Updated: Feb 7
Suggested LSAT Study Plan
I suggest that you use this blog post as a study guide for the essay. Follow these steps below to learn how to write the best LSAT writing piece.
- Read the example prompt to understand how the prompts are typically structured
- Read the step-by-step-process about how to write the best essay and pick the format that you feel most comfortable with
- Write your own essay to practice
- Finally, read the sample prompts and the “what makes a great essay” section of this post to see how those essays compare to your essay and see if there is anything that you could add or change to your essay to make it better.
Step 1: Understand the Pros & Cons
A perfect way to start your response is to make a table while reading the prompt. This will help you break down the prompt and see all the pros and cons for each side of the argument. By blatantly noting the pros and cons you will be able to have a better understanding of the argument and have a clear stances on your choice.
Step 2: Start Your Response
First, you must devise a thesis statement. A thesis is a statement that notes your own opinion and your own stance on a certain subject matter. For example, in reference to the prompt above, a effective thesis statement could be: The Frye Street location is the better choice for the Baxters.
Step 3: Write Your Essay
Combine step 1 and 2 in order to write your essay. Step 2 should be your introduction to your essay which provides the reader with an understanding of your point of view and what you will be writing about. Then, use the pros and cons devised in step 1 to create your body paragraphs. Keep in mind your paragraphs do not need to be long. Most people can only fit about 250-300 words in the space allotted. You only have 35 minutes; therefore, your introduction paragraph can merely be your thesis statement and your body paragraphs can only be a few sentences. As long as you prove your point, it doesn’t matter the length of the essay. Additionally, there are two general formats in which you can write your essay.
- Paragraph 1: Argument: State your choice (thesis statement) and give the main reasons for it.
- Paragraph 2: Counterargument: Explain the main issues with the other choice.
- Paragraph 3: Conclusion: Conclude by restating your choice and the strongest reason for it.
- Issue: state the issue that you are being asked to analyze.
- Rule: state the rule (criterion)
- Application: apply the criterion to the facts presented in each alternative choice.
- Conclusion: conclude by explaining that the position you are arguing for is the better choice, given the facts provided.
- Paragraph 1: Introduction – Includes the Issue, Rule/Criterions, and Thesis Statement
- Paragraph 2: Argument – This paragraph states why your choice is the best choice. it includes the pros but also counteracts the cons.
- Paragraph 3: Counterargument – This paragraph states why the alternate choice is not good. Meaning, it states the cons, but also it tells why the pros are not as good as we think.
- Paragraph 4: Conclusion – This can be short and only a couple sentences, but it will recap the thesis
Example LSAT Essay
Sample Response 1
(in favor of the Frye Street location)
The Frye Street location is the better choice for the Baxters. The time and cost of renovating the Frye shop would be minimal, since the store is already set up to accommodate a hair studio. Its close proximity would minimize the time and expense of moving as well as providing for uninterrupted business from current clients. A continued stream of business and a low initial rent would ensure short-term survival as well as making it financially feasible to expand to the adjacent space, thereby achieving long-term growth. Although the prior salon failure on Frye Street might suggest poor growth potential, that failure may have been due to other factors—such as mismanagement or a narrow male-only client base.
The mall space’s high-traffic location might seem to provide more long-term profit potential. However, the Baxters may face greater competition in the suburbs from franchise salons. More importantly, the Baxters’ primary concern should be with short-term survival, since otherwise they cannot achieve their longer-term profit goals. The additional expense of equipping a new retail space, along with a high initial rent, may jeopardize that survival, especially since it may take considerable time to develop a new clientele.
In sum, Frye is the better location; it would allow for a fast and inexpensive start-up and an uninterrupted flow of business, in turn ensuring both short-term survival and long-term success.
Sample Response 2
(in favor of the Fashion Place Mall location)
What makes a great essay?
- Both essays effectively prove their thesis statement.
- Both essays include a counter argument. Meaning they explain the apparent strengths of the opposite argument, then quickly discuss their weaknesses.
- Both responses are clear, concise, and well-rounded.
- Both essays use effective language, syntax, and dictation.
- Both essays include transitional phrases and main shifts in the argument by using words like: “however”, “in sum”, “admittedly” and “in the final analysis”.