Please grade this SAT II Writing essay





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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: May 2003 Archive: Please grade this SAT II Writing essay
By Lateralus (Lateralus) on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 12:33 am: Edit

The topic is "the most lasting social changes are those that result from gradual improvements rather than from violent upheaval"

What would this essay earn on the SAT II Writing Test?

-------Violence is the lowest level of communication. It is for this reason that any permanent change can seldom be the result of violence. Instead, most lasting social reforms and changes are the result of a tedious effort for gradual change. Examples from history, literature, and current events can support the view that permanent change must be won through persistent efforts for improvement.
-------In history, the former Soviet Union is a good example of the failure of the Marxist theory of violent upheaval to conduct social change. Although the Bolshevik Revolution in the 1920's seemed to be a success, it is apparant today that this revolution was a failure. This is because power won by violence is usually a dictatorial power; a power that is essentially corrupt. The corruption can be seen in the eventual dissentigration of the Societ Union in the early 1990's. The citizens refused to be suppressed any longer by the corrupt government, and along with international aide, caused the collapse of the ill-won regime.
------In Literature, Shakespeare tells of the rise of an immoral general in Macbeth. Macbeth was a ruthless killer that stopped at nothing to gain power. After winning the king's honor, he murders him as well, usurping the throne. He proceeds to murder all that challenge him, until his arch-rival murders him. This story shows the transient nature of power won through violence.
-------Today, violence continues to occur in the Middle East. However, it is clear that this violence is going nowhere. In order to achieve a lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, diplomacy must be observed. Unfortunately, until this is realized, violence will continue.
------From these examples, one can see the failure of violence to secure permanent social change.

this essay was 2 pages long.

thanks for reading!

By Eurostar (Eurostar) on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 01:51 am: Edit

If you plan to get a 12, you need a more catchy and insightful conclusion.

By Lateralus (Lateralus) on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 03:55 am: Edit

alright, i just ran out of time, should i have neglected my body paragraphs more to write a better conclusion?

By Diconoclastx (Diconoclastx) on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 02:47 pm: Edit

Your thesis is good, but your arguments have flaws in them.

Your USSR paragraph makes too many generalizations and assumptions, and thus your conclusions are shaky. You stated no reason why the revolution was a failure.

Your 3rd paragraph on the Palestine/Israel situation is all opinion with no support.

I would give this a 4 or 5 out of 12.

By Ndhawk (Ndhawk) on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 03:32 pm: Edit

Note to diconoclastx, you mean a 4 or 5 out of 6, two different readers will grade your score out of 6 to give you a total out of 12. I would agree that it would probably be a 4 or 5 out of 6. With that conclusion, my guess a 4, but you might get luckyand get a 5 from one reader, giving you a total of an 8 or 9 out of 12.

By Lateralus (Lateralus) on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 07:17 pm: Edit

hm, i see, i know my arguments are very flawed, i didnt spend too much time thinking about them; but i have heard that they really dont even look at body paragraphs/support within them, and if you have the correct structure and thesis / topic sentences etc., you will be okay; how accurate is this?

By Nifty101 (Nifty101) on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 09:52 pm: Edit

I've heard that too--don't they just read it for the overall impression, and not for flawed arguments? After all, they spend about 1 minute on each essay & don't have that much time to scrutinize them.

By Ibd (Ibd) on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 11:43 pm: Edit

I would give this essay a 6/12
There seems to be a lack of specifics. Everything is generalized even though you have examples. Also, you basically restated the question. YOu should have a more complex thesis in order to get something inthe upper ranges

By Lateralus (Lateralus) on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 01:19 am: Edit

ok thanks for the good comments guys, anything i should do specifically before the test on May 3rd? should i practice writing more essays or would that not really help me

By Jason817 (Jason817) on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 02:08 am: Edit

writing will help only if you know what you did wrong, have a max-score essay as an example, etc. If you mindlessly write essay after essay without checking them over, then you wont improve.

