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Ideas for Progress: Writing, Range 7–8

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

Score Range 7–8
Expressing Judgments
  • discuss ways in which a specific issue is connected to broader questions that address conflicting values or competing interests
  • discuss why some reasons for a position are more persuasive than others
  • take a position on an issue and
    • discuss whether it is always a valid and reasonable position
    • discuss whether certain factors or circumstances might influence or complicate the issue
Focusing on the Topic
  • write an essay arguing a position; in the essay consider a larger context in which the general topic might fit and how specific topics might be appropriately discussed
  • practice composing thesis statements that state a position on an issue and clearly identify the topics to be discussed
Developing Ideas
  • generate an outline or visual representation of all major ideas in a sample essay and the examples and details that support them
  • practice making generalizations from specific historical, personal, or literary details
  • choose one or two reasons to argue for or against a position and
    • generate a list of examples that could be used to support the argument
    • discuss how some examples and details offer more support for an argument than others
  • submit and critique writing in peer workshops to identify ideas that need further development to be persuasive or clear
Organizing Ideas
  • practice placing sentences within a paragraph so that the ideas logically build and progress
  • 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 an essay that emphasize the thesis without restating the discussion or otherwise being repetitive
Using Language
  • 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 writers control pace and emphasis by varying the length of sentences