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Ideas for Progress: English, Range 20–23

To enhance their skills in each English-related strand, students who score in the 20–23 score range on the ACT® college readiness assessment may benefit from activities that encourage them to do the following:

Score Range 20–23
Production of Writing Topic Development in Terms of Purpose and Focus
  • mark up drafts to show which sentences in a paragraph provide specific supporting detail for or elaborate on the focus of the paragraph
  • explain why the writer of a story used particular words to describe a character or setting
  • revise fairly straightforward writing to sharpen focus and coherence
Organization, Unity, and Cohesion
  • read model essays closely; discuss how each writer transitions from one idea or topic to the next
  • write introductions that capture the reader’s interest and conclusions that provide a sense of closure; describe the rhetorical effects that each creates
  • rearrange sentences in a paragraph in order to improve its coherence
  • discuss rhetorical purposes for paragraphing
  • order and reorder the paragraphs of student-written drafts, discussing which order works best and why
Knowledge of Language Knowledge of Language
  • continue developing the ability to edit sentences for vague language, wordiness, and redundancy
  • read drafts aloud to discover words and phrases that deviate in subtle ways from the draft’s style and tone
  • learn new words and phrases by reading the work of varied writers
Conventions of Standard English Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation Sentence Structure and Formation
  • experiment with sentence structure by rearranging words into different orders
  • revise sentences to correct inconsistencies in verb tense and pronoun person
Usage Conventions
  • check drafts to ensure that pronouns agree with antecedents in increasingly complex sentences
Punctuation Conventions
  • locate examples of commas, colons, and semicolons used inappropriately in public documents (e.g., Internet ads, newspapers) and discuss possible revisions
  • use punctuation to set off nonessential information in a sentence