Ace the New SAT Essay

What sets this SAT Essay Workshop apart from all the SAT Prep courses available? Since we are not trying to be experts on every aspect of the SAT, we focus our extensive teaching and writing expertise on what we do best, writing. With a focus on individual strengths, multiple intelligences and learning modalities, you will develop organic writing strategies. Subsequently, we will not only help you ace the SAT Essay, we will also help you know yourself better as a writer and learner.

SAT Essay Course Methods

First of all, we will break each step of the process into small skill sets and practice these skill sets repeatedly. Consequently, we will add new skills at your own preferred pace. As a result, you will soon write essays with increased confidence, speed, agility and with the tools and resources to continue your training.

In the actual testing environment, you have 50 minutes to complete your essay response; therefore, you have no time to hesitate. For this reason, we will replicate the competitive atmosphere in a supportive environment. You will build confidence in timed, highly competitive testing environments.

On competition day, you will probably experience exhilaration and nervousness. Consequently, successful competitors not only build a regimen for competitive performance, but also explore their own organic approaches to competitive performance. Therefore, we will use the athletic training paradigm as we train your brain for your SAT Essay test.

Now, let’s get started. Below, you will find specific writing goals and modules that focus on each individual goal. Let yourself focus only on a single module lesson at a time, and don’t worry about the big testing picture yet. By breaking the big task of the SAT Essay test into smaller digestible steps, you’ll find that the SAT Essay is merely a process of simple tasks.

SAT Essay Writing Goals

Train Your Brain

  • First of all, read the Newspaper!
  • Next, prepare your body and mind for competitive, timed testing environments.
  • Explore and identify individual cognitive strengths and areas of continued need.
  • Identify and further develop individual acquisition and retention levels through brain games.
  • Leverage intellectual strengths and develop intellectual areas of improvement using Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences.
  • The Mental Self-Government Model: Are You Primarily Legislative, Executive or Judicial?
  • Finally, mind Styles: Are You Primarily Concrete or Abstract?


  • First of all, identify which parts of the SAT will be new on test day and which parts are consistent for each test and easily learned prior to test day.
  • Identify the main idea in the essay prompt and source text.
  • Finally, identify the source text’s most important details supporting this main idea (textual evidence).


  • First of all, evaluate the author’s use of textual evidence.
  • Evaluate the author’s use of reasoning.
  • Evaluate the author’s use of style.
  • Finally, evaluate the author’s use of persuasive (rhetorical) elements as they relate to the essay prompt.


  • First of all, identify a precise central claim.
  • Create a skillful introduction and conclusion.
  • Demonstrate a deliberate and effective progression of ideas within each paragraph.
  • Demonstrate a deliberate and effective progression of ideas within the essay as a whole, from start to finish.
  • Use a wide variety of sentence structures (syntax).
  • Demonstrates precise word choice (diction).
  • Maintain a formal style and objective tone.
  • Finally, demonstrate a effective command of the standard written English language. Make sure punctuation and grammar are free or virtually free of errors.

Course Contributors

Rae Bryant, FacultyRae Bryant is a published author. She is a senior faculty member in The Johns Hopkins University Masters in Writing Program, director of The Eckleburg Workshops and lectured in the International Writing Program at The University of Iowa and American University as well as at AWP and other national writing conferences. She taught secondary eduction—Honors English, Advanced Placement Literature, Gifted & Talented—for 20+ years. She won writing awards and fellowships from Whidbey Writers, The Johns Hopkins University, VCCA and Aspen Writers. She earned a Masters in Writing from Hopkins and is editor in chief of The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review. Rae is a member of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP, NBCC and CLMP. She is represented by Jennifer Carlson of Dunow, Carlson and Lerner.

Why Online Writing Workshops?

Online creative writing workshops present the best of both worlds for creative writers. Creative isolation and craft interaction. In “Show or Tell: Should Creative Writing be Taught?” (The New Yorker), Louis Menand not only asks should, but also if. Our stance at The Eckleburg Workshops is that writers can be shown craft writing skills. Writers can be encouraged to explore voice through the practice of these skills. Writers can observe and deduce authentic skills in both master and developing narratives. It is our job to sculpt and nurture creative writing and this is best done by published authors and experienced writing teachers. This is what we give you in each and every writing course and in our One on One individualized manuscript sessions.

Teaching & Editorial Internship: The Crafts & Artforms of Recognizing & Supporting Vision


…because fine writing rarely pays, fine writers usually end up teaching, and the [MFA] degree, however worthless to the spirit, can be expected to add something to the flesh.



Flannery O’Connor is infamous for her statements regarding writing programs. She held that writing—or rather, good writing—cannot be taught, which is ironic, as she was foundational to the Iowa Writing Program, arguably the most successful writing program in the U.S. O’Connor might have been partially correct in her assertion that creative and visionary writing cannot be taught. It is true that each writer must explore and develop her/his organic voice from within, which can take years of study, some of which will be quite isolating. The writer with her pen or laptop. Still, even in these isolating hours, the writer will return again and again to her favorite novels, short stories, essays, memoirs and poetry, and in this, the true education exists. What the writer reads is essential and foundational to the writer’s development. And for this reason, a writing teacher can be inspirational and guiding. Whether you are teaching a writing student or editing a developing writer, the master books, stories, essays and poems that you offer as insight and inspiration can lead a developing writer to her organic and brilliant voice. True. Real writing cannot be taught, it must be found within. But an excellent teacher or editor can be a vital key toward unlocking doors within that writer. Below, O’Connor considers one door she calls vision:


In the last twenty years the colleges have been emphasizing creative writing to such an extent that you almost feel that any idiot with a nickel’s worth of talent can emerge from a writing class able to write a competent story. In fact, so many people can now write competent stories that the short story as a medium is in danger of dying of competence. We want competence, but competence by itself is deadly. What is needed is the vision to go with it, and you do not get this from a writing class.


