November 2010 - SAT Essay Prompts

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November 2010 – SAT Essay Prompt

If you took the November 2010  SAT, 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.

We are very individually oriented. We see everything in terms of personal independence, personal pleasure, personal fulfillment. "Do your own thing," we say. The idea that people can actually do things for someone or something else—a community, a school, or any other group—is lost. It is important to realize, however, that all people are interconnected. We cannot survive without each other. Adapted from Willard Gaylin in Bill Moyers, A World of Ideas

Assignment:

Do people put too much emphasis on doing things by and for themselves? 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.

Most people are so impressed by facts and objectivity that they do not appreciate the use of imagination. They worry that our imaginations get us away from reality, distort our views and perspectives, and, worst of all, are unscientific. As a result, using our imagination and other related activities such as appreciating art or music or being creative are often considered the "frosting"—the nice extras in life—rather than vital pursuits that are crucial to everyone.

Adapted from Rollo May, The Courage to Create

Assignment:

Is imagination less valuable than facts and objectivity? 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.

There is no more powerful way to initiate significant change in our communities, our society, and our lives than to start talking to others. When people discover that they share a common concern, that is when the process of change begins. Change does not start with an individual leader of a group, a nation, or an organization announcing a new plan. It begins when a group of people notices something that could, or even must, be done differently.

Adapted from Margaret J. Wheatley, "Some Friends and I Started Talking..."

Assignment:

Is a group of people more likely than an individual leader to bring about significant change? 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

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

Some people believe that making mistakes is unacceptable, that whatever is done must be done error free. However, research has found that perfectionists tend to be less successful than nonperfectionists because they spend too much time trying to be perfect. Even when they do some things wrong, nonperfectionists often achieve more of their goals than perfectionists do.

Adapted from Glenn Hirsch, "An Imperfect Look At Overcoming Perfectionism"

Assignment:

Would it be better if people were more accepting of mistakes? 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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