tim e to b eg in w ritin g y our e ssa y . Y ou s h ould b e o nto
your in tr o ductio n w ith in 1 0 m in ute s o f th e s ta rtin g tim e. T hat g iv es y ou
at l e ast 4 0 m in ute s t o c o m ple te y our e ssa y .
6 .
Alw ay s a lw ay s h av e a c o nclu sio n. T he g ra d ers w ill p unis h y ou if y ou
don't h av e o ne. I'd ra th er c u t o ne o f m y b ody p ara g ra p hs s h ort th an ru n
out o f tim e b efo re th e c o nclu sio n. I t's c o m ple te ly s c rip te d o ut f o r y ou in
th e te m pla te s o ju st b an g it o ut w hen y ou h av e 3 -4 m in ute s le ft. L ik e th e
in tr o ductio n, t h e c o nclu sio n s h ould b e m usc le m em ory .
The b eau ty o f h av in g a t e m pla te i s t h at i t t a k es t h e t h in kin g a w ay f ro m a ll
th e essa y co m ponen ts th at re la te to org an iz atio n, se n te n ce varie ty ,
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vocab ula ry , a n d tr a n sitio ns, a llo w in g y ou to f o cu s y our tim e a n d a tte n tio n o n
your a n aly sis .
This te m pla te m ak es a lo w s c o re n early im possib le b ecau se e v en if y our
an aly sis i s n 't t h e s tr o ngest, y ou'l l s till s c o re w ell o n o rg an iz atio n a n d l a n guag e
use .
Som e F req uen tly A sk ed Q uestio n s
1 .
How d o I k n ow w heth er t h e a uth or i s a h e o r a s h e? S om etim es t h e n am es
are g en der n eu tr a l.
You c an te ll f ro m th e a ssig nm en t b ox a t th e e n d o f th e p assa g e, b ase d o n
wheth er i t u se s
his
o r
her
.
2 .
I'v e b een ta ught a ll m y life to w rite a n a w eso m e " h ook" th at d ra w s th e
re a der i n . D oesn 't t h e h ook i n t h e t e m pla te s e em a b it g en eric ?
Fir s t o f a ll, th e te m pla te 's in tr o ducto ry se n te n ce is a m azin g b ecau se it
re ite ra te s th e p assa g e's m ain id ea a n d le ad s in to y our e ssa y in a c le ar a n d
ex pre ssiv e w ay . N o o th er ty pe o f h ook w ill im pre ss th e g ra d ers m ore .
Rem em ber th at th ey 'r e h ir e d to ru sh th ro ugh h undre d s o f e ssa y s fu ll o f
poor w ritin g f ro m s tu den ts e v ery w here . T here i s N O h ook i n t h e E N TIR E
world t h at w ould e x cite t h em . I 'm a t e ach er m yse lf a n d I 'v e r e ad h undre d s
of e ssa y s fro m s tu den ts ta k in g p ra ctic e te sts fo r th e fir s t tim e. T he b est
th ey 'v e b een a b le to g et fro m m e is a c h uck le (u su ally fro m a te rrib le
hook). M ay be I'm ju st a m ean , h um orle ss te ach er, b ut s till …
Don't g o
out o f y our w ay a n d w aste 5 m in ute s c o m in g u p w ith a n a w eso m e h ook.
Even if y ou m an ag e to c o m e u p w ith a n in gen io us a tte n tio n-g ra b ber, it's
ju st o ne s e n te n ce in y our e n tir e e ssa y . T he h ook a lo ne w ill n ot g et y ou a
perfe ct s c o re . W ritin g a l o ng i n te llig en t e ssa y w ill.
3 .
Will t h e g ra ders k n ow I 'm u sin g a t e m pla te ?
Fir s t, r e aliz e th at th e te m pla te d oes n ot s c rip t o ut th e m eat o f y our e ssa y ,
whic h i s y our a n aly sis . M uch o f w hat y ou w rite w ill a ctu ally b e u niq ue t o
you. S eco ndly , g ra d ers l o ok a t s o m an y e ssa y s t h at i t's e x tr e m ely u nlik ely
th ey 'l l be ab le to te ll w heth er you'r e usin g a te m pla te . N one of m y
stu den ts h av e e v er b een p en aliz ed f o r u sin g th e te m pla te in th is b ook ( o r
an y o th er te m pla te ). E ven if th e g ra d ers s o m eh ow k new y ou w ere u sin g
th is sp ecif ic te m pla te fro m th is sp ecif ic b ook, th ey w ould still h av e to
base th eir g ra d es o n th e e ssa y c o nte n t a n d N OT o n w heth er th ey th in k
you use d a te m pla te . If you'r e still co ncern ed , th en I re co m men d
dev elo pin g y our o w n in tr o ducto ry se n te n ce. T he fir s t se n te n ce is m ore
lik ely t o t ip a g ra d er o ff t h an a n yth in g e ls e i n t h e t e m pla te . T his l e ad s m e
to t h e n ex t q uestio n …
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4 .
Can I t w ea k t h e t e m pla te t o f it m y o w n s ty le /n eed s?
Abso lu te ly . E very th in g i n t h e t e m pla te i s a g uid elin e. T he m ain p oin t i s t o
go i n p re p are d w ith s o m eth in g y ou c an r a ttle o ff i m med ia te ly .
5 .
Do I n eed t o p ra ctic e?
Um y es! K eep w ritin g e ssa y s u ntil y ou c an c o nsis te n tly c h urn o ut h ig h
quality r e sp onse s. D o n ot th in k th at it'l l c o m e e asy ju st b ecau se y ou r e ad
th is c h ap te r. S o m an y s tu den ts , i n clu din g m y y ounger s e lf , t h in k t h at t h ey
can p ull o ff a g re at e ssa y ju st b y r e ad in g s o m e f o rm ula o r te m pla te . T hen
when te st d ay in ev ita b ly r o lls a ro und, th ey f re eze u p a n d to ta lly b otc h it.
Hav in g t h e t e m pla te i n y our m in d i s n ot t h e s a m e a s b ein g a b le t o w rite i t.
You n eed t o m ak e i t m usc le m em ory . G o a n d p ra ctic e.
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6. T he N arra te -E xp la in -R eit e ra te
Patte rn
The p re v io us c h ap te r la id o ut th e b est a p pro ach to th e S A T E ssa y , b ut
t h ere are still so m e th in gs th at h av en 't b een an sw ere d . N am ely , h ow y ou
s h ould f ill o ut e ach b ody p ara g ra p h.
The te m pla te r e q uir e s th at e ach b ody p ara g ra p h h av e a t le ast 6 s e n te n ces
o f a n aly sis u sin g th e N arra te -E xpla in -R eite ra te P atte rn . In th is c h ap te r, I'l l
e x pla in w hat t h at i s a n d h ow i t w ork s.
O verv ie w
Here i s a n e x am ple o f t h e N arra te -E xpla in -R eite ra te P atte rn i n a ctio n.
[1 ] H ark en 's d eft u se o f s ta tis tic s b eg in s w ith h is d is c u ssio n o f o ur v otin g
s y ste m . [2 ] H e m en tio ns th at "a sin gle re sid en t o f W yom in g h as th e sa m e
S en ato ria l p ow er a s 8 0 r e sid en ts o f C alif o rn ia c o m bin ed ." [ 3 ] B y c o m parin g
W yom in g re sid en ts w ith C alif o rn ia re sid en ts usin g an ex act num ber, th e
a u th or sh ow s th e e x te n t to w hic h o ur sy ste m o f d em ocra cy is b ro ken . [4 ]
S uch a lo psid ed s ta tis tic s h ock s th e re ad er a n d in cite s a s e n se o f u nfa ir n ess.
[ 5 ] T he A m eric an s y ste m o f g overn m en t is s u ppose d to p ro m ote f a ir n ess a n d
e q uality , b ut i n r e ality , i t d oes j u st t h e o pposite .
The fir s t s e n te n ce is ju st th e to pic s e n te n ce fo r th e fir s t p ara g ra p h in th e
t e m pla te .
The se co nd se n te n ce
narra te s
, o r re co unts so m eth in g th e au th or d oes.
T hin k o f a b ro ad caste r n arra tin g th e a ctio n o f a b ask etb all g am e. A n arra te -
s e n te n ce c an c o nsis t o f e ith er a q uote f ro m t h e p assa g e t o p oin t s o m eth in g o ut
o r a sim ple su m mary o f w hat th e a u th or is d oin g a t a c erta in p la ce in th e
p assa g e.
Sen te n ces 3 a n d 4
ex p la in
w hy th e n arra te d p ortio n is p ers u asiv e. W hat's
t h e p urp ose b eh in d w ritin g it? W hat d oes th e a u th or h ope to a ch ie v e? W hat
e ffe ct d oes i t h av e o n t h e r e ad er?
