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A Step-By-Step Guide On Writing A Killer ACT Essay -

How To Write A Killer ACT Essay?

Has the thought ever crossed in your mind “How can I write a better ACT essay? How can I secure that elusive 12 score?”

Well, if you are thinking about taking an ACT test, then the above thoughts must have crossed your mind.

American College Test (ACT) is a standardised test used for the purpose of college admissions in the United States. Writing for standardised tests like ACT may seem daunting and unnerving for most students. ACT essay writing is an optional section that tests the ability of a student to create an organised, well-articulated analytical essay on a given topic. If you are one of those students, who is struggling to comprehend the ACT essay format or get a grip over the ACT essay scoring system, then reading this blog will provide you with relevant helpful insights.

In this blog, you will learn some of the best approaches you can use in your ACT essay writing.

All You Need to Know About Act Essay Writing

After completing nearly three hours of your challenging multiple-choice tests, you might be tempted to skip the optional ACT Essay because the college board and ACT have made this component optional. However, there is still a small number of colleges continue to require or recommend students taking them. The combined results of these tests convey significant information to the institutions. It provides information on student’s comprehension of standard written English as well as their ability to produce a brilliant piece of writing.

How is ACT essay writing paper scored?

A look at the ACT essay sample would reveal the fact that unlike other sections on the ACT, the ACT essay is scored between 2 and 12. Two graders individually score students from 1-6 based on four domains: Ideas and Analysis, Development and Support, Organisation, Language use and conventions.

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The scores are added together after grading done by the examiners, and the final ACT essay score is the average of all the domain scores.

Useful Guidelines on ACT Essay Writing Outline

Undoubtedly, the ACT essay format differs from regular essays, including time. The ACT essay prompts present three distinct perspectives on a complex issue in response to which you must write a brilliant essay.

Sounds a bit complicated? Do not worry. To help you out, we have listed remarkable ACT essay guidelines that will enable you to nail the ACT essay like a pro. Have a look:

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  • Critique as you go through the prompt (5 minutes)

Go through the perspectives and analyse them. Try to understand what each perspective demonstrates. Underline the premises of each perspective and circle the conclusions. Try to create alternatives instead of the conclusion offered by the premises.

  • Draft a supporting thesis (1 minute)

Now that you have thoroughly evaluated and analysed the initial issue and three perspectives, it’s time to ‘express’ your own idea. It is significant that you come up with a strong thesis or central point. It is okay if your perspective completely agrees, partly agrees or be completely distinct from the given perspective.

  • Sketch a quick ACT essay outline (10 minutes)

Here’s where you should develop your idea and explain relationships between your perspectives. Dig deep into your personal experience, knowledge and value to prove your points.

  • Introduce your position in the introduction paragraph (2 minutes)

In the first paragraph, establish the perspectives you plan on siding with, as well as the flaws you want to address. Begin with a topic sentence that offers a central understanding of the issue.

  • Write an informative body (10 minutes)

If you look at an ACT essay template, you will have an idea that the essay should start with a transition sentence that presents the opposing side of the argument. Provide brilliant examples that could support the opposing side.

  • End with a strong concluding note ( 4 minutes)

Briefly overview your discussion in the ACT essay conclusion. Do not repeat your argument or present it word-to-word. Present a broader thought at the very end.

Now you are acquainted with the guidelines to write an outstanding ACT essay. Click here to discover some amazing ACT essay writing tips.

Inspiring and Comprehensive ACT essay examples to help you out

To aid you, we have provided remarkable ACT essay example to the above prompt. It will enable you to connect the underlying ACT essay writing tips with practice. Additionally, it will also provide you with a lucid idea of how to draft a brilliant ACT essay within the limited time of 40 minutes.

In ACT essay, there is an introductory paragraph with a strong thesis statement. The introduction is followed by first and second body paragraphs. They explain the thesis and provide example/ reasoning to support it in two different approaches. The third body paragraph explains how the thesis compares and contrasts with the given perspectives one, two and three. It also describes the strength/weakness of the perspective backed by sufficient examples/reasoning. Lastly, comes the conclusion. It restates the thesis, and explains how it compare/contrast with perspective one, two and three.

