About This Chapter
SAT Literature: Reading and Understanding Essays - Chapter Summary
Learn how to tailor a piece of writing to a specific audience, what to do when a peer gives you an essay to edit, and more. Use our video lessons to help you understand the basics of reading essays for better comprehension. You'll feel better prepared to answer questions about essays that appear on the SAT subject test in literature. Lessons in this chapter cover the following subjects:
- Get the Gist of an Essay & Improve Reading Comprehension
- How to Use Context to Determine the Meaning of Words
- How to Determine the Best Audience Or Readers for an Essay
- Peer Editing: How to Edit Essays by Other Writers
The lessons in this chapter use short segments that help you break essays down into their components to understand them more easily. With the practice questions in each lesson, you can gain experience with the kinds of multiple-choice questions you'll find on the actual SAT subject test.
SAT Literature Objectives
The exam tests you on English-language literary subjects generally taught in U.S. high schools. The subjects covered by the SAT subject test in literature can be categorized by literature source (United States, Great Britain, or other English-language sources) and by chronology (The Renaissance through the 17th century, the 18th-19th centuries, or the 20th century). In either of these categories, you may be asked to read an excerpt from an essay and answer multiple-choice questions about it.
About 40%-50% of the total exam pertains to prose passages, including excerpts from essays and fiction. An additional 40%-50% pertains to poetry, and up to ten percent covers drama and other literary topics. In all, there are approximately 60 multiple-choice questions. You'll read 6-8 texts (which may be excerpts or complete poems), each followed by a series of questions about that text.
1. Get the Gist of an Essay & Improve Reading Comprehension
In this lesson, we learn quick rules of getting the 'gist' or point of a sentence, paragraph and essay. This skill will improve your reading speed and help you become a more effective and efficient reader and writer.
2. How to Use Context to Determine the Meaning of Words
With diligence and intrepid ingenuity, you can use context to ascertain the purport of a word. In other words, in this lesson, we'll find out how to use context to figure out what words mean.
3. How to Determine the Best Audience or Readers for an Essay
Who should be reading this? Not every essay can be enjoyed by everyone equally. How do you know who is the best target for an essay? This lesson will help you figure that out.
4. Peer Editing: How to Edit Essays By Other Writers
Alfred Sheinwold once said, 'Learn all you can from the mistakes of others.' A great way to improve your own writing is by editing the writing of others - especially when you have to find the not so obvious mistakes. That is what we will be learning in this lesson - how to edit the work of other writers. The biggest benefit will be in helping you avoid those same mistakes in your own writing.
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Other chapters within the SAT Subject Test Literature: Practice and Study Guide course
- SAT Subject Test Literature: Interpreting Theme & Meaning in Literature
- SAT Subject Test Literature: Figurative Language in Literature
- SAT Subject Test Literature: Literary Genres
- SAT Subject Test Literature: Poetry Terms & Types
- SAT Subject Test Literature: Drama
- SAT Subject Test Literature: Prominent Plays & Playwrights
- SAT Subject Test Literature: Analyzing American Literature
- SAT Subject Test Literature: Literary Periods in American History
- SAT Subject Test Literature: Authors & Works from English Literature
- SAT Subject Test Literature: American Novelists
- SAT Subject Test Literature: Periods in English Literature
- SAT Subject Test Literature: Writing Structure & Organization
- SAT Subject Test Literature: Language and Sentence Structure