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Rebekah Hendershot

Rebekah Hendershot

Outlining Your Essay

Slide Duration:

Table of Contents

I. The Essay
Essay Basics

14m 46s

Introduction
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:07
What Is An Essay?
0:28
Essayer = To Try, To Attempt
0:31
An Essay is An Attempt to Explain a Thought in Writing
0:44
Why Does the SAT Ask for an Essay?
1:11
Designed to Test Your Readiness for College
1:19
Also Tests Your Ability to Think on Your Feet and Express Your Thoughts Clearly
1:34
What They're Looking For
2:05
Good Writing
2:11
Good Content
2:57
The Prompt
3:35
Always the Same Form: An Excerpt Following By a Question
3:37
Sample Prompt
3:58
Essay Scoring
5:22
Two Readers Read Each Essay and Score It on A Scale from 1-6
5:51
Essay Readers Are Encouraged to be Forgiving and to Reward Students for Writing Well
6:16
Essay Readers Are Trained to Ignore Handwriting
6:34
Essay Scoring: 6
6:46
Essay Scoring: 5
7:42
Essay Scoring: 4
8:20
Essay Scoring: 3
9:03
Essay Scoring: 2
10:18
Essay Scoring: 1
11:19
Essay Scoring: 0
12:15
Tips for a Better Essay
12:25
Outline Before You Write
12:39
Use a Variety of Examples
12:56
Use Abstract and Concrete Nouns
13:49
The Essay Prompt

8m 6s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:07
The Prompt
0:28
Always the Same Form: An Excerpt Following By a Question
0:30
Sample Prompt
0:47
Why the Prompt is Horrible
1:30
No Opportunity to Prepare Before the Test
1:34
Timed Conditions
1:46
Your SAT Essay is a First Draft
2:03
Why the Prompt is Awesome
2:23
The Prompt Explains the Excerpt For You
2:27
Prompt Asks the Same Question in Two Ways
2:58
It's the First Section of the SAT
3:09
Readers Know This is Your First Draft
3:28
There is No Wrong Answer and No Penalty for Guessing
3:38
Three Ways to Answer the Prompt
3:55
Agree
4:08
Disagree
4:11
In the Middle - Scarecrow
4:14
Yes
4:18
No
4:47
Scarecrow
5:22
Tips for Acing the Prompt
6:31
Make Sure You Answer the Question You Were Asked
6:36
Pay Attention to the Language Used in the Excerpt
6:43
Outlining Your Essay

12m 20s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:09
Why Outline?
0:29
A Good Outline is Like a Road Map
0:58
An Outline Lets You Arrange Your Examples in the Best Possible Order
1:11
Outlining Helps You Remember Your Examples
1:26
Outlining Method 1: The Formal Outline
1:54
Outlining Method 2: The Informal Outline
4:35
Outlining in Action, Example 1
5:26
Thesis
6:17
Example 2
8:43
Outlining Tips
10:44
Read the Prompt Carefully
10:51
Practice Outlining
11:06
Don't Waste Time with Complete Sentences
11:39
Choose Examples That Can Be Jotted Down in a Few Words
11:50
Make Sure Your Outline Aligns with Yes/No/Scarecrow
12:07
II. Grammar
Grammar Errors: Part 1

19m 49s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:09
Verbs
0:32
Subject-Verb Agreement
0:46
Issues With verb Tense
0:49
Singular Subjects take Singular Verbs
0:52
Examples
1:35
Collective Nouns Are Singular
2:47
Gerunds As Subjects Are Singular
3:20
Examples
3:31
Verb Tense Should Remain Consistent
4:32
Example
6:05
The SAT Likes to Switch Would and Will
6:33
Example
6:58
The SAT Likes to Switch Gerunds
7:22
Example
7:38
Pronouns
8:33
All Pronouns Must Agree with Their Antecedents in Number and Gender
8:35
Example
8:46
If a Sentence Uses 'One' or 'You' to Describe an Undetermined Person, It Must Not Switch Between the Two Terms
9:55
Example
10:16
Pay Attention to a Pronoun's Case
10:52
Examples
11:21
Adjectives vs. Adverbs
12:31
Adjectives Modify Nouns or Pronouns
12:40
Examples
13:17
Parallel Structure: Lists
14:26
When a Sentence Contains a List or Series of Items, Each Item Should Appear in the Format
14:37
Examples
14:47
Word Pairs
15:38
Correlative Conjunctions Are Always Paired Up a Certain Way
15:41
Example List of Words
15:53
Example Sentences
16:15
For Extra Grammar Help
19:16
Grammar Errors: Part 2