Parting Words,

While ACT essay writing can give students a hard time, this post could just be the solution to it all. With this outstanding guide to all things about an ACT essay, you can rock your college admission test like never before. Understand the guidelines, comprehend the scoring system and refer to the example to write a killer ACT essay of your own.

Here’s wishing all the luck!

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Most Popular FAQs Searched By Students

Question: Why take ACT essay?

Answer: A brilliant ACT writing score can boost the chance of admission of a student. Even if a college doesn’t require or recommend taking the ACT essay writing test, a high ACT essay score would provide a significant boost to your college admission.

Question: How to do ACT essay?

Answer: To write an outstanding ACT essay, follow the remarkable guidelines given below:

  • Read the perspectives provided
  • Choose a position
  • Brainstorm evidence and support for each perspective
  • Brainstorm counter arguments
  • Write the introduction and develop your thesis statements
  • Write an informative body
  • End with a strong concluding note

Question: Does ACT essay affect your score?

Answer: Yes. However, if you manage to write killer application essays, your lower ACT essay score wouldn’t affect your chances of securing an admission in a college.

Question: What schools require ACT essay?

Answer: Schools do not require students to take ACT essay tests. The ACT is a standardised test that is originally used for college admissions in the United States.

Question: Which colleges require ACT essay?

Answer: The ACT essay is optional. Only 27 colleges and universities at present recommend students to take the ACT with writing. Many Ivy League colleges like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Duke, Brown and Stanford have stopped taking the ACT writing scores. However, some colleges like Spring Hill college, Troy University, Miles College, etc require students to submit their ACT essay writing scores.

Question: Is ACT essay optional?

Answer: College Board and ACT have made the essay-writing segment optional. In present, it is not mandatory to take the ACT essay writing test. Not all colleges require students to submit ACT essay writing scores. However, if you take ACT with essay, you will be able to apply to colleges that recommend or require it.

Question: How long should an ACT essay be?

Answer: Though there are no strict instructions regarding the ACT essay length, it has been noticed that shortest essay (around 100 words) received of 1out of 6, while the longest essays (around 400 words) received a 6 out of 6. Therefore, a perfect ACT essay should be of 400 words or more roughly.

Question: How to structure an ACT essay?

Answer: The ACT website advises students to write a ‘coherent and unified essay”.  To accomplish this, follow the guidelines given below:

  • Critique as you go through the prompt
  • Draft a supporting thesis
  • Sketch a quick ACT essay outline
  • Introduce your position in the introduction paragraph
  • Write an informative body
  • End with a strong concluding note

Question: How many paragraphs should ACT essay be?

Answer: Though the 5- paragraph essay structure might seem boring, however, it is an effective way to keep your points organised when you are writing an essay. For the ACT essay, you will have to incorporate an introduction, three body paragraphs (one paragraph for each perspective) and a conclusion.

Question: Can colleges see your ACT essay? 

Answer: Most colleges that require students to submit their ACT essay scores, can see your ACT essay. They can see the essay scanned and uploaded, exactly it was written on the test day.

Question: Can I see my ACT essay?

Answer: Yes. Use ‘ACT Essay View’ to access the images of your essays written in response to the ACT writing test. The service is available to all participating colleges. You can view your essays online, print them immediately or save the images for future work.

Question: What is the average writing score on the ACT?

Answer: The average writing score on the ACT is a little below 7. While for highly selective colleges, you would want a score of 8 or higher, scores of 10-12 stand out truly and highlight unique writing skills of a student.

Question: When do ACT essay scores come out?

Answer: ACT essay scores come out along with ACT results around 10 days after your test date.  According to the official website of ACT, the earliest possible score release date is 10 days after the test date, and the latest possible date is six to seven weeks after the test date.

Question: Do colleges prefer SAT or ACT?

Answer: A common myth exists that elite colleges prefer SAT than ACT scores. In reality, all colleges and universities accept both the SAT and the ACT.

Question: What is a copyright ACT essay?

Answer: Copyright ACT essay is entirely different from the ACT essay. Copyright act essay focuses on speaking about copyright law. Whereas, ACT essay is a standardised form of test for the purpose of college admissions in the United States.

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