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1 MME Test Prep 2010 ACT Writing. 2 Why should I do my best on these tests? 1. To show how smart you are. 2. To help GP maintain an edge in college admissions.

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Presentation on theme: "1 MME Test Prep 2010 ACT Writing. 2 Why should I do my best on these tests? 1. To show how smart you are. 2. To help GP maintain an edge in college admissions."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 MME Test Prep 2010 ACT Writing

2 2 Why should I do my best on these tests? 1. To show how smart you are. 2. To help GP maintain an edge in college admissions. Universities favor districts with a rigorous curriculum and strong ACT scores. 3. Free ACT test—all costs covered by the state.. 4. So that you don’t have to take a retake test later.

3 3 ACT Writing The writing test consists of one writing prompt that briefly states an issue and describes two points of view on that issue. You are asked to write in response to a question about your position on the issue described in the writing prompt. This is a 30-minute timed test.

4 4 Typical ACT topics Dress codes Block scheduling, year-round school justice The definition of success The importance of learning from mistakes\ Community service Now, let’s read the prompt at the top of your guide sheet.

5 5 Sample prompt: In some high schools many teachers and parents have encouraged the school to adopt a dress code that sets guidelines for what students can wear in the school building. Some teachers and parents support a dress code because they think it will improve the learning environment in the school. Other teachers and parents do not support a dress code because they think it restricts the individual student’s freedom of expression. In your opinion should high schools adopt dress codes for students? In your essay take a position on this question. You may write about either one of the two points of view given, or you may present a different point of view on this question. Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.

6 6 Essay Framework In order to develop an effective response, we will create an essay framework. This is a “road map” to guide you through the essay and help you avoid dead ends. Because the writing exam is only 30 minutes long, you should take no more than five minutes to create a basic essay framework.

7 7 After reading the prompt, identify the following on your guide sheet: TOPIC: What is the main subject or issue in the prompt? PURPOSE: What does the prompt ask you to do?

8 8 TOPIC: dress codes in high schools PURPOSE: explain why high schools should or should not adopt a dress code

9 9 Consider possible responses to the essay task. On your guide sheet, create a position statement to rephrase the prompt and reveal your stance on the issue.

10 10 Sample position statements: High school dress codes should be implemented because they encourage better behavior, are economical, and help students focus on their academic priorities. High schools should not adopt dress codes for students because dress codes are too restrictive, they don’t change student behavior, and they hamper student self-expression. Our sample essay framework will argue against high school dress codes. Your position statement does not have to be as detailed as these examples, but it should clearly reveal your stand on the issue.

11 11 Next, think about possible responses to your position. Somewhere in your essay, you should address and respond to a counterargument, an argument against your position.

12 12 Counterarguments and Rebuttals Including a counterargument shows the judges that you have considered alternate points of view. To avoid confusion, indicate that this is not your own point of view. “Dress code advocates believe...” “Supporters of school uniforms claim...”

13 13 Counterarguments and Rebuttals A rebuttal is a response to this counterargument. You should include a rebuttal to reveal why your stance is ultimately better. Create a counterargument and rebuttal on your guide sheet now.

14 14 Counterarguments and Rebuttals Counterargument: Dress code supporters often claim that dress codes can make it easier for families on a limited budget to buy appropriate clothes for school. Rebuttal to counterargument: Some uniforms may be less expensive than designer clothing; however, they are still expensive. Inevitably, some students will find ways to exhibit wealth through the dress code. Also, families should have the freedom to look for bargains.


16 16 In addition to a counterargument and rebuttal, you should offer clear, detailed reasons that support your view. REASONS/ARGUMENTS: What is a major argument to defend my stance on the issue? EXAMPLES/CONNECTIONS: What evidence, examples, or hypothetical situations help me defend my view? How will I connect this argument to my thesis/position statement?

17 17 Offer details and use precise language Which is more effective? Dress codes are good because they help students be good and stuff. -OR- Research has shown that dress codes foster healthier student attitudes and reduce bullying.

