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

Persuasive writing seeks to appeal to readers and sway their perspectives. Learn about the three types of appeals--logical, ethical, and emotional--and explore how to engage readers by picking the appropriate type of appeal and developing an effective argument for the appeal.

Writing for Your Audience

2. Writing for Your Audience

To be effective, essays and other documents should be written to appeal to their target audience. Learn how to write for an audience by considering fundamental characteristics such as positions, perspectives, and knowledge of the most likely readers.

Writing: Main Idea, Thesis Statement & Topic Sentences

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

If a document is poorly written, readers will not grasp its gist. Learn how to use main ideas, thesis statements, and topic sentences to produce quality writings that readers can follow and understand.

What is a Thesis Statement?

4. What is a Thesis Statement?

A thesis statement sets the reader's expectations for the essay, sets up the primary argument in the essay, and answers a question. Explore common thesis misconceptions and the types of essays that do and don't require a thesis.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

5. How to Write a Thesis Statement

A well-written essay includes a strong, specific thesis statement that establishes readers' expectations by answering a question and making a well-stated, supported argument. Learn how to write a thesis statement, including how to make revisions if needed.

Essay Introduction: Write a Thesis and Capture Your Audience

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

An essay introduction should include a thesis and a form of attention-getter to capture the audience. Explore the importance and rules of introductions, different types of attention-getters, the bridge between the attention-getter and the thesis, and the thesis statement.

How to Write a Strong Essay Body

7. How to Write a Strong Essay Body

Learn how to write a strong essay body by understanding what makes an essay confusing and recognizing how to organize an essay logically. Explore how to write an essay that has unity and coherence while staying on point.

How to Write Strong Transitions and Transitional Sentences

8. How to Write Strong Transitions and Transitional Sentences

Transitions are words, phrases, and sentences that connect ideas and sections in different forms of writing. Explore how transitions work in fiction and nonfiction and discover examples of strong transition phrases and transitional sentences.

How to Avoid Redundancy in Your Writing

9. How to Avoid Redundancy in Your Writing

Redundancy occurs when similar meanings of words and thoughts have been used together or repeatedly. Learn about redundancy, the causes of redundancy, and how to avoid redundant words when writing.

Tone, Audience & Purpose in Essays

10. Tone, Audience & Purpose in Essays

When beginning an essay, the writer should be aware of the who, what, and why of the essay, otherwise called the audience, tone, and purpose. Learn more about these three aspects and how they come together to build a well-written essay.

Practicing Essay Writing to Get Better at Writing

11. Practicing Essay Writing to Get Better at Writing

Practicing essay-writing with a clear plan can improve your writing skills. Learn how to practice essay-writing and get better at writing by knowing your weaknesses, focusing on essay structure, and learning how to evaluate your writing.

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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