Presentation on theme: "About the ACT Essay 1. The ACT Essay On the ACT Writing Test, students have 30 minutes to read a short prompt and to plan and write an essay in response."— Presentation transcript:
The ACT Essay On the ACT Writing Test, students have 30 minutes to read a short prompt and to plan and write an essay in response to it. The prompts cover a variety of subjects intended to reflect the interests and experiences of high school students. The Writing Test is optional and is given after all the other sections of the test. Students should always check the entrance requirements of every possible college they think they might apply to. 2
The ACT Essay The Writing Test score will not affect the scores on any of the multiple-choice tests or the Composite score. The student who takes the Writing test will receive two additional scores: a Combined English/Writing score on a scale from 1 through 36 and a Writing Test subscore on a scale of 2 through 12. Each student will receive between one and four narrative comments on his/her essay. 3
The ACT Essay The essay will be available to the high school and to colleges to which ACT reports the scores from a test date. The Writing Test is designed to measure the writing skills that are expected of students entering the first-year college composition course. The Writing Test consists of one writing prompt that briefly states an issue and describes two points of view on that issue. The student is asked to take a position and support that position with specific reasons and examples. 4
The ACT Essay The position a student takes does NOT affect the score. The essay will be evaluated on the evidence it gives of the student’s ability to do the following: * express judgments by taking a position on the issue in the writing prompt; * maintain a focus on the topic throughout the essay; 5
The ACT Essay The essay will be evaluated on the evidence it gives of the student’s ability to do the following (cont.): * develop a position by using logical reasoning and by supporting the ideas; * organize ideas in a logical way; * use language clearly and effectively according to the conventions of standard written English. 6
The ACT Essay The two different points of view provided in the prompt serve as examples of positions others have taken on the issue and provide a starting place for the student. The student can adopt either point of view or a completely different point of view. The student should state his/her point of view and then support it with specific reasons and examples. 7
8 The ACT Essay Every ACT essay is formatted the same way. * The first paragraph lays out an issue and then briefly presents opposing viewpoints. * The last sentence in the first paragraph poses the question for the student to consider. * The second paragraph gives the standard directions for writing the essay.
9 Scoring the ACT Essay The Essay will be scored holistically on a six-point rubric. In holistic scoring, no single aspect of writing is more important than any other. Rather, it is the effectiveness of the writing as a whole that is most important. Two trained readers will separately score the essay, rating it from 1 – 6. The sum of the two scores is the Writing Test subscore (2 – 12).
10 The ACT Essay Students are advised to Make the essay as polished as possible. Make sure that all words are written clearly and neatly so that readers can read them easily Take a few minutes to think through the essay and jot preliminary notes on the planning pages in the scoring booklet before beginning to write.
11 The ACT Essay Students are advised to (continued) Review the essay. Take a few minutes at the end of the testing to read over the essay. Correct any mistakes in grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling. If you find any words that are hard to read, recopy them so the readers can read them easily. Make any corrections and revisions neatly, between the lines (but not in the margins). Readers will take into account that you had merely 30 minutes to plan and write the essay.
12 Princeton Review--The ACT Essay General Suggestions Length—while longer essays don’t automatically receive higher scores, an essay that is too short is unlikely to provide a full treatment of the issue. Write as much as you can. Appearance—Make sure your essay is organized: indent new paragraphs clearly, avoid strikeouts or insertions, and be sure to start a new paragraph for each example.
13 Princeton Review--The ACT Essay General Suggestions Language— Grammar, spelling vocabulary, and sentence structure all play a part. Complexity—To score in the top half, you MUST include the opposing side. Don’t just state it; make use of it; make sure you fully explain why that side is wrong and why your side is right.
14 Princeton Review--The ACT Essay Focus on key words in the prompt. There are no right or wrong sides of the issue, just well- supported and poorly supported arguments. Do a Pros and Cons chart before you start to write. You need to think about both sides of the argument so that you can select the reasons that will best support your argument. Don’t straddle the fence. Pick a position and stick to it.
15 Princeton Review--The ACT Essay The introduction must show that you understand the issue. The introduction must state your position clearly and definitively. Draw the readers in by using a rhetorical question or describing a situation they can relate to. Use your introduction to build a framework for the rest of your essay. The readers are looking to see that your essay flows logically from idea to idea; thus they pay attention to transitions.
16 Princeton Review--The ACT Essay The readers are looking to see that your essay flows logically from idea to idea; thus they pay attention to transitions. * Basic transitions, such as first, second and last are better than no transitions, but they don’t really impress the grader. * Less predictable transitions are graded more favorably; think about how your examples are related to one another, and let your transitions reflect those relationships.
Princeton Review--The ACT Essay End your paragraphs by tying your reasoning back to the thesis. ACT will want to see that you’ve fully thought about the issue by addressing the other side. Devote a paragraph to showing how the other side is wrong. Once you’ve stated the other side, refute it. Don’t let the opposing view look better than your framing idea. Add a final thought in your conclusion; don’t restate everything you just said!
18 According to Sparknotes the ACT essay has four necessary ingredients: Positioning—the strength and clarity of your stance on a given topic Examples—the relevance and development of the examples you use to support your argument Organization—the organization of each of your paragraphs and of your essay overall Command of language—sentence construction, grammar and word choice
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