Saturday, November 8, 2014

October 2014 SAT essay 11/12


October 2014
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment:
Some politicians and educators advocate teaching values and character in schools. They claim that children need guidance to develop honesty, kindness, and trustworthiness and that schools should consider it their responsibility to foster these qualities just as they aim to foster academic skills. But good character simply cannot be taught in classrooms and through textbooks. Attempts to make values part of the curriculum will only take time and resources away from important academic subjects.

This is an excellent essay. It answers the question from line 1. The reason why this is not a 12/12 is that the writer does not introduce her two examples in paragraph 1. Also the “hook” is missing. This essay is very direct and to the point, without a nice intro. While you should definitely answer the thesis, you need a clever opening sentence.

Example 1 and 2 are excellent and clearly relate back to the thesis. But the conclusion is too short: Hence, 11/12

stuff to know sparknotes:


full title  ·  Lord of the Flies
author  · William Golding
type of work  · Novel
genre  · Allegory; adventure story; castaway fiction; loss-of-innocence fiction
language  · English
time and place written  · Early 1950s; Salisbury, England
date of first publication  · 1954
publisher  · Faber and Faber
narrator  · The story is told by an anonymous third-person narrator who conveys the events of the novel without commenting on the action or intruding into the story.
point of view  · The narrator speaks in the third person, primarily focusing on Ralph’s point of view but following Jack and Simon in certain episodes. The narrator is omniscient and gives us access to the characters’ inner thoughts.
tone  · Dark; violent; pessimistic; tragic; unsparing
tense  · Immediate past
setting (time)  · Near future
setting (place)  · A deserted tropical island
protagonist  · Ralph
major conflict · Free from the rules that adult society formerly imposed on them, the boys marooned on the island struggle with the conflicting human instincts that exist within each of them—the instinct to work toward civilization and order and the instinct to descend into savagery, violence, and chaos.
rising action · The boys assemble on the beach. In the election for leader, Ralph defeats Jack, who is furious when he loses. As the boys explore the island, tension grows between Jack, who is interested only in hunting, and Ralph, who believes most of the boys’ efforts should go toward building shelters and maintaining a signal fire. When rumors surface that there is some sort of beast living on the island, the boys grow fearful, and the group begins to divide into two camps supporting Ralph and Jack, respectively. Ultimately, Jack forms a new tribe altogether, fully immersing himself in the savagery of the hunt.
climax  · Simon encounters the Lord of the Flies in the forest glade and realizes that the beast is not a physical entity but rather something that exists within each boy on the island. When Simon tries to approach the other boys and convey this message to them, they fall on him and kill him savagely.
falling action · Virtually all the boys on the island abandon Ralph and Piggy and descend further into savagery and chaos. When the other boys kill Piggy and destroy the conch shell, Ralph flees from Jack’s tribe and encounters the naval officer on the beach.
themes  · Civilization vs. savagery; the loss of innocence; innate human evil
motifs  · Biblical parallels; natural beauty; the bullying of the weak by the strong; the outward trappings of savagery (face paint, spears, totems, chants)
symbols  · The conch shell; Piggy’s glasses; the signal fire; the beast; the Lord of the Flies; Ralph, Piggy, Jack, Simon, and Roger
foreshadowing  · The rolling of the boulders off the Castle Rock in Chapter 6 foreshadows Piggy’s death; the Lord of the Flies’s promise to have some “fun” with Simon foreshadows Simon’s death

full title  ·  The Catcher in the Rye
author  · J. D. Salinger
type of work  · Novel
genre  · Bildungsroman (coming-of-age novel)
language  · English
time and place written  · Late 1940s–early 1950s, New York
date of first publication  · July 1951; parts of the novel appeared as short stories in Collier’s, December 1945, and in The New Yorker, December 1946
publisher  · Little, Brown and Company
narrator  · Holden Caulfield, narrating from a psychiatric facility a few months after the events of the novel
point of view  · Holden Caulfield narrates in the first person, describing what he himself sees and experiences, providing his own commentary on the events and people he describes.
tone  · Holden’s tone varies between disgust, cynicism, bitterness, and nostalgic longing, all expressed in a colloquial style.
tense  · Past
setting (time)  · A long weekend in the late 1940s or early 1950s
setting (place)  · Holden begins his story in Pennsylvania, at his former school, Pencey Prep. He then recounts his adventures in New York City.
protagonist  · Holden Caulfield
major conflict · The major conflict is within Holden’s psyche. Part of him wants to connect with other people on an adult level (and, more specifically, to have a sexual encounter), while part of him wants to reject the adult world as “phony,” and to retreat into his own memories of childhood.
rising action · Holden’s many attempts to connect with other people over the course of the novel bring his conflicting impulses—to interact with other people as an adult, or to retreat from them as a child—into direct conflict.
climax  · Possible climaxes include Holden’s encounter with Sunny, when it becomes clear that he is unable to handle a sexual encounter; the end of his date with Sally, when he tries to get her to run away with him; and his departure from Mr. Antolini’s apartment, when he begins to question his characteristic mode of judging other people.
falling action  · Holden’s interactions with Phoebe, culminating in his tears of joy at watching Phoebe on the carousel (at the novel’s end he has retreated into childhood, away from the threats of adult intimacy and sexuality)
themes  · Alienation as a form of self-protection; the painfulness of growing up; the phoniness of the adult world
motifs  · Relationships, intimacy, and sexuality; loneliness; lying and deception
symbols  · The “catcher in the rye”; Holden’s red hunting hat; the Museum of Natural History; the ducks in the Central Park lagoon
foreshadowing  · At the beginning of the novel, Holden hints that he has been hospitalized for a nervous breakdown, the story of which is revealed over the course of the novel.


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