New SAT Essay Template

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Your introduction needs to do three things:

1. Describe the text. This is where you’ll bring in the SOAPS points. This can be done in one sentence.

2. Paraphrase the argument. This is where you’ll show your grader that you understand the text by concisely summing up the main points and the overall message of the text. The Reading score comes from your demonstration of comprehension of the text.

3. Introduce the examples you will be discussing in the body paragraphs. You will establish a framework in your introduction that you should then follow for the rest of the essay.

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs will focus on different appeals or style elements the author uses to effectively communicate the argument. Each body paragraph will need to do the following:

1. Name and explain the rhetorical device or appeal.

- Where is it in the text?

- Use short, relevant quotes to show you understand the text and the rhetorical device, but do not rely on long excerpts from the passage. In order to get a high score, you need to use your words to explain what’s going on.

2. Identify the effects of the author’s rhetorical choices.

- Explain the connection between the rhetorical device/appeal and the text, and your argument in general. Do not simply quote chunks of text and then briefly paraphrase. Your goal is to answer the question, “How does this contribute to the author’s argument?”

- For example, do not simply say, “This is an example of imagery.” Explain why the imagery is effective. Perhaps the author’s descriptions of the beautiful sunset effectively draw in the reader, creating an emotional connection between the author and her audience. This connection may make the audience more sympathetic to the author’s subsequent points because there is an emotional connection now.

- Explaining how the device or appeal works is how you show your grader your ability to analyze the text.


1. Restate the goal of the text and briefly paraphrase the elements you discussed in your essay.

2. Be concise and accurate.

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