Example 2

You are a career counselor at a local state college and must argue in favor of a student, John Rock, entering one of the two fields presented below. The student does equally well in both disciplines, but has no interest in being a double major. Since John Rock has made an appointment with you to discuss his career plans, your recommendation of a major must take into account:

• the major which will yield the best job opportunities in the future
• the interests and talents of the student

Rock is a sophomore and has taken five courses in philosophy, in each of which he has earned “A’s”. Rock tells you that his greater interest is in philosophy and that he knows he can use a philosophy background as a preparation for a legal career which he has frequently considered. John knows that the only job opportunities available in philosophy per se are in college teaching. Rock, however is not enthusiastic about the idea of going to graduate school. John enjoys reading, writing, and debating and can argue both logically and persuasively. John is also aware that philosophy is an impractical field which pays little.

John Rock has also taken six courses in physics and received all “B+’s”. John tells you that although he finds physics more difficult than philosophy, he also finds it more challenging, but less enjoyable. John is unsure if he wants to spend the rest of his life in a scientific career, but is happy that a career in physics would be both profitable and prestigious. Rock is also happy that even with a bachelor’s degree, he could find a well-paying job. Rock’s father has consistently encouraged his son John to major in physics, so the choice of physics would also please his father.

Sample Essay

Given the tight job market for humanities graduates, and given Mr. Rock’s solid competence in physics, I must recommend that John Rock pursue a degree in physics. This recommendation is based on the fact that science and technology majors are in greater demand and better paid than liberal arts majors.

John is a mature individual and a good student. He is aware that choosing to pursue a degree in physics will mean more work and more difficult assignments. He has demonstrated by his grades that he has the talent and willingness to succeed as a physics major. I note that although John receives higher grades in philosophy than in physics, this is undoubtedly due to the more difficult nature of scientific disciplines in general.

If Rock majors in philosophy, he will have to go to graduate school to obtain a doctorate degree and prepare himself for an academic life of teaching and research at low pay. If, however, he chooses physics as a major, he will not only have more job opportunities, but also better paying ones.

Despite these advantages, it should be noted that John will have to work harder in a field that he does not like as much as philosophy. Mr. Rock will also have to put aside his interest in reading and writing and debating. Choosing physics as a major would mean that Rock cannot exercise his mind as broadly as he could studying philosophy. It is certainly fair to say that John’s heart is more in philosophy than in physics. It is also fair to say that enjoying one’s work is extremely important, especially in the long run.

All in all, I would recommend that John Rock major in physics. While he may be more interested in philosophy, it is more important that he choose a major that offers the opportunity of securing a practical and profitable job. I would note that choosing physics also enables John to avoid going to graduate school and leads to a career that is stable, secure and prestigious. In short, the financial and social rewards for John in pursuing a career in physics outweigh the benefits of majoring in philosophy simply because it is easier and he likes it more.

Essay Explanation

This essay is well written because it is concise and well organized. In the first paragraph, the author clearly and effectively states his position. The reason stated for the recommendation is also indirectly linked to one of the two required considerations in the topic statement.

The second paragraph is linked to the second required consideration in the topic statement. John Rock’s ability to successfully major in physics is assessed.

The difference in grades Rock received in physics and philosophy is explained and it demonstrated that Rock should not necessarily major in philosophy simply because he receives higher grades in that field than in physics.

In the fourth paragraph, the author considers arguments against his position.
The author also states in the following paragraph why those reasons are unpersuasive challenges to his position.

Sentence length and structure are varied in the essay to avoid it sounding monotonous. The essay is also properly punctuated and the spelling is correct.
The last paragraph summarizes the author’s position and restates the justification for taking that position.

Next LSAT: July 15th