Know Your Current Events!

This week Time magazine published its annual 100 Most Influential People, and I practiced my yearly ritual of reading it thoroughly, taking notes as I read. Why did I do this? Because bringing in current events is the key to getting a strong SAT essay score.

History, literature, sports and personal examples all provide powerful evidence to support your thesis. However, current events are an added bonus! Not only are current events easy to fit into most essays, but they will knock the socks off the grader. Writing about current political, economic or environmental issues – the so-called “grown-up problems” – immediately catches the reader’s attention. The current event details are easy to prepare for, easy to remember, and – because most students do not bring current events into the essay – give you an easy way to make your essay completely original. By following the two simple steps below, you will be able to effectively incorporate “the now” into your essay.

Step 1 – Two weeks before the exam, pick up a copy of Newsweek, Time magazine or the newspaper! This week Time magazine features the 100 Most Influential People of 2013.

Step 2 – Peruse the magazine, looking for feature stories that relate to the fifteen core topics. Are heroes being discussed? Global-warming issues? War stories? Recent deaths of famous people? Sports stars in trouble? Find three to four good stories (ones that relate to a handful of the fifteen core topics). Know the details of these stories – the names, the facts, the magazine you got the article from, and the month it was published. Own your moments!

For more about adding current events into your essay, check out Write the SAT Essay Right.

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