SAT Essay Sample 2 from Barron

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SAT Essay Sample 2 from Barron's Writing Workbook for the New SAT


Think carefully about the issue presented in the following statement:

Fatalists believe that we must accept things as they are, that nothing can be done to change the world for the better. Martin Luther King had such people in mind when he remarked, “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.” Maya Angelou added,“If you don’t like omething, change it.” And Phyllis Diller, putting it still another way, said, “Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.”


The first step in making things better is to recognize that a problem exists. Please plan and write an essay in which you identify a school, local, national, or world condition or flaw that, in your opinion, needs to be corrected, and explain why you chose it.

Max’s Essay - Score of 6

A trend these days is to speak up about the world’s mistreatment of the environment. I am not just a tree hugger by saying that without improvement in environmental conditions, my generation and the future generations will suffer in ways too awful to even imagine. At the end of the day you can say the survival of mankind is “hanging in the balance.”

Many countries exploit the Earth’s resources. In some countries, millions of acres of rainforest are being destroyed every year to make room for farmland or to cut lumber to export. Not only does this destroy the habitats of many animals, but kills species of trees and plants that may someday be found to cure cancer, AIDS, MS, or other diseases. In addition, rainforests produce the majority of the oxygen that we need to live. The bottom line is that by clear-cutting rainforests, we are beginning to suffocate ourselves to death.

Other nations exploit the oceans. By dumping garbage, sewage and other hazardous waste into the oceans, they pollute the water. Eventually, the garbage washes back on shore, making the beaches filthy and swimming dangerous. The pollutants also kill and taint the fish in the ocean with toxic materials. Then we end up eating these fish, and the toxins enter our bodies. Many people I know have given up eating tuna fish for the reason they don’t want to put poisonous mercury into their bodies.

Another way the enviroment is abused is the treatment of the atmosphere. Until the famous Kyoto Treaty, most countries had no laws controlling the amount of harmful gases released by cars and trucks that causes global warming. Some countries still don’t have such laws, and under the Bush administration,the United States withdrew from the Kyoto agreements. I think that governments around the world, including the US of A needs to force the corporations to reduce their burning of fossil fuels in order for less smoke to mix with clouds to form acid rain and to stop the trend to global warming.

These are just a few ways which the world abuses the environment. When all is said and done, all people must do their part to leave the world a better place for their children and grandchildren.

SAT Essay Review

The first reader commented: “Max’s essay is very well focused, admirably organized, and clearly presented. He develops examples of environmental issues fully and appropriately. While not always gracefully expressed, Max’s presentation is consistently informative and detailed. It reveals a high level of proficiency and solid control of the essay-writing process.”

Score: 6


The second reader commented: “Although this conventional five-paragraph ‘formula’ essay is competently written, it is not terribly inspired. The writer is well-informed on the subject, but he rarely transcends the environmental movement’s customary talking points. Indeed, the impact of the essay is considerably diluted by the writer’s reliance on clichés such as ‘hanging in the balance,’ ‘at the end of the day,’ ‘the bottom line,’ and others. Nevertheless, the essay is mostly error-free, and its organization and varied sentence structure demon strate reasonably consistent mastery of the art of writing.”

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