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 Current Events
I hope you made the time to read last week’s article on themes from literature in your essay, because it really is the most important source of material.
This week we’ll talk about current events. Keeping up-to-date with current events is not difficult. Most of you have electronic gadgets connected to the Internet all the time (in fact, some of these gadgets are permanently welded to your hand), so choose a news source and read the main page every day. Skim the headlines and choose an article that interests you to read in its entirety. There are, of course, old-fashioned things, like newspapers, that will give you exactly the same information.
The readers/markers of the essay are all US citizens, so be sensible and do not be too critical of US policies. Stick to politics and world events for a global perspective. Remember that is not the details of current events – you have neither time nor space for that – that are important in the essay, but rather the main point, the gist or the big picture. However, as you read news articles over a period of time, you do absorb information about date/time, location, names of people/events and you gradually memorize them. Bit by bit, these details merge to form the bricks to build up a framework, and within this framework you will become faster at identifying the main points. Try it, it works.
If any of you are writing the SAT this Saturday June 2, skim my articles on SAT strategies and choose two or three to read before the test. Good luck!