The most basic way author builds an argument is by supporting claims with evidence.There are many different kinds of evidence author might use to support her/his point, but I'm just going to discuss the two big ones I've seen in various official SAT Essay prompts.
This flexibility should prove to you how effective pre-planned examples are.
So, without further ado, onto our list of multipurpose support for any SAT Essay prompt.
This type of evidence is most often found in speeches or other sorts of essay prompts that are written as a personal address to the reader.
An anecdote is a short story about a real person or event.
Isn’t the point of the essay that you’re supposed to be using information from the passage in your answer, which you don’t know about ahead of time? While the specifics of each example will obviously change, depending on the passage, the types of examples you choose to discuss (and the way you explain each example builds the author’s argument) can be defined, and thus prepared for, ahead of time.
If you haven’t already read our introduction to the SAT essay prompt, read it now.
The dramatic procession of the Porcupine caribou herd was a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife spectacle.
We understand firsthand why some have described this special birthplace as “America’s Serengeti.” Even though anecdotes aren't statistics or facts, they can be powerful because it’s more relatable/interesting to the reader to read an anecdote than to be presented with dry, boring facts.
Here's another example from "Let There Be Dark": Facts and statistics are persuasive argument building techniques because the author isn't just making up reasons for why his/her argument could possibly be true—there's actually something (data, research, other events/information) that backs up the author's claim.
In the case of the examples above, Bogard presents specific data about issues with light pollution (8 in 10 children won't be able to see the Milky Way, light in the sky increases 6% annually) to back up his statements that light pollution is real, then goes on to present further information that indicates light pollution is a problem (working the night shift puts humans at risk for cancer).