The f if th s e n te n ce
reit e ra te s
, o r s u m mariz es, th e a u th or's m essa g e in th e
p ortio n b ein g a n aly zed . T his t ie s t h e n arra tin g a n d t h e e x pla in in g t o geth er.
The id ea is to k eep w ritin g N arra tin g a n d E xpla in in g s e n te n ces u ntil y ou
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fill o ut y our p ara g ra p hs, p erh ap s a d din g in a R eite ra tin g se n te n ce h ere a n d
th ere (m ore on th is la te r). So le t's sa y you w an te d one of your body
para g ra p hs to fo cu s o n th e a u th or's u se o f s ta tis tic s. Y ou w ould p ic k o ut a n
ex am ple fro m th e p assa g e, n arra te it, e x pla in it, a n d th en m ay be re ite ra te it.
Then y ou w ould p ic k o ut a n oth er e x am ple fro m th e p assa g e a n d re p eat th e
pro cess. A t th at p oin t, y ou co uld co nclu de y our p ara g ra p h o r d o an oth er
ro und i f y ou t h ought i t w ould b rin g s o m eth in g n ew t o y our a n aly sis .
Keep in m in d th at th is p atte rn is f le x ib le . T ypic ally y ou w ill n arra te f ir s t
but y ou m ig ht re ite ra te an d th en ex pla in . O r y ou m ig ht n arra te fo r th re e
se n te n ces a n d th en e x pla in in th e n ex t fo ur. T he o rd er a n d th e n um ber o f
se n te n ces d on't m atte r. T he p oin t o f th e p atte rn is to en su re y ou h av e a
purp ose fo r e ach s e n te n ce in y our a n aly sis . N o e ssa y w ill fo llo w th e p atte rn
ex actly s e n te n ce b y s e n te n ce; it's ju st a f ra m ew ork f o r th in kin g a b out w hat to
write .
Here 's a n e x am ple p ara g ra p h, a n nota te d fo r th e n arra te -e x pla in -re ite ra te
patte rn .
Gio ia 's deft use of sta tis tic s beg in s w ith his dis c u ssio n of th e arts .
(N arra tin g t o p ic s e n te n ce)
He b rin gs u p a stu dy th at m easu re d th e d ra stic fa ll in a rts p artic ip atio n in
Am eric a.
(N arra tin g, w it h a s u m mary )
He s p ecif ic ally d ra w s a tte n tio n to th e fa ct th at th e " d eclin es h av e b een m ost
se v ere a m ong y ounger a d ults ."
(N arra tin g, w it h a q uote )
By c itin g t h ese t r e n ds, G io ia i s g ro undin g h is a rg um en t i n r e ality s o t h at e v en
sk ep tic al r e ad ers w on't b e a b le t o d is m is s i t s o e asily .
(E xp la in in g)
Not o nly d o th e n um bers in dic ate th at th ere is in f a ct a g ro w in g p ro ble m b ut
th ey a ls o s h ow t h e e x te n t o f i t.
(E xp la in in g)
The s ta te o f re ad in g in A m eric a is in d ir e s tr a its a n d b ecau se y oung p eo ple
partic ip ate t h e l e ast, t h e t r o uble s w ill o nly c o m pound.
(R eit e ra tin g)
The underly in g assu m ptio n th at young peo ple are th e fu tu re of A m eric a
mak es t h e s ta tis tic s e v en m ore a la rm in g.
(E xp la in in g)
Gio ia fu rth er p oin ts o ut th at in a p oll co nducte d in 2 001, "3 8 p erc en t o f
em plo yers co m pla in ed th at lo cal sc h ools in ad eq uate ly ta u ght re ad in g
co m pre h en sio n."
(N arra tin g)
This a d ditio nal s ta tis tic a d dre sse s a n y d oubts r e ad ers m ay h av e o ver t h e v alu e
of l ite ra tu re e n gag em en t.
(E xp la in in g)
Certa in ly , lite ra tu re is im porta n t f ro m a c u ltu ra l s ta n dpoin t, b ut G io ia p ro ves
th at i t's a ls o i m porta n t f ro m a p ra ctic al s ta n dpoin t.
(R eit e ra tin g/E xp la in in g)
By co verin g both base s, he is ab le to pers u ad e re ad ers w ith dif fe rin g
pers p ectiv es a n d v alu es.
(E xp la in in g)
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Alth ough G io ia 's u se o f s ta tis tic s m ay c o m e o ff a s o verly d ra m atic , it is h ard
to arg ue w ith num bers th at pain t a ble ak pic tu re of an is su e th at m ost
Am eric an s a re fa m ilia r w ith , w heth er it b e in sc h ool o r in th e w ork pla ce.
(E xp la in in g c o n clu din g s e n te n ce)
How t o N arra te
To narra te effe ctiv ely , you must be ab le to quote effe ctiv ely .
Unfo rtu nate ly , q uotin g is b ig e n ough o f a to pic th at w e h av e to r e se rv e it f o r
th e n ex t c h ap te r. W hat w e w ill d o is g iv e y ou a lis t o f c o m mon w ord s a n d
phra se s t o u se w hen y ou'r e n arra tin g.
The a u th or…
dis c u sse s
fre q uen tly u se s
brin gs u p
cite s
write s
ex pre sse s
esta b lis h es t h e f a ct t h at
in dic ate s t h at
arg ues t h at
mak es t h e c o nclu sio n t h at
cite s
re p re se n ts t h is i s su e a s
men tio ns
note s t h at
calls u pon
voic es h is c o ncern t h at
te lls t h e r e ad er t h at
sh ow s t h at
co ntin ues
se ts t h e s ta g e f o r h is a rg um en t b y n otin g
goes o n t o s ta te t h at
ch ara cte riz es
warn s
co nnects t h is a n d t h at t o
poin ts o ut
quote s
ack now le d ges
co nte n ds
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sta te s
main ta in s
em phasiz es
hig hlig hts
mak es a r e fe re n ce t o
asse rts t h at
You d on't h av e to m em oriz e a ll o f th ese b ut tr y to k eep 5 o r 6 o f th em in
your b ack p ock et a n d u se th em w hen y ou p ra ctic e. T hat w ay , y ou'l l h av e a
varie ty o f w ord s t o c h oose f ro m w hen y ou n eed a w ord f o r a s p ecif ic s itu atio n
an d c an 't c o m e u p w ith o ne, o r w hen y ou w an t to a v oid re p eatin g th e s a m e
narra tin g w ord s i n y our p ara g ra p hs.
How t o E xp la in
My f a v orite e x pre ssio ns t o u se w hen e x pla in in g:
The i m plic atio n i s t h at…
The s u ggestio n i s t h at…
… s e rv es t o …
The i n clu sio n o f… h elp s…
… e lic its …
… g ro unds h er a rg um en t i n r e ality s o t h at e v en s k ep tic al r e ad ers w on't b e
ab le t o d is m is s i t
… m ark s t h e e x te n t o f t h e p ro ble m .
By a p pealin g t o o ur s e n se o f… , t h e a u th or…
The a u th or e x plo its t h e f a ct t h at… t o …
Giv en t h at… , …
… p ro ves t o t h e r e ad er t h at…
By s h ow in g t h at t h ere i s … , t h e a u th or…
… c o ntr ib ute s g re atly t o t h e a rg um en t's p ers u asiv e p ow er b y…
With out … , r e ad ers w ould n't r e aliz e…
… c o m pels t h e r e ad er t o …
… p ro m pts r e ad ers t o i m ag in e…
The a u th or u se s… i n o rd er t o c o nvey …
In fillin g o ut th ese se n te n ces, y ou'l l fin d it h elp fu l to d ra w u pon th e
re aso ns fo r u sin g e ach rh eto ric al e le m en t in "T he E le m en ts o f P ers u asio n"
ch ap te r. T he e x am ple s i n t h at c h ap te r a re g ood m odels t o f o llo w .
How t o R eit e ra te
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The m ost i m porta n t t h in g a b out r e ite ra tin g i s t h at
you s h ou ld k eep i t t o a
min im um
. M ost o f y ou r e ssa y s h ould b e n arra tin g a n d e x pla in in g a n d if y ou
lo ok a t th e a n nota te d e x am ple in th is c h ap te r, y ou'l l s e e th at th ere 's o nly o ne
fu ll r e ite ra tin g s e n te n ce.
Why sh ould you av oid re ite ra tin g to o m uch ? B ecau se ev en a fe w
se n te n ces o f r e ite ra tio n c an m ak e a p ara g ra p h s o und lik e s u m mary in ste ad o f
an aly sis . Y our jo b is n 't to re sta te th e a u th or's m essa g e, b ut ra th er d is se ct th e
pers u asiv e ele m en ts w ith in it. In fa ct, y our essa y d oesn 't h av e to d o an y
re ite ra tin g a t a ll.
