Okay, so we’ve chatted profusely about the three main sections of the LSAT: Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning and Logic Games. But, there’s still one section we haven’t focused too much on: the Writing Section. Here’s what you need to know: it’s ungraded and it won’t affect your LSAT score. So why am I talking to you about it? Because it’s still important. Now, I want to reiterate that it’s not something you should ever stress or practice too much, but it’s important to be prepared for this section.
What should you expect? Well, the Writing Section is always the sixth and last section of the LSAT. Just like the other sections, you have 35 minutes to complete it. That means 35 minutes to read the prompt, have some semblance of an outline ready either in your head or on some scratch paper and write. You will be given a prompt on some specific situation with two possibilities. You need to choose one possibility and advocate for it. For instance, the prompt will tell you about a zoo, and you can either advocate for a shipment of zebras or a shipment of gorillas. The prompt will explain a series of pros and cons for both, and then you must choose one and persuade the reader as to that decision.
THERE IS NO RIGHT CHOICE!
Now that we got that question flashing in your head answered, let’s get to the next nagging one: why is this happening to me? More so why after a grueling set of five 35-minute LSAT sections, four of which will determine your score, must LSAC make you sit and write an essay that they’re not even going to grade? The Writing Section is designed to test how well you can organize and execute a persuasive argument using logic and evidence (see, somewhat related to those sections you will have just finished), and to see how well you can write/express your thoughts through written word.
There is no correct way to write your essay. Make sure to have a well thought-out intro and conclusion. Whatever side you choose, try and highlight the pros, while down playing the cons. For instance, one of the writing sections I remember taking had roughly the following scenario: some town was building a new observatory and was trying to decide where to build it. They could either build it at the top of a hill or at the base of a hill. If you built the observatory at the top of the hill, then you had a better vantage point in seeing the sky, but the drive was longer and a bit windy, and therefore, might deter some of the townsfolk from going. If you built the observatory at the base of the hill, it would be much more convenient for people to go, but there would be many more overcast days where you wouldn’t be able to see many stars. Choose either, and persuade. Simple.
I think the best thing to do is to quickly outline your paragraphs and go from there. I like having an intro paragraph that quickly lays out the reasons why my choice is right and the other choice is wrong. Then I have a paragraph for why my choice is best and really highlight its strengths, while minimizing its weaknesses. And then another paragraph for why the other choice’s supposed strengths aren’t really that great, while maximizing its weaknesses. You should not make up any facts that were not given to you. Remember, this isn’t your college thesis, just write it simply and well, and you’ll be fine. Chances are, no one will even read it. Tops for you. But, please, please don’t use a word if you do not know how to spell it.
Ultimately, it’s nothing to sweat about. I wouldn’t even fully write any out for practice. If you’d like, take a look at a few sample prompts and write a few outlines for fun (your sense of this word has really been skewed since you began your LSAT prep, hasn’t it?). Take it seriously, but don’t stress. There are other things you should focus on.