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SAT Practice Essay

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The media not only transmit information and culture, they also decide what information is important. In that way, they help to shape culture and values.

Adapted from Alison Bernstein


Do newspapers, magazines, television, radio, movies, the Internet, and other media determine what is important to most people?

When John Hancock proudly signed the Declaration of Independence, he exclaimed, "That should be big enough for the King to read!" The king did not read, much less hear about the Declaration until three months later. Today's media connects the world, delivering news as soon as it occurs. It shapes our lives and helps up make our decisions. This can be seen through the reporting preceding the American revolution and the 2008 US presidential election.

In the 1760s, as the frustration within the thirteen colonies started to grow, a sense of resentment had overcome the colonists. Though distance and a slow means of communication separated the colonists from one another, the media helped bridge the gap. Newspapers like Ben Franklin's "Pennsylvania Gazette" fueled the resentment against the British as its copies spread throughout the colonies. Franklin himself wrote some articles about the revolution, but he was not alone. Newspapers similar to his grew as the hype increased, and the steady flow ideas from the media to the public started to seem omnipresent. Without all of this attention by the media, the revolution would have never become important within the population's eyes, which soon became a key factor in winning the revolution against the British.

As victors of the revolution, we have progressed to become an advanced nation. This year, the 2008 American elections have escaped the isolated attention of American media. The international media has started paying close attention to our politics, making the outcomes of our elections feel important to many people abroad. Here in the US, the election receiving undivided attention 24/7 downplaying many other current events. Many reporters, such as Karl Rove of Fox News are continually discussing the Troopergate scandal surrounding Republican Vice Presidential pick, Sarah Palin. This is having heavy influence over our choice and what we consider important enough to base our predidential vote on.

Though the media has grown to be a dominating figure, its ability to unify the world in good times, and bad, is unmatched. We are able to progress forward as a whole. John Hancock would've loved to hear about the King's reaction to the declaration as soon as it happened.

  • SAT Practice Essay - ,

    This year, the 2008 American elections have escaped the isolated attention of American media.

    You were doing beautifully until you got to the above sentence. It doesn't make sense...and that paragraph loses both sense and the impact the previous paragraphs contained. In addition you have an incomplete sentence and some spelling errors. Would probably rank a 4.

  • SAT Practice Essay - ,

    I'll accept that the above sentence may be awkward, but is the third paragraph really that bad? And should the few grammatical errors I made impact my grade as much as they did?

  • SAT Practice Essay - ,

    Remember this: If a reader stumbles, even in his/her mind, and has to re-read a sentence to try to make sense of it, your grade will go down, down, down. I agree with GuruBlue that the paper is OK until that third paragraph. Its sentences are convoluted, there's that fragment, and I had to stop, go back, re-read...

    I'd give this a 3 at most.

    I know you can do better. I've seen your better work!

  • SAT Practice Essay - ,

    Thank you!

  • SAT Practice Essay - ,

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