So w hy is it in clu ded in th e N arra te -E xpla in -R eite ra te p atte rn ? B ecau se
so m etim es y ou n eed a re ite ra tin g se n te n ce to p ro vid e so m e c o nte x t. It c an
als o b e a n ic e w ay o f e m phasiz in g o r w ra p pin g u p o ne o f y our p oin ts . S o
while i t i s a u se fu l t o ol, a v oid u sin g i t t o o m uch o r e v en a lto geth er.
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7. T he A rt o f Q uotin g
Here a re t h e r u le s y ou n eed t o k now w hen q uotin g f ro m a p assa g e.
1 . U se q uota tio n m ark s w hen ev er y ou 'r e q uotin g w ord -fo r-w ord d ir ectly
f r o m t h e p assa ge
E xam ple 1
E xcerp t:
The p an da c o uld g o e x tin ct w ith in t h e n ex t t w o d ecad es.
S en te n ce:
To c o nvey a s e n se o f u rg en cy , K in gsle y w rite s, " T he p an da
co uld g o e x tin ct w ith in t h e n ex t t w o d ecad es."
Notic e th e c o m ma a fte r
write s
. W hen a q uote is p re ced ed b y a n id en tif ie r
s u ch a s
sh e s a id
o r
acco rd in g to e xp erts
, a c o m ma s h ould b e u se d a fte r th e
i d en tif ie r.
2 . Y ou s h ou ld n ot u se q uota tio n m ark s w hen p ara p hra sin g
E xam ple 2
E xcerp t:
The p an da c o uld g o e x tin ct w ith in t h e n ex t t w o d ecad es.
S en te n ce:
Kin gsle y b elie v es th at th e p an da sp ecie s m ay n ot ex is t in
tw en ty y ears .
Not u sin g q uota tio n m ark s d oesn 't m ean y ou c an 't b orro w s o m e w ord s. I t
c o m es d ow n t o j u dgm en t, b ut a s l o ng a s m ost o f t h e w ord s a re y our o w n, y ou
d on't h av e t o u se q uota tio n m ark s.
3 . A lw ays p la ce t r a ilin g p erio d s a n d c o m mas i n sid e t h e q uota tio n m ark s
This is th e ru le th at A m eric an E nglis h fo llo w s (it's d if fe re n t fo r B ritis h
E nglis h ).
E xam ple 3
E xcerp t:
The pan da co uld go ex tin ct w ith in th e nex t tw o decad es.
Curre n t c o nse rv atio n e ffo rts a re n ot e n ough.
S en te n ce:
"T he p an da c o uld g o e x tin ct w ith in th e n ex t tw o d ecad es,"
Kin gsle y warn s. "C urre n t co nse rv atio n effo rts are not
en ough."
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A co m ma is re q uir e d afte r
deca des
to se t it ap art fro m th e in dic ato r
Kin gsle y w arn s
.
4. P ut q uota tio n m ark s aro u nd q uote s you 'v e in co rp ora te d in to th e
co n te x t o f a s e n te n ce
Exam ple 4
Excerp t:
As a c h ess p la y er, I c an s a y fo r s u re th at g re at c h ess p la y ers
hav e a n e n han ced a b ility t o r e co gniz e p atte rn s.
Sen te n ce:
The a u th or o pera te s u nder th e a ssu m ptio n th at "g re at c h ess
pla y ers h av e a n e n han ced a b ility t o r e co gniz e p atte rn s."
Exam ple 5
Excerp t:
Pan das w ere o nce p re v ale n t th ro ughout A sia u ntil in fre q uen t
re p ro ductio n, p oach in g, a n d h ab ita t lo ss le d to th ousa n ds o f
death s.
Sen te n ce:
Kin gsle y a ttr ib ute s th e ra p id d eclin e in th e p an da p opula tio n
to " in fre q uen t r e p ro ductio n, p oach in g, a n d h ab ita t l o ss."
Exam ple 6
Excerp t:
The la ck of re g ula tio n has en ab le d th e destr u ctio n of
th ousa n ds o f f o re sts .
Sen te n ce:
Becau se Chin a ta k es a han ds-o ff ap pro ach to la n d
dev elo pm en t, "th e la ck of re g ula tio n has en ab le d th e
destr u ctio n o f t h ousa n ds o f f o re sts ."
If th e q uote in clu des th e b eg in nin g o f a se n te n ce, y ou can ad ju st th e
cap ita liz atio n t o f it y our s e n te n ce, a s w e d id i n t h e e x am ple a b ove.
5. S em ic o lo n s, c o lo n s, a n d d ash es th at a ren 't p art o f th e q uote sh ou ld
alw ays g o o u ts id e t h e q uota tio n m ark s
Exam ple 7
Excerp t:
We c an not a llo w o ur f o re sts t o g o u npro te cte d .
Sen te n ce:
Acco rd in g to K in gsle y , " W e c an not a llo w o ur fo re sts to g o
unpro te cte d "; t h e r is k s a re m uch t o o g re at.
6. Q uestio n m ark s a n d e x cla m atio n p oin ts b elo n g in sid e th e q uota tio n
mark s w hen t h ey 'r e p art o f t h e q uote , o u ts id e w hen t h ey 'r e n ot
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Exam ple 8
Excerp t:
What w ould y ou d o i f y ou h ad a m illio n d olla rs ?
Sen te n ce:
Jo hn gets re ad ers th in kin g fro m th e outs e t by ask in g th e
questio n, " W hat w ould y ou d o i f y ou h ad a m illio n d olla rs ? "
Exam ple 9
Sen te n ce:
Hav e y ou r e ad " T he G re at G ats b y"?
Exam ple 1 0
Excerp t:
We m ust s a v e t h e e n vir o nm en t! T oo m uch i s a t r is k .
Sen te n ce:
"W e m ust s a v e t h e e n vir o nm en t! " K in gsle y e x cla im s.
7. U se s in gle q uota tio n m ark s f o r q uote s w it h in q uote s
Exam ple 1 1
Excerp t:
Sle ep dis o rd ers hav e been lin ked to dia b ete s, obesity ,
card io vasc u la r dis e ase an d dep re ssio n, an d re cen t re se arc h
su ggests o ne m ain c au se o f " sh ort s le ep " i s " lo ng l ig ht."
Sen te n ce:
Bogard in dic ate s th at th ere a re p ra ctic al r e aso ns to o, p oin tin g
out t h at " o ne m ain c au se o f 's h ort s le ep ' i s 'l o ng l ig ht."
8. P ut q uota tio n m ark s a ro u nd t h e t it le o f t h e p assa ge
Exam ple 1 2
Sen te n ce:
In " B ag B an B ad fo r F re ed om a n d E nvir o nm en t," S um mers
desc rib es t h e a d van ta g es p la stic b ag s h av e o ver p ap er b ag s.
9. P ut q uota tio n m ark s a ro u nd w ord s r efe rred t o a s w ord s
Exam ple 1 3
Excerp t:
It w as hap pen in g as dom estic politic s gra p ple d w ith th e
merits a n d c o nse q uen ces o f a g lo bal w ar o n te rro r, a s a G re at
Recessio n w as bla m ed in part on glo bal im bala n ces in
sa v in gs, a n d a s w orld le ad ers d eb ate d a g lo bal tr a d e tr e aty
an d p acts a im ed a t a d dre ssin g c lim ate c h an ge.
Sen te n ce:
Goodm an u se s th e w ord "g lo bal" th re e tim es in th e sa m e
se n te n ce to sh ow th e ex te n t th e w orld sta g e in flu en ces
Am eric an i s su es.
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Exam ple 1 4
Excerp t:
The r a g ged p ris o ners c ra w le d o ut o f th eir c ells , d esp era te f o r
fo od.
Sen te n ce:
The au th or use s w ord s su ch as "ra g ged ," "c ra w le d ," an d
"d esp era te " to illu str a te th e b le ak co nditio ns o f th e p ris o n
cam p.
How ev er, th ere is n o n eed to p ut q uota tio n m ark s a ro und w ord s o r s h ort
phra se s th at y ou are n 't callin g o ut as w ord s. In fa ct, o veru sin g q uota tio n
mark s c an m ak e it s e em lik e y ou'r e d oubtin g w hat th e a u th or is s a y in g ( s c are
quote s).
Exam ple 1 5
Excerp t:
In d ev elo ped c o untr ie s, r u nnin g w ate r i s a v aila b le e v ery w here
an d a ir -c o nditio nin g is e x pecte d n ot ju st in o ur h om es b ut in
our c ars . W e d on't r e aliz e t h at t h ese a re l u xurie s.
Wro ng:
The a u th or m en tio ns " ru nnin g w ate r" a n d " a ir -c o nd itio nin g"
as e x am ple s o f t h in gs w e t a k e f o r g ra n te d .
Corre ct:
The a u th or m en tio ns ru nnin g w ate r a n d a ir -c o nditio nin g a s
ex am ple s o f t h in gs w e t a k e f o r g ra n te d .
Again , y ou a re a llo w ed to b orro w w ord s w ith out h av in g to q uote th em .