11m 2s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:09
Noun Agreement
0:31
Nouns Must Agree In Number When They Are Connected with Other Nouns By a Linking Verb
0:34
Example
1:07
Comparatives vs. Superlatives
1:46
Comparatives
1:53
Superlatives
2:05
Examples
2:20
Relative Pronouns
3:04
Who vs. Whom
3:10
Example
3:23
Which vs. That
3:47
Examples
4:18
Where vs. Which
4:59
Examples
5:14
Double Negatives / Double Positives
5:53
Don't Use More or Most with the Comparative or Superlative Form of an Adjective
6:16
Examples
6:29
Conjunctions
7:02
Continuers
7:10
Contradictors
7:23
Example
7:44
Cause-and-Effect Conjunctions
8:23
Example
8:37
Only One Conjunction Is Usually Necessary to Connect Two Clauses
8:58
Example
9:14
Redundancy
9:44
The SAT Occasionally Includes Redundant Phrases in Sentence
9:49
Example
10:06
For Extra Grammar Help
10:34
Grammar Errors: Part 3

12m 19s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:09
Sentence Fragments
0:28
A Sentence Must Contain Both a Subject and Verb
0:33
Example
0:59
Commas and Semicolons
1:25
Independent Clauses Are Clauses That Contain a Subject and Verb
1:33
To Join Independent Clauses, Use a Comma and A Coordinating Conjunction
1:41
Example
2:15
To Join Independent Clauses, Use a Semicolon Only
2:31
To Join Independent Clauses, Use a Semicolon and a Conjunctive Adverb
3:05
Example
3:19
To Join Independent Clauses, Review
3:42
Passive Voice
4:10
Active Construction
4:17
Passive Construction
4:21
Example
4:46
Sometimes the Passive Voice is Necessary to Correct a More Serious Error
5:23
Examples
5:35
Modifiers
6:47
Dangling Modifier
7:02
Example
7:13
Misplaced Modifiers
7:54
Example
8:15
Parallel Phrases
9:05
Conjunctions or Comparisons Must involve Elements Phrased in Parallel Ways
9:17
Example
9:25
The Subjunctive
10:07
Used to Express Needs, Requests, Suggestions, ad Hypothetical Situations
10:13
Major Distinction Between the Subjunctive Mood and Indicative Mood
10:46
Example
11:11
For Extra Grammar Help
11:45
III. Practice Test
Answer Guide: Section 1 (Essay)

27m 48s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:14
The Prompt
1:07
Assignment
1:35
Outline
2:18
Essay
6:03
Answer Guide: Section 5 (Writing)

17m 23s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:11
Sentence Improvement
0:35
Question 1
0:36
Question 2
1:09
Question 3
1:55
Question 4
2:35
Question 5
2:50
Question 6
3:48
Question 7
4:20
Question 8
5:06
Question 9
5:44
Question 10
6:36
Question 11
7:10
Error Identification
7:36
Question 12
7:48
Question 13
8:09
Question 14
8:21
Question 15
8:48
Question 16
9:12
Question 17
9:29
Question 18
9:53
Question 19
10:06
Question 20
10:43
Question 21
10:54
Question 22
11:03
Question 23
11:52
Question 24
12:00
Question 25
12:25
Question 26
13:03
Question 27
13:25
Question 28
13:52
Question 29
14:19
Paragraph Improvement
14:40
Question 30
14:41
Question 31
15:02
Question 32
15:36
Question 33
15:58
Question 34
16:20
Question 35
16:52
Answer Guide: Section 10 (Writing)

