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Ideas for Progress: Writing, Range 1–2

To enhance their skills in each writing-related strand, students who score in the 1–2 score range on the ACT® college readiness assessment may benefit from activities that encourage them to do the following:

Score Range 1–2
Expressing Judgments
  • discuss the goal of a persuasive essay with a teacher
  • take a position on an issue and
    • write three different sentences that state the position
    • decide which sentence most clearly states the position to be argued
    • tell someone why the sentence chosen best expresses the argument to be made
Focusing on the Topic
  • identify a local community or school issue; phrase the issue in the form of a question; experiment with ways to clearly answer that question
  • use a dictionary or other resource to define the word focus, answering questions such as “how are the various definitions related to writing?” or “what does it mean for a piece of writing to be focused?”
Developing Ideas
  • use model paragraphs to study topic sentences and identify how the idea in each topic sentence is explained by the rest of the sentences in the paragraph
  • study a model persuasive essay to identify the ideas discussed and isolate the essay’s main ideas from the support for or illustration of the main ideas
Organizing Ideas
  • practice grouping sentences that address similar ideas
  • construct a simple timeline of an event; discuss how the event has a beginning, a middle, and an end
  • generate a list of words and phrases typically used as transitions (e.g., however, first, next, moreover, as a matter of fact)
  • read model essays that contain clear introductions and conclusions
Using Language
  • read model essays, noting their use of language
  • regularly write informal entries in a journal
  • practice peer editing to identify obvious errors in conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics