Increase Your Eloquence & Sophistication Through Transitions

The other day, I offered to help grade essays for a class of students who had written practice SAT essays. I instantly realized why I would never, ever, ever want to be an SAT essay grader for the Collegeboard. Reading through these horrible essays, I just put my face in my hands and wept. If I could give these students one tip though, it would be to learn to use transitions. Transitions are oft misunderstood. Many people believe transitions serve …

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The #1 Ingredient for a 12 Essay

So true confession: I hate cooking. Come to my pad and be amazed by my exquisitely curated and decorated space, but open my fridge and prepare to be aghast. There is literally no food inside. I eat out virtually all the time, but once in a blue moon, I’ll try my hand at making something myself…like Instant Noodles. Just kidding. See, the thing is I can’t bring myself to put so many different ingredients together…and then the dishes, ugh…the dishes. But …

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Using Reverse Examples & Evidence

One of the most common complaints I hear from students is that they can’t come up with good examples quickly enough for their essays. But what I want you to know is… You don’t have to use examples that support your point directly You can also use reverse examples to support your point indirectly Let’s say you want to argue that teens need make their own decisions and face the consequences to become more mature. Examples don’t have to support your point directly. …

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How to Transition Between Paragraphs — Template Part V

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series SAT Essay Template

We’re onto Paragraph 3 now. It’s exactly the same as Paragraph 2 with one exception. You still start with a topic sentence, but because this is your second example paragraph, you need to seamlessly transition between the end of Paragraph 2 and the beginning of Paragraph 3. Something as simple as “Another situation where…” or “(Your example) is another event that (supports your thesis)” are okay. They are better than no transition at all. But we’re not happy with “okay” …

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How to Analyze Like Fitzgerald — Template Part IV

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series SAT Essay Template

So far we’ve learned that deep analysis avoids claim and summary as much as possible. If you make a claim, then you have to tell us WHY you believe that. Back it up with examples and reasoning. Furthermore, you have to tell us so what if it’s true? In other words, why should we care? If you make a summary, you have to tell us the purpose or role of that summary in your overall argument. Again, tell us what your point is. One of …

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Your Mortal Enemies: Claim and Summary — Template Part III

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series SAT Essay Template

I had this convo the other day: Me: Ah, so nice to see you again, my dear good ol’ friend Mr. Analysis. Mr. Analysis: I’m going to pwn you, straight up. You can’t even handle me right now. I’m so tricky. Me: Hey, that’s not nice. Plus, if I remember correctly, I’m the one who pwned you last we met. Remember all those As I got on English papers in high school? Mr. Analysis: Pfft. That doesn’t count. As I recall, you only got …

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