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Ch 40: ACT Writing: Essay Skills

About This Chapter

Get ready for the college-entry ACT writing test by reviewing essential writing skills for essays. Our user-friendly videos and quizzes make it enjoyable to prepare for this optional assessment that complements the ACT English test.

ACT Writing: Essay Skills - Chapter Summary

This chapter will guide your review of essay-writing skills for the ACT writing test. In addition to watching these lessons, practice writing timed essays so that you're prepared for test day.

  • Editing and Improving Essay Content
  • Defining, Identifying and Avoiding Logical Fallacies
  • Anticipating and Refuting Audience Opposition
  • Writing for Your Audience
  • Proofreading Essays
  • Writing Great Essays Quickly
  • Structuring Arguments in Essays
  • Writing Strong Essay Bodies
  • Engaging Readers

The lessons in this chapter show how essay-writing practice can make you a better writer. You may discover that strong, personal essays don't have to be a struggle, and you'll practice writing more quickly.

ACT Writing Objectives

The writing portion of the ACT test is optional and not required by all colleges. Check with the college(s) of your choice for requirements. It's a 30-minute essay test based on a writing prompt or writing question. Essays are evaluated according to the following objectives:

  • Express judgments by taking a position
  • Maintain focus on topic
  • Develop a position with logical reasoning and support
  • Organize ideas logically
  • Use clear language, according to standard written English

Essays are scored holistically by two readers, based on their overall impressions, and will be rated from 1 (low) to 6 (high). The sum of those two scores makes your writing sub-score. You would also receive a combination score based on your writing and English tests.

10 Lessons in Chapter 40: ACT Writing: Essay Skills
Practicing Essay Writing to Get Better at Writing

1. Practicing Essay Writing to Get Better at Writing

It can be tough to practice your essay-writing skills on your own without a teacher's feedback. With some time and practice (and by using this game plan), you'll be on your way to practicing, evaluating and improving your writing.

How to Write a Great Essay Quickly

2. How to Write a Great Essay Quickly

Many tests will require you to write a timed essay. You may feel panicked at the idea of having to produce a high-quality essay under a tight time constraint. But you can relax: this video shows you four basic steps to follow so that you can write a great essay quickly.

How to Write a Strong Personal Essay

3. How to Write a Strong Personal Essay

At some point, you may be required to write a personal essay. Watch this video to learn how to turn your personal experiences into an effective essay.

Writing for Your Audience

4. Writing for Your Audience

By understanding some fundamental characteristics about your audience, you can write more effectively and be in better control of how well your writing is received by that audience. This video explains the basic points that you should consider in order to provide more informative and more persuasive essays for your readers.

How to Structure an Argument in Your Essay

5. How to Structure an Argument in Your Essay

When you write a persuasive essay, it's important to think about how you'll construct your argument, from how you'll arrange your major points to how and where you'll refute opposing views. This video covers some of the basics for structuring an argument.

Audience Opposition: Anticipating and Refuting Opposing Views in Your Essays

6. Audience Opposition: Anticipating and Refuting Opposing Views in Your Essays

In addition to planning the major argumentative points you'll make when writing a persuasive paper, you should also think about potential opposing views. This video gives you tips for determining how to effectively anticipate and refute opposing views as you write your argument.

What are Logical Fallacies? - Define, Identify and Avoid Them

7. What are Logical Fallacies? - Define, Identify and Avoid Them

Logical fallacies are flaws in reasoning that can throw your argument off track and confuse your reader. This video explains how to identify a few common logical fallacies and how to steer clear of them.

How to Engage Readers by Picking and Developing an Appeal

8. How to Engage Readers by Picking and Developing an Appeal

There are three types of appeals that you can use in your persuasive writing to make your arguments more effective. In this video, you'll learn about logical, ethical, and emotional appeals as well as how to use them.

How to Edit and Improve Essay Content

9. How to Edit and Improve Essay Content

Going back through an essay that you've written in order to make substantive content improvements can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are some basic principles that you can apply to whip your essay into shape.

How to Proofread an Essay for Spelling and Grammar

10. How to Proofread an Essay for Spelling and Grammar

Proofreading is the last step in revising an essay - don't skip it! A single typo can sometimes ruin the hard work of an entire paper. This lesson will help you find the right proofreading strategy for you.

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