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Link of the Week: Peanut Butter

A popular quotation that has been attributed to Einstein (and a few others) says that you should "make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler."  When you choose your current events for the SAT essay, choose a couple of simple stories.  Sometimes these stories have a wealth of applications.  You can use these examples without having to memorize an incredible number of facts.  

For example, take a look at this article about a test that helps to determine whether patients have Alzheimer's disease.  Smelling peanut butter is a simple test, but did you notice the interesting differences found between those who had Alzheimer's and those who had other kinds of dementia?  It would be easy to oversimplify this story by just viewing it as a cheap way to test for Alzheimer's, but think about the other themes mentioned in this story.  The person who developed this idea was a student, but she was also working with "one of the world's best known behavioral neurologists."  What could you learn about age, responsibility, experience, and motivation from this one fact?  Do you consider this a creative solution?  Why or why not?  Do you start to see how this simple story could make a variety of points?

Finally, notice the importance of this test, which is stated throughout the article but most overtly at the end.   If you want to persuade someone that your thesis is the right way of viewing an issue, it helps to show how important it is to see things your way.  A sentence or two is all it would take to explain this article.  Make sure that you connect the article to your thesis and explain why it is a good example of your point of view.  Before you move on to your next example, it would be a good idea to emphasize why it is important to agree with you, or what benefits there are to humanity if people will only see things your way.