October 2011 - SAT Essay Prompts

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

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

Prompt 1

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

"Discipline" is a negative word for many people because it is associated with rigorous training, strict rules, and strong self-control. But we fail to realize that freedom comes only through discipline. Discipline compels us to sacrifice immediate rewards and pleasures, but it also gives our lives structure and prevents us from making costly mistakes. It keeps us from being subject to our impulses and weaknesses and thus frees us to achieve our true goals.

Assignment: Do people need discipline to achieve freedom? 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.

We are often encouraged to stop worrying about making mistakes and advised not to dwell on those we have already made. But without analyzing mistakes—decisions and actions that made a project fail, for instance—how can anyone be successful? Besides, there are some well-known mistakes others have made that seem worth studying carefully. Perhaps these mistakes could have been prevented if those responsible had been more concerned about making mistakes in the first place.www.liuxue.la

Assignment: Do people have to pay attention to mistakes in order to make progress? 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.

The making of illusions—misleading images or ideas that appear to be authentic or true—has become the primary business of our society. Included in this category are not only the false promises made by advertisers and politicians but all of the activities which supposedly inform, comfort, and improve us, such as the work of our best writers and our most influential leaders. These promises and activities only encourage people to have unrealistic expectations and to ignore facts.

Adapted from Daniel J. Boorstin, The Image

Assignment: Are people overly influenced by unrealistic claims and misleading images? 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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