Essay Workshops

Are you dreading the SAT or ACT’s optional essay?  Are you nervous about approaching the task?  Dr. Aimee Weinstein is ready to help!

First Session

At the first session, Dr. Weinstein will teach you how to analyze a writing assignment, organize thoughts, and compose a coherent and engaging response that will hit all the marks SAT and ACT readers look for in students’ essays. First she will explain the challenge clearly, then she will administer a prompt so you can write a timed response.

Second Session

The next session, you will meet to receive and review comments on the essay. Then you  will be given a second, different prompt and write a response according to the lessons gleaned from the critique of the first essay.  Dr. Weinstein will email comments about the 2nd essay within one or two days of that second meeting.

Cost is $190 for the two sessions and the two essay critiques.  Critiques of subsequent essays are $50 each.

The New SAT Essay

This essay is radically different from the old SAT essay.  The assignment is 100% longer (50 minutes versus 25 minutes) and requires much more analysis.  The student will be given source material, and evaluate the argument.  The prompt is essentially the same:

As you read the next passage, consider how so and so uses

  • evidence, such as facts or examples, to support claims.
  • reasoning to develop ideas and to connect claims and evidence.
  • stylistic or persuasive elements, such as word choice or appeals to emotion, to add power to the ideas expressed.

However the passage, which is extensive, and the assignment that goes with it, changes from test-to-test and requires a solid approach to writing the response.

Here is an excerpt from the College Board’s SAT website.

The Topic

You can count on seeing the same prompt no matter when you take the new SAT with Essay, but the passage will be different every time.

All passages have these things in common:

  • Written for a broad audience
  • Argue a point
  • Express subtle views on complex subjects
  • Use logical reasoning and evidence to support claims
  • Examine ideas, debates, or trends in the arts and sciences, or civic, cultural, or political life
  • Always taken from published works

All the information you need to write your essay will be included in the passage or in notes about it.

The New ACT Essay

The ACT Essay is different in that it guides the students toward perspectives on a given topic.  The prompt will state a certain ethical or moral dilemma and give three ideas of a given response.  The students’ job is to then write an essay elaborating their own thoughts about the problem, while bringing in, using and considering the perspectives given.

Students should:

  • Agree or disagree with one or more of the perspectives
  • Give very specific examples and then develop the ideas to show how and why the examples prove their points
  • Have a clear thesis statement that elucidates the problem
  • Use a paragraph of counter-argument
  • Conclude leaving the reader with a clear idea about the right way to resolve the particular problem

While the students will have the information about the question and perspectives available, they should add their own ideas as well.


Contact Dr. Aimee Weinstein at 571.275.6521 or

Please note that there are no SAT and ACT Essay Workshops being offered at this time. Please contact Dr. Weinstein for Private Essay Writing Tutoring.