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Ideas for Progress: Range 5–6

ACT Explore/ACT Plan/The ACT Writing

To enhance their skills in each writing-related strand, students who score in the 5–6 score range may benefit from activities that encourage them to do the following:

Score Range 5–6
Expressing Judgments
  • choose a position on an issue and generate a list of possible objections others might have to that position
  • listen to a public debate; identify strategies skilled speakers use in responding to their opponent's viewpoint
  • experiment with ways to acknowledge an opposing viewpoint without weakening the essay's focus or position
  • practice writing brief responses to opposing viewpoints
Focusing on the Topic
  • understand the relationship between a general topic and a specific issue within that topic
  • practice writing short responses (one paragraph) that stay focused on a specific topic
  • identify the thesis statements in a variety of model essays
  • critique writing in peer workshops to ensure that the thesis is clear and that the thesis, introduction, and conclusion all focus on the same idea
Developing a Position
  • understand that a thesis statement expresses an essay's main idea and must be supported with reasons, examples, and details
  • discuss how to generate specific examples and details to illustrate general ideas
  • read model essays that derive generalizations from specific examples and details
Organizing Ideas
  • compare the outline of an original essay to the outline of a model essay; discuss ways to reorganize the original writing to make it more effective
  • critique writing in peer workshops to see if paragraphs are organized effectively: identify sentences out of sequence, paragraphs that lack clear topic sentences, and ideas that don't belong
  • review paragraphs to see if smooth transitions are provided from one to the next
  • draft an introduction that includes a clearly stated thesis, and a conclusion that confirms the main theme of the essay
Using Language
  • continue to read and discuss works by skilled writers to become more familiar with correct language use
  • read original writing aloud to hear and identify language errors
  • revise writing to reduce unnecessary repetition of words and phrases
  • practice varying sentence length by combining simple sentences
  • experiment with varying sentence construction by moving prepositional phrases to the beginning of sentences