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Ideas for Progress: Writing, Range 5–6

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

Score Range 5–6
Expressing Judgments
  • choose an issue and discuss possible contexts in which the issue might exist (e.g., seat belt laws seen as the government either imposing on individual life or protecting the value of life)
  • take a position on the issue and
    • generate a list of supporting reasons and identify which are best
    • generate a list of possible objections others might have to that position
    • list possible outcomes if this position were adopted or enacted
Focusing on the Topic
  • identify the thesis statements in a variety of model essays
  • skim a textbook, recognizing the likelihood that general topics are noted in chapter titles and headings and that specific topics are elements within the text
  • think about how general and specific topics might apply to one’s writing
Developing Ideas
  • recognize that a thesis statement expresses an essay’s main idea and must be supported with reasons, details, and examples
  • read model essays that derive generalizations from specific details and examples
  • choose a reason for a position and
    • generate a list of details and examples that would help explain the reasons chosen
    • identify which details and examples are best
Organizing Ideas
  • compare the outline of an original essay to the outline of a model essay and discuss ways to reorganize the original writing to make it more effective
  • submit and critique writing in peer workshops to see if paragraphs are organized effectively: identify out-of-sequence sentences, paragraphs that lack clear topic sentences, and ideas that are off subject
  • 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 thesis of the essay
Using Language
  • continue to read and discuss model essays 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