Link of the Week: Anthony Graves

The Knowsys method calls for you to prepare specific current events to use as examples when you write your SAT essay.  Some students have difficulty choosing events to research because they don't see how a randomly picked story will relate to a randomly chosen essay topic.  If you are a student who struggles with this idea, take a look at this story.  This current event involves the death penalty, education, people of various ages and backgrounds, multiple societal problems, and real gratitude.  Take a look at these previous SAT questions:

1.  Is it important to question the ideas and decisions of people in positions of authority?  (If you do not see how this question relates to the article, then read it again!) 

2.  Is the world changing for the better?  (Think about whether this story could have taken place a hundred years ago.  Are there any new problems introduced in the story?  What about the current cost of education?  Does one scholarship solve that problem?  Does it need to?) 

3.  Should heroes be defined as people who say what they think when we ourselves lack the courage to say it?  (Does Anthony Graves consider Nicole Cásarez a hero?  Were her words or her actions more important?  This woman worked for eight years to free this man.  Was that courage or a different trait?)

4.  Should people take more responsibility for solving problems that affect their communities or the nation in general?  (If a man who spent so long in prison is capable of doing so much good after he gets out, it seems that the rest of us need to step it up.)

5.  Can success be disastrous?   (How do you think that the prosecutor who helped put Graves in jail feels now?  At the same time, Graves received sudden success in the form of freedom and money, and he didn't seem to have made any disastrous decisions yet.)


This story will not easily serve as an example for every SAT question ever, but hopefully you can see that it makes an excellent example for many of them.  If you open up your Knowsys SAT handbook to the list of released essay topics, can you relate this article to at least half of them?  Remember, this is only one of the five current events that you will prepare for use on the SAT essay.