Too m an y s tu den ts m ak e th e m is ta k e o f q uotin g e v ery s in gle w ord th ey u se
fro m th e p assa g e. W ord s lik e " ru nnin g w ate r" a n d " a ir -c o nditio nin g" a re n ot
sig nif ic an t e n ough b y th em se lv es to re q uir e q uota tio n m ark s u nle ss y ou a re
re fe rrin g t o t h em a s w ord s a s I a m i n t h is s e n te n ce.
10. Y ou c a n u se a n e llip sis t o r ep la ce w ord s t h at y ou w an t t o o m it f r o m
th e m id dle o f a q uote .
Exam ple 1 6
Excerp t:
Rese arc h ers h av e fo und th at p om eg ra n ate , w hic h c o nta in s a
varie ty o f a n tio xid an ts , c an s lo w t h e a g in g p ro cess.
Sen te n ce:
The au th or cite s re se arc h th at sh ow s th at "p om eg ra n ate …
can s lo w t h e a g in g p ro cess."
How ev er, d on't u se a n e llip sis a t th e b eg in nin g o r e n d o f a q uote , e v en if
you'r e o m ittin g t h e b eg in nin g o r e n d o f t h e o rig in al s e n te n ce.
Exam ple 1 7
Excerp t:
In f a ct, c o m pare d to p ap er b ag s, p la stic g ro cery b ag s p ro duce
fe w er gre en house gas em is sio ns, re q uir e 70 perc en t le ss
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en erg y to m ak e, g en era te 8 0 p erc en t le ss w aste , a n d u tiliz e
le ss th an 4 perc en t of th e am ount of w ate r need ed to
man ufa ctu re t h em .
Wro ng:
One o f th e b en efits o f p la stic b ag s is th at th ey " … p ro duce
fe w er g re en house g as e m is sio ns… "
Corre ct:
One o f t h e b en efits o f p la stic b ag s i s t h at t h ey " p ro duce f e w er
gre en house g as e m is sio ns."
11. Y ou ca n use bra ck ets to in se rt w ord s or le tte rs fo r cla rit y or
punctu atio n
Exam ple 1 8
Excerp t:
Geo gra p hy i s i m porta n t. I t s h ould b e t a u ght i n e v ery s c h ool.
Sen te n ce:
Giv en th e glo bal co m munity w e liv e in to day , th e au th or
belie v es th at "it [g eo gra p hy] sh ould be ta u ght in ev ery
sc h ool."
With out th e w ord " g eo gra p hy," th e s e n te n ce m ig ht c o nfu se s o m eo ne w ho
doesn 't k now w hat " it" r e fe rs to . W e c an 't a ssu m e th at e v ery one h as r e ad th e
orig in al p assa g e.
Exam ple 1 9
Excerp t:
Read in g e x pose s y ou t o n ew i d eas.
Sen te n ce:
Pete rs a sse rts t h at r e ad in g c an " e x pose [] y ou t o n ew i d eas."
In E xam ple 19, w e ch an ged th e verb te n se by re m ovin g "s" fro m
"e x pose s." E m pty s q uare b ra ck ets in dic ate th is c h an ge fro m th e o rig in al. In
case s w here y ou w an t t o a d d a n " s" t o m ak e a v erb s in gula r, y ou c an i n se rt a "
[s ]" a fte r t h e v erb .
My f a vorit e q uotin g p atte rn s
One o f t h e e asie st a n d m ost e ffe ctiv e w ay s o f q uotin g f ro m a p assa g e i s t o
use a c o lo n.
Exam ple 2 0
Excerp t:
Nin ety p erc en t o f all A m eric an s liv e w ith in 1 5 m in ute s o f
Walm art.
Sen te n ce:
Jo nes u se s a s u rp ris in g s ta tis tic to g ra b o ur a tte n tio n: " N in ety
perc en t o f a ll A m eric an s l iv e w ith in 1 5 m in ute s o f W alm art."
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This is m y fa v orite w ay to q uote b ecau se it p air s y our a n aly sis w ith a
su pportin g q uote . J u st d on't o veru se t h is p atte rn .
Anoth er p atte rn I l ik e t o u se g oes l ik e t h is :
By … [ q uote ], [ th e a uth or's n am e] … [ a naly sis ]
Exam ple 2 1
Excerp t:
The r a g ged p ris o ners c ra w le d o ut o f th eir c ells , d esp era te f o r
fo od.
Sen te n ce:
By u sin g w ord s s u ch a s " ra g ged ," " c ra w le d ," a n d " d esp era te ,"
Liv in gsto n c re ate s a s e n se o f d oom a n d d esp air .
Exam ple 2 2
Excerp t:
Who w an ts ric h , p riv ile g ed b ure au cra ts b ossin g u s aro und
when w e c an h av e p eo ple lik e y ou a n d m e fig htin g fo r o ur
ow n c au se s?
Sen te n ce:
By ju xta p osin g " b ure au cra ts " w ith " p eo ple lik e y ou a n d m e,"
Rubin c re ate s a n " u s v ers u s t h em " m en ta lity .
Fin al N ote
At th e e n d o f th e d ay , p ro per p unctu atio n is n ot a s im porta n t a s y our
actu al a n aly sis . A fe w p unctu atio n e rro rs w ill n ot h urt y our s c o re . If y ou'r e
unsu re o f s o m eth in g, d o t h e b est y ou c an a n d m ove o n.
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8 . 7 F ata l M is ta k es S tu den ts M ak e
on t h e E ssa y
1 . T ak in g a P erso n al S ta n ce
The S A T e ssa y is a n a n aly tic al o ne. W hile th e p assa g e y ou'l l b e re ad in g
w ill c erta in ly b e o pin io nate d , y our e ssa y sh ould n ot b e. Y ou c an re ite ra te
w hat th e a u th or's v ie w s a re in y our a n aly sis , b ut y ou s h ould n't c o m men t o n
w heth er t h e a u th or i s r ig ht o r w ro ng. T he S A T e ssa y i s d efin ite ly o ne o f t h ose
t im es w hen y ou s h ould k eep y our o pin io ns t o y ours e lf .
2 . A ll S um mary , N o A naly sis
One of th e easie st tr a p s to fa ll in to is sim ply su m mariz in g
what
th e
a u th or's a rg um en t i s r a th er t h an a n aly zin g
how
h e o r s h e b uild s i t.
Som e s tu den ts tr e at th e e ssa y a lm ost a s a m in i b ook r e p ort in w hic h th ey
j u st r e sta te w hat t h e a u th or s a y s. T hey c o m ple te ly f o rg et t o d is c u ss t h e i m pact
o n t h e r e ad er a n d h ow t h e a u th or m ak es t h at i m pact.
So m ak e su re y our an aly sis ta k es cen te r sta g e. S um mary (re ite ra tin g)
s e n te n ces sh ould o nly b e th ere to fill in th e g ap s a n d a d d c o nte x t to y our
a n aly sis . K eep t h em t o a m in im um .
3 . A sse rtio n s W it h ou t E xp la n atio n
Here a re s o m e e x am ple s o f a sse rtio ns w ith out e x pla n atio n:
The sta tis tic th at pla stic bags are 80 perc en t m ore effic ie n t is very
persu asiv e t o t h e r e a der.
The r e se a rc h d one b y th e N atio nal W ild life F oundatio n s e rv es a s s o lid
evid en ce.
The d is c u ssio n o f p ollu tio n's h arm fu l e ffe cts h elp s to c h ange th e r e a der's
min d.
Don't m ak e s ta te m en ts lik e th e o nes a b ove w ith out b ack in g th em u p. In
f a ct, I d on't lik e m ak in g s ta te m en ts lik e th e o nes a b o ve p erio d. T hey 'r e m uch
t o o g en era l.
To g et a h ig h s c o re , y ou re ally n eed to e la b ora te o n y our p oin ts a n d d o
m ore t h an j u st s ta te t h at s o m eth in g i s p ers u asiv e.
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4. T oo M an y Q uote s
I s u sp ect th at th is is o ne o f th e m is ta k es th at p re v en te d m e f ro m g ettin g a
24/2 4 o n th e M ay 2 016 S A T e ssa y (I g ot a 2 1/2 4). M y th ir d p ara g ra p h w as
fille d w ith a f e w to o m an y q uote s a n d f o r s o m e o f th em , th e q uota tio n m ark s
were n 't ev en necessa ry acco rd in g to punctu atio n ru le s. B ecau se of th ese
erro rs , t h e p ara g ra p h c am e o ut a b it c h oppy a n d I d id n't b ala n ce i t o ut e n ough
with m y o w n a n aly sis .
While q uote s a re a n e sse n tia l c o m ponen t o f a n y a n aly tic al e ssa y , it g oes
with out s a y in g t h at y our e ssa y s h ould c o m pris e m ore o f y our o w n w ord s t h an
so m eo ne els e 's . S om e stu den ts quote to o m uch , an d th eir essa y s en d up
re ad in g l ik e a c o lle ctio n o f e x cerp ts f ro m t h e p assa g e.
