New SAT Essay Topic 2

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The essay gives you an opportunity to show how effectively you can read and comprehend a passage and write an essay analyzing the passage. In your essay you should demonstrate that you have read the passage carefully, present a clear and logical analysis, and use language precisely.

Your essay must be written on the lines provided in your answer sheet booklet; except for the planning page of the answer booklet, you will receive no other paper on which to write. You will have enough space if you write on every line, avoid wide margins, and keep your handwriting to a reasonable size. Remember that people who are not familiar with your handwriting will read what you write. Try to write in print so that what you are writing is legible to those readers.

You have 50 minutes to read the passage and write an essay in response to the prompt provided inside this booklet.


- Do not write your essay in this booklet. Only what you write on the lined pages of your answer booklet will be evaluated.

- An off-topic essay will not be evaluated.

As you read the passage below, consider how the author uses

- evidence, such as facts or examples, to support claims.

- reasoning to develop ideas and to connect claims and evidence.

- stylistic or persuasive elements, such as word choice or appeals to emotion, to add power to the ideas expressed.

"Robert Redford: Protect Our Wild Horses" by Robert Redford, published in USA Today, November 3, 2014.

1. Horses and I have had a shared existence, personal and professional, for as long as I can remember. And while I carry a strong passion for all horses, my tenacious support for the preservation of habitat for wildlife and the American mustangs derives from their symbolic representation of our national heritage and freedom.

2. Any infringement on their legally protected right to live freely is an assault on America's principles. The varied and subjective interpretation of laws intended to protect these animals on our public lands, continues to leave wild horses under attack.

3. Recent "stand-offs" between ranchers and the federal government are reminiscent of old westerns. But this American tragedy does not have a hero riding in to save the day, and wild horses have become the victim in the controversies over our public land resources.

4. In 1971, as a result of concern for America's dwindling wild horse populations, the US Congress passed the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act. The act mandated that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), protect free roaming wild horses and burros, under a multiple use management policy, on designated areas of our public lands.

5. The BLM manages 245 million acres of our public lands, with livestock grazing permits on 155 million acres. Wild horses are designated to share a mere 26.9 million acres. That means only 17 percent of BLM-managed public land is made available to wild horses. Wild horse populations vary between 32,000 and 50,000, while livestock grazing allocations accommodate numbers in the millions. Yes, in the millions.

6. Advocates are only asking that the horses be treated fairly. Wild horses are consistently targeted as the primary cause of negative impact to grazing lands resulting from decades of propaganda that ignores math, science and solutions that can be implemented today.

7. Ranchers hold nearly 18,000 grazing lease permits on BLM land alone. Grazing costs on BLM land go for $1.35 per cow and calf pair, well below the market rate of $16. This price disparity derived from BLM's current permit policy establishes an uneven playing field on grazing economies. Understandably, ranchers have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

8. Although less than 3 percent of America's beef is produced on federal land, this subsidized grazing program costs the taxpayer more than $123 million dollars a year, and more than $500 million when indirect costs are accounted for.

9. The long-term economic success of public lands lies in maintaining a bio-diverse ecosystem within its boundaries. However, understanding the need for a preservation balance in thriving agricultural communities often becomes sidelined.

10. The BLM needs to comply with its original "multiple use" principle in managing wild horses and burros. In light of the inequitable share of livestock on BLM land, the ongoing persecution of wild horses and those that value them is unacceptable and threatens the very spirit of the American West. I urge Congress to stand up for much needed reform of the BLM's wild horse and burro program and livestock grazing on federal lands.

11. Now is not the time to repudiate environmental balance, but rather it is the time for all of us to work together—politician, advocate, rancher, scientist, and citizen. Only by doing this will the United States move forward and be a leader in environmental issues and ensure sustainability to our delicate ecosystem.

Write an essay in which you explain how Robert Redford builds an argument to convince Congress to do more to protect wild horses. In your essay, analyze how Redford uses one or more of the features listed above (or features of your own choice) to strengthen the logic and persuasiveness of his argument. Be sure that your analysis focuses on the most relevant aspects of the passage.

Your essay should not explain whether you agree with Redford's claims, but rather explain how the author builds an argument to persuade his audience.

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