Disc 4: The Essay

The Essay SAT

Disc 4: focuses on improving your overall writing ability, and the essay portion of the new SAT.


Disc 4 focuses on how you can improve your overall writing ability, and how you can bring these abilities to bear on the essay portion of the new SAT. The basic format of an expository writing essay (typically, one in which a point is argued) is studied and explained; following that, one dozen sample essay topics are examined, and an addtional one dozen model essays are presented and analyzed. Many students have claimed that the writing skills they have picked up from Disc 4 have proved invaluable in all situations where good expository writing skills are necessary.

Contents [Index numbers, found in the lower right-hand corner of each panel both on-screen and in the workbook, are formatted Disc#-Panel#. The first number refers to the disc the lesson is on, and the second number indicates the starting panel.]

  • Reading Strategies: 3-2; This lesson focuses on techniques you can use to make the Critical Reading sections on the SAT easier, along with ideas about how you can increase your general reading ability.
  • Essay Prep: 4-2; How can you prepare examples in advance? How can you build your basic writing skills? Learn how here.
  • Basic Pointers: 4-4; The most basic structure of the essay is discussed, along with tips on how to write more effectively and get higher scores on your essays.
  • Basic Pointers: 4-4; The most basic structure of the essay is discussed, along with tips on how to write more effectively and get higher scores on your essays.
  • Before You Write: 4-7; Analyzing and understanding the essay topic, planning your essay, choosing good examples, and integrating them effectively into your essay are all examined.
  • Essay Structure: 4-10; A more detailed analysis of the overall structure of the essay. This lesson breaks the essay down into its parts, with emphasis on the first and last paragraphs, and their relationship to one another.
  • Example Opening Paragraphs: 4-12; Three example opening paragraphs are analyzed, with special emphasis placed on why these particular opening paragraphs are effective.
  • Example Topics #1: 4-16; A variety of different possible essay topics are analyzed.
  • Example Topics #2: 4-17; A variety of different possible essay topics are analyzed.
  • Example Topics #3: 4-18; A variety of different possible essay topics are analyzed.
  • Example Essays #1: 4-19; Topic: “Is the principle of majority rule a bad idea?” Mike’s actual essay from the March 2005 SAT.
  • Example Essays #2: 4-28; Topics: “Society places too much emphasis on…” and “A hero is defined as a person who changes people’s lives for the better; one hero I admire is…”
  • Example Essays #3: 4-37; Topics: “I regret that I have only one life to give for my country,” “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.”
  • Example Essays #4: 4-46; Topics: “Those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it,” “If there is one true thing I have learned in the world, it is…”
  • Example Essays #5: 4-55; Topics: “Those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it,” and “If we have seen great distances or achieved great things, it is only because we have stood on the shoulders of giants.”
  • Example Essays #6: 4-64; Topics: “If I could point the finger of blame at anything in society, I would point it at…” and “Should public school students have to wear school uniforms?”

← Disc 3: Critical Reading

Disc 5: Identifying Sentence Errors →

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