SAT Essay Sample 4 from Barron's

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SAT Essay Sample 4 from Barron's Writing Workbook for the New SAT

Think carefully about the following passage and the assignment below.

SAT Essay Prompt

J.K. Rawlings maintains that “The most important things in friendship are tolerance and loyalty.” Are tolerance and loyalty the most important things in a friendship?

Assignment: Plan and write and essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. If you think other qualities are more important than tolerance and loyalty, be sure explain. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your readings, experiences or observations.

Sheena's Essay - Score of 6

By saying that tolerance and loyalty are the most important things in friendship, J.K.Rawlings captures the key to every relationship. A friend is someone who is tolerant and loyal and someone who deserves the same qualities in return.

It is sometimes difficult, in this world, to find someone tolerable who can tolerate you in return. In my own experience, I was fortunate enough to find a person like this. She tolerated my annoying habits, and I tolerated hers. In time I grew to love her quirks and adore the little things that once drove me crazy. I believe that if one is able to tolerate something for a long enough period of time, she will grow to understand it, accept it and maybe even adore it.

Toleration isn’t enough, however, to make a true friendship last. One must be loyal as well. In high school, particularly, people gossip and spread rumors. People will ditch a friend for a relationship. People often mistreat those who love them the most. When a friend is loyal, she understands, or at least attempts to understand, that friendship is more important than a relationship, and that secrets are meant to be secret. Although the friend I mentioned before and I have grown apart, in past times we shared our innermost thoughts and desires. Out of loyalty and respect for her (for what is loyalty if not a specific form of respect?) I will not share that which she told me in earnest, and I know that she will honor me in the same way.

Although J.K. Rawlings spoke only of loyalty and tolerance, I believe there is more to a friendship. True friends share love, sympathy, strength, compassion, laughter and tears. When two people are loyal and tolerant, I believe these other things will naturally follow.

All of these things pertain not just to friendships, but to all relationships in life. Partnerships, marriages, families and teammates must all be loyal to and tolerant of one another. Anyone who has contact with other human beings must exhibit these two traits if they wish to be successful.

In conclusion, I believe that J. K. Rawlings put it perfectly when she said that friendships depend on loyalty and tolerance. When you have that, everything else will follow.

SAT Essay Comments

With the exception of a few pronoun agreement errors, this is an outstanding essay. It would be likely to earn a six from the SAT essay readers. If you review the requirements of a six on the scoring guide, you will find that this response fulfills the requirements. Remember, each score on the Scoring Guide will have a range of responses that receive the same score. There is not just one type of six or one type of five essay, four essay, and so on, but many papers can all garner the same score.

This student stays focused on the prompt. She not only addresses both characteristics—tolerance and loyalty—but she also goes beyond these traits to add some others that she feels are crucial in a friendship. As she says, with loyalty and tolerance, the others will naturally follow.

The personal anecdote is most appropriate in a response to a prompt such as this one. Do not hesitate to use personal examples when applicable. Remember, even if in real life the anecdote doesn’t quite fit the needs of the prompt, you can adjust it a bit so that it is more focused and more useful as support for your statements.

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