SAT Essay Help

A plethora of tips designed to amplify your SAT Essay score

Overall Advice on Your Essay




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Proofread if you have time.

Category: Overall Advice

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Handwriting, spelling and accurate examples leave positive or negative impressions.

Category: Overall Advice

Don't skip lines between paragraphs; only indent for a new paragraph.

Category: Overall Advice


Explicitly mention the text's central idea.

Category: Reading

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Explicitly mention the text's most important details.

Explain how each detail relates to the central idea.

Category: Reading

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Avoid inaccurate interpretations of the text.

Category: Reading

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Make use of direct quotations of the text, paraphrases, or both.

Quotes/Paraphrases MUST be relevant!

Category: Reading

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Answer the prompt completely and directly.

Do not simply summarize the text.

Category: Analysis

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Explicitly mention author's reasoning and stylistic/rhetorical tools.

Category: Analysis

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Use evidence from the text that proves your thesis.

Properly introduce and analyze all quotations/paraphrases.

Category: Analysis

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Avoid guessing readers' emotions.

Category: Analysis

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Tie back to the thesis at the end of each body paragraph.

Category: Analysis

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Aim for 2.5 pages (including Intro and Conclusion) of detailed analysis.

Category: Analysis


State your thesis clearly and precisely in your intro.

Category: Writing

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Use effective transitions between paragraphs and within body paragraphs.

above all, furthermore, therefore, as a result, etc.

Category: Writing

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Intro and Conclusion should grab your reader and be approximately 3-4 sentences.

Category: Writing

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Use Standard English grammar.

Category: Writing

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Introduce each body paragraph with a strong topic sentence.

Category: Writing

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Use present tense when analyzing a text.

Category: Writing

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Vary your sentence structure and avoid being too casual.

Spell out words: 'and' 'with' or 'could not' vs. '&' 'w/' or 'couldn't'

Category: Writing

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Avoid awkward/wordy sentences.

Category: Writing

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Use appropriate collegebound vocabulary.

Category: Writing

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