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SAT Essay Topics
Our essay topics have been closely modeled on those in the SAT. You can also do the essays given in the first section of each of the tests in the Official Study Guide .
Each of the topics consists of a prompt and an assignment.
“That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only which gives everything its value.”
Do we value only what we struggle for? Plan your response, and then write an essay to explain your views on this issue. Be sure to support your position with specific points and examples. (You may use personal examples or examples from your reading, observations, or, knowledge of subjects such as history, literature, science.)
If we are afraid to reveal our lack of knowledge we will not be able to learn. In order to make progress we must admit where we are now. Such an admission of ignorance is not easy. As Thoreau says, �How can we remember our ignorance which our growth requires, when we are using our knowledge all the time?�
Does the present system of education encourage us to admit our lack of knowledge, or is there too much pressure to demonstrate the acquisition of knowledge? Plan your response, and then write an essay…
�A little inaccuracy saves a world of explanation.�
Is it always essential to tell the truth, or are there circumstances in which it is better to lie? Plan your response, and then write an essay…
Many societies believe that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human right. But it is also true that attainment of happiness remains elusive. Perhaps Bertrand Russell had it right when he said, �To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.�
What gives us more pleasure and satisfaction: the pursuit of our desires or the attainment of them? Plan your response, and then write an essay…
�The price of greatness is responsibility.�
Do we expect too much from our public figures? Plan your response, and then write an essay…
�A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.�
Do we learn more from finding out that we have made mistakes or from our successful actions? Plan your response, and then write an essay…
�What man calls civilization always results in deserts. Man is never on the square � he uses up the fat and greenery of the earth. Each generation wastes a little more of the future with greed and lust for riches.�
With our modern awareness of ecology are we likely to make sufficient progress in conservation, or are we still in danger of damaging the earth beyond repair? Plan your response, and then write an essay…
A man who waits to believe in action before acting is anything you like, but he is not a man of action. It is as if a tennis player before returning the ball stopped to think about his views of the physical and mental advantages of tennis. You must act as you breathe.
Is it true that acting quickly and instinctively is the best response to a crisis? Or are there times when an urgent situation requires a more careful consideration and a slower response? Plan your response, and then write an essay…
There is usually a kernel of truth in the words Oscar Wilde puts in the mouth of his most outrageous characters � they wouldn�t be funny otherwise. One such gem that is worth pondering is: The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.
Is it true that when we most need advice we are least willing to listen to it? Or is good advice always welcome? Plan your response, and then write an essay…
�Independence? That�s middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.� Bernard Shaw expected to provoke controversy with these words, but I would agree with him that these days there is too much emphasis on independence. While it is certainly true that excessive dependence on others is not a sign of maturity, total independence of others is neither attainable nor desirable: we need to be mature, and unselfish enough to recognize our interdependence.
Do we put too much emphasis on self-reliance and independence, and are we afraid of admitting that we need other people in our lives? Plan your response, and then write an essay…
Choose an option below to learn about our essay formats. You will also find an essay evaluation grid, a list of SAT essay topics for you to practice on and two sample essays.
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Topic Selection Topic Analysis Brainstorming Key Ideas Literature Research Statement Formulation Developing Outline Writing Drafts Editing and Proofreading
The first and the most important step in writing an essay is topic analysis and defining those aspects that should be covered in the future essay and in what way the outline must be developed. The task seems very difficult. However, if you consider any topic carefully, you will see that it usually has clear clues of what you should write and how you should do it.
So, in order to retrieve all the information from your topic, follow the action plan below:
- Read the topic carefully.
- Underline the key words.
- Explain the topic in your own words, but using the underlined keywords as well, to yourself.
- Try to answer the question “What should I write? How should I write it?”
- If you cannot answer, you might try to choose other keywords.
Study the following essay topic:
What type of company would you most like to see built in your home town or city. Give reasons to support your response.
Now consider the underlined keywords. Reformulate them in your own way, for instance:
I must write about the company I would be happy to see in my city and explain the reasons.
Now create an outline:
Brief outline of the city, mentioning the possible sphere for a company.
- First supporting paragraph.
Explain why this company is good for the city.
- Second supporting paragraph.
Explain how you personally can benefit from this company.
- Concluding paragraph.
Brief summary of what has been said and a clear opinion formulation.
Any topic can be analyzed in the similar way. So, try not to be nervous, focus on the topic and decode it. This will give you a clue for the next stage .