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Ideas for Progress: English, Range 16–19

To enhance their skills in each English-related strand, students who score in the 16–19 score range on the ACT® college readiness assessment may benefit from activities that encourage them to do the following:

Score Range 16–19
Production of Writing Topic Development in Terms of Purpose and Focus
  • read first and final drafts of student essays and discuss what was added or deleted to improve the focus
  • determine the purpose of a word or phrase in model essays
  • read drafts with a partner and discuss how changing specific words or phrases would change each draft’s purpose
Organization, Unity, and Cohesion
  • recognize and experiment with sophisticated organizational structures (e.g., comparison-contrast, cause-effect)
  • revise drafts to replace illogical conjunctive adverbs with more logical ones
  • discuss the most logical place to add specific information in drafts
  • discuss the purpose and the importance of the opening paragraph for directing the rest of the essay
  • practice writing varied conclusions
Knowledge of Language Knowledge of Language
  • revise drafts to make writing more concise and precise
  • read model essays closely, and then discuss and imitate how they create different tones and styles
  • learn how to link clauses by writing brief skits in which a conjunctive adverb is a character (e.g., how might however enter the room?)
Conventions of Standard English Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation Sentence Structure and Formation
  • work with peers to develop guidelines for younger students that show them how to recognize fused sentences or run-ons and how to separate them into two simpler, clearer sentences
Usage Conventions
  • create an activity to teach younger students about the correct contextual uses of comparative and superlative adjectives or adverbs
  • check drafts by circling the prepositions to ensure they are the ones intended
Punctuation Conventions
  • find examples of commas used to set off parenthetical phrases in advertising copy or published authors’ work
  • check drafts to see if nouns ending in s are possessives and add apostrophes if necessary
  • write a punctuation handbook for younger students’ use; use examples from own drafts