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Ideas for Progress: Range 7–8

ACT Explore/ACT Plan/The ACT Writing

To enhance their skills in each writing-related strand, students who score in the 7–8 score range may benefit from activities that encourage them to do the following:

Score Range 7–8
Expressing Judgments
  • understand that issues exist within a larger context; discuss ways in which a certain issue is connected to broader questions of concern to more people
  • practice identifying implications of a position: what would be the outcome if this position were adopted or enacted; who would benefit/not benefit and why
  • develop an awareness of how factors may complicate a position: adopt a position on an issue, then discuss whether it is always a valid and reasonable position; consider how the position might be affected if certain factors were to change
Focusing on the Topic
  • revise writing to ensure that every paragraph remains focused on the issue and that no essential information is left out
  • practice composing thesis statements that clearly state a position on an issue and offer a rationale for adopting that position
Developing a Position
  • generate a full-sentence outline or visual representation of all major ideas in an essay and the examples and details that support them
  • practice drawing generalizations from specific historical, personal, or literary details
  • learn to identify the most relevant examples to support an idea
  • critique writing in peer workshops to identify any ideas that need further development in order to be persuasive or clear
Organizing Ideas
  • practice arranging sentences within a paragraph so that discussion logically builds and progresses
  • identify specific transitional words and phrases, including those indicating causal relationship (e.g., as a result, this means that)
  • practice writing an introduction that briefly but effectively introduces a context for the discussion as well as a thesis
  • consider ways to conclude a piece of writing that will emphasize its main theme without restating the discussion or otherwise being repetitive
Using Language
  • understand correct usage of common homonyms (e.g., their/there, past/passed, it's/its, you're/your)
  • practice using a wider vocabulary by replacing vague or general language with more precise words
  • experiment with more sophisticated sentence constructions
  • read model essays to see how skilled writers control pace and emphasis by varying the length of sentences