October 2007 Sat Essay Writing

December 2007 – SAT Essay Prompt

Prompt 1
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below. The first problem for all of us is not to learn but to unlearn. We hold on to ideas that were accepted in the past, and we are afraid to give them up. Preconceptions about what is right or wrong, true or false, good or bad are embedded so deeply in our thinking that we honestly may not know that they are there. Whether it’s women’s role in society or the role of our country in the world, the old assumptions just don’t work anymore. Adapted from Gloria Steinem, “A New Egalitarian Lifestyle”

Assignment:
Do people need to “unlearn,” or reject, many of their assumptions and ideas? 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.

Prompt 2
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below. Our determination to pursue truth by setting up a fight between two sides leads us to believe that every issue has two sides no more, no less. If we know both sides of an issue, all of the relevant information will emerge, and the best case will be made for each side. But this process does not always lead to the truth. Often the truth is somewhere in the complex middle, not the oversimplified extremes. Adapted from Deborah Tannen, The Argument Culture

Assignment:
Should people choose one of two opposing sides of an issue, or is the truth usually found “in the middle”? 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.

Prompt 3
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below. All around us appearances are mistaken for reality. Clever advertisements create favorable impressions but say little or nothing about the products they promote. In stores, colorful packages are often better than their contents. In the media, how certain entertainers, politicians, and other public figures appear is more important than their abilities. All too often, what we think we see becomes far more important than what really is.

Assignment:
Do images and impressions have too much of an effect on people? 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.

Prompt 4
Until fairly recently, technological innovations and inventions were intended to serve basic human needs or desires. Today, however, the most important and urgent problem confronting us is no longer the satisfaction of basic needs. The primary purpose of modern technology is to solve the unintended problems caused by the technology of years past. Adapted from Dennis Gabor, Innovations: Scientific, Technological, and Social

Assignment:
Is the most important purpose of technology today different from what it was in the past? 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.

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March 2007 – SAT Essay Prompt

If you took the March 2007 SAT Reasoning Test, you would have been given one of the essay prompts below:

Prompt 1
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the

Assignment:
below. From the time people are very young, they are urged to get along with others, to try to “fit in.” Indeed, people are often rewarded for being agreeable and obedient. But this approach is misguided because it promotes uniformity instead of encouraging people to be unique and different. Differences among people give each of us greater perspective and allow us to make better judgments.

Assignment:
: Is it more valuable for people to fit in than to be unique and different? 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.

Prompt 2
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the

Assignment:
below. It is easy to imagine that events and experiences in our lives will be perfect, but no matter how good something turns out to be, it can never live up to our expectations. Reality never matches our imaginations. For that reason, we should make sure our plans and goals are modest and attainable. We are much better off when reality surpasses our expectations and something turns out better than we thought it would. Adapted from Baltasar Graci�n y Morales, The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Assignment:
: Is it best to have low expectations and to set goals we are sure of achieving? 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.

Prompt 3
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the

Assignment:
below. Every event has consequences that are potentially beneficial. We may not always be happy about an experience, but we should at least gain in some way from it. For example, the worldwide gasoline shortage in the early 1970’s created many hardships but inspired efforts to conserve energy. Whether the gains are large or small, there is something positive or useful for us in everything that happens to us.

Assignment:
: Do we really benefit from every event or experience in some way? 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.

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