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Ideas for Progress: Range 3–4

ACT Explore/ACT Plan/The ACT Writing

To enhance their skills in each writing-related strand, students who score in the 3–4 score range may benefit from activities that encourage them to do the following:

Score Range 3–4
Expressing Judgments
  • generate a list of issues, then practice restating them clearly and precisely with original wording
  • practice generating possible positions on an issue
  • identify and discuss reasons for selecting one position on an issue over others
  • choose a position on an issue and state it clearly
Focusing on the Topic
  • ask who, what, when, where, and especially why of the topic to establish clear focus for the essay
  • learn to recognize when an essay wanders away from its topic
  • critique writing in peer workshops to identify any ideas that are obviously off the main point of the essay
Developing a Position
  • read a variety of model persuasive essays
  • recognize that essays are composed of ideas that must be explained or illustrated with specific examples and details
  • redraft writing to include additional ideas that support the essay's main claim
  • learn prewriting strategies such as freewriting and brainstorming for generating ideas about a topic
Organizing Ideas
  • use clustering, concept mapping, or another visual organizer to identify relationships among ideas
  • recognize paragraphs as a means for organizing an essay
  • generate a list of words and phrases typically used as transitions (e.g., however, first, next, moreover, as a matter of fact, etc.)
  • study the introductions and conclusions of model essays
  • discuss the purpose and importance of the opening paragraph for directing the rest of the essay
Using Language
  • read and discuss the works of favorite writers; use a dictionary to learn any unfamiliar words or phrases
  • recognize that clarity of expression is essential to clarity of meaning
  • learn to consult a writer's reference on questions of word choice and usage
  • practice proofreading to identify obvious errors and missing words