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Ch 11: Compass Writing Test: Writing Strategy

About This Chapter

Know how to approach any essay with our engaging video lessons on writing strategy. Learn ways to identify your audience, draw readers into your world and more in this chapter on writing strategies for the Compass Writing Essay Test.

Compass Writing Test: Writing Strategy - Chapter Summary

Grabbing your audience with a strong sense of purpose is important in any well-crafted essay. In this chapter, we'll show you a variety of techniques for doing just that and more, including:

  • How to set the tone of the essay
  • Engaging readers from introduction to conclusion
  • Avoiding redundancy
  • Crafting a thesis statement (and sticking to it)
  • Essential practice techniques to perfect your essay-writing skills

Our video lessons are usually 5-10 minutes long, and you can even skip around using the video timeline if you've already mastered certain skills in a lesson. Take the self-guided quiz at the end of each lesson to ensure you fully grasp the essential essay-writing strategies.

Objectives of the Compass Writing Test: Writing Strategy Chapter

You'll typically take an ACT Compass test as a new college freshman or in order to qualify for admission to a specific class or program. The ACT Compass Writing Essay test assesses your ability to craft a coherent essay; scoring categories include content, style, grammar and mechanics, focus and organization. After writing your essay, you'll receive a test score on a 2-8-point scale or a 2-12-point scale, depending on your institution. There is no failing or passing score per se. Your score simply determines which class or program level is most suitable for you. Time limits vary by institution, and the test may be untimed. Standard completion time for planning and writing the essay is approximately 60 minutes.

As for the content of the test itself, you'll be given a writing prompt, asked to take a side and clearly explain your argument in light of the intended audience. Our writing strategy chapter is particularly valuable in this respect. It focuses chiefly on capturing and retaining your audience with a strong sense of tone and purpose, and knowing how to avoid common pitfalls, like poor transitional sentences or an unclear overall argument. Our self-guided video lessons include an array of invaluable writing techniques that can help you craft a top-notch essay for the ACT Compass Writing Essay test.

11 Lessons in Chapter 11: Compass Writing Test: Writing Strategy
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
How to Engage Readers by Picking and Developing an Appeal

1. 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.

Writing for Your Audience

2. 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.

Writing: Main Idea, Thesis Statement & Topic Sentences

3. Writing: Main Idea, Thesis Statement & Topic Sentences

What exactly is your essay about? Writing great thesis statements and topic sentences that align with your main idea will help readers to understand the theme, ideas, and central focus of your essay.

What is a Thesis Statement?

4. What is a Thesis Statement?

Before we can talk about how to write a great thesis statement, you need to be able to identify a great thesis when you see one. Contrary to what you may have been taught, a thesis is so much more than just the last sentence of the opening paragraph of an essay.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

5. How to Write a Thesis Statement

Find yourself confounded by thesis statements? Writing an excellent thesis statement doesn't require magic or luck, but it does require a few key elements we'll lay out for you in the lesson that follows.

Essay Introduction: Write a Thesis and Capture Your Audience

6. Essay Introduction: Write a Thesis and Capture Your Audience

We'll look at the importance of the introductory paragraph and engaging your audience through the use of attention getters, a bridge, and an arguable thesis. Three of the most common attention getters are specifically defined, and examples are provided in this lesson.

How to Write a Strong Essay Body

7. How to Write a Strong Essay Body

This video will show you how to achieve unified, coherent body paragraphs in your essays. By creating well-developed body paragraphs, your essays will be cleaner, sharper and earn you a better grade!

How to Write Strong Transitions and Transitional Sentences

8. How to Write Strong Transitions and Transitional Sentences

Transitions are the words and sentences that tie a work of writing together. They guide the reader from idea to idea, making connections that turns pieces into a whole. Find out more in this lesson.

How to Avoid Redundancy in Your Writing

9. How to Avoid Redundancy in Your Writing

Does your writing redundantly say the same thing twice? Is it full of unnecessary and inessential repetition of things you've already said before? Learn how to fix it here!

Tone, Audience & Purpose in Essays

10. Tone, Audience & Purpose in Essays

What is tone? How do you create a tone within an essay? Watch this video lesson to learn how writing with a specific audience and purpose in mind will help you to achieve an appropriate tone.

Practicing Essay Writing to Get Better at Writing

11. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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