By Nocalguy (Nocalguy) on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 04:02 pm: Edit

Honestly, how eloquent your essay is doesn't matter. THe first time I took SAT II Writing, I wrote what I thought was a great essay and only got 9/12. The second time I wrote about a made-up story about how I met a homeless man at a park (not exactly "deep") The only difference was that I proofread the essay and discovered that I made several stupid grammar mistakes (like leaving out common words, etc.). I got 11/12 the second time. I'd say to try to write as gramatically correct as possible.

By Chen (Chen) on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 06:18 pm: Edit

Most important is content. Who cares about ill-won or big words. Though, this essay didn't go overboard on it. It's all good and stuff, but remember that it takes time away from developing andd supporting your reason with multiple examples. That's what they're looking for: rational reasons and clear support.

By Lateralus (Lateralus) on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 08:12 pm: Edit

thanks for all the tips guys. i still find writing an entire essay that is complete with structure, insight, 2 pages length, and support and examples in 20 minutes impossible. if there was one thing to cut back on out of all of those, which would it be?

By Lateralus (Lateralus) on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 12:18 am: Edit

How long do you guys spend on planning an essay?

By Mattymatt (Mattymatt) on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 02:32 pm: Edit

write a good intro and conclusion.. i suspect that is all they really read. Think about how many essays they have to grade in the time alloted. Intro and conclusion will pretty much sum up the rest of the essay and give are adaquate enough in determining your writing capabilities.

By Sike (Sike) on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 08:40 pm: Edit

my advice: began with a made up quote supporting your thesis, ie: "The war chieftans of each sucessive visigoth tribe would always recite an oath of honor and courage to dedicate himself to the cause..." blah blah blah... They won't care about your quote unless it is obvious BS. Make it obscure so they wouldn't know. Its not graded on truth, only on writing proficiency. Refer back to it in the conclusion to empahsize the thesis.

By Lateralus (Lateralus) on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 09:41 pm: Edit

ahh this is Very interesting; is this the sort of stuff they teach you in like Princeton Review SAT II classes, etc.? does anyone else have some useful strategies? thanks!

By Ibd (Ibd) on Friday, May 02, 2003 - 10:59 pm: Edit

Here is one useful strategy that I used to get a perfect on the essay part of SAT IIs: Write a really thoughtful and interesting introduction. The reader will spend no more than 2 minutes reading your essay anyways, so good first impressions are a must. I wrote a witty dialogue.

By Tenniscassieo (Tenniscassieo) on Friday, May 02, 2003 - 11:49 pm: Edit

wait a minute.. are you supposed to include all the topics...current events, history, literature.. in your thesis.. or are you just supposed to pick one and seperate that into 3 more specific topics?

By Sharky221 (Sharky221) on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 01:24 am: Edit

you need a better conclusion but i thought it was quite well overall.

By Dubiastic (Dubiastic) on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 04:55 pm: Edit

I'd give it an 11.

-800 Student

By Lateralus (Lateralus) on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 04:58 pm: Edit

dubiastic, thanks for the grade, this was one of my practice ones, could you take a look at my real one under the post "5/3 Writing SAT II" ?

By Sike (Sike) on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 05:34 pm: Edit

I am really not sure how many of you critics have acutally taken the Writing. If you have you will agree, 20 minutes is not much time to write an essay, seeing as you recieve the question on location. Details can only add to the overall charm of the essay, and are not really deciding factors. Really, in the one-minute scan, the reader will remember: your first line (make this good!), your phrasing of the question to be addressed (thesis), the topics and sensibility of the bodies, and your last few lines (probably conclusion). It doesn't have to be Tolstoy; in other words, DO NOT make it complex--don't use a "complex thesis" (whoever said that is WRONG). Make it clear, concise, and make good use of sentence structure and diction; remember, this is onyl expected to be a "no-frills", 20 min. essay.

PS: A tip: it can be useful to fabricate a quote for your first line or some statistics in order to make your essay sound intelligent. As long as they are within reason, they porbably won't know--this isn't graded on accuracy.

--Just what I know, good luck


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