December 2011 - SAT Essay Prompts

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Essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in December 2011.

Below are essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in December 2011.

Prompt 1

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

The pressures to conform in a modern free society are not as drastic as they were in the past, when failure to conform meant imprisonment or worse. Such influences are, however, more dangerous because they are hard to detect. These are the pressures to live like our neighbors, to think like our community, to reshape ourselves in the image of someone else. The appeal of belonging to a group is attractive, but doesn't such conformity destroy our individuality?

Adapted from Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn By Living

Assignment: Is it always harmful for an individual to think and live as other people do? 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.www.liuxue.la

Prompt 2

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

Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." However, it is hard to believe that just a few people can make a significant difference. Given the many great challenges that the world faces, it seems impossible to change anything for the better unless one can attract a lot of people and spend a lot of money.

Assignment: Can a small group of concerned individuals have a significant impact on the world? 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.

We all know idealists—people who have goals that are noble but often impractical. We also know realists—people who limit their goals to achievements that they are likely to accomplish and who only make plans that are practical and manageable. While it is true that practical people often accomplish their individual goals, humanity as a whole has more to gain from the idealistic dreamers.

Assignment: Do idealists contribute more to the world than realists do? 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.

Experts seem to agree that people benefit from the increased number of choices available to them in modern society. For instance, if consumers can decide from among a hundred breakfast cereals or dozens of types of cell phones, they ought to be able to find the product that is best for them. But with so many choices available, people can never be sure they chose the right thing. They agonize over every choice.

Adapted from Gregg Easterbrook, The Progress Paradox

Assignment: Do people benefit more from having many choices or few choices? 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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