18 18 V a RI E T Y Offer a range of examples from: Art & music History Politics Literature Science and mathematics Personal experience- Avoid using I, me, my, you, your throughout the essay. Consider the difference: “I think dress codes are too restrictive.” –or- “Many students find dress codes too restrictive.”

19 19 Now, take a moment to develop at least one distinct reason/argument supporting your stance on the issue. Write this on your framework sheet and also jot down any examples/connections that further support your position. For reference, the definitions are listed below: REASONS/ARGUMENTS: What is a major argument to defend my stance on the issue? EXAMPLES/CONNECTIONS: What evidence, examples, or hypothetical situations help me defend my view? How will I connect this argument to my thesis/position statement?

20 20 #1 REASON/ ARGUMENT: Dress codes are too restrictive. They limit students to certain colors and styles of clothing. EXAMPLES/CONNECTIONS: Students already endure many restrictions, including when to eat, when to go the restroom, and what courses to take. Their choice of what to wear, one of their few freedoms, should not be restricted.

21 21 #2 REASON/ARGUMENT: Dress codes do not change student behavior. EXAMPLES/CONNECTIONS: Students dressed in required styles or uniforms can still engage in fighting and bullying. Also, studies have shown that a dress code does not necessarily change student behavior, and it could even be used to mask misbehavior beneath a “professional” appearance.

22 22 #3 REASON/ARGUMENT: Dress codes hamper student self-expression. EXAMPLES/CONNECTION: Development of identity is an important part of the educational experience. Dress codes prevent students from displaying their personalities and interests in creative ways. Because they restrict identity development, dress codes should not be adopted.

23 23 A top-scoring essay: Shows a clear understanding of the task Takes a position on the issue Addresses complexity by examining different perspectives and/or complications of the issue, responding to counterarguments Develops ideas with logical, specific, ample arguments

24 24 A top-scoring essay: Remains focused on the prompt Is clearly and logically organized Includes transitions to connect ideas (“In addition to,” “because,” etc.) Offers an effective, clear, and well- developed introduction and conclusion Uses varied sentences (length, structure) and precise word choice.

25 25 DO: Write only on the given topic Take a clear position on the topic Describe and respond to at least one counter-argument and address other perspectives Include specific reasons and examples Write as neatly as possible

26 26 English Test 75 questions 45 minutes (about 30 seconds/qstn.) Four passages/essays to read 10-12 questions per passage 30 grammar and usage questions 20 rhetorical skills questions –Organization, transitions, purpose, focus

27 27 Navajo Code Talkers (pg. 16) During World War II, a group of Navajo soldiers developed a code that became one of the most successful in U.S. military history. This group, known as the Navajo code talkers, took part in every assault the U.S. Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945, transmitting information, on tactics, troop movements, orders, and other vial communications over telephones and radios. American military officials have been using cumbersome machines to encode and relay information during battles. In preliminary tests under simulated combat conditions, the Navajo encoded, transmitted, and decoded a three line message in twenty seconds as the machines required thirty minutes to perform the same job. Nevertheless, these tests convinced the officials of the value, of using the Navajo language in a code.

28 28 The Navajo language is complex, with a structure and sounds that makes them unintelligible to anyone without extensive exposure to it. Outside Navajo communities, such exposure is rare, which greatly contributed to it’s success. The Navajo developed and memorized the code. Since their language did not have words for common U.S. military equipment, they turned to nature. They named planes after birds and ships after fish. Dive bombers became gini (chicken hawk) and destroyers were called ca-lo (shark). The skilled Japanese code breakers remained baffled by the Navajo language. The code was never broken. Unfortunately, the code talkers sometimes faced dangerous peril from their own side. Many code talkers needed bodyguards to protect them from other American soldiers, some of whom mistook the Navajo for Japanese soldiers. Regardless, the Navajo were resolute and served their country courageously. The Navajo code remained classified after the war that was later used, along with codes made from other American Indian languages, in the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. Now that the Navajo code is no longer used, the code talkers, whose secret work saved American lives, can finally receive public recognition for their actions.

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