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SAT Essay: Are heroes those who speak up when others lack the courage?


szhang25 15 / 21 8  
Aug 16, 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: Should heroes be defined as those who speak up when others lack the courage to do so?

The archetypical hero is built, muscular and physically indestructible. However, the term hero encompasses much more than just physical strength. More than anything, genuine heroes need to be mentally strong in order to face the challenges they encounter. The most difficult of these challenges is speaking up against authority, as the consequences can include social rejection and harsh punishment. Real heroes are those who voice their thoughts when others lack the courage, despite these consequences.

Speaking out against popular opinion is extremely difficult in modern society, especially in politics. Yet African American rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., a nationally proclaimed hero, was able to do so his entire life. His famous speech, "I Have a Dream," epitomizes the definition of bravery because it was an oratory act of public defiance. King never used a single act of physical violence in his campaign; in fact, his entire campaign shunned it. The reason why King remains iconic to this day is not that he was physically capable of fighting for his rights, but that he risked his life to speak out against America's political crimes.

King did not motivate himself on his own; on the other side of the world, his inspiration Mohandas Gandhi was speaking out against injustice in his own way. Gandhi, the man who fought unfair British control of Indian society, is also an example of true heroism. Yet comparing Gandhi to classical heroes such as Odysseus and Hercules, the discrepancy in attributed physical strength is enormous. Gandhi's heroism lay in his ability to protest peacefully, through words and nonviolence exclusively. When other citizens could not gather the mettle to speak up for themselves, Gandhi did so for them himself. Because he risked facing rejection from society as well as incarceration in order to stand up for his rights, Gandhi is a hero.

The definition of hero is still closely linked with those who rely on legendary physical strength to do good deeds. Perhaps this is a result of the myths and stories of the past, but in the present day, heroes are increasingly vocal in their actions. The challenge of standing for oneself and facing possible ostracism by others is harder to overcome than any physical obstacle, and for that reason, true heroes are those who are able to do so.

nathansp98 1 / 1 1  
Aug 17, 2015   #2
This is a good essay with indisputable examples and a strong main point. I do think that the opening paragraph - which should only say your position - is too long; you have said your whole point in the first paragraph, making the body paragraphs stagnant. "The most difficult of these challenges is speaking up against authority, as the consequences can include social rejection and harsh punishment. Real heroes are those who voice their thoughts when others lack the courage, despite these consequences." this should be in the second paragraph where you star to elaborate your position. This will make your essay more interesting to read. "The definition of hero is still closely linked with those who rely on legendary physical strength to do good deeds. Perhaps this is a result of the myths and stories of the past" this part should be more compact. In fact, it is even better to start the first concluding paragraph with your thesis.
EF_Carol - / 145 39  
Aug 23, 2015   #3
I think your essay has a strong intro and conclusion. You seem to answer the question well!

when others lack the courage...

So you do feel this speaking up is the answer to the hero question. This is a valid point, and you give a good example in King and Ghandi.

You give a body paragraph to each example of a hero, and that's good form.

increasingly vocal...

This part of your conclusion shows the real point is about being vocal.

I think your form and spelling and punctuation are good. You could just try varying the way you discuss vocalness with different word choices, synonyms. Try a Thesaurus.

Good job!

ef _carol

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