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Ideas for Progress: Writing, Range 9–10

To enhance their skills in each writing-related strand, students who score in the 9–10 score range on the ACT® college readiness assessment may benefit from activities that encourage them to do the following:

Score Range 9–10
Expressing Judgments
  • select an argument from a published text and
    • identify assumptions on which the argument rests
    • answer questions such as: are the assumptions reasonable? to what challenges are the assumptions susceptible? how might the assumptions be upheld?
Focusing on the Topic
  • revise writing to ensure that every sentence is essential to the argument
  • practice composing thesis statements that clearly state a position on an issue and offer a rationale for taking that position
Developing Ideas
  • write an essay arguing a position and
    • practice elaborating ideas fully by describing their logical connection to the essay’s main idea
    • check to see if the essay’s treatment of each idea is proportional to the idea’s importance
Organizing Ideas
  • practice arranging ideas so that one paragraph leads logically to the next throughout the essay
  • consider how transitional phrases and sentences can help convey logical connections between ideas and between paragraphs
  • think about and explain how an introduction and conclusion can work together to frame and unify an essay
  • experiment with how to conclude an essay while continuing to challenge the audience with critical questions or implications
  • discuss the effect of a conclusion that suggests the essay has been only part of a much larger discussion
Using Language
  • check to be sure pronouns agree with antecedents in complex sentences
  • edit sentences for meaningless words, wordiness, and redundancy
  • read a variety of texts to improve vocabulary and gain exposure to precise and effective language use
  • read and discuss the effects of rhetorical devices (e.g., rhetorical questions, sarcasm, humor) used in model essays