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SAT Essay: Every day we live under some circumstances of choice - we rely on our own decisions

szhang25 15 / 21 8  
Sep 12, 2015   #1
It would be great if I could get some feedback on this essay in the context of the old SAT test. I really want to improve on creating relevance to my thesis within my body paragraphs, and linking support back to my main idea. I also want to know how to make my conclusion and intro stronger, and possibly what score range this essay would be in (1-12). Thank you!

Prompt: Are people's lives the result of the choices they make?
Every day we live we are put under the circumstance of choice. Whether as simple as deciding between pasta and deli for lunch or choosing between two prospective employees to hire, choices are the inevitable forks in the road of life. Before choices are made, there exist millions of possibilities of how our lives could end up; but by deliberately choosing our paths at each decision we must make, we turn exactly one of those possibilities into reality. Evident in both fictional and actual lives, our choices ultimately create the lives we have.

The choices we make mold our lives by giving us the chance to seize opportunities and turn bad situations into good ones. Such is the case of Frida Kahlo, a famous Hispanic painter plagued by tragedy throughout her entire life. Struck with polio as a young girl and then bedridden for several years following a catastrophic bus accident, Kahlo was crippled physically. Yet during her recovery, she made the decision to draw every day, as a part of her recuperation. Her decision reflected her strength and perseverance, which ultimately poured through in her paintings. As a result of her choice to seek out her passion despite being under the worst conditions, Kahlo became an internationally recognized artist, proving that our lives are mutable through our choices.

Our decisions can not only bring us higher, but may also result in our downfall. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's
A Scarlet Letter, reverend Arthur Dimmesdale makes a choice that renders him one of the lowest sinners in his Puritan town. Repeatedly afterwards, he is given the opportunity to make peace with and accept his sin, or to hide from it. Each time his cowardice overwhelms him and he chooses to push away his grievance and suppress it. It is those decisions that gradually allow his secret to eat him out alive, and as a result, his life becomes consumed by it. Through poor decisions, Dimmesdale's choices resulted in his death.

While some may argue that our lives are not solely determined by our choices, choices are the majority, if not all, that directs how we live. Any action or event, when viewed from a certain angle, can be considered a choice. Consequently, choices will either open doors to a brighter lifestyle or drag us down into a darker world. As demonstrated by the exceptional life of Frida Kahlo and
The Scarlet Letter's pitiful Arthur Dimmesdale, our lives are clearly the result of our choices.

lcturn87 - / 435 236  
Sep 12, 2015   #2
I can help you with your essay. Here is a suggestion to help you with the beginning of your essay. There are really simple examples and well written. Yet, I would like to help you revise a few sentences: "...but by deliberately choosing our path each decision we must make when we make a decision, we turn exactly one of those possibilities into a reality." "As evident in both works of fiction and reality, our choices ultimately create the lives we have."

2nd paragraph: I know that you are under time constraints. However, I will help you with a slight error with comma usage: "...Kahlo became an internationally recognized artist and proved that our lives are mutable through our choices."

3rd paragraph: You could state: "On the other hand, our decisions can make our lives better or result in our downfall." (Although this sentence is simple, it helps to make a smoother transition). The beginning of the third sentence can be corrected: "He repeatedly is given..." The next sentence, place a comma after "him" and delete and . The next sentence it should be "eat him alive". Form a new sentence: "As a result, his life..."

4th: Incredible final paragraph!

The thesis and conclusion were good. Frieda Kahlo's example was explained very well. Yet, there were some mistakes in explaining the Scarlet Letter. Overall, well done!
thuuyen 1 / 2 2  
Sep 12, 2015   #3
I don't have much to say considering the requirements of a SAT essay, I think you'll have a 10 with this! Still, if you can shorten the intro and the final paragraph and focus more on your examples (or add one more) your score could be higher, since they just read the essay in 1 minute they'll likely focus on just the examples, they already know where you're heading and ending. Good luck with SAT!

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