SAT WRITING WORKBOOK
HOW TO WRITE AN ESSAY IN 1,500 SECONDS
COMPOSING: PUTTING WORDS ON PAPER
Our language offers a rich menu of sentence types. Declarative sentences predominate in most essay writing. (Just to refresh your memory, a declarative sentence, such as the one you are now reading, simply makes a statement.) But other types of sentences can create all sorts of fascinating effects. Take interrogative sentences, for example. (Do you remember that interrogative sentences ask questions?) An interrogative sentence appropriately placed in an essay consisting of declarative sentences can change the pace and rhythm of the prose, underscore an idea, and promote the reader’s involvement.
Don’t forget about imperative sentences (Keep in mind that imperative sentences make requests or give commands) and exclamatory sentences (What strong emotion an exclamatory sentence can express!).
Furthermore, you can write sentences interrupted at some point by a dash—although some editors and teachers claim that it’s not proper to do so in formal prose. Direct and indirect quotations are useful, and on occasion you can drive home a point with a single emphatic word. Excellent!
There’s peril, however, in scrambling sentence types for no other reason than to scramble sentence types, for you may end up with a mess on your hands. Be guided by what expresses your ideas most clearly and seems varied enough to interest your readers.