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We're about to dive deep into the details of that least beloved* of SAT sections, the SAT essay.
The next step beyond being factually accurate about the passage is showing that you understand the central ideas of the text and how details of the passage relate back to this central idea. In order to be able to explain why the author is persuasive, you need to be able to explain the structure of the argument.
And you can’t deconstruct the author's argument if you don’t understand the central idea of the passage and how the details relate to it.
The response is free of errors of fact or interpretation with regard to the text.
The response makes skillful use of textual evidence (quotations, paraphrases, or both), demonstrating a complete understanding of the source text.
The biggest change to the SAT essay (and the thing that really distinguishes it from the ACT essay) is that you are required to read and analyze a text, then write about your analysis of the author's argument in your essay.
Your "Reading" grade on the SAT essay reflects how well you were able to demonstrate your understanding of the text and the author's argument in your essay.The response is free of substantive errors of fact and interpretation with regard to the text.The response makes appropriate use of textual evidence (quotations, paraphrases, or both), demonstrating an understanding of the source text.Here's an example of a statement about our fictional "hot dogs are sandwiches" passage that shows understanding of the central idea of the passage: Hodgman’s third primary defense of why hot dogs are not sandwiches is that a hot dog is not a subset of any other type of food.He uses the analogy of asking the question “is cereal milk a broth, sauce, or gravy?For the purpose of going deeper into just what the SAT is looking for in your essay, I've then broken down each category further (with examples).The information in all three charts is taken from the College Board site.The response may contain numerous errors of fact and/or interpretation with regard to the text.The response makes little or no use of textual evidence (quotations, paraphrases, or both), demonstrating little or no understanding of the source text.The paraphrase contradicts the passage, and so would negatively affect your reading score.Now let's look at an accurate paraphrasing of the quotation: The author builds his argument by discussing how, since hot-dogs are never served cut in half, they are therefore different from sandwiches.