SAT Essay Prep #2, Deconstruct the Argument, Rhetorical Tools & the S.A.T. Essay

Laura Randazzo
Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
6-page PDF
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Laura Randazzo


The SAT Essay requires students to closely examine an argument essay, noting the effectiveness of an author’s use of specific rhetorical devices. In this full-hour lesson with optional extension writing activity, students will read an argument essay from a doctor who wants people to embrace the health benefits of intestinal worms.

After reading the two-page argument essay (full text from source included with permission), students are given a handout of short-answer guiding questions, requiring them to dig back into the text as they identify specific literary devices and rhetorical tools. A detailed answer key is included to not only ease grading, but also help guide class discussion of the answers.

Finally, this lesson includes an optional writing task, with an essay prompt modeled after the College Board’s SAT Essay question format and a grading rubric based on the 4-3-2-1 standard.

This 6-page product includes:

• Eye-pleasing illustrated handout of author’s original argument essay (2-pg. PDF)

• Student handout of guiding questions (1-pg. PDF)

• Detailed answer key (1-pg. PDF)

• Optional essay writing assignment based on the SAT essay prompt model (1-pg. PDF)

• SAT essay grading rubric based on the College Board’s grading scale (1-pg. PDF)

Interested in more SAT prep materials? Save $$$ by purchasing my SAT Essay prep bundle, which includes this lesson, two other similar assignments built on different argument topics, and a 24-slide introductory presentation that shows students exactly what they need to know about the SAT Essay requirements. If you purchase the bundle, please do not purchase this item, as it’s included in the bargain-priced collection of SAT materials.

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Cover background image credit: Pixabay, Public domain

Total Pages
6-page PDF
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
50 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.
Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).
Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.


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