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Example of an LSAT Writing Sample Topic

For the LSAT Writing Sample section you'll be given a prompt that presents two alternatives, or choices, and asks you to write an essay in which you argue for one choice over the other based on two competing criteria.

Following is an illustrative example of an LSAT Writing Sample topic. As with any LSAT writing prompt, this example contains three components:

  • a one-paragraph premise
  • two competing criteria
  • a description of each of two choices

Keep in mind: Although this writing prompt closely simulates the ones on the LSAT, it is not an actual prompt from a previously administered exam.

(Read an exemplary essay that responds to this writing prompt.)


The Dawsons, a recently retired couple, would like to move from a large metropolitan area, where they have lived and worked for many years, to a smaller, slower-paced community. They are selling their three-bedroom house and plan to buy a smaller, two-bedroom condominium wherever they relocate. They are considering two possible destinations. Write an argument for either of the following two choices, keeping in mind two guidelines:

  • The Dawsons' income will be substantially lower than when they were working, and so they would like to reduce their living costs.

  • The Dawsons would like to spend their retirement enjoying a wide variety of cultural and recreational activities.

The city of Haven Hill is a popular winter resort community located about a two-hour drive from the nearest major metropolitan area. Tourists from around the world flock to Haven Hill during the winter months for downhill and cross-country skiing, and residents can enjoy hiking the trails and fishing during the quieter off-season. Haven Hill boasts a vibrant fine-arts scene and hosts a small but growing annual film festival. The average price of a condominium is about the same as the value of the home that the Dawsons are selling. During the winter season, Haven Hill condominiums can be rented to tourists on a short-term basis at a substantial premium above off-season rental rates.

The town of Brookville, about a 45-minute drive to the nearest metropolitan area, is home to Swanson College, a four-year liberal-arts institution with a prestigious music and performing arts program. The college hosts a year-round concert series featuring many well-known professional artists, and it boasts an impressive library and art gallery — both open to the general public free of charge. The city itself is a typical college town, with an extensive network of bike paths and a wide variety of low-priced eateries and retail shops catering to college students and local residents alike. Swanson College now offers a variety of inexpensive non-degree extension courses that are open for enrollment to Brookville residents. The average price of a Brookville condominium is significantly less than the home that the Dawsons are selling.