Rem em ber th at q uotin g is n 't th e o nly w ay to n arra te w hat th e a u th or is
doin g. Y ou s h ould a lte rn ate b etw een q uotin g a n d g iv in g a s u m mary . H ere a re
so m e e x am ple s o f h ow y ou c an p oin t s o m eth in g o ut w ith out u sin g a d ir e ct
quote :
The a u th or im med ia te ly ju m ps in to a fe w c o ncre te e x am ple s o f … in
ord er t o …
The a u th or fin is h es h is d is c u ssio n o f p la stic w ith a rh eto ric al q uestio n,
questio nin g w heth er …
He th en s u pplie s tw o p ie ces o f e v id en ce f ro m th e N atio nal C onse rv atio n
Socie ty a n d t h e W orld W ild lif e F und.
Her a n ecd ote a b out … s e rv es t o …
The b rie f b ack gro und h is to ry a b out … h elp s …
The a u th or c ite s s c ie n tif ic e v id en ce f ro m … s h ow in g t h at …
See h ow th e e x am ple s a b ove n arra te e ffe ctiv ely w ith out u sin g a q uote ?
Don't a lw ay s f e el th e n eed to a tta ch a q uote to y our a n aly sis , e sp ecia lly w hen
th e s p ecif ic s in th e q uote a re u nnecessa ry o r w hen th e q uote s th em se lv es a re
to o l o ng a n d u nw ie ld y t o i n clu de. F or e x am ple , d on't q uote a n e n tir e a n ecd ote
ju st t o s a y t h at t h e a u th or u se s a n a n ecd ote . T hat w ould b e r id ic u lo us. J u st s a y
The a uth or b rin gs u p a n a necd ote a bout … i n o rd er t o …
A g ood ru le o f th um b is th at q uote s s h ould n ev er m ak e u p m ore th an a
25% o f a p ara g ra p h. In fa ct, I n ow tr y to h av e q uote s ta k e u p o nly 2 0% o f
each b ody p ara g ra p h.
The m eat o f y our e ssa y sh ould b e y our a n aly sis , so m ak e su re th ere 's
en ough o f i t!
5. T oo M an y P ara gra p h M ark ers
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This i s a n oth er m is ta k e t h at p ro bab ly c o st m e a p oin t o r t w o o n m y e ssa y .
I u se d w ay t o o m an y p ara g ra p h m ark ers . A p ara g ra p h m ark er s im ply s p ecif ie s
th e n um ber o f t h e p ara g ra p h y ou'r e w ritin g a b out:
In p ara gra ph f iv e, …
In itia lly , I th ought th e u se o f p ara g ra p h m ark ers w ould b e accep ta b le ,
ev en e n co ura g ed . A fte r a ll, th ey 'r e a n e asy w ay o f s e ttin g th e c o nte x t o f y our
an aly sis , a n d t h e S A T d oes p rin t o ut t h e p ara g ra p h n um ber a t t h e s ta rt o f e ach
para g ra p h i n t h e p assa g e. T he n um bers a re a lm ost b eg gin g t o b e u se d .
But a fte r s e ein g th e s c o re s fo r m y e ssa y a n d s o m e o f m y s tu den ts ', m y
th oughts h av e c h an ged . P ara g ra p h m ark ers sh ould b e a v oid ed . O ne o r tw o
may b e f in e, b ut t h eir u sa g e i s a s ig n o f l a zy w ritin g. E ven t h ough t h ey c an b e
use d a s tr a n sitio ns, th ey d on't a d d a n yth in g to y our a n aly sis a n d h av in g to o
man y w ill clu tte r your essa y . F urth erm ore , T he C olle g e B oard has sin ce
re le ase d se v era l hig h-s c o rin g sa m ple essa y s an d th ey ra re ly if ev er use
para g ra p h m ark ers .
6. N ot w rit in g f a st e n ou gh
I'm se rio us ab out th is o ne. Y ou sh ould b e w ritin g lik e th e w in d. Y ou
sh ould b e w ritin g s o fa st y our h an d h urts . If y ou d on't b elie v e m e, th en y ou
hav en 't t r ie d w ritin g a f u ll 2 .5 -3 p ag e S A T e ssa y i n 5 0 m in ute s.
7. N o c o n clu sio n
Though m is sin g th e c o nclu sio n is n ot a s b ad a s m ost s tu den ts th in k, it's
still a g la rin g e rro r t h at m ak es i t h ard f o r a n yone t o e v er g iv e y ou a f u ll s c o re .
Alw ay s s a v e e n ough s p ace a n d e n ough tim e fo r th e c o nclu sio n. If y ou m is s
th e c o nclu sio n, s o m e g ra d ers m ig ht n ot g iv e y ou th e b en efit o f th e d oubt—
th ey m ig ht ju st a ssu m e y ou d on't k now w hat a c o nclu sio n is . A o ne s e n te n ce
co nclu sio n is b ette r th an n o c o nclu sio n b ecau se a t th e v ery le ast, it s h ow s a n
unders ta n din g o f e ssa y o rg an iz atio n.
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9. O ffic ia l P ro m pts & S am ple
Essa ys
The C olle g e B oard h as c u rre n tly re le ase d 7 o ffic ia l S A T e ssa y p ro m pts
f o r you to pra ctic e with . All of th em can be fo und at
t h eco lle g ep an da.c o m /c o m ple te -te st- lin ks/
I h ig hly s u ggest y ou d o a t le ast f o ur p ra ctic e e ssa y s b efo re y ou s it f o r th e
r e al e x am . If y ou d on't p ra ctic e w hat y ou le arn , y ou d on't in te rn aliz e it a n d
y ou p ut y our s c o re a t r is k . J u st r e ad in g t h is b ook i s n ot e n ough.
Here 's t h e l is t o f o ffic ia l p ro m pts :
1 .
"L et T here B e D ark " b y P au l B ogard
2 .
"W hy L ite ra tu re M atte rs " b y D an a G io ia
3 .
"B ag B an B ad f o r F re ed om a n d E nvir o nm en t" b y A dam B . S um mers
4 .
"F ore ig n N ew s a t a C ris is P oin t" b y P ete r S . G oodm an
5 .
Fore w ord t o " A rc tic N atio nal W ild lif e R efu ge: S easo ns o f L if e a n d L an d,
A P hoto gra p hic J o urn ey " b y J im my C arte r
6 .
"B ey ond V ie tn am — A T im e t o B re ak S ile n ce." b y M artin L uth er K in g J r.
7 .
"T he D ig ita l P are n t T ra p " b y E lia n a D ock te rm an
This c h ap te r in clu des s a m ple e ssa y s to th e fir s t fo ur lis te d . A ll o f th em
a d here t o t h e t e m pla te i n t h is b ook s o t h ey s h ould b e g ood m odels t o c o m pare
y our e ssa y s w ith .
S am ple E ssa y t o " L et T here B e D ark " b y P au l B ogard
The i d ea t h at w e s h ould r e d uce o ur e le ctr ic ity u sa g e h as i ts r o ots i n e n erg y
c o nse rv atio n b ut th e u nderly in g re aso ns a re o fte n o verlo oked . In " L et T here
B e D ark ," au th or Pau l B ogard puts fo rth a deta ile d arg um en t fo r th e
p re se rv atio n of dark ness. In doin g so , he em plo ys a varie ty of lite ra ry
e le m en ts to p ers u ad e th e r e ad er, in clu din g s ta tis tic s, a p peals to a u th ority , a n d
t h e j u xta p ositio n o f p ast a n d p re se n t.
Bogard 's d eft u se o f s ta tis tic s b eg in s w ith h is d is c u ssio n o f th e d ark s k y.
