Take this example prompt, for instance: Write an essay in which you explain how Eric Klinenberg builds an argument to persuade his audience that Americans need to greatly reduce their reliance on air-conditioning.
In your essay, analyze how Klinenberg uses one or more of the features listed in the box above (or features of your own choice) to strengthen the logic and persuasiveness of his argument.
Make sure to provide enough information for each example to make it clear how it is relevant to your thesis - and stop there.
No need to paraphrase the entire passage, or explain why you agree or disagree with the author's argument - write enough that the reader can understand what your example is and be done.
Here's what you need to know: you'll be asked to read a text (typically a speech or editorial of some sort) and discuss how the author effectively builds an argument.
This might be a familiar task if you’ve done it in school, but if not, don’t worry.
If you want more practice writing strong thesis statements, use our complete list of SAT essay prompts as inspiration.
To support your thesis, you'll need to draw on specific examples from the passage of the techniques you claim the author uses.
Compare to a good thesis for the same prompt: Through consideration of quantitative data, exploring possible counterarguments to his position, and judicious use of striking phrasings and words, Klinenberg strengthens both the logic and persuasiveness of his argument that Americans need to greatly reduce their reliance on air conditioning.
The above thesis clearly specifies both what the author's argument is and what aspects of the argument will be analyzed in the essay.