SAT Essay Prep: Common themes


SAT Essay Prep: Common themes

If you are preparing to take the SAT exam it is helpful to consider some of the common themes asked about in the essay and prepare examples. We analyze three common themes below for a closer look at how to prepare examples. Aristotle Circle is hosting a contest on how to prepare for the SAT this month through June 1, 2011. Submit your essay prep sheets for a chance to win.

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Man vs. Nature One of the four basic types of conflicts in literature and story-telling that drive plot. Qualifying examples have antagonism between a character and an animal or element of nature.
Classic literature: Moby Dick, a novel by Herman Melville published in 1851, depicts Captain Ahab’s pursuit of Moby Dick, a white whale. Ahab’s obsession with killing the whale leads to his own death and the destruction of his boat. In this man vs. nature conflict, Ahab (man) abandons all reason in his pursuit of destroying Moby (nature) and thus both perish.
History: The Lewis and Clark Expedition, a journey that took place from 1804 – 1806, was done in order to explore the western half of the United States and lay claim to the land in the Louisiana purchase. While Lewis and Clark were not direct conflict with the land, the goal was to collect data about all the animals and native tribes as well as map the land. The explorers (men) overcame the unknown terrain and rugged conditions in order to lay a groundwork that ultimately tamed the territory (nature).
Science: The polio vaccine, was introduced in 1955 in order to eliminate polio. Dr. Jonas Salk is credited with the discovery of the vaccine but the fight against polio was much across the United States due to the outbreak of cases including President Franklin Roosevelt. Like many pursuits of a cure to disease the story of polio’s irradiation is one of scientist (man) vs. illness (nature).

Good luck!