8m 36s

Intro
0:00
Lesson Overview
0:11
Sentence Improvement
0:28
Question 1
0:29
Question 2
1:07
Question 3
1:30
Question 4
1:49
Question 5
2:26
Question 6
3:22
Question 7
3:57
Question 8
4:30
Question 9
5:13
Question 10
5:51
Question 11
6:24
Question 12
6:53
Question 13
7:16
Question 14
7:51
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For more information, please see full course syllabus of SAT Writing
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Lecture Comments (2)

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Hendershot
Sun Mar 3, 2013 12:27 PM

Post by Rajendran Rajaram on March 2, 2013

Hello,
A couple of months ago I took the Accuplacer test and got 5 out of 8 on my essay. I am just curious to know how will it compare with the SAT. Is it the same. I am desperate for a perfect essay score.
thank you,

Outlining Your Essay

  • Why Outline?
    • It’s worth it to take a minute or two at the start of the essay period to think about the prompt and outline your response.
    • A good outline is like a road map–it shows you where you’ve been and where you’re going. An outline keeps your essay from veering off-topic.
    • An outline lets you arrange your examples in the best possible order.
    • Outlining helps you remember your examples (yes, you really can forget your examples inside 25 minutes).
  • Method 1: The Formal Outline
    • In a formal outline (the kind you were probably taught in school), you divide your argument into points and subpoints, with lots of well-organized details.
  • Method 2: The Informal Outline
    • In an informal outline, you just jot down a word or two to remind you what you were going to say.
  • Outlining in Action
    • The prompt: Many people believe that our government should do more to solve ourproblems. After all, how can one individual create more jobs or make roads safer or improve the schools or help to provide any of the other benefits that we have come to enjoy? And yet expecting that the government–rather than individuals–should always come up with the solutions to society’s ills may have made us less self-reliant, undermining our independence and self-sufficiency.
    • Should people take more responsibility for solving problems that affect their communities or the nation in general? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.
    • Thesis: Self-reliance in community
      • Intro: The power outage
      • Self-reliance: first-aid skills, navigation, wilderness survival, basic construction/home repairs
      • Other-reliance: roads, hospitals, national defense
      • Community: CPR training, jumper cables, helping others
      • Concl: Helping others because I received help
  • Another Outline
    • The prompt: There is, of course, no legitimate branch of science that enables us to predict the future accurately. Yet the degree of change in the world is so overwhelming and so promising that the future, I believe, is far brighter than anyone has contemplated since the end of the Second World War -Adapted from Goodman, A Brief History of the Future
    • Is the world changing for the better? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations
    • Thesis: The world is changing for the better … unless we screw it up.
      • Intro: Yogi Berra
      • Improvements: Medicine, communications, human rights
      • Dangers: nuclear weapons, extremism, censorship, surveillance
      • Balance: listening to the “better angels of our nature”
      • Concl: “Thou art God, and cannot decline the nomination”
  • Outlining Tips
    • Read the prompt carefully. Make sure the question you’re answering is the question you were asked.
    • Practice outlining ahead of time so you know what you need to write down in order to aid your own memory.
    • Go with your instincts. If an example springs immediately to mind, write it down. If it’s going to be on your mind for the next 25 minutes, you might as well use it.
    • Don’t waste time with complete sentences.
    • Choose examples that can be jotted down in a few words. If it’s too complicated for a short note, it’s too complicated for a 25-minute essay.
    • Make sure your outline aligns with yes/no/scarecrow.
  • Recommended supplementary material to view SAT questions featured in lesson answer guides: The Official SAT Study Guide by the College Board.

Outlining Your Essay

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:09
  • Why Outline? 0:29
    • A Good Outline is Like a Road Map
    • An Outline Lets You Arrange Your Examples in the Best Possible Order
    • Outlining Helps You Remember Your Examples
  • Outlining Method 1: The Formal Outline 1:54
  • Outlining Method 2: The Informal Outline 4:35
  • Outlining in Action, Example 1 5:26
    • Thesis
    • Example 2
  • Outlining Tips 10:44
    • Read the Prompt Carefully
    • Practice Outlining
    • Don't Waste Time with Complete Sentences
    • Choose Examples That Can Be Jotted Down in a Few Words
    • Make Sure Your Outline Aligns with Yes/No/Scarecrow
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