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Follow this simple formula to write you thesis. Later, you will be allowed to make it more personal by adding adjectives, examples, etc.,but for now, I want you to stick with this. Why? To create a backbone to your thesis writing so you know exactly what to do and what not to miss.
First, start with the keyword. If the prompt is: “Honesty is always the best policy,” then start with “honesty” so your reader/grader knows that you are on point. After your keyword, immediately agree or disagree with the prompt.
for example: Honesty is crucial … (Agree) OR Honesty can be detrimental… (Disagree). Once you’ve done this, then you have to explain the Why and the How. Without this step, all you are doing is repeating the prompt. You must explain why you agree or disagree with the prompt.
For example: Honesty is crucial to build and maintain trust.
1. Ladies and gentlemen of the College Board …
2. What would Jesus do? ...
3. Once upon a time …
4. “Failure is the mother of success!!!” …
By the way, I have actually seen these introductory phrases written by real students. Please, don’t make the same mistake.
Step 4 (1 minute): Complete your introduction.
Now spend a minute or so completing your introductory paragraph. Make sure you write at least two sentences but no more than three, as you’ll run out of time.
For example: Honesty is crucial to build and maintain trust. Several examples from literary works and current events clearly demonstrate that honesty always prevails.
Two sentences are good enough for the SSAT essay. I am not saying don’t write more, but there is no need to write five to six sentences. It’s important that you move on since you only have 25minutes to complete a full-length essay. Remember! This is not your typical school essay, in which you have to develop your thesis and write your thesis at the end of your introductory paragraph. The SSAT essay does not work that way. You must get straight to the point, answer the prompt/question, and move on to your examples. That’s the only way you’ll finish on time. Also, it is important to remind you that readers/graders know that you were given only 25 minutes to complete your essay. They will be lenient and not penalize every grammatical error. Readers/graders, however, will penalize you for excessive patterns of spelling and grammar errors – I mean … who wouldn’t?
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