Good Examples for Use in SAT/AP Argumentative Essays (please contribute more or flesh out existing!)
The goal: give everyone access to a similar database of supporting examples those taking SAT prep classes get.

Basic Structure of an Essay:
Use one introduction paragraph. Add a creative, thoughtful opening sentence that relates to the topic, perhaps from a book you have read or a quote you have heard. Then explain how the example in this opening sentence relates to the question, then answer the question and give your two reasons for your answer in your opening paragraph.

In your first paragraph, focus on your first reason. Explain specifically what the reason is, explain how it links to the question, and why the overall answer to the question is true. Same thing for second paragraph, except focus on the second reason.

In the conclusion, start by restating the answer to the question and your two reasons. Conclude with a creative or thoughtful ending sentence that is related to your opening sentence in some ways. This brings the essay full circle and closes it cleanly.

You don't need to read a bunch of random fiction books to get examples to pull from (although if you want to read these books for fun, you certainly should). Focus instead on using current events or even everyday activities as examples. The argumentation of an essay on the SAT matters far more than its accuracy.

-Hans Christian Oersted - Danish physicist who accidentally discovered that electricity induces magnetism by placing wire near compass
-Penicillin: Alexander Fleming discovered when a strange fungus (pennicilium mold) blew into his petri dishes containing cultures of bacteria, killing them. After a moment of frustration, he realized the implications: antibiotics were born.
-Henri Becquerel accidentally left uranium salts in a dark room and returned to find that they had exposed a photographic plate. Marie Curie chose to study these mysterious rays and to determine if other elements gave off similar emissions - discovered idea of radioactivity and won 2 Nobel Prizes. Becquerel also won a Nobel Prize.
-Things discovered by accident:
-Mpemba effect (appropriately warm water freezes faster) discovered by high school student Erasto B. Mpemba in Tanzania; creativity/freshness sometimes trumps experience
-Kekule, the discoverer of the ring structure of benzene, "discovered the ring shape of the benzene molecule after having a day-dream of a snake seizing its own tail (this is a common symbol in many ancient cultures known as the Ouroboros). This vision, he said, came to him after years of studying the nature of carbon-carbon bonds." Not working can lead to discovery when requisite background experience present
-Lasers - they were a "solution looking for a problem," now widely used today. This is a good argument FOR scientific research and that good that can come of just thinking without a goal in mind initially

-Scrooge: literary example to show stinginess (and thus wealth) does not lead to happiness
-The Florida bank president of a bank that was foreclosing who quietly distributed his exorbitant severance bonus to his employees, current and former. Was cited in Obama's 2009 State of the Union Address; inherent good of humanity
-Good quote by physician Albert Schweitzer: "I don't know what you're destiny will be, but one thing I do know, the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."
-(Relatively) Beneficent Emperor Liu Bang of the Han Dynasty met with more success than ruthless Xiang Yu
-Notion that heroism is worthwhile because your deeds live forever whereas the body is mortal: "Cattle die and kinsmen die, thyself too soon must die, but one thing never, I ween, will die, -- fair fame of one who has earned." Poetic Edda - Norse proverb.
-Moshe Weinberg - Israeli wrestling coach who thought on his feet and died saving his students during Palestinian Black September group terrorist attack during 1972 Munich Olympics

-Psychology in general, especially Freudian. Know: id, ego, superego, Oedipus Complex, etc.
-Ramachandran - fooling the brain with mirror therapy
-Autism-Schizophrenia continuum
-T.S. Eliot's poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock - fear of taking action. "Do I dare to disturb the universe?"

