Example Essay Prompt

Kristin Fracchia
Lesson by Kristin Fracchia
Magoosh Expert
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Link to pdf of prompt 


Almost since human beings first began sharing ideas, the issue of censorship (officially suppressing ideas or writing) has been debated. Proponents of censorship argue, for example, that offensive material might morally corrupt children or that governments have the right to protect their national secrets. Opponents argue that censorship infringes on individual freedom and hinders progress. Censorship has long been an issue regarding books and papers; now, it has become a critical issue concerning the seemingly infinite amount of information on the Internet. Given the continued impact of censorship on various aspects of our lives, it is an issue worth examining.

Read and carefully consider these perspectives. Each suggests a particular way of thinking about the impact of censorship.

Perspective One

Selective censorship prevents children from being exposed to offensive material. It allows parents and caretakers to determine what material children are ready for and when, based on their maturity level, they are ready for such material.

Perspective Two

Censorship intrudes upon freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Individuals have the right to learn about their world, both its positive and negative aspects, and to express their ideas on it.

Perspective Three

Censorship should not be condoned because it places too much power in the hands of a few: no government or leadership system should be allowed to decide what information should reach the public.

Essay Task

Write a unified, coherent essay in which you evaluate multiple perspectives on the impact of censorship on society. In your essay, be sure to:

  • analyze and evaluate the perspectives given
  • state and develop your own perspective on the issue
  • explain the relationship between your perspective and those given

Your perspective may be in full agreement with any of the others, in partial agreement, or wholly different. Whatever the case, support your ideas with logical reasoning and detailed, persuasive examples. 

Learn More About Magoosh ACT
This video is here to walk you through an example essay prompt that we are going to be working with in a bunch of the subsequent videos on the ACT essay on introductions, and conclusions, and body paragraphs, and structuring, and planning. So, because the prompts for the essay on the SAT are pretty long, this video is to give you the full prompt so you know what we're working with. We'll reference relevant sections of the prompt in future videos, but this is so you can have an overview of it, and you can work on beginning to form your own ideas before we walk through examples.

So, what I want you to do is go ahead and pause the video here, so you can go ahead and read the introductory material, and then we will go on to the three perspectives. All right, so let's go ahead and move on. Here are the three perspectives that you are going to have to be evaluating in your essay.

So go ahead and pause the video once again and read through them. All right, now finally let's move on to the actual question to the prompt. Here is your essay task. So, once again, go ahead and pause the video. Read the essay prompt on censorship and then you are going to be all set for the videos that follow and you'll know what I'm talking about in them.

All right, so hopefully you've read through this. You can refer to it at any time. You'll also find the prompt below this video if you just want to go ahead and read it but particularly for our mobile users, this video is going to get you all up to speed on the example essay prompt that we are going to be working with.

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