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LSAT Writing Sample: A Step by Step Example

The LSAT writing sample is ungraded–does that make it unimportant? Absolutely not! In fact, the LSAC (test-maker) has just reinforced how important this is by making the completion of the LSAT writing sample mandatory before you can get scores for any LSAT-Flex exam. Is the essay challenging? Maybe at first. But the writing sample shouldn’t be too hard. By following some basic steps, you can write a clear and persuasive essay within the 35 minute limit. So let’s take a look at this step-by-step LSAT writing sample example.

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June 2007 Writing Prompt

We’re going to use The Official LSAT Sample PrepTest of June 2007 for our writing sample. Your mission for the writing sample is to write a clear argument for one of two choices.

On the writing sample, you’ll be given two choices and information about them. These choices can be anything from what pet a person should get to what kind of community center a town should build. There will be pros and cons about each choice. You can be relieved that the test-writers don’t necessarily prefer one choice over the other. The point is that you must make a decision with your limited time—and defend your decision well.

After all, in the directions, they do say, “There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choice: a reasonable argument can be made for either choice.”

The June 2007 LSAT writing sample describes a decision that “BLZ Stores” have to make. They’re aiming to expand their stores, and must choose a plan that should ideally accomplish two things. First, they want to increase their profits. Second, they want to ensure long-term financial stability.

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We must choose between the national plan (to expand across the country in a short time) and the regional plan (to increase the number and size of stores in the company’s home region and upgrade their facilities, product quality, and service).

LSAT Writing Sample Example Step 1

The first step for the writing sample is to brainstorm. Take a moment to think about which option you can defend most easily. Once you’ve decided, quickly brainstorm the points you’ll make to defend it. Also note why the other choice is less than ideal in accomplishing the main considerations.

In this example, let’s go ahead and choose the “regional plan” because:

  • It’s the safer, more conservative option for the moment.
  • The national plan puts BLZ Stores at a greater financial risk.
  • It can be the first step towards national expansion in the future.

Step 2: Begin Writing & Briefly Summarize Your Choice

The second step is beginning your essay. Start by briefly summarizing what you’ll be discussing. It can go like this:

BLZ Stores is facing an important decision for its business trajectory. In order to expand, the company must choose between a national plan and a regional plan. Ultimately, its aim is to maximize profits and ensure stability in the future. This is a challenging decision because one option, the national plan, offers the potential of dramatic profits. The other option, the regional plan, is significantly more conservative and may not produce as much profit.

Step 3: Make Your Choice and Give Support

Next, continue the essay by announcing the option you think is best and why. It’s very important that you give at least three solid reasons why you’ve made your choice. At this stage, you can mention how it fulfills at least one of the main considerations better than the other option. Even if it doesn’t fulfill both perfectly, it might do an okay job with one consideration and a great job with the second.

You should also mention why the option you didn’t choose doesn’t do a good enough job with one or more of the main considerations.

Despite the difficulty of the choice, one option is better than the other. BLZ Stores should opt for the regional plan. Firstly, the regional plan takes advantage of BLZ Stores’ favorable position in its local area. It is already a well-known and well-liked brand, so if it is to expand it should begin in an area where it’s most likely to succeed.

Secondly, since BLZ Stores is facing competition from other stores that can offer lower prices, the company should spend more time on its branding and marketing. It is important that if a company can’t offer the lowest prices, it offers ample reasons for customers to spend more at their store. For example, BLZ Stores can make its name synonymous with quality, luxury, or a top-class shopping experience. This strategy will help defend the company against its increasing competition.

Most importantly, the national plan will place too much of the company’s focus on expansion. There will not be enough resources to fine-tune this marketing strategy. Thus, in the long run, it puts the company more at risk for huge financial losses.

Additionally, although the regional plan has less potential for immediate large profits than the national plan, it at least offers the chance of a fair amount of profits. It is a good balance of risk and reward.

Step 4: Acknowledge the Other Option’s Pros and Cons

Next, it’s important to note that while the national plan offers a the potential of higher profits, it is also very high risk for BLZ Stores. Other companies in presumably better positions have failed at dramatic, national expansions. Since this company aims to ensure long-term financial stability, it’s not in its best interest to take such a significant risk. Plus, the risk is amplified by the fact that they are not well-known outside of their hometown.

Step 5: Reiterate Why Your Choice Is the Best and Summarize Your Argument

In the end, BLZ Stores should choose the regional plan because it takes advantage of its good position in its community, offers a fair amount of profits, and can allow the company to improve its branding and popularity for the future. Although the national plan might produce higher profits if it succeeds, it does not satisfy the company’s objective of having long-term financial stability. With a solid strategy in mind, BLZ Stores are bound to fair better under the regional plan.

Now It’s Time to Practice!

Now that you’ve gotten a step-by-step LSAT writing sample example, you should be ready to try it on your own! The next time you’re taking a practice test, why not time yourself and do the writing sample yourself while following this example. You should definitely be able to write a coherent, persuasive essay in no time.

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