About This Chapter
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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Other chapters within the ACT Compass Writing Essay Test: Practice & Study Guide course
- Compass Writing Test: Punctuation
- Compass Writing Test: Spelling & Capitalization
- Compass Writing Test: Nouns
- Compass Writing Test: Pronouns & Antecedents
- Compass Writing Test: Verbs, Adjectives & Adverbs
- Compass Writing Test: Modifiers & Clauses
- Compass Writing Test: Errors in Grammar Usage
- Compass Writing Test: Sentence Type
- Compass Writing Test: Sentence Structure
- Compass Writing Test: Organizing Your Writing
- Compass Writing Test: Writing Style
- Compass Writing Test: Rhetorical Devices
- Compass Writing Test: Using Source Materials