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How to Write an SAT Essay | Your Friendly Student Guide

How to Write an SAT Essay: Crucial Things to Consider

Writing an SAT essay may appear overwhelming, especially when unsure of what to expect. Crafting this paper demonstrates your ability to dig into a text, interpret it, and express your ideas well in writing. But don’t worry about possible difficulties or pitfalls. Use this guide, focusing on paper format, examiners' expectations, and useful SAT essay tips. Do you need an impressive score or the desire to develop your writing skills? Here are all the details you should know about!

What is an SAT Essay?

benefits of taking the sat essay

This essay is part of the SAT college entrance exam, which measures a student's writing and analytical skills. This includes comprehending a paragraph and writing an essay explaining how the writer develops an argument to win the audience. This assignment assesses your ability to interpret writers' methods to make a point, not your personal opinions concerning the issue.

Things You Should Know About SAT Essays

The SAT essay is optional since not all colleges require it for admission. But what if your chosen educational institution still adheres to all SAT stages and assignments? In that case, you should focus on the key things about SAT essays.

Format and Structure of the SAT Essay

Now, let’s talk about the SAT essay format. This paper is designed to simulate your ability to read, analyze, and write. Here is what you should know about the SAT essay length. You will be given 50 minutes to read an essay of about 650-750 words and the author's argument. The SAT essay task is the same in each test as it varies only in the passage. You are supposed to explore how the author constructs their argument by demonstrating evidence, logic, and other persuasive tools. So, stick to the basic SAT essay format.

Scoring Criteria for the SAT Essay

During the essay part of your exam, you will face three assignment dimensions: Reading, Analysis, and Writing. The evaluation of each dimension is performed by two different graders, each giving a SAT essay score between 1 and 4. As a result, for each dimension, you can get from 2 to 8 points. The Reading test demonstrates your ability to grasp and comprehend the passage. The SAT essay analysis stage evaluates how well you analyze the author's use of evidence, logic, and persuasive SAT essay test-taking strategies. The Writing stage examines your essay for its clarity, logic, grammar, and style. So, learn all about the SAT essay scoring rubric in advance!

Key Skills Tested in the SAT Essay

Yes, it is all about your skills. The SAT essay is a test that examines the usage of several important skills that are vital for academic success. Here are three things that each admission committee cares about:

  1. Critical reading skills.
  2. Analytical skills.
  3. Writing skills.

All these academic traits can show your readiness for the academic process, understanding of educational material, and ability to analyze it and achieve the required result according to generally accepted educational canons. Remember, your goal is to get a high SAT essay score.

What Things Does Your SAT Essay Need?

A paper must include various components to achieve the desired SAT essay score. These aspects include an organized introduction, a clear thesis statement, and specific instances to illustrate your analysis. Let's take a look at all the things that should be added to your SAT essay.

An Introduction

The introduction of your essay should establish the scene for your examination. It should provide a summary of the passage you're analyzing, clearly outlining the author's main claim and the overall context of the text. Do not forget about the SAT essay coherence. This part of your essay is important as it is a prelude to the following detailed analysis. Start strong with a captivating introduction that presents the text in an easy-to-understand way. Soon, you will find SAT essay tips to do that correctly. So, pass the SAT essay preparation stage without a rush.

A Clear Thesis Statement

What is a good SAT essay score if not an excellent paper with an outstanding intro? A well-structured thesis is an important element in making your essay look coherent. It is expected to briefly introduce the core idea of your analysis and declare how the author manages to support their argument. A good thesis states the main argument and briefly describes the author's techniques, which you will discuss. Such SAT essay strategies provide you with a template for your essay that helps to keep it concise and orderly.

Specific Examples That Support Your Point

To successfully write an SAT essay, you should support your arguments with specific examples from the passage. These illustrations will demonstrate the author's use of evidence, logic, and persuasion. Give your opinion on how these components help the author with the persuasiveness of his argument. The key here is that for every illustration, you need to tie it back to your SAT essay thesis, as that will show how it all adds up to your general analysis. With this method, you show the depth of your understanding of the text and the validity of your arguments. Complete a couple of SAT essay practice samples to master your writing skills.