T here , h e m en tio ns th at " 8 o ut o f 1 0 c h ild re n b orn in th e U nite d S ta te s w ill
n ev er k now a sk y d ark en ough fo r th e M ilk y W ay ." T his sta tis tic str ik es
u nsu sp ectin g re ad ers w ho a re n 't a w are th at a rtif ic ia l lig ht o veru se is e v en a
p ro ble m . I ts in te n t is to n ot o nly in tr o duce th e is su e b ut a ls o s h ow th e e x te n t
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to w hic h w e a re l o sin g t h e n ig ht s k y. A t t h is p oin t, r e ad ers a re i n stille d w ith a
se n se o f l o ss, t h at s o m eth in g t h ey o nce k new i s n ow g oin g a w ay , b ut t h ey s till
may h av e q uestio ns a b out w heth er d ark ness h as a n y re al v alu e. B ogard p uts
th ose q uestio ns to re st b y u sin g m ore s ta tis tic s. W e d ep en d o n d ark ness fo r
th e " b ats th at s a v e A m eric an fa rm ers b illio ns in p est c o ntr o l a n d th e m oth s
th at p ollin ate 8 0% o f th e w orld 's f lo ra ." T he im plic atio n is th at th e n ig ht s k y
is ju st th e s ta rt o f w hat w e'l l lo se if w e c o ntin ue to le t lig ht in vad e d ark . T he
Earth 's e co lo gy r e lie s o n d ark ness a n d w e i n t u rn r e ly o n E arth 's e co lo gy f o r a
multitu de o f b en efits . E ven s k ep tic al re ad ers w ho d on't a p pre cia te th e n ig ht
sk y as m uch as B ogard does are fo rc ed to co nte n d w ith th e pra ctic al
co nse q uen ces o f th e e n cro ach m en t o f d ay in to n ig ht. B ogard in te n sif ie s th e
se n se o f u rg en cy b y n otin g th at " th e a m ount o f lig ht in th e s k y in cre ase s a n
av era g e o f a b out 6 % e v ery y ear." T he m ore w e ig nore th e p ro ble m o f lig ht
pollu tio n, th e m ore in su rm ounta b le it b eco m es. A lth ough s o m e m ay s a y th at
Bogard 's sta tis tic s are overly dra m atic , th ey are gro unded in re ality an d
accu ra te ly r e fle ct t h e a fte rm ath i n a w orld w ith out d ark ness.
Ju st a s p ers u asiv e a s B ogard 's u se o f s ta tis tic s is h is a p peal to a u th ority .
He c alls u pon s e v era l c re d ib le s o urc es t o s u bsta n tia te h is p oin ts : " A lr e ad y t h e
World H ealth O rg an iz atio n c la ssif ie s w ork in g th e n ig ht sh if t a s a p ro bab le
hum an carc in ogen , an d th e A m eric an M ed ic al A sso cia tio n h as v oic ed its
unan im ous su pport fo r 'l ig ht p ollu tio n re d uctio n e ffo rts a n d g la re re d uctio n
effo rts at b oth th e n atio nal an d sta te le v els .'" B y sh ow in g th at th ere is a
co nse n su s a m ong th ese re sp ecte d o rg an iz atio ns, B ogard g iv es h is a rg um en t
in cre ase d cre d ib ility an d merit. The men tio n of th e W orld Health
Org an iz atio n, fo r e x am ple , te lls th e re ad er th at B ogard 's a rg um en t is n ot a n
arb itr a ry assa u lt on artif ic ia l lig ht but a w ell- th ought- o ut an d re se arc h ed
positio n. L ate r, B ogard b rin gs u p P aris , t h e " c ity o f l ig hts ." S ure ly , t h ere i s n o
pla ce t h at i s m ore a b astio n o f a rtif ic ia l l ig ht p ollu tio n t h an P aris . W hy w ould
Bogard m en tio n it? B ecau se "e v en P aris … , w hic h alr e ad y tu rn s off its
monum en t lig htin g a fte r 1 a .m ., w ill th is s u m mer s ta rt to re q uir e its s h ops,
offic es a n d p ublic b uild in gs to tu rn o ff lig hts a fte r 2 a .m ." T he f a ct th at P aris
unders ta n ds th e im porta n ce o f n atu ra l d ark ness p uts p eer p re ssu re o n o th er
citie s to d o th e s a m e. W ith out th ese a p peals to a u th ority , B ogard 's m essa g e
would l o se t h e c re d en ce g ain ed f ro m h av in g o th ers s u pport i t.
Lastly , B ogard b ols te rs h is arg um en t b y ju xta p osin g th e p ast an d th e
pre se n t. H e w rite s, " A ll lif e e v olv ed to th e s te ad y r h yth m o f b rig ht d ay s a n d
dark n ig hts . T oday , t h ough, w hen w e f e el t h e c lo se n ess o f n ig ht f a ll, w e r e ach
fo r a lig ht sw itc h ." H ere , h e p ain ts a sh arp co ntr a st b etw een o ur n atu ra l
beh av io r an d our beh av io r to day . This co ntr a st co ntin ues in Bogard 's
desc rip tio n o f th e d ark s k y in th e 1 950s a n d th e b la n ket o f lig ht th at c o vers it
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now . T hese co m paris o ns of th e past an d th e pre se n t hig hlig ht th e ra p id
ch an ges t h at h av e o ccu rre d s in ce l ig ht s ta rte d i n vad in g t h e d ark . T hey c o nvey
a s e n se o f f o re b odin g, th at th e s h if t h as b een to o s u dden f o r u s to c o pe w ith
an d th at w e'r e a ll w ors e o ff th an b efo re . T he b en efits o f d ark ness a re lo st a s
quic k ly a s w e h av e p ollu te d it w ith lig ht. " In to day 's c ro w ded , lo uder, m ore
fa st- p aced w orld , n ig ht's d ark ness c an p ro vid e s o litu de, q uie t, a n d s tilln ess,"
Bogard asse rts . B y fra m in g d ark ness as th e so lu tio n to to day 's fa st- p aced
world , h e u se s y et a n oth er ju xta p ositio n to p ers u ad e. A fte r a ll, w ho w ould
pre fe r c ro w ded a n d l o ud t o s o litu de a n d q uie t?
In su m mary , Bogard — usin g sta tis tic s, ap peals to au th ority , an d
ju xta p ositio n— mak es th e case th at dark ness need s to be m ain ta in ed an d
pro te cte d . I t's h is u se o f p ers u asiv e e le m en ts t h at n ot o nly i n fo rm t h e r e ad er o f
th e p ro ble m b ut a ls o s p ur t h e r e ad er i n to a ctio n.
Sam ple E ssa y t o " W hy L it e ra tu re M atte rs" b y D an a G io ia
The id ea th at lite ra tu re p la y s a n in te g ra l r o le in s o cie ty 's d ev elo pm en t h as
its ro ots in a cad em ia b ut its u nderly in g ro ots a re o fte n o verlo oked . In " W hy
Lite ra tu re M atte rs ," D an a G io ia puts fo rth a deta ile d arg um en t fo r th e
ad van cem en t o f lite ra tu re a s a b ed ro ck o f c u ltu ra l p ro gre ss. In d oin g s o , h e
em plo ys a varie ty of lite ra ry ele m en ts to pers u ad e th e re ad er, in clu din g
sta tis tic s, w ord c h oic e, a n d q uote s f ro m a u th orita tiv e s o urc es.
Gio ia 's d eft u se o f sta tis tic s b eg in s w ith h is d is c u ssio n o f th e a rts . H e
brin gs up a stu dy th at m easu re d th e dra stic fa ll in arts partic ip atio n in
Am eric a. H e s p ecif ic ally d ra w s a tte n tio n to th e fa ct th at th e " d eclin es h av e
been m ost se v ere a m ong y ounger a d ults ." B y c itin g th ese tr e n ds, G io ia is
gro undin g h is a rg um en t in r e ality s o th at e v en s k ep tic al r e ad ers w on't b e a b le
to d is m is s it s o e asily . N ot o nly d o th e n um bers in dic ate th at th ere is in f a ct a
gro w in g p ro ble m b ut th ey a ls o s h ow th e e x te n t o f it. T he s ta te o f r e ad in g in
Am eric a is in d ir e s tr a its a n d b ecau se y oung p eo ple p artic ip ate th e le ast, th e
tr o uble s w ill o nly c o m pound. T he u nderly in g a ssu m ptio n th at y oung p eo ple
are th e fu tu re o f A m eric a m ak es th e sta tis tic s ev en m ore ala rm in g. G io ia
fu rth er p oin ts o ut th at in a p oll c o nducte d in 2 001, " 3 8 p erc en t o f e m plo yers
co m pla in ed th at lo cal sc h ools in ad eq uate ly ta u ght re ad in g c o m pre h en sio n."
This a d ditio nal s ta tis tic a d dre sse s a n y d oubts r e ad ers m ay h av e o ver t h e v alu e
of lite ra tu re en gag em en t. C erta in ly , lite ra tu re is im porta n t fro m a cu ltu ra l
sta n dpoin t, but G io ia pro ves th at it's als o im porta n t fro m a pra ctic al
sta n dpoin t. B y co verin g both base s, he is ab le to pers u ad e re ad ers w ith
dif fe rin g p ers p ectiv es a n d v alu es. A lth ough G io ia 's u se o f s ta tis tic s m ay c o m e
off a s o verly d ra m atic , it is h ard to a rg ue w ith n um bers th at p ain t a b le ak
pic tu re o f a n is su e th at m ost A m eric an s a re fa m ilia r w ith , w heth er it b e in
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sc h ool o r i n t h e w ork pla ce.
Ju st a s p ers u asiv e a s h is u se o f s ta tis tic s is G io ia 's w ord c h oic e. H e u se s
th e w ord s "lo ngsta n din g" an d "fu ndam en ta l" to ch ara cte riz e th e cu ltu ra l
activ ity t h at i s r e ad in g l ite ra tu re . L ate r i n t h e s a m e s e n te n ce, h e u se s t h e w ord
"d eep " to d esc rib e th e tr a n sfo rm atio ns th at lite ra tu re s ig nif ie s in m odern lif e .
