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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

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