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ACT Writing Six: from sucks to suck-cess! Six is sexy!

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Presentation on theme: "ACT Writing Six: from sucks to suck-cess! Six is sexy!"— Presentation transcript:

1 ACT Writing Six: from sucks to suck-cess! Six is sexy!

2 BOOT CAMP MENU  The ACT writing scale of scores  The ACT writing criteria for a well-written essay  Review of what an essay needs to succeed  Standard ACT writing questions  Strategies  Practice

3 ACT Writing Scores  6= effective skill in responding to the task  5= competent skill  4= adequate skill  3=developing skill  2= weak skill  1= no skill  0= blank, off-topic, illegible, or not in English

4 ACT Writing Criteria  Clear understanding of the task (can read directions)  Takes a strong position on the issue  Shows complexity by examining both sides of the issue  Development of ideas is ample, specific, and logical  Clear focus on the specific issue  Organization is clear and orderly (logically sequenced)  Transitions are well-developed and guide the reader  The introduction and conclusion are effective, clear, and well-developed  Good command or language (effective word choice and not too wordy)  Sentences are varied and grammatical  There are few if any errors that distract the reader

5 Introduction = attention getter + thesis statement  An attention getter is something that will grab the reader’s attention, so it must be interesting. It must also be relevant to the rest of the essay.  Leave “I think that” and “I believe…” out of your thesis. JUST SAY WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY!  Make sure that your attention getter and thesis are both in the opening paragraph

6 Attention getter Essay on kangaroos: “Boom!” The bomb exploded and Matt Damon and Jennifer Lawrence, after gazing deeply into each other’s eyes, ran to save the puppies and kittens and cute babies from peril. Interesting but not relevant

7 Attention getter  Essay on kangaroos: The kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae. In common use the term is used to describe the largest species from this family, especially those of the genus Macropus… Relevant but not interesting

8 Seize attention  Startling statement, fact, or statistic  4 out of 5 monkeys do not brush their teeth  Anecdote: a very brief story that illustrates your point  Quote  My grandpa always said, “If you keep rough-necking, you are going to break the chair.”  Illustration – real or imagined  Relevant humor  Image or sound  Thwack! The shovel hit upon something hard, sending sparks flying.

9 Anecdote: a brief story that illustrates your point  At the beginning of a essay about fire safety, the speaker writes a short cautionary tale about a serious injury that occurred as a result of not following protocol.  Beginning an essay on why staying out late is inappropriate, a writer tells of a scary incident he had one time with a hobo when he stayed out past midnight.  For an informative paper about on-campus tutoring services, the writer tells a story about a successful session she had with a student.

10 Imagined illustration: setting up a scenario that hasn’t occurred but could occur under the right conditions  Picture, if you will, the Chicago area before humans came to live there…  Imagine a world without chocolate…  If there were no cellphones…

11 Write a solid thesis statement  Topic + what is to be said about the topic (a specific feeling or opinion)  Topic: kangaroos  Opinion: Kangaroos are a great benefit to human kind for many reasons and should be preserved.  Opinion: Kangaroos are pests and should be destroyed.  Opinion: Kangaroos are a big deal and should be thought about. TOO GENERAL

12 Body  Break up the topic into three parts  Discuss opposing claims first and then spend the rest of the time on your arguments in order to build momentum  Need clear topic sentences that help the reader know what part of your argument you are addressing  Need both persuasive claims using logic AND specific details like stories, for- instances, and statistics (possibly fake but plausible) to back up the claim of the topic sentence  Need to be in a logical order

13 Conclusion  Restate your thesis.  Think of a clever way to end that the reader will remember (but, like your attention getter, make it relevant). Play on words : Essay on how nutrition information should be on canned foods ◦ So if your senator votes against the 2012 Truth in Labeling Act, he or she should get canned on election day. Essay on fire hazards in the workplace ◦ Don’t get burned by lack of attention to fire safety – learn the basics. Essay on rude cell phone use: ◦ The next call you get may be from Earth: they want your attention back. Call to action : “I challenge every one of you this day to always say ‘no’ to pickles on your hamburger!”

14 Typical questions asked  You need to take a position on the issue given – the essay is persuasive  Traditionally, since every student needs to be familiar with the subject about which the question is asked, the questions are about something school-related.  Should school libraries spend money on magazines as well as books?  Should students be given an extended break time in the middle of the day?  Should schools pay their students to attend regularly?

15 Strategies  Please bring a couple pencils that are well sharpened and have erasers  Make sure you read the question carefully and understand what you are supposed to answer  Make a t-chart to decide which side you want to argue  Make a quick outline before you begin writing  Ideally, you want to make three points in your argument, but two thorough points are okay too  Make sure that your writing can be read

16 Practice  Look at the question given  Make a t-chart to determine which side to take  Make a quick outline with a thesis, three topic sentences, and two arguments for each topic sentence.

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