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❶Because you only have 40 minutes to write the ACT essay, you need to have a game plan before you start the test. Again, these can be real or made up.

Your Full Guide to ACT Writing Section

How to Write the ACT Essay
Tackling ACT Writing, Step by Step
Writing Sample Essays

You must, however, make it obvious which side you are arguing for. If you can, it's great to put the argument in terms of a larger debate—we'll discuss that later. In a scoring essay, "[d]evelopment of ideas and support for claims deepen insight and broaden context. An integrated line of skillful reasoning and illustration effectively conveys the significance of the argument. Qualifications and complications enrich and bolster ideas and analysis.

The bottom line is that you need to fully explain every point you make. If you don't have time to explain it in two to four sentences, leave it out unless it's the only way you can get in a comparison of your perspective with one of the three perspectives. Make sure to either explain your thinking and reasoning or use specific examples to illustrate your points. A scoring essay "exhibits a skillful organizational strategy.

Transitions between and within paragraphs strengthen the relationships among ideas. If a logical organization for your points occurs to you for example, if Point 1 depends on Point 2, you'd put Point 2 first , use it. If not, just list your points, allotting a paragraph for each one. A transition that reflects your logic just means tying one point to another somehow, and this is ideal. The ACT essay scoring system won't penalize you too heavily for a "First, Second, Third" type of organization, so if you just say "My first reason…," and "Second…," that's better than no transitions.

The intro and conclusion should make the same general points, and if you have a larger context mentioned in the intro, mention it again in the conclusion. A scoring essay uses language in a way that "enhances the argument. Word choice is skillful and precise. Sentence structures are consistently varied and clear.

Stylistic and register choices, including voice and tone, are strategic and effective. While a few minor errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics may be present, they do not impede understanding. Language Use can be the hardest area for students to improve in particularly if English is not their native language.

The essay graders aren't going to be impressed by words like "dogmatic" and "provincial" if you just throw them in and hope for the best; if you're not sure about the usage of a more advanced word, stick with the simpler one.

Using "consistently varied and clear" sentence structures doesn't just mean not starting every sentence the same way e.

Machines can also cause problems. Machines are the answer to our future". You also need to make sure your sentences are clear and further your logic rather than making it more difficult to understand. As with word choice and organization , it's better to be clear than to be fancy.

If in the moment you find that your brain freezes and your sentences are all coming out the same with simple words, don't sweat it.

Adding in more advanced vocabulary or switching up sentence structures is something you can fix when you revise your essay in the last two to four minutes of the essay section. Even though the ACT essay has some clear published guidelines, there are a few secrets that most students don't know and that can give you a major advantage on the test.

These are facts that ACT, Inc. You can make up whatever information you need to support your point. As with the tip above, if you know the real facts, that's great since the grader will probably know them too , but it's not required. This might sound crazy. You could write about how Al Gore invented the dishwasher, and the ACT graders are not allowed to penalize you.

With over a million students taking the test every year, graders only have a few minutes to put a score of to each of the four essay scoring domains. They can't check whether Martin Luther King was born in or Thus, ACT essay scoring uses a simpler rule—all statements are taken as truth. The important point is that the evidence needs to support your thesis. Of course, ACT, Inc. If you're short on examples to prove a point, make up something realistic-sounding you can even pretend a newspaper or politician said something they didn't , and slap it in there.

It's much better than trying to write a vague paragraph without concrete evidence. This is one of the most important ACT Writing tips. There is a strong relationship between essay length and score—the longer your essay, the better your score.

In a short essay, it's difficult for you to develop your points well enough to earn a decent score. Really, you should write a page and a half if at all possible. And if you can write more than a page and a half without repeating yourself or digressing from your point, you'll be in really good shape. The introduction and conclusion are the "bookends" of the essay: ACT graders have to read a lot of essays very quickly, and they give most of them a 3 or a 4 in each domain.

The fastest way for them to score an essay is to find the thesis to make sure that it's there, that it answers the prompt, and that the rest of the essay supports it and then skim the first and last paragraphs. By reading these parts, the grader can usually tell with confidence what the score will be. They'll scan the middle to make sure it makes sense, but they probably won't read every word as closely.

Teach or Tutor for Us. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University. Privacy Terms of Use Site Map. Education is not merely a means to employment: ELA education helps students to live more meaningful lives. ELA programs should be eradicated entirely, except to establish the basic literacy necessary to engage in the hard sciences, mathematics, and business. Reading and writing are activities that are best saved for the leisure of students who enjoy them.

Both are necessary to providing a student with a well-rounded education. In your essay, be sure to: Work the Prompt What in the prompt requires you to weigh in? Work the Perspectives Typically, the three perspectives will be split: What does each perspective consider? What does each perspective overlook? Why The Princeton Review? Productive Preparation We know that great scores take work. Engaging Teachers We love our teachers, and so will you. Yes, I love saving money! Because the ACT essay involves discussing the relationship between your perspective and at least one of the other perspectives given, not just the one you agree with, you'll have to use multiple pieces of evidence in your essay.

During this step, if you find that you're able to find more convincing evidence to support a different perspective than the one you've chosen, you can always switch—after all, you're still planning. Also, you don't have to write in complete sentences, or phrase things as elegantly as you will in the actual essay, so don't worry about that. If you haven't already, read through the paragraph at the beginning of the essay prompt. You can appropriate some or all of the examples in it to use in your own essay.