His c h oic e o f w ord s e sta b lis h es lite ra tu re a lm ost a s a n a g e-o ld tr a d itio n in
Am eric a, a p ie ce o f c u ltu ra l h erita g e th at m ay s o on b e lo st. B y a p pealin g to
our s e n se o f n osta lg ia a n d i d en tity , h e h opes t o r e k in dle o ur c o nnectio n t o a n d
passio n f o r r e ad in g. L in kin g lite ra tu re to th e A m eric an id en tity a llo w s h im to
cast it a s s o m eth in g w orth f ig htin g to p ro te ct. I n deed , h e w arn s o f w hat w ill
hap pen if w e ab an don our lite ra ry ro ots : "A s m ore A m eric an s lo se th is
cap acity , o ur n atio n b eco m es l e ss i n fo rm ed , a ctiv e, a n d i n dep en den t- m in ded ."
Notic e th at h e e x plic itly c alls o ut to A m eric an s, a g ain ty in g h is a rg um en t to
th e A m eric an v alu es o f in dep en den ce a n d fre ed om . W ith out G io ia 's s p ecif ic
ch oic e o f w ord s, h is a rg um en t w ould lo se a s tr o ng a p peal to o ur A m eric an
id en titie s.
Lastly , G io ia bols te rs his arg um en t by quotin g au th orita tiv e so urc es
outs id e th e a rts . F or in sta n ce, h e c ite s " W ir e d " m ag azin e, w hic h is ty pic ally
asso cia te d m ore w ith m ath a n d s c ie n ce th an w ith th e a rts a n d h um an itie s. O f
co urs e , th is fa ct o nly s e rv es G io ia 's a rg um en t e v en m ore b ecau se it im plie s
th at ev en in th e co ld quan tita tiv e w orld of m ath , sc ie n ce, an d busin ess,
lite ra tu re h as i ts p la ce. H e w rite s, " a n ew s e t o f m en ta l s k ills a n d h ab its p ro per
to th e 2 1st cen tu ry [a re ] d ecid ed ly lite ra ry in ch ara cte r." H e th en q uote s
Dan ie l P in k, a w ell- k now n b eh av io ra l s c ie n ce w rite r, to s u bsta n tia te h is p oin t
—"th e ab ility to cre ate artis tic an d em otio nal b eau ty " is o ne th at w ill b e
valu ed m ore th an e v er b efo re . R ead ers o f a ll b ack gro unds a re e n co ura g ed to
se e how re le v an t lite ra tu re is outs id e a hum an itie s dom ain , th at it has
ap plic atio ns in o ur e v ery day c re ativ e a n d c iv ic sp here s. In deed , G io ia c ite s
stu die s d one b y th e N atio nal A sso cia tio n o f M an ufa ctu re rs a n d th e N atio nal
Confe re n ce o f S ta te L eg is la tu re s to r e in fo rc e th is p oin t. T he f a ct th at G io ia is
ab le to p oin t to s e v era l a u th oritie s in a v arie ty o f in dustr ie s th at a ll v alu e a n
en gag em en t w ith l ite ra tu re l e n d g re at c re d ib ility t o h is m ain a rg um en t.
In s u m mary , D an a G io ia — usin g s ta tis tic s, w ord c h oic e, a n d a u th orita tiv e
so urc es— mak es t h e c ase t h at w e m ust r e sto re l ite ra tu re b ack t o a n a ctiv e p ost
in o ur so cie ty . It's h is u se o f p ers u asiv e e le m en ts th at n ot o nly in fo rm th e
re ad er o f t h e p ro ble m b ut a ls o s p ur t h e r e ad er i n to a ctio n.
Sam ple E ssa y t o " B ag B an B ad f o r F reed om a n d E nvir o n m en t"
by A dam B . S um mers
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The q uestio n o f w heth er to u se p ap er b ag s o r p la stic b ag s h as its r o ots in
en vir o nm en ta l co nse rv atio n but its underly in g assu m ptio ns are ofte n
overlo oked . In " B ag B an B ad fo r F re ed om a n d E nvir o nm en t," a u th or A dam
B. S um mers p uts fo rth a d eta ile d a rg um en t fo r th e u se o f p la stic b ag s. In
doin g s o , h e e m plo ys a v arie ty o f r h eto ric al e le m en ts to p ers u ad e th e r e ad er,
in clu din g a n a p peal t o i d en tity , s ta tis tic s, a n d t h e r e su lts o f h ealth r e se arc h .
Sum mers 's d eft u se o f a n a p peal t o i d en tity b eg in s w ith h is d is c u ssio n o f a
bill th at w ould b an p la stic b ag s in C alif o rn ia . H e ex pre sse s co nte m pt fo r
"so m e p olitic ia n s a n d e n vir o nm en ta lis ts [w ho] a re n ow fo cu se d o n d ecid in g
fo r u s w hat k in d o f c o nta in er w e c an u se to c arry o ur g ro cerie s." G iv en th e
Am eric an v alu es o f fre ed om a n d in dep en den ce, S um mers is a w are th at th is
pers u asiv e a p pro ach is lik ely to s tir A m eric an s e n sib ilitie s. A fte r a ll, n o o ne,
esp ecia lly A m eric an s, lik es bein g to ld w hat th ey can an d can not do.
Furth erm ore , S um mers fre q uen tly use s th e co lle ctiv e pro noun "w e." T his
str e n gth en s th e u nity a n d s e n se o f p urp ose o f th e a u die n ce h e is a d dre ssin g
an d p ortr a y s h im se lf a s b ein g p art o f th e g ro up. R ead ers a re m ore lik ely to
accep t a n a rg um en t m ad e b y s o m eo ne w ho is o n th eir s id e a n d a lig ned w ith
th eir v alu es. T he a p peal t o i d en tity c o ntin ues i n S um mers 's d efin itio n o f a f re e
so cie ty : " In a f re e s o cie ty , w e a re a b le to liv e o ur liv es a s w e p le ase , s o lo ng
as w e d o n ot in frin ge u pon th e r ig hts o f o th ers ." B y in vokin g a b elie f th at is
so fu ndam en ta l to A m eric an d em ocra cy , S um mers m ak es it h ard fo r re ad ers
to d is a g re e w ith h im . H e f ra m es th e r ig ht to u se a p la stic b ag a s o ne th at a ll
tr u e A m eric an s w ould r a lly b eh in d. A lth ough s o m e m ay s a y t h at h is a p peal t o
id en tity i s o verly d ra m atic , e sp ecia lly f o r s o m eth in g a s t r iv ia l a s a p la stic b ag ,
it's undoubte d ly effe ctiv e becau se an A m eric an au die n ce unders ta n ds th e
la rg er i s su es a t s ta k e.
Ju st a s p ers u asiv e a s S um mers 's a p peal to id en tity is h is u se o f s ta tis tic s.
He quic k ly ch alle n ges th e w id ely -h eld belie f th at pla stic bag s are "e v il
in carn ate " w ith in dis p uta b le n um bers : " p la stic b ag s, s a ck s, a n d w ra p s o f a ll
kin ds … m ak e up only ab out 1.6 perc en t of all m unic ip al so lid w aste
mate ria ls ." I n a d ditio n, " th e m ost c o m mon k in d o f p la stic g ro cery b ag s m ak e
up 0.3 perc en t of th is to ta l." These sm all num bers in dic ate ju st how
in co nse q uen tia l p la stic b ag s a re to th e e n vir o nm en t. T hey d is p el a n y lim itin g
assu m ptio ns r e ad ers m ay h av e a n d o pen t h em u p t o t h e p ossib ility t h at p la stic
bag s are n ot o nly h arm le ss b ut als o b ette r th an p ap er b ag s. In deed , th ese
in itia l s ta tis tic s la y th e g ro undw ork fo r e v en m ore p ers u asiv e o nes: " [p la stic
bag s] r e q uir e 4 0 p erc en t le ss e n erg y to m ak e, g en era te 8 0 p erc en t le ss w aste ,
an d u tiliz e le ss th an 4 p erc en t o f th e a m ount o f w ate r n eed ed to m an ufa ctu re
th em ." B y illu str a tin g h ow m uch m ore e ffic ie n t p la stic b ag s a re , S um mers
pers u ad es th e r e ad er f ro m b oth a c o st p ers p ectiv e a n d a n e n vir o nm en ta l o ne.
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It's o nly th ro ugh th ese n um bers th at h e's a b le to d is lo dge th e w id esp re ad id ea
th at p ap er b ag s a re b ette r. W ith out t h em , h is m essa g e w ould l o se a n i m porta n t
dis tin ctio n b etw een p ap er a n d p la stic .
