This is a SAT essay that scored as a high 5/low 6.
All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions. Adlai Stevenson, speech at Princeton, 1954.
Do you agree with this statement? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your postion on this issue. Support your point of view with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.
SAT Essay Sample
I believe that progress is achieved by people that take unpoplar positions. To be popular often means trying to please everyone. Progress, on the other hand, comes from making difficult decisions that often don't satisfy everyone. Whether it's politicians, parents, or even myself, progress has often come from making unpopular decisions.
Many politicians have to make unpopular decisions. Abraham Lincoln is revered today but during his lifetime the Civil War was very unpopular. There was rioting over the draft and the destruction of lives and property wasn't popular either. But without the unpopular decisions he made it is hard to imagine what the United States would be like today.
My parents also make unpopular decisions. One such decision was when they sent me to summer camp when I was 14. I didn't want to go but it turned out to be a terrific experience. I learned a lot about wildlife and nature. At the time it was not a popular thing to do but I really benefitted from it.
Even in my own life I have had to take unpopular positions that turned out to be positive ones. One such experience happened just last year. I decided to take a year between high school and college and travel abroad. At the time, it was a very unpopular position. My parents did not see the benefit in me travelling across Europe by myself. But I had the money saved and in the end they had to let me go. The experience turned out to be the best of my life. I experienced many different cultures and learned things about myself and others.
I think it is true that all progress comes from people taking unpopular positions. We see evidence of this in history as well as our own lives. To be popular requires a whole different set of skills than is needed for progress.