You can tell any story real or not about you or someone else you know or make up that supports any one of your points. Again, these can be real or made up. Use knowledge of events from history or current events to support your points.

If you're not certain of the details, it's all right—the essay graders won't deduct points for factually inaccurate information. For this essay, you could use the invention of the printing press and its effects as an example of how mechanization can lead to "unimagined possibilities. Many of our phone conversations are conducted not with people, but with sophisticated technologies People get so frustrated with the technology that when they press "0" to speak with a real human they are often rude and discourteous.

Brain-computer interfaces that allow people to control computers with their brains are a thing. Allow people to overcome physical limitations, inspire us to continue researching and expanding knowledge.

There's no one right way to respond to the perspectives the ACT gives you. Some of it depends on what point of view you take. For instance, if I agreed with Perspective One, which takes a negative view of the effects of intelligent machines, I might want to discuss both of the other two perspectives which both take positive views of intelligent machines in one paragraph, and then disagree with them in the next paragraph as I present my support for Perspective One.

Since I'm arguing for Perspective Three machines challenge our ideas about what humans are or can be, which pushes us and machines toward new possibilities , I'm going to argue against Perspective One and Perspective Two separately, because I have strong evidence for my analyses of each perspective.

Because the essay only requires you to analyze the relationship between your perspective and at least one other perspective, if I had lots of evidence to use in my comparison of my perspective and Perspective One, but nothing to say about Perspective Two, I could also decide not to discuss that perspective at all.

In this case, I was able to think of solid arguments for and against both of the other perspectives, so I chose to analyze both of them and their relationship to my perspective below. Again, these are not necessarily worded in their final form. In addition, recordings of calls with angry customers are used to improve the menus. Robots take over dangerous jobs which decreases risk of injury to human workers, lowering cost to employers.

This perspective is true, but is limited in its consideration of the implications. Robots can not only do things instead of humans, but can actually work with humans, as in precise surgery, to a better result than either humans or machines alone. Now that you have the main points of your essay, it's time to organize them in a way that makes sense.

Make sure to include your introduction with your thesis statement containing your point of view, or at least a rough sense of your thesis statement and conclusion in this organization. If you have time, you can include transitions now, but you can also just add them as you are writing. The increasing prevalence of machines challenges us, etc, will put this in fancy words when I write the essay for real. In conclusion, rather than taking away from our humanity, intelligent machines help us to move forward as a species to new heights.

By the end of this step, you should try to have about 30 minutes left so you have enough time to write. If you can think of an interesting first sentence that brings your thesis into a larger discussion, start with that. If writing the introduction stumps you, just leave lines blank at the beginning of the paper and come back to it. From the simplest system of pulleys and ropes in ancient Greece to the most complex supercomputer in the world today, machines have had and continue to have a profound influence on the development of humanity.

Make sure you clearly state your thesis. While some argue that machines have a negative impact on us, the increasing prevalence of intelligent machines in the world challenges us to change long held beliefs about our limitations and to continue forward to new and even more advanced possibilities. When you start your first body paragraph , try to think of a first sentence that refers back to the first paragraph.

Ideally, you'll start every paragraph by referring back to your thesis to create a unified argument. One common argument against the increased presence of machines in our day-to-day lives seen in Perspective One is that machines leach away at our basic humanity.

Next, address the argument opposing yours in this case, Perspective One. Explain the evidence that supports this perspective in three to five sentences. I found this to be true in my own life as a result of witnessing many a phone conversation between my mother and an automated telephone menu. For whatever reason, she consistently has issues with the menus that try to verify her date of birth.

The automated system never understands what she says possibly because of her accent , and asks her to input the numbers via her keypad; of course, my mom's smartphone is so smart that the screen turns off while she is on a call, making it impossible for her to follow the automated phone system's instructions. By the time the system gives up and routes her to speak to a "human representative," my mother is often so frustrated that she is far from courteous and respectful to that person.

Then, make sure to explain your counterargument to this perspective, tying it back to your thesis. Despite my mother's understandable frustration with automated phone systems, however, overall the benefits outweigh the costs. Providing people with the option to submit prescriptions or ask about store hours through an automated menu frees up customer service representatives to answer questions machines are incapable of addressing.

In addition, the recordings of angry phone calls where customers are not courteous, respectful, or tolerant of other humans are used to improve the phone menus to make them more user-friendly. Thus, the momentary disrespect toward other humans caused by machines is more than compensated for by the positive effects of those same machines.

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Tackling ACT Writing, Step by Step. The ACT essay plan below has been modified from our ACT Essay Tips article to fit the new ACT Writing Test. The template includes three sections: planning, writing and revising. If you practice using this template to write ACT essays, you'll get much faster and (probably) more precise.

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A strong ACT writing strategy includes preparing enough time to write and revise your introduction and conclusion paragraphs, as we explain below. Key Strategy: How to Write A Successful ACT Essay in 40 Minutes. Because you only have 40 minutes to write the ACT essay, you need to have a game plan before you start the test.

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The ACT essay follows a predictable format, which means you can practice and prepare beforehand. Take a look at a sample ACT writing prompt and learn five key steps to penning a high-scoring essay. Keep in mind: The ACT essay is optional. The new ACT essay / writing section has a few more “moving parts” than the old version. The old ACT writing / essay section gave you a simple prompt, then asked you to take a side on that prompt and argue your point. The basic format looked something like this: “Watching TV can be bad for your brain.