Coupon Accepted Successfully!



Now that you know when to use a semicolon instead of a comma, how do you get started writing your essay? Learning the rules that govern written English is one thing; putting your knowledge to use is another. We will discuss some specific tips that pertain to the type of essay you will be required to write, but for now, we will look at some general techniques to make your essay the best it can be. We begin by looking at the proper structure for your introduction and for your conclusion.


Your introduction should serve two structural purposes: It should restate your topic so that the reader need not review the given question, and it should offer a clear thesis so the reader knows what your purpose is. Simply defined, a thesis states the main idea of your essay.

Your introduction should, in effect, restate the given topic. In other words, your reader should be able to ascertain the issue or argument without reading the given topic. Suppose the SAT gives you this topic and assignment:

The new writing section was recently added to the SAT with the idea that such a section would encourage more teaching of writing. In turn, students would be more mature writers by graduation time.
Do you think that the added writing section will indeed improve writing skills? Plan and write an essay which depicts your point of view on this subject. Provide support on your position by pulling examples from your own experiences.
Your initial reaction to this assignment may be to begin your essay with a direct response such as I agree with this assumption… However, this introductory sentence does not provide adequate information because it does not specify which assumption and therefore it would leave the reader confused. Following is the beginning of an introduction that does give adequate information to the reader:
Does the new SAT really help improve the writing skills of high school graduates? The impetus behind the development of the new writing section is to prompt more in-depth teaching of writing. Added writing curriculum should turn out more mature writers. This is a valid assumption because…


Not only should you restate the topic, but you should also do so in a way that will spark interest. It may seem like a tall order to restate your topic, create a thesis, AND make it captivating, but if you don’t grab your reader’s attention in the introduction, it doesn’t matter how interesting the body of your essay is because he won’t feel compelled to read on. Think of your introduction as the worm on a fishhook, just dangling there enticing the fish to bite. There are several techniques you can employ to get your reader to “bite” and, thus, read on.
  • Begin your introduction with a question. Naturally, when a question is posed to your reader, he or she will want to keep reading to find out the answer.
  • Begin your introduction with a quote. Because you will not have time to research your topic for the SAT test, this may not be as feasible as, say, on a term paper for a college class; however, if you can remember a specific quote pertinent to your topic, use it.
  • Begin with an anecdote. An anecdote is entertaining and will thus draw in the reader.
  • Begin with an illustration or a hypothetical example based on the topic you are going to discuss.
  • Begin with a true-to-life example.
  • Begin with vivid description of something pertaining to your topic.
It is particularly important that, in the context of the SAT, you make a concerted effort to create a captivat­ing introduction. Keep in mind that the scorers of your essays are the scorers of everyone else’s essays. They read hundreds of responses to the same issues and arguments. You must make your essay stand out. What better way to make it stand out than to make it exceptional from the beginning?


The conclusion of your essay is just as important as the introduction because it wraps up your thoughts and evidence and should leave your reader satisfied that a convincing discussion has just taken place. Your conclusion should include a restatement of your thesis and then end with a more general statement, perhaps a warning or a call for action. Tip: If time is running out and you get stuck trying to formulate a conclusion, try beginning with “In conclusion” or “In summary.” Then continue by restating your thesis.

Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name