All You Need To Know About SAT: Part 22

Written by: Helen Donohoe


***Helen Donohoe, M.S.Ed., is a teacher of English and French in the Hamilton/Burlington area. She holds practice SAT sessions on Saturdays on an informal, drop-in basis at Cedar Springs Racquet Club where she is a member, long-time tennis hacker and aficionado.

In this section of the website we will be publishing short paragraphs on various aspects of SAT. Please leave your questions/comments here, and Helen will be happy to respond to any specific concerns from students/parents***


Strategies for essay writing – incorporating themes from literature into your essay

Once you have completed your list of works you have read (see last week’s article about identifying the main themes), choose three which you feel you know best and which you enjoyed reading. It’s best to stick to the classics, as the readers/scorers of your essay will know the classics too. Remember too, that the readers of the essays are American, so they will be familiar with American authors. If you choose a novel or poem that you have read, but that few others have read, it will be more difficult to get your point across to the readers without going into a lot of detail, something that is not essential to the essay.

Let’s say you choose MacbethThe Scarlet Letter and The Kite Runner. Have you noticed the balance I have created here – one each from British, American and non-western literature – a safe and sagacious (find the meaning!) choice. I’ve selected three essay topics from recent SAT’s (I have shortened them slightly):

1. Are we free to make our own choices in life, or are our decisions always limited by the rules of society?

2. Is honesty always the best policy?

3. Do we need knowledge of the past to fully understand the present?

Essay question # 1 – making choices. Can you apply a theme? Think of Macbeth as he listens to the words of the witches and decides to interpret them to suit his ambitions… He makes a choice… And sets off down the path of no return…

Essay question # 2 – honesty. Can you apply a theme? Think of the main characters in The Scarlet Letter. Who is honest and who is dishonest (dishonesty is also related to hypocrisy, another big essay theme)?

Essay question # 3 – knowledge of the past. Can you apply a theme? Think of the setting of The Kite Runner and how it switches from an “old” part of the world with centuries of tradition to a “new” part of the world with fewer conventions, and how the main character adapts…

I’ll continue on this thread next week. By now, the format of the essay question should be taking shape in your mind or on paper (or laptop, iPad, iPhone).

A New Reality By Nicolas Pereira

This past week in the World Team Tennis ‘Bubble” I have seen the efforts to keep everyone safe while carrying on a team competition with around 60/70 players and coaches onsite. Counting organizers, officials, media, and support personnel are around 150 people trying hard to make this happen. I am very impressed by how the strict protocol has been handled and how everyone is invested in making this event a success, but The Open is a completely different scale of details.

ONcourt Interviews NGTL Co-Founder Yves Boulais

It does not matter that you get your rating playing locally or that you had spent an insidious amount of money playing the ITF junior tour tournaments. Your rating is your level of play (you get no bonus for playing more or playing far away). This allows us to break free of the ITF competitive structure potentially saving us time, money, and headache. We see this as a great opportunity to improve the logistic of our sport.

Brandon Burke (son of ACE President Doug Burke) Elected to WTA Board

As revealed in a recent news release issued by the WTA Tour – Brandon Burke has been elected to the WTA Board of Directors (to start officially in September). Oncourt got together with Brandon to delve a bit more into his background and to gain some insight into this wonderful appointment he has attained at such a young age.