Explanations of the Examples That Support Your Point

For SAT essays, giving the audience more than just examples is necessary. In addition, you should also discuss how each illustration strengthens your thesis statement. This entails discussing the author's methods, such as emotional appeals, logical thinking, and credibility, and showing why these methods are effective. Your examples should be able to link the dots for the reader and show how the author's methods add to the whole argument and make the text persuasive. So, do not forget that proper SAT essay time management is your only choice.

A Strong Conclusion

Here is how to write an SAT essay to stand out! A powerful ending is the last pillar to round off your essay for the SAT efficiently. It should rephrase the thesis in another manner, summarize the major points of your argument, and underscore its importance. Here are other crucial things to add to your SAT essay conclusion:

  1. Show the reader how you conclude from your analysis.
  2. Visualize why the author's techniques are so important.
  3. Briefly summarize all key points.

A carefully crafted conclusion can ensure the essay's good flow and high impact and make the graders remember its content. Think of this part of your essay as the finish line, after which you need to run a couple more seconds so as not to fall and not to overshadow the positive emotions of being a winner. But what is a good SAT essay score? The answer is 6-8 points. A solid conclusion will help you achieve these results.

SAT Essay Outline

Here is a typical SAT outline you should stick to.

  • Hook.
  • Summary of the passage.
  • Thesis statement.
SAT Essay Body Paragraphs
  • Topic sentence.
  • Example from the text.
  • Explanation.
  • Restate thesis.
  • Recap main points.
  • Add a closing thought.

Writing Process: Steps to Follow

Using an organized approach for SAT writing will considerably improve your capabilities and productivity. Organizing your thoughts and planning your writing will allow you to achieve a clear, coherent, and compelling essay. Here are some essential SAT essay tips for writing a good paper.

Read Properly

Correct reading is the basis of a well-written SAT essay. Give time to read the passage completely to understand its content and the author's point of view. Be aware of the SAT essay structure, the tools the author employs, and the general aim of the writing. Pick out the main claim and highlight if there is any evidence, reasoning, or SAT essay argumentation strategies employed. This approach will allow you to understand the context of the work more clearly and will consequently help you to analyze the text in your essay.

Draw a Structure

Here is how to write an SAT essay like a pro. Before you start writing, draw out the structure of your essay. This means planning the introduction, the thesis statement, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion. Decide how your analysis will be organized and which examples from the text will be specifically addressed in each paragraph. A good structure guides your SAT essay writing and helps you stay on point, allowing readers to follow your reasoning easily.

Jot Down Details

Your SAT essay skills are crucial! While writing your paper, list details and quotes in the passage that evince your analysis. These notes will be of immense help in writing compelling body paragraphs. Ensure every detail supports the main idea you want to express. This way, you not only save time in the actual writing process but also ensure the essay is on the right track and contains relevant evidence from the text. So, here is how to write SAT essay papers correctly.

Add an Introduction

The introduction paragraph gives you a chance to make a good first impression. You should provide a brief introduction, state the passage's context, summarize its key argument, and formulate a thesis and your main analysis. Commence with the hook, which is a superb line that stirs interest. Strive for concision and clarity. Your introduction should be solid, leading the reader to the following analysis and thought. You should start by reading an SAT essay example to get straight to the point.

The Body Must Contain Details

Now comes the most difficult part of your essay. The time has come for detailed analysis because each paragraph should center on a particular aspect of the author's argumentative tools.

  1. Start by formulating a topic sentence that presents what you will focus on.
  2. Use a quotation or paraphrase from the text to discuss how this fits your thesis.
  3. Demonstrate your competence in the area of analyzing and criticizing the text.

At first glance, such a mission does not seem impossible since all SAT essays have similar tasks. But do not forget that you are only one of dozens or even hundreds of people who want to become students. Take your mission responsibly. But first, try to handle a couple of test SAT essay sample prompts!

