SAT Essay: Analyzing Rhetorical Devices in Sample Essays

The SAT Essay section assesses students' ability to analyze an author's argument and use of rhetorical devices to persuade the audience. Understanding rhetorical devices and their effects is essential for crafting effective analytical responses. In this guide, we'll examine sample SAT essays and analyze the rhetorical devices employed by the authors to convey their arguments persuasively.

Sample Essay 1: "The Importance of Arts Education"

Thesis: In this essay, the author argues for the importance of arts education in schools to foster creativity, critical thinking, and cultural appreciation.

Rhetorical Devices:

1. Anecdote: The author begins by sharing a personal anecdote about a transformative experience in a music class, establishing credibility and emotional appeal.

2. Allusion: The author makes an allusion to historical figures such as Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein to support the argument that creativity and innovation are cultivated through arts education.

3. Repetition: The author repeats the phrase "arts education" throughout the essay to reinforce the central argument and emphasize its significance.

4. Imagery: Vivid imagery is used to describe the transformative power of arts education, such as "unlocking the imagination" and "painting a canvas of possibilities," appealing to the reader's senses and emotions.

5. Appeal to Authority: The author cites research studies and quotes from experts in education to support the argument, appealing to the authority of scholars and educators.

Analysis: The author effectively employs rhetorical devices such as anecdote, allusion, repetition, imagery, and appeal to authority to persuade the audience of the importance of arts education. By combining personal narrative with evidence-based arguments and vivid language, the author creates a compelling case for integrating arts education into school curricula.

Sample Essay 2: "The Impact of Technology on Social Interaction"

Thesis: In this essay, the author argues that while technology has facilitated communication and connectivity, it has also led to social isolation and diminished interpersonal relationships.

Rhetorical Devices:

1. Analogy: The author uses analogies to compare technology to a "double-edged sword" and a "virtual barrier," highlighting its dual nature and potential negative consequences.

2. Hyperbole: Hyperbolic language is used to exaggerate the impact of technology, such as "addicted to our screens" and "lost in cyberspace," to emphasize the extent of social disconnection.

3. Parallelism: Parallel structure is employed in sentences such as "We may be connected digitally, but emotionally, we are drifting further apart," creating rhythm and emphasis.

4. Contrast: The author contrasts the benefits of technology with its drawbacks, highlighting the tension between convenience and human connection.

5. Appeal to Emotion: Emotional language and appeals to empathy are used to evoke feelings of nostalgia, concern, and urgency in the reader.

Analysis: Through the strategic use of rhetorical devices such as analogy, hyperbole, parallelism, contrast, and appeal to emotion, the author effectively conveys the argument that technology has both positive and negative effects on social interaction. By framing the issue in relatable terms and appealing to the reader's emotions, the author prompts reflection on the impact of technology on interpersonal relationships.


Analyzing rhetorical devices in sample SAT essays provides valuable insight into the strategies employed by authors to craft persuasive arguments. By identifying and understanding rhetorical devices such as anecdote, allusion, repetition, imagery, analogy, hyperbole, parallelism, contrast, and appeal to emotion, students can enhance their analytical skills and develop more nuanced responses in the SAT Essay section. Practicing the analysis of rhetorical devices in sample essays can improve students' ability to deconstruct arguments, identify persuasive techniques, and effectively convey their own ideas in response to essay prompts

8. A-Level vs. IB: Curriculum Structure and Content Comparison

Choosing between the A-Level and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs can be a significant decision for students pursuing their post-secondary education. Both programs offer rigorous and comprehensive curricula, but they differ in structure, content, and assessment methods. In this guide, we'll compare the curriculum structure and content of A-Level and IB programs to help students and parents make informed decisions about their academic pathways.

1. Curriculum Structure:


- A-Level stands for Advanced Level and is typically a two-year program undertaken after completing the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) or its equivalent.

- Students typically select three or four subjects to study in-depth, focusing on their chosen areas of interest or future career aspirations.

- A-Level courses are modular, with students taking examinations at the end of each module or academic year.

- The curriculum is flexible, allowing students to specialize in specific subjects and tailor their academic program to their strengths and interests.

- Assessment is primarily based on final examinations, with some subjects also incorporating coursework or practical assessments.


- The IB Diploma Programme is a two-year comprehensive curriculum designed for students aged 16 to 19.

- Students study six subjects chosen from different subject groups, including languages, sciences, mathematics, humanities, and the arts.

- In addition to subject-specific study, IB students must complete the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, the Extended Essay (EE), and the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) component.

- The curriculum emphasizes interdisciplinary learning, critical thinking, and global perspectives.

- Assessment is holistic and includes examinations, coursework, internal assessments, and the completion of the extended essay and CAS requirements.

2. Content:


- A-Level subjects offer in-depth study and specialization in specific disciplines, such as mathematics, sciences, humanities, languages, and the arts.

- Each A-Level subject has a prescribed syllabus outlining the topics to be covered and the skills to be developed.

- Subjects are typically divided into modules or units, with examinations testing students' knowledge and understanding of each module.

- A-Level subjects may include practical components, such as laboratory work, fieldwork, or coursework, depending on the subject requirements.


- The IB Diploma Programme offers a broad and balanced curriculum that encourages interdisciplinary learning and the development of transferable skills.

- IB subjects are organized into six subject groups: Studies in Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and the Arts.

- IB courses emphasize conceptual understanding, inquiry-based learning, and the application of knowledge to real-world contexts.

- In addition to subject-specific content, IB students engage in the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, which explores the nature of knowledge and ways of knowing across disciplines.

- IB students also complete the Extended Essay (EE), an independent research project, and participate in Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) activities to develop personal and interpersonal skills.

3. Assessment:


- Assessment in A-Level subjects is primarily based on external examinations administered by examination boards.

- Examinations may include multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, essays, and practical assessments, depending on the subject requirements.

- Final grades are determined based on students' performance in the examinations, with some subjects also incorporating coursework or practical assessments.


- Assessment in the IB Diploma Programme is comprehensive and includes internal and external components.

- External assessments include written examinations administered by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) at the end of the two-year program.

- Internal assessments are conducted by teachers throughout the course and may include coursework, oral presentations, projects, and practical assessments.

- The Extended Essay (EE) and Theory of Knowledge (TOK) are also assessed and contribute to the overall IB Diploma score.


Both A-Level and IB programs offer rigorous and challenging curricula designed to prepare students for higher education and beyond. The choice between the two programs depends on factors such as academic interests, learning preferences, and future goals. A-Level programs offer specialization and flexibility, while IB programs promote interdisciplinary learning and the development of critical thinking skills. Students should carefully consider their options and consult with educators, parents, and college advisors to make informed decisions about their academic pathways. Ultimately, both A-Level and IB programs provide valuable opportunities for academic growth, personal development, and preparation for success in higher education and the global workforce.