Act writing 1 Question – 30 Minutes



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ACT Writing

1 Question – 30 Minutes

  • The ACT Writing prompt is an ARGUMENTATIVE topic.
  • You will need to take a clear position on the topic (yes or no).

Grading the Essay

Important Notes

  • You must include a CRITIAL CONTEXT in your essay.
  • You must mention the OPPOSING ARGUMENT in your essay.

Critical Context

  • To earn a top score, your essay must contain a CRITICAL CONTEXT.
  • The CRITICAL CONTEXT is the type of argument you use.
  • All of your points must be under one CRITICAL CONTEXT.

Examples of Critical Context

  • Top Four Critical Contexts:
    • Academic
    • Social
    • Economic
    • Political
  • Other Common Contexts
  • Environmental
  • Vocational/Career
  • Global
  • Ethical
  • Moral
  • Recreational
  • Personal
  • Historical
  • Agricultural
  • Legal

Opposing Argument

  • To earn a good score, you must mention that there is another side to the argument you are making.
  • DO NOT elaborate on this “other side” argument or you will be deducted points for losing focus in your essay.
  • Simply state, “Some would say _____, but this is not true because ________.
  • You can put this statement anywhere in your paper, but I’d recommend including it early.

Before you write….

  • Read the prompt.
  • Choose a side & stick to it.
  • Pick a context & stick to it.
  • Decide on 2 arguments.
  • Consider what the other side would say.
  • Make notes in the space provided.

Begin to write……

  • Add a title to the top of the page.
  • INTRODUCTION
    • DO NOT repeat the prompt word for word!
    • DO NOT answer back, “Yes, I agree with…”
    • Start with an attention getter if you can.
    • Get to your thesis.
    • You can include your mention of the other side in your intro.

Keep writing……

  • Focus on 2 body paragraphs, one per argument.
  • Use specific details in each paragraph. Go as in-depth as you can with each argument. Graders like to see 3 levels of depth.
  • Example: Reading magazines at school gives students practice reading. The more students practice, the better they will become at both reading and thinking, and being a better reader and thinker will enhance the students’ chances of being successful in college since the reading at the college level is often difficult and intellectually demanding.

And writing……

  • Use transition words and phrases in paragraphs and between paragraphs.
  • DO NOT use simple transitions like first, second, next; you will have points deducted for those because they are too easy.
  • Use as much advanced vocabulary as you can to show you have a “good command of the English language.” Use words correctly though!

And writing…..

Final Thoughts

  • You have 30 minutes; here’s a sample of how to use that time.
  • Read the prompt - 1 minute
  • Choose a side & context
  • & brainstorm – 2-3 minutes
  • Write – 20-25 minutes
  • Reread & Review – 1-7 minutes


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