How does a teacher or editor help a developing writer find her “vision”? Books? Yes. Practice? Yes. Debilitating critique? No. One of the worst habits of horrid writing teachers and editors is to shut down the writer’s exploration. More often than not, the writer’s vision will be found in writing “through” an idea rather than shutting it down altogether. Whether or not a writer’s current words will make the final cut, writing them are essential to the process and journey. Be a ruthless editor, yes. But do it with kindness and always an eye toward the student/writer’s intention. And be wary of harshly shutting down ideas. Even the “bad” ones. Sometimes, these bad ideas can become brilliantly metamorphic. And on this note, let’s explore your own talents for teaching and editing writing.


Completely General, & Yet, Attainable Goals

  • To explore teaching and editing resources, organizations, tools, pedagogies and critical theories;
  • To explore and utilize effective digital marketing tools for print and online editing;
  • To create an effective course lesson in your chosen course focus;
  • To cull, select works and edit a chapbook for release at The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review;
  • To review and give notes on student submissions;
  • To understand the foundations and importances of copyrights and public domains.


An Insanely Long List of Course Materials & Resources

You will not be asked to purchase all of the below materials, just a few. Several of the works will appear as excerpts within the course lessons.


Course Methods by Which You Will Fail or Succeed 🙂

In this internship course, you will augment your creative writing program with practical experiences in teaching and editing outside the university bubble, and yet, with adherence to critical and pedagogical rigors expected from your university teaching and writing program. You will engage in current literary professional practices and expectations including digital and print standards, as well as, technological and marketing platforms essential to teachers and editors of writing today. The internship will last 3+ months, and the lessons are work at your own pace. You will be expected to complete them in a timely and autonomous manner. You are encouraged to ask for help, of course, when needed. Questions? Email Rae at 911? Text Rae at 301-514-2380.

Your first lesson will begin as soon as you click the “Start Course” button. When you’ve completed each lesson, click the “Lesson Complete” button and your next lesson will be available to you.


The Paperwork: You Do Want to Get Paid, Right?

PROFILE: To input you into our system, and set up your Intern One on One Workshop page, you’ll need to fully complete your profile. Please do this now.

ONE ON ONE INTERN WORKSHOP: Payments will be commissioned-based and only on writing students who sign up for your One on One Workshop. All faculty and interns receive 60% of student registrations for their One on One Workshop. Regular faculty charge $.03 a word. It is recommended that you charge $.01 a word as an intern, but if you believe you can encourage student registrations at $.02 a word, great. Because you are an intern, your fee will be less than faculty members. This will encourage writers to “try you out.” This, however, doesn’t mean that writers will. As part of your internship, you will learn the marketing tools essential to not only building a student base, but also a reader/editorial base, including social networking and Metrilo, a marketing, newsletter and metrics software system for digital companies. To begin the process of setting up your One on One Workshop page, visit any of the Faculty pages for examples and ideas. Click here to set up your One on One Intern Workshop.

FRESHBOOKS: We use Freshbooks for our accounting and invoicing system. As paid interns, you will be W-9 contractors and will submit your invoices through our Freshbooks system. Freshbooks keeps everyone’s financials and banking information safe, secure and separate while keeping excellent records of all transactions. This is essential for year end accounting. Don’t worry about starting your Freshbooks account right now. We’ll get you set up at the start of your first student registration.


Rae Bryant, FacultyRae Bryant is the author of the short story collection, The Indefinite State of Imaginary Morals. Her stories and essays have appeared in print and online at  The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, Diagram, StoryQuarterly, McSweeney’s, New World Writing, Gargoyle Magazine, and Redivider, among other publications and have been nominated for the Pen/Hemingway, Pen Emerging Writers, &NOW Award and Pushcart Prize. She has won awards in fiction from Whidbey Writers and The Johns Hopkins University as well as fellowships from the VCCA and Hopkins to write, study and teach in Florence. She earned a Masters in Writing from Hopkins where she continues to teach creative writing. She has also taught in the International Writing Program at The University of Iowa and guest-lectured at American University. She is the founding editor in chief of The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review. Rae is the director of The Eckleburg Workshops. She has been teaching writing for 25+ years and holds a Bachelor of Humanities in English and Teaching from PSU. Rae is a member of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP, NBCC, CLMP and Johns Hopkins Alumni Association. She is represented by Jennifer Carlson of Dunow, Carlson and Lerner.


Teaching & Editorial Internship

The Eckleburg Workshops is offering a paid teaching and editorial internship

  • Applicants must currently be in a university graduate writing program; 
  • Internships run for 3+ months; 
  • Small stipend compensation; 
  • All responsibilities are online, including reading, developmental edits and line edits; 
  • Required: computer and internet access, MS Word, MS Word Track Changes; 
  • Recommended: WordPress experience. 

Please attach your resume and cover letter below.