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Ideas for Progress: Writing, Range 3–4

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

Score Range 3–4
Expressing Judgments
  • discuss the goal of a persuasive essay with a teacher
  • take a position on an issue and
    • generate a list of reasons that would support the position
    • decide which of those reasons are most relevant to the overall argument to be made
    • tell someone how the reasons chosen are relevant to the argument
Focusing on the Topic
  • establish a clear focus for an essay by asking who, what, when, where, and especially why of the topic
  • submit and critique writing in peer workshops to identify any ideas that wander from the main point of the essays
  • write directions from one location to another including every possible detail; have a peer read and follow the directions to see if they are written clearly; rewrite the directions eliminating unnecessary information
Developing Ideas
  • discuss how an essay’s supporting details and examples help to clarify its main ideas
  • learn and use prewriting strategies (e.g., freewriting, brainstorming) to explain or illustrate ideas
Organizing Ideas
  • use clustering, concept mapping, or another visual organizer to identify relationships among ideas
  • recognize paragraphs as a means for organizing an essay
  • create a list of transitional words and discuss when and where to use them
  • study introductions and conclusions of model essays noting their structure and function
Using Language
  • read and discuss the work of a variety of writers; use a dictionary to learn any unfamiliar words or phrases
  • recognize that clarity of expression is essential to clarity of meaning
  • practice using a writer’s reference or style guide to answer questions of word choice and usage
  • proofread to identify obvious errors and missing words