Ch 9: 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 9: ACT Writing: Essay Skills
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
How to Focus Your Essay and Respond to the Essay Prompt

1. How to Focus Your Essay and Respond to the Essay Prompt

In this video, learn how to ensure that your writing responds directly to your assignment. Then find out how to spot where you may have strayed from the paper's point and how to get back on track.

Argumentative Essay: Definition, Format & Examples

2. Argumentative Essay: Definition, Format & Examples

Argumentative essays are kind of like superpowers: they allow you to get what you want using the superpower of persuasion. View this lesson and learn how to channel persuasion to write a good essay.

Choosing How to Organize Your Writing: Task, Purpose & Audience

3. Choosing How to Organize Your Writing: Task, Purpose & Audience

By following a series of tasks, making sure to decide upon our purpose for writing and tailoring the paper to our audience, we can write stronger essays and reports. Watch this lesson to find out how to do these things.

How to Structure an Argument in Your Essay

4. 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.

Supporting Your Writing with Examples and Evidence

5. Supporting Your Writing with Examples and Evidence

Watch this lesson to learn how to make strong arguments and write better papers by using evidence effectively. It's not just about piling on a bunch of facts!

How to Engage Readers by Picking and Developing an Appeal

6. 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 Word Choice and Language Sets the Tone of Your Essay

7. How Word Choice and Language Sets the Tone of Your Essay

In this video, we will discuss how word choice sets the tone for your essay. This includes letting the reader know if you are angry, happy or even attempting to refrain from bias. These tools bring your 'voice' into your writing.

Coherence in Writing: Definition & Examples

8. Coherence in Writing: Definition & Examples

Have you ever wanted to make your writing more logical, unified, and consistent? What you are looking for is to improve the coherence in your writing. This lesson will give you tips and examples for making your writing more coherent.

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.

Editing for Mechanics: Definition & Concept

10. Editing for Mechanics: Definition & Concept

Find out what 'editing for mechanics' means and how to apply it to your writing. Learn what to look for when you're editing for mechanics, and then take a quiz to test your new skills.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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