The SAT Essay sample was written based on a copyrighted article, “MIND-BODY UNITY AS THE ROOT OF MORAL GROWTH” is by Amy Wright and can be found here in humans and nature.org
(INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH : Introduce the author’s position on a central idea and the methods used to support her claims)
Science and culture have time and again shown that the mind and body are connected not only physiologically but also through a moral channel (article thesis). Amy Wright utilizes allusions to botany and biology, references to academic research and personal anecdotes (evidence and rhetorical techniques) to press her argument that the mind and body can hence serve to guide our moral compass as far as vital human actions and interactions are concerned (writer’s purpose).
(BODY PARAGRAPH 1: You can begin with her intention and then explain how her technique is effective)
Wright first postulates that morality is birthed when our body and actions are “subjected to ideals”. Culture, the human environment and religion exert their influence thus producing “principles of behaviour”. Such a wide basis may seem sweeping but her direct examples serve to illustrate how far ranging an area moral ideals stem from. This also reflects the depth of thought that went into her thesis. Wright first uses the allusion to traditions to illustrate her point. Hence children follow family or school schedules, while Christ is respected for his abstinence. She goes one step further in suggesting that fasting was a way for Jesus to connect with his physical body, pointing to her own practice of yoga as an effective method for “guiding moral progress”. She then alludes to botany as another example of how intelligence and the body are “integrative”. The comparison of allusions illustrates the wide berth that body and morality links have in a variety of areas, be it historically or in contemporary life.
(BODY PARAGRAPH 2: You can also begin with explaining her technique and then her intention)
Wright uses an academic reference by citing Michael Marder, a philosopher who pointed to botany research where plant roots are drawn to fertile soil just as leaves gravitate to sunlight. She underscores this intrinsic link by using a parallel example that Marder cites of how the human middle ear differentiates sounds such as a dog bark from a gunshot. She also points to how such reflection differ from the traditional “Cartesian split” as mentioned by Hester Oberman’s “The Matter of the Moral Mind” although she avoids going into any detail about the traditional mindset. Wright is more focused on the way our physiology interprets our environment as an “overlooked form of intelligence”, thus maintaining and developing the concept of the mind-body connection. The reference to science adds validity and strength to her argument.
(BODY PARAGRAPH 3:)
Wright finally draws a bigger picture of how almost every living thing is interlinked with her initial example of how plants communicate with each other as well as the ecosystem. She urges her readers to consider the larger connection despite our “suppression of our senses” and to not assume that issues such as deforestation are isolated issues. It is here that Wright provides a personal anecdote by sharing her own experience with cooking mushroom risotto and crickets. This personal account serves to provide a visceral experience particularly as she describes how the crispy crickets were “thrillingly al dente”. This example effectively shows how committed Wright is to the idea that our senses ie. our body is connected to the mind including its former preconditioning of judging insects to be dirty and “wrong to eat”. By using such an unusual example, Wright both captures the attention of her readers but also illustrates the strength of her conviction. Wright provides a second anecdote of her experience with eating shrimp and how she noted the “textural comparison” with her previous meal. This time she goes for the punch when sharing her relief that crickets was an eco-friendly meal compared to the shrimp harvested by suffering indentured workers. The political implication of the simple act of choosing what we eat adds gravity to the various connections mentioned. Once again Wright offers a mind-body example to paint a convincing illustration of how morality kicks in at each and every physiological interplay.
(CONCLUSION : Summarise author’s claim and once again, the main techniques used)
In her endeavor to illustrate deep connections with the mind, body and morality, Amy Wright uses allusions, academic references and personal anecdote. In so doing, she manages to draw vital implications from our connection to nature as well as to the whole human fabric.