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Most prompted essays for the SAT or an advanced placement writing class can be written using a similar basic structure. An example of an introduction for a persuasive prompted essay might be:

  • Introduction
    • main idea of question suggests that what question means to you
    • In other words rephrase part of the question
    • state your opinion from a generalized point of view(without using "I")
    • Throughout society and in life, there is evidence to support my viewpoint is pervasive

Assuming these steps are followed properly (with one sentence or so per bullet), would the introduction be well developed? Is there a similar structure for the rest of the essay?

(I got the idea from this site.)

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Can you clarify this into a question? "Does this work" is rather vague. Does it serve what purpose? What kind of an essay are you talking about? Academic? Journalistic? Creative? – justkt Nov 16 '11 at 18:31
I edited my question. – wizlog Nov 16 '11 at 18:33
"A high score with minimal effort"? In other words, you want us to tell you how to game the system? Sorry, dear. The best way to get a high score on an essay test is to write essays. Practice repeatedly. Your skills should actually improve, and the score will then reflect your skill, not how well you can con the examiner. – Lauren Ipsum Nov 16 '11 at 18:54
But don't all good essays basically follow this format? – wizlog Nov 16 '11 at 18:56
Ah, but that's not what you asked. You want "a formula that can be used to achieve a high score with minimal effort." And your title, even before I cleaned it up for SEO, was "Easy essay writing strategy?" You aren't asking how to write something good, or persuasive; you are asking how to write something which gives you a high score. "Quality" and "score" are not synonyms. – Lauren Ipsum Nov 16 '11 at 19:41
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The best way to ensure that you will do well on an essay, regardless of the type, is to be well read on the subject. the more you know about the topic or the stronger you feel about it, the easier it will be to write it. The trick is figuring out how to pull that off in a situation such as the SAT where you have no idea what the topic is going to be.

In those instances, it looks like you already have a solid concept of the structure that needs to be applied to the essay. Below is a sample outline, which you have already basically provided. As long as you provide each of these key components, you should do well on the essay.


  • Clearly identify the topic
  • Identify your position on the topic (if applicable)


  • Provide basic information about the topic
  • Give clear examples to support your position
  • Conside providing contrasting ideas about the topic


  • Restate the topic
  • Restate key points supporting your position
share|improve this answer
solid concept of the structure... (+1)--what I was really looking to find out. – wizlog Nov 16 '11 at 22:20
@wizlog - based on this comment I edited the question to be more broadly applicable to other students. – justkt Nov 17 '11 at 13:32

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