Presentation on theme: "The ACT test: Tuesday, March 3 Writing boot camp Should high school students be asked to wear uniforms? Should high school students be asked to declare."— Presentation transcript:
The ACT test: Tuesday, March 3 Writing boot camp Should high school students be asked to wear uniforms? Should high school students be asked to declare majors and take specialized classes? If you could visit any time and place in American history, what would it be and why?
So that you don’t end up with a case of brain freeze, you should… Learn how the ACT writing test works Understand how it can help your composite score Learn how the rubric works Grade some sample essays so you know how the readers assess your essay.
How to Write a Stellar Essay in 30 Minutes or Less After 3 hours of mind-numbing testing Seriously?
What’s the ACT Writing Test?
It assess writing skills that should be emphasized in high school and that are required for college success. Some colleges are even starting to require this test, using it to make admissions decisions!
According to the ACT: “The ACT Writing Test is designed so that the prompts can be properly answered in the time allowed. The test is a different type of assignment than a college paper, but it measures skills students use when writing a college paper—such as the ability to focus on a topic (thesis), to develop ideas (topic sentences), and to write logically and coherently (examples), with proper sentence structure (style, grammar), and sound reasoning (analysis).” 30 minutes? You’re kidding, right?
What Do I Have To Do? Write on ONE prompt that will define an issue and describe two points of view on that issue. Ex: Some academics are making an argument that high school should last 5 years, while others maintain the reasoning that 4 years is just fine. In your opinion, should high school be extended to 5 years? State and defend your position on the issue described in the writing prompt.
Rest assured… Your score will not be affected by your point of view; you will only be scored based on the effectiveness and structure of your argument!!!
Wow! Thanks to those helpful writing tips, my essay is really going to ROCK the ACT graders!
Step 1: Read the instructions in your test booklet.
Parts of the 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. All ACT prompts are set up with the same format. Pick ONE side of the issue to defend. Issue Pos. 1 w/ support Pos. 2 w/ support Question
Step 2: Plan your essay! Read: Closely examine the prompt, underlining key words. Formulate an Answer: How would you answer the question posed by the prompt? This will be your thesis. Pick ONE side. Brainstorm: 3 minutes on the unlined pages (thesis, sub-arguments, etc.) Oppose: Consider how you will address the other side (yes, briefly & shoot it down!)
What If I Don’t Have An Opinion on the Topic? Bull
Step 3: Write the Essay Write the essay on the lined pages. Do not skip lines, and do not write in the margins. Write legibly!
Writing Tip 1: At the beginning of your essay, make sure the readers can tell that you understand the issue.
Writing Tip 2: If possible, discuss the issue in a broader context or evaluate the implications or complications of the issue.
Writing Tip 3: Address, but don’t support, the opposing point of view. *Make sure you aren’t maliciously attacking the opposition; you don’t want to sound like an ignorant writer!
If applicable, use examples, not only from contemporary culture, but also from literature. The people grading your essay are writing/literature teachers, and will appreciate references to texts.
Writing Tip 5: Vary the structure of your sentences, and use varied and precise word choices. Varied sentence beginnings, lengths, and structure will make you sound educated and ease your reader from one idea to the next.
Writing Tip 6: Make logical relationships clear by using transitional words and phrases. Use transitions between paragraphs and within paragraphs (between examples) First Initially…, First and foremost…, For instance…, It is important to first note..., On way this is true is…, To begin with… Second Furthermore…, In the same way…, Likewise/Similarly…, Another strong quote/example/etc. of this is…, In the same light…, On the other hand… Third Lastly…, Most importantly…, Yet the best example to support…, A final way to prove this true is…, Moreover…
Writing Tip 7: Don’t Wander! Make sure you are always focused on your main point – your thesis. Everything should always connect and relate back to your thesis!!!
Writing Tip 8: End with a strong conclusion that summarizes or reinforces your position. Avoid starting conclusion with cliché transition: ‘In conclusion…’ or ‘To sum it all up…’ Restate thesis in a fresh, different way; follow with references to or mention of main point from each body paragraph End the essay with a !!! Your conclusion should recap the main ideas presented in the intro and body, but more importantly, it needs to “pack a punch” to leave the reader with a lasting impression.
Writing Tip 9: Proofread Leave a few minutes to look over your essay. Correct any mistakes you notice in grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling. Don’t know how to spell something? Use a synonym. If you notice any words that are hard to read, erase and recopy them so readers can easily read them. Make any corrections and revisions neatly, between the lines (but not in the margins). Poofreading is defiantly impotant.
Misc. tips Use personal references sparingly (your name is on the test, they know it’s your opinion without you saying “I” & don’t address the reader “you”). Know your its vs. it’s and the difference between there, their, they’re. Remember parallel structure and agreement. Structure: mini intro., 2 or 3 body paragraphs (2 examples each), mini conclusion