-Joseph McCarthy
-The Euphio Question - Kurt Vonnegut. Society denatures when a "perfect sound" from space that gives listeners euphoria is discovered and sold
-Vending machines in schools are worse than advertising because they directly lead to purchase
-Tobacco advertising increasing in China while banned here
-Aldrich Ames – cold war mole caught via wiretap; legitimate reason to wiretap/infringe privacy
-Sophie Germain – early woman mathematician; had to teach self in secret and overcome bigotry (

Parker (re: SAT essay): use a fixed structure of intro, 2 body paragraphs, and a conclusion
the sat people dont care for complex writing, it just needs to get the point across
i always used 2 examples
6:42 AM if you dont have them, look up mbaye diagne, amy biehl, moshe weinberg, jackie robinson, cassius clay
they can be used for anything
good luck
Evan:i would argue AGAINST C.S. Lewis's quote (good to know this)
that his belief in god stemmed from his "inability to explain man's inherent sense of right v. wrong"
9:14 PM well id say we DONT have an inherent sense of right v. wrong, that we are simply programmed
and that if you look at the universe as a whole
it is moving TOWARDS chaos
me: yes
me: perfect
For fun, an idea for an introductory sentence: "Seven score and four years ago, the Civil War, the quintessential fight for civil liberty, ended, the anti-slavery Union victorious." (only works in 2009: 2009-144=1865; end of civil war)
Before writing, hold concepts in head to establish mindset of logic:
Utilitarian (ends justify means)
Deontological (ends do not justify means)
Determinism (chain of prior events)
Positivism (scientistic ideology)
Alexander Pope: "damning with faint praise"
John Donne: "no man is an island"
To establish stylistic mindset, think of these words/phrases:
Fitzgerald: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past"

- Inspirational example: guy who discovered that meteor killed dinosaurs did so by holding every bit of knowledge - iridium

-Anna Karenina is indeed a good book. It also provides a wealth of good SAT quotes. Anna Karenina is commonly thought to explore the themes of hypocrisy, jealousy, faith, fidelity, family, marriage, society, progress, carnal desire and passion, and the agrarian connection to land in contrast to the lifestyles of the city.Translator Rosemary Edmonds wrote that Tolstoy doesn't explicitly moralise in the book, he allows his themes to emerge naturally from the "vast panorama of Russian life." She also writes that a key message is that "no one may build their happiness on another's pain," which is why things don't work out for Anna.

-Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, middleweight boxer with a promising career, falsely convicted for triple murder at the Lafayette Bar in the 1960's, because he was black. Acclaimed rock musician and political activist (during the Civil Rights Movement) Bob Dylan visits Carter in prison. Carter tells him what had happened, and how he was innocent, yet was charged since he happened to fit the ambiguous description of the murderers (tall, middle-weight, black). This example can be taken in multiple directions, as it shows that while the government and federal court system appears to be trustworthy and credible, there are some instances, like this one, where they are flawed and corrupt. Bob Dylan releases "Hurricane", a critically and commercially successful ballad which protests the unfair circumstances of Carter, rousing interest in the public to protest for Carter's innocence, who after serving 22 years of his triple life sentence in prison, is finally released.

-Earnshaw's theorem: essentially proves that standard ferromagnets cannot be used to achieve magnetic levitation because there exist no local minima in such a magnetic field. It was long thought that this precluded all possibility of levitation in this manner. But an inventor named Harrington, oblivious of the theorem, did not give up in attempting to achieve the levitation effect. He eventually found a loophole, exploiting the fact that spinning objects precess; this is a major scientific discovery, because it made possible something that negative thinking conformists long thought prohibited by the laws of physics.

-One book I would suggest reading would be 'Anna Karenina'. It's a wonderfully woven novel by Leo Tolstoy, regarded as a pinnacle in real fiction to many.

-william kamkwamba

-some examples I've considered: US isolationism - US block off contact with European nations to avoid conflict

-Matthew Ridgway (Mr. Harvie example!) - US General noted for motivating troops in Korean War

-Wave-particle duality - debate between nature of light eventually leads to the truth

-literary examples: Lord of the Flies - contains symbols/concepts/morals that can be applied to almost everythin. Things Fall Apart: social/cultural dynamics