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LSAT Writing Sample and You

Or, the post where I save you $25

Whenever I’m in a brick-and-mortar book store I like to take a quick pass through the LSAT prep section to see if there’s anything new.  Today I was shocked to find that Kaplan actually published a book on practice problems for the writing section, the Kaplan LSAT Writing Workbook!  I couldn’t believe it — the writing section is ungraded and generally unread except to make sure that you know English and that you actually wrote something.  It should take you about 15 minutes to prep for (compared with 3-4 months for the rest of the test).  I couldn’t believe Kaplan would put something like that on the market; to me it indicates a disrespect for students that don’t know better.

I’ll save you the $25 (!!!).  Here’s all you need to know to do fine on the writing section.

Read over one writing sample topic in the back of any PrepTest. Unless it freaks you out to not practice more, you don’t even have to complete the sample.

Write an intro paragraph clearly stating your support for one of the two competing positions. There are always two options, and you are always asked to take a stand between them.  (There is no right answer — flip a coin if you like).  State why you chose that answer in 1-2 sentences.

Write a second paragraph discussing why the option you chose is better.

Write a third paragraph on why the option you did not choose is good, but not as good, as the first option. You want to show that you gave the other option some thought and understand that it has merit, but that its drawbacks outweigh its benefits.

Write a fourth paragraph restating your conclusion from the first paragraph.

That’s it.  It’s really this easy.  Please, please spend your time studying for the sections that matter!