Add a Concluding Note

Here is how to write SAT essay papers correctly. A robust conclusion is a key aspect of your analysis and a convincing ending to your essay that will be remembered. Make sure to update your thesis statement according to the information you have acquired. Conclude your essay by reiterating the key points you have discussed, explicitly highlighting how they shed light on the author's methods to persuade the audience. Sum up the article by writing the main idea of the author's method or the importance of the theme. With this, you are providing a nice touch to the essay and bringing to the fore the propensity and significance of your analysis. Here is how to write SAT essay assignments correctly. And do not forget to improve your SAT essay vocabulary!


Now, let’s talk about the SAT essay revision phase. It is a significant step during writing, especially for the SAT essay, in which clarity and accuracy are necessary. Do a thorough reading of your first draft. Ensure you pay attention to every detail before moving to the next step. Seek for places in your argument when you feel it lacks strength, or you could provide a better example to illustrate your argument. Proofread and check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation because small blunders can distract the reader from the message. The SAT essay editing procedure is crucial.

Tips on How to Craft an Outstanding SAT Essay

To write a brilliant SAT essay, concentrate on clarity, cohesion, and critical thinking. Understand the passage well and plan to deliver your essay before the writing begins. Make sure that you have a thoughtful thesis and thorough analysis. Here are SAT writing tips you should stick to!

Thesis with a Twist

As you write your thesis, add an original twist or insight so that your essay stands out. Attempt to go beyond stating what the writer is doing by providing specific reasons why these techniques are effective in light of the author's purpose. An original thesis may demonstrate how well you think critically and analyze things. This can show you have a deeper and wider understanding of the text and its topics. So, check at least one good SAT essay example to craft a standout thesis. Besides, you can always choose WritePaperForMe as your guide in the world of SATpapers.

Cross-Referencing Techniques

Use cross-referencing in your SAT essay to support your analysis. Here, the reader needs to establish the unity of the parts of the text or the unity of the text and the entire literary world as it encapsulates techniques and themes. Another example is a comparison between the author's statistics and logic, pointing out how it adds to the power of their argument. Remember, regular SAT essay practice can significantly improve your writing. Besides, add more SAT essay personal examples!

Contrast with Hypotheticals

Contrasting hypotheticals with the author's arguments can be a very influential strategy in your SAT essay. This includes suggesting other scenarios or outcomes to challenge or justify the author's claims. Consider what might happen if:

  • Different choices were made;
  • different evidence was used;
  • alternative arguments were presented.

Addressing a particular topic from multiple angles demonstrates your SAT essay critical thinking skills and ability to see the situation from different perspectives, making your analysis more profound.

Contextual Connections

Start with this if you want to learn all about SAT essay writing. Linking the text to the wider social, historical, or cultural context involves making contextual connections. Consider the role of these factors on the author's reasoning or explain how these factors are relevant to today's problems. This mode helps you go deeper in your insight into the work and shows you the ability to think beyond the book. Just read a couple of SAT essay examples to get to the point!

Precise Language Identification

Highlight the specific language used by the author in this SAT essay. Give attention to lexicon, attitude, and style. Mention how the use of these elements helps make the argument persuasive. For illustration, analyze how the language can stimulate emotions, make the author more credible, or strongly support the logic. Accordingly, the description is so intricate that it can present the reader with a clear depiction of the role of language in persuasion, thus increasing the maturity of your commentary. Besides, don't forget that you can always choose academic assistance as a reliable alternative. Just say, “Write my paper!”

Critique the Effectiveness

Here is another thing you should know about SAT essay writing. Criticizing the success of the author's arguments is to evaluate how the author's methods match up with the desired results. Explain whether the facts furnished are impressive, the logic is flawless, or the persuasive elements engage the audience. Think of any shortcomings in the argument and propose how they could be eliminated or an effort could have been made to address them. This critical assessment demonstrates your analysis skills and shows you can participate in-depth in the material.

