Enter your Sign on user name and password.

Forgot password?
Sign In | Subscribe
Start learning today, and be successful in your academic & professional career. Start Today!

Use Chrome browser to play professor video
Rebekah Hendershot

Rebekah Hendershot

The Essay Prompt

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
Loading...
This is a quick preview of the lesson. For full access, please Log In or Sign up.
For more information, please see full course syllabus of SAT Writing
  • Discussion

  • Study Guides

  • Download Lecture Slides

  • Table of Contents

  • Related Books & Services

Lecture Comments (5)

0 answers

Post by Vaishnavi Senthil kumar on November 23, 2017

I s this the old SAT? Because the new SAT essay does not ask for your opinion.It gives you a passage and just asks you to analyze it? But this seems different

0 answers

Post by William Jiang on March 8, 2016

You know your SAT essay lecture and in fact your entire SAT lectures are about the SAT test in history, not the current one. I signed up for the current one.  When are you going to update this!?

0 answers

Post by RHS STUDENT on November 29, 2014

How to state my position clearly if I stay scarecrow? Can you please give me an example.

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Hendershot
Wed Oct 2, 2013 1:13 AM

Post by lemar stanekzai on October 1, 2013

Thank you for your wonderful teaching!

The Essay Prompt

  • The Prompt
    • The SAT essay prompt always takes the same form: an excerpt followed by a question asking your opinion on the main idea of the excerpt.
  • Why the Prompt is Horrible
    • You have no opportunity to prepare before the test. You don’t know what the essay prompt will ask.
    • You are given the prompt under timed conditions, in a stressful testing environment.
    • The prompt will ask you a fairly philosophical question that you may not have thought about before.
    • The SAT essay is a first draft. And we all remember what Ernest Hemingway said about first drafts.
  • Why the Prompt is Awesome
    • The prompt explains the excerpt for you. There is no danger that you will misunderstand the excerpt (and therefore write an off-topic essay) if you pay attention to the question that follows it.
    • The prompt asks the same question in two ways, which is good for different learning styles.
    • The essay question is the first section of the SAT, which means you will be answering it when you are still fresh and well-rested (and when all your pencils are still sharp).
    • Readers know this is your first draft. They’re not expecting you to win a prize for philosophy. They’re looking for good writing.
    • There is no wrong answer and no penalty for guessing.
  • Three Ways to Answer the Prompt
    • The prompt will give you an excerpt and ask you for your opinion on it. Do you agree with what the excerpt says?
    • If you agree, your answer is “Yes.”
    • If you disagree, your answer is “No.”
    • If you’re somewhere in the middle, your answer is “Scarecrow” (not really, but we’ll get to this).
  • Yes
    • If you agree with the statement in the prompt, organize your essay around that agreement.
    • Choose relevant, concreteexamples to support your point.
    • Acknowledge opposing viewpoints, if they’re relevant, and point out flaws in their reasoning if you get the opportunity.
  • No
    • If you disagree with the statement in the prompt, state it clearly in your first paragraph.
    • Explain whyyou disagree, using concrete examples.
    • If there is any part of the prompt with which you agree, concede it, but be clear about how far your agreement goes.
  • Scarecrow
    • “Of course, some people do go both ways!”
    • This answer is also called a qualifiedresponse. In it, you examine both sides of the issue and come to a compromise. You will need at least two examples.
    • This approach is rhetorically ambitious, but more difficult to pull off. Be sure you have clear examples and a good compromise point.
  • Tips for Acing the Prompt
    • Read the prompt carefully. Make sure the question you’re answering is the question you were asked.
    • Pay close attention to the language used in the excerpt. You may want to quote it or make reference to it, whether your answer is yes, no, or scarecrow.
    • Circle or underline parts of the prompt that strike you as especially important.
    • Organize your essay around your examples.
    • Call back to the prompt in your introduction and conclusion.
  • Recommended supplementary material to view SAT questions featured in lesson answer guides: The Official SAT Study Guide by the College Board.

The Essay Prompt

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 0:07
  • The Prompt 0:28
    • Always the Same Form: An Excerpt Following By a Question
    • Sample Prompt
  • Why the Prompt is Horrible 1:30
    • No Opportunity to Prepare Before the Test
    • Timed Conditions
    • Your SAT Essay is a First Draft
  • Why the Prompt is Awesome 2:23
    • The Prompt Explains the Excerpt For You
    • Prompt Asks the Same Question in Two Ways
    • It's the First Section of the SAT
    • Readers Know This is Your First Draft
    • There is No Wrong Answer and No Penalty for Guessing
  • Three Ways to Answer the Prompt 3:55
    • Agree
    • Disagree
    • In the Middle - Scarecrow
  • 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
    • Pay Attention to the Language Used in the Excerpt
Educator®

Please sign in for full access to this lesson.

Sign-InORCreate Account

Enter your Sign-on user name and password.

Forgot password?

Start Learning Now

Our free lessons will get you started (Adobe Flash® required).
Get immediate access to our entire library.

Sign up for Educator.com

Membership Overview

  • Unlimited access to our entire library of courses.
  • Search and jump to exactly what you want to learn.
  • *Ask questions and get answers from the community and our teachers!
  • Practice questions with step-by-step solutions.
  • Download lesson files for programming and software training practice.
  • Track your course viewing progress.
  • Download lecture slides for taking notes.

Use this form or mail us to .

For support articles click here.