Random Sat Essay Prompt
Isn’t the point of the essay that you’re supposed to be using information from the passage in your answer, which you don’t know about ahead of time? While the specifics of each example will obviously change, depending on the passage, the types of examples you choose to discuss (and the way you explain each example builds the author’s argument) can be defined, and thus prepared for, ahead of time.
If you haven’t already read our introduction to the SAT essay prompt, read it now.
These two types of evidence are Facts and Statistics and Anecdotes.
Employing statistics and facts to bolster one's argument is one of the most unassailable methods authors can use to build an argument.
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Another form of evidence that is often used as an alternative to actual facts or statistics is the anecdote.
People tend to put more faith in experiences if they can personally connect with the experiences (even though that doesn't actually affect how likely or not a statement is to be true).
In the example above, rather than discussing the statistics that support the creation of wildlife refuges, Jimmy Carter instead uses an anecdote about experiencing the wonder of nature to illustrate the same point—probably more effectively.
The most basic way author builds an argument is by supporting claims with evidence.
There are many different kinds of evidence author might use to support her/his point, but I'm just going to discuss the two big ones I've seen in various official SAT Essay prompts.