Lastly , S um mers b ols te rs h is a rg um en t b y c itin g th e re su lts o f s c ie n tif ic
re se arc h . H e b rin gs u p s e v era l s tu die s s h ow in g th at " p la stic b ag b an s le ad to
in cre ase d health pro ble m s due to fo od co nta m in atio n fro m bacte ria th at
re m ain in th e re u sa b le b ag s." F urth erm ore , a s ta tis tic al a n aly sis b y tw o la w
pro fe sso rs , Jo nath an K lic k an d Jo sh ua D . W rig ht, d is c o vere d a "sp ik e in
hosp ita l e m erg en cy ro om v is its " a fte r S an F ra n cis c o 's p la stic b ag b an w as
in tr o duced i n 2 007. T he i n clu sio n o f t h is r e se arc h s o lid if ie s t h e c re d ib ility a n d
tr u stw orth in ess of Sum mers 's arg um en t. T he im plic atio n is th at if th ese
au th orita tiv e s o urc es a g re e t h at a p la stic b ag b an i s a b ad i d ea, t h en w e s h ould
to o. M ore o ver, S um mers h as sk illf u lly sh ow n a n e n vir o nm en ta l p ro ble m —
pap er o r p la stic ?— to a ls o b e a h ealth p ro ble m , so m eth in g th at is fa r m ore
lik ely to re so nate w ith re ad ers . S om e m ay not care so m uch ab out th e
en vir o nm en t, b ut e v ery one c are s a b out h is o r h er h ealth . I n deed , th e s p ecif ic
men tio n of "E . co li, sa lm onella , an d cam pylo bacte r-re la te d in te stin al
in fe ctio us d is e ase s" i s s u re t o e lic it a v is c era l r e sp onse f ro m m an y r e ad ers .
In s u m mary , S um mers — usin g a n a p peal to id en tity , s ta tis tic s, a n d h ealth
re se arc h — effe ctiv ely m ak es t h e c ase t h at p la stic s h oppin g b ag s s h ould n ot b e
ban ned . I t's h is u se o f p ers u asiv e e le m en ts th at n ot o nly in fo rm th e r e ad er o f
th e p ro ble m b ut a ls o s p ur t h e r e ad er i n to a ctio n.
Sam ple E ssa y to " F oreig n N ew s a t a C ris is P oin t" b y P ete r S .
Good m an
The id ea th at n ew s s h ould e n co m pass th e w orld , n ot ju st A m eric a, h as its
ro ots in o bje ctiv e jo urn alis m p ra ctic es b ut its u nderly in g re aso ns a re o fte n
overlo oked . In "F ore ig n N ew s a t a C ris is P oin t," w rite r P ete r S . G oodm an
puts fo rth a d eta ile d a rg um en t th at n ew s o rg an iz atio ns n eed to fin d w ay s to
in co rp ora te fo re ig n affa ir s in to th e co vera g e th at A m eric an s co nsu m e. In
doin g so , G oodm an e m plo ys a v arie ty o f lite ra ry e le m en ts to p ers u ad e th e
re ad er, in clu din g su pportin g e x am ple s, sta tis tic s, a n d str o ng d ir e ctiv es w ith
th e p ro noun " w e."
Goodm an 's d eft u se o f s u pportin g e x am ple s b eg in s w ith h is d is c u ssio n o f
th e i m pact o f g lo bal e v en ts o n t h e U .S . H e b rin gs u p " a g lo bal w ar o n t e rro r,"
"g lo bal im bala n ces in s a v in gs," a n d " a g lo bal tr a d e tr e aty " to s h ow th e e x te n t
th e w orld s ta g e in flu en ces A m eric an is su es. T he w ord " g lo bal" is u se d th re e
tim es in th e sa m e se n te n ce to h ig hlig ht th is in te rc o nnecte d ness. A dditio nal
ex am ple s su ch as th e "c o m petitio n fro m co unte rp arts o n th e o th er sid e o f
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ocean s" c re ate a s e n se o f i m porta n ce a n d u rg en cy . G oodm an 's m essa g e t o t h e
re ad er is s im ple : if w e d o n ot u nders ta n d w hat is h ap pen in g in th e w orld a t
la rg e, w e are vuln era b le to th re ats fro m ab ro ad . A lth ough G oodm an 's
ex am ple s m ay c o m e o ff a s o verly d ra m atic , th ey a re a ll r o ote d in is su es th at
Am eric an s c o nte n d w ith o n a d aily b asis . T hose w ho h av e h ad t o g ra p ple w ith
outs o urc in g, d eclin in g b udgets , o r te rro ris t a tta ck s w ill s tr o ngly id en tif y w ith
Goodm an 's a rg um en t.
Ju st as pers u asiv e as his su pportin g ex am ple s is G oodm an 's use of
sta tis tic s. H e s e ts th e s ta g e fo r h is a rg um en t b y n otin g th e d ecre ase in fu ll-
tim e f o re ig n c o rre sp onden ts f ro m 3 07 t o 2 34. H e a ls o p oin ts o ut t h at t h e d ro p
in w orld n ew s c o vera g e is r e fle cte d in th e 5 3 p erc en t r e d uctio n in n ew sp ap er
sp ace d ev ote d to f o re ig n a ffa ir s . T hese n um bers a re lik ely to s u rp ris e r e ad ers
who a re n 't a w are o f t h e d ir e s ta te o f f o re ig n n ew s, o pen in g t h eir e y es t o a r e al
pro ble m th at need s to beco m e a prio rity . T hey als o gro und G oodm an 's
arg um en t in r e ality s o th at e v en s k ep tic al r e ad ers c an not s o e asily d is m is s h is
cla im s. A fte r a ll, s ta tis tic s a re h ard t o a rg ue a g ain st. W ith out t h em , t h e g ra v ity
of t h e i s su e m ig ht g o u nre co gniz ed .
Lastly , G oodm an b ols te rs h is a rg um en t b y u sin g s tr o ng d ir e ctiv es w ith t h e
pro noun " w e." F or e x am ple , h is a sse rtio n t h at w e a ll k now t h e p ow er o f s o cia l
med ia se ts up a base lin e assu m ptio n fro m w hic h to fu rth er build his
arg um en t. T he p ow er o f s o cia l m ed ia is a g iv en ; it's u p to u s to u se it w is e ly
an d c re ativ ely to p ro m ote fo re ig n n ew s. In la y in g o ut h is p la n fo r c h an ge,
Goodm an a g ain u se s a s tr o ng d ir e ctiv e w ith " w e": " W e n eed to e m bra ce th e
pre se n t a n d g ear f o r th e f u tu re ." T his is a c all to a ctio n th at r e ad ers w ill f in d
hard t o i g nore . B y u sin g t h e c o lle ctiv e p ro noun " w e," h e e sta b lis h es a s e n se o f
so lid arity w ith th e re ad er, o ne th at ex te n ds to so cie ty as a w hole an d th e
glo bal i s su es e v ery one m ust f a ce t o geth er. H e f ra m es h is c au se a s o ne t h at w e
must a ll b e a p art o f a n d f in is h es w ith a r a lly in g c ry th at u rg es u s to f ig ht f o r
se rio us-m in ded jo urn alis m : " W e n eed to p ut b ack w hat th e I n te rn et h as ta k en
aw ay . W e need to tu rn th e void in to so m eth in g fre sh an d co m pellin g."
Thro ugh t h ese d ir e ctiv es, G oodm an i n sp ir e s h is a u die n ce a n d e m pow ers t h em
to b e m ore p ro activ e in c re atin g a n d d ev elo pin g f o re ig n n ew s. H e e n tr u sts u s
with a n oble g oal a n d c alls o n u s t o b e t h e o nes w ho f u lf ill i t.
In s u m mary , P ete r G oodm an — usin g s u pportin g e x am ple s, s ta tis tic s, a n d
str o ng d ir e ctiv es— effe ctiv ely m ak es th e c ase th at f o re ig n n ew s c o vera g e h as
declin ed a n d m ust b e r e sto re d . I t's h is u se o f p ers u asiv e e le m en ts t h at n ot o nly
in fo rm t h e r e ad er o f t h e p ro ble m b ut a ls o s p ur t h e r e ad er i n to a ctio n.
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10. A ppen dix A : A C op y o f m y
Actu al E ssa y
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C opyrig ht © 2 016 T he C olle g e P an da
A ll r ig hts r e se rv ed .
N o p art o f th is b ook m ay b e r e p ro duced w ith out w ritte n p erm is sio n f ro m th e
a u th or.
* S A T i s a r e g is te re d t r a d em ark o f t h e C olle g e B oard , w hic h d oes n ot e n dors e
t h is p ro duct.
F or m ore i n fo rm atio n, v is it
th eco lle g ep an da.c o m
D is c o unts o n p hysic al c o pie s a v aila b le fo r te ach ers a n d c o m pan ie s. P le ase
c o nta ct t h eco lle g ep an da@ gm ail.c o m f o r d eta ils .
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