End with a Forward-Thinking Conclusion

In the last paragraph, you can explore how the critical analysis can be extended to a futuristic perspective. The author's thesis encourages us to speculate on the consequences for the future or perhaps the applicability to other issues. This way of putting things not only allows you to consolidate your analysis but also allows you to show your ability to be holistic and contextual. An engaging conclusion demonstrating you can reason, a highly respected skill in an academic setting, will be a big plus. May your SAT essay scoring be successful!

Good SAT Essay Ideas to Start From

Be prepared for all youngsters to receive a common topic for the SAT exam. Sometimes, this rule may be broken, but you should be prepared for any scenario. Here are the SAT essay prompts you should usually expect:

  • Example 1: Analyze Jimmy Carter's techniques to convince his audience of the need to preserve the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from industrial development.
  • Example 2: Discuss how Martin Luther King Jr. crafts his argument to persuade listeners that America's participation in the Vietnam War is unjustified.
  • Example 3: Analyze how Eliana Dockterman constructs her argument to advocate for the advantages of early exposure to technology for children.

Similar SAT essay prompts can be found in documents posted on the servers of many colleges. Typically, educational institutions provide all future students access to materials that help them understand the principles of writing SAT essays.

SAT Essay Don'ts: Things to Avoid

To ensure your analysis is top-notch, there are some things to watch out for when writing your SAT essay. At first glance, they may seem insignificant, but any mistake can negatively affect the final result and reduce the chances of successful admission. Do you want to learn how to write an SAT essay? Here are the nuances that you should avoid.

Don't Restate the Prompt

Do you want to know how to write an SAT essay? Do not restate the prompt! It is a usual error to copy the prompt instead of developing a personal analysis in the SAT essay. In your introduction, both the author's opinion and your thesis statement should be stated, for the thesis should contain a more complex idea on the text. Your thesis statement should not simply rephrase the SAT essay prompt but rather introduce your point of view and how you will analyze the author's work techniques. This will build a base for your essay and show evidence of your critical thinking ability.

Don't Repeat Yourself

Repetition may weaken your essay by making it seem as if you only have a little background of the text. Don't rely on just one SAT essay example for each point or repeatedly tell the reader the same thing. Unlike the first paragraph, each paragraph should provide something new regarding the author's techniques or add a unique slant. This method indicates your in-depth study, which evokes the reader's attention, thus signifying your profound intellect and creativity.

Don't Use Phrases Like "I Think," "I Believe"

Being objective and analytical is key to the SAT essay. Sentences that use "I think" or "I believe" are subjective and do not present a logical idea. The primary aim is to provide the SAT essay evidence from the passages and assess whether it supports the author's claims. This approach to writing reinforces your credibility and the formality of writing that a typical academic essay demands. Check relevant SAT essay examples to know how to compose your paper correctly.

Don't Push Your Sentence Structure

Here is how to write an SAT essay like a pro. It is not enough to prove your ability to build a sophisticated sentence. If you over-complicate your sentence structure, then clarity will be lost. Avoid using extremely long and complex sentences that might confuse the reader or make your points controversial. Strive to achieve a natural and easy flow where your sentence structure strengthens the readability and continuity of your essay. Ideal communication should be considered; thus, use structures that convey what you have analyzed clearly and straightforwardly, which will, in turn, put your thoughts and evidence under the spotlight.


  • How long should an SAT essay be?

    This paper is typically about 650-750 words long. This option may vary slightly depending on the college you choose.

  • Can I use personal experiences in the SAT essay?

    Not really. Avoid using personal experiences in the SAT essay. Instead, focus on analyzing the techniques used by the author of the given passage.

  • What is the best way to structure an SAT essay?

    Create an SAT essay introduction with a clear thesis statement, a couple of body paragraphs, and a concluding part summarizing the findings.

  • How important is handwriting in the SAT essay?

    Well, your SAT essay handwriting is not the most critical factor. Still, it can affect the final SAT essay score. If certain words or sentences are written illegibly, this will affect graders' ability to understand your argument.

  • Are there specific examples to use in the SAT essay?

    Yes. You should use specific SAT essay examples directly from the passage provided.

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