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Ideas for Progress: Range 9–10

ACT Explore/ACT Plan/The ACT Writing

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

Score Range 9–10
Expressing Judgments
  • understand that an issue has a context; think about what considerations outside the issue shape or limit it
  • learn how to identify and critique assumptions underlying the issue as stated; consider perspectives that might call into question some aspect of the issue itself
  • in an extended discussion, practice demonstrating the logical or practical weaknesses of a counterargument
Focusing on the Topic
  • revise writing to ensure that every sentence is necessary to the purpose of the piece
  • refine thesis statements to reflect subtle, critical thinking about complex issues
Developing a Position
  • learn how to elaborate ideas fully by logically describing their connection to the essay's main idea
  • practice sustaining a logical and relevant discussion by writing longer and more complex essays
  • check to see if the essay's treatment of each idea is proportional to the idea's importance
  • listen to news analyses on television or radio; notice the strategies that skilled speakers use to present their ideas on an issue
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 how an introduction and conclusion can work together to provide unity within 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 empty language, wordiness, and redundancy
  • read a wide variety of texts to improve vocabulary and gain exposure to precise and effective language use
  • read and discuss the effects of rhetorical devices such as rhetorical questions, sarcasm, and humor used by favorite authors