MLA Essay Format

MLA Essay Format
You only have 25 minutes to write an SAT essay on a random topic, so having some kind of formula to follow is essential if you want to outperform the competition and turn in a polished and effective SAT essay.
The essay topic is random, but take it from a 12 essay/2400 SAT tutor... there are parts of the SAT you can prepare for, and creating your best SAT essay formula is some of the smartest SAT prep you can do.


I know it's hard to think when you feel like you absolutely must be writing, but the brainstorming phase is worth up to 4 minutes of the SAT essay formula. You need to figure out your stance on the topic, pick two or three examples from your Specifics bank (see below) and decide how exactly those examples support your thesis.

By the way, for your thesis, make the issue "black and white," and pick only one side or the other. This will help keep you clear and on-topic later.


Don't get fancy. Use either a standard 4 paragraph or 5 paragraph essay formula, depending on how much you came up with in your brainstorm. Provide an intro, a body, and a conclusion.

Intro: Tell us the essay topic and what your thesis is.
Body: Focus on one example per body paragraph and include clear, specific facts that relate to your topic.
Conclusion: Wrap up your loose ends and deliver your main point, but don't repeat yourself if it seems boring. Just tie things off cleanly.


OK, here's where you need to do the work ahead of time. If you want a surefire 11 or 12 on the SAT essay, you need to incorporate specific evidence into your argument, but you can't waste time trying to think of stuff to say.

Therefore, the perfect SAT essay formula includes at least 8 examples from history and literature. I know it might seem like a lot, but you will be thanking yourself on test day. You don't have to be perfect about years or names of places, but you do need to have a good working knowledge of what happened, who was involved, etc.

You can link over to my SAT prep website to get a whole ton of perfect SAT essay evidence examples to use... I think I have 30 now, and counting! Just see the links down below at the bottom of this article.


Speed is the art of finishing a two page essay in 25 minutes. The best SAT essay formula includes plans to fill up both pages of the paper provided on the test. That's why I definitely recommend a 4 or 5 paragraph structure. It's simple, which saves mental energy for crafting your argument, and the familiar structure allows you to judge how best to spend your writing time.

Independent research showed that one of the most significant elements of high scores on the SAT essay was sheer length. The longer the essay, the more likely it was to have a high score. As a professional SAT prep tutor, I absolutely think that this is true!

Use practice SAT essay prompts to prepare yourself for the real thing, and don't forget to time yourself!

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