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Step-By-Step Guide to Writing the ACT Essay Perfectly

Step-By-Step Guide to Writing the ACT Essay Perfectly

Argumentative writing is often a tedious task for students. Add a limited writing time and a complex issue to the mix, and you are bound to strike anxiety even among experienced students. 

Fortunately, a good plan will help you to comfortably gauge ACT essay prompts and create an idea coherent with the presented perspectives. If you are preparing for your ACT writing test, read on for various tips that will help you write a great paper. 

How to write the ACT essay

Your writing approach greatly determines the final quality of your essay. The following steps should come in handy to help you manage a logical essay within the stipulated time.

  1. Read the essay prompt

Take the first three to five minutes to read the ACT essay question and note the ideas in the essay. Next, gauge your stance on the topic and organize your thoughts regarding the topic. 

  1. Gauge the perspectives

ACT writing prompts usually feature three perspectives. When writing, you should support or refute at least one or all of the claims. As such, you must gauge the perspectives and gauge their standpoints.

Compare your ideas from the earlier step and select those that relate to one of the perspectives. 

  1. Brainstorm

After choosing to support/ refute a claim, think of all viable arguments that would serve your stance towards an argument. In the opening essay paragraph, personal experiences and popular statistics serve as great sources for various arguments. 

Before you start writing, prepare the support and evidence for logical arguments. If possible, sort the ideas in the order they will appear in your paper. 

  1. Organize your ideas

Highlight all the relevant ideas yielded during your research and sort them in the order they will appear in your body paragraphs. When doing this, ensure that you have a thesis for your ACT essay topic. 

Like all argumentative essays, the ACT paper requires you to highlight your stance on a given subject matter. this step will allow you to gauge the logical progression of ideas and also help you to write your essay without disruption from conflicting ideas.

When planning your paper, you may dedicate your first body paragraph to supporting your thesis and the second to compare your stance with one of the provided perspectives. Afterward, consider discussing the shortcomings of other perspectives as you would counterarguments in an argumentative essay.

  1. Write

After developing a plan, write your paper using simple, precise language. Unlike creative writing, argumentative essays are gauged by the quality of claims made within the essay. As such, fill your essay with logical, insightful arguments concerning various perspectives. 

When possible, use logical transitions to show the correlation between various ideas within your paper. 

ACT essay tips

  1. Don’t lose yourself in jargon and excessive explanations. These approaches may exhaust your time and limit the quality of arguments contained within your paper. Ideally, be precise in your writing to communicate all your claims and support in a manner that’s easy for the reader to comprehend.
  2. Sort your ideas to ensure the logical progression of your argument and use transitions to show how various ideas fit into your argument.
  3. Check the ACT essay rubric to familiarize yourself with the examination criteria, overcoming various errors that could compromise your performance.
  4. Outline your essay before you start writing to overcome any confusion as you write your essay. This will save you time and ensure a logical flow of arguments within your essay.
  5. Feel free to make up realistic examples and cite them as evidence for various claims.
  6. When using complex words, be keen to ensure that they are used appropriately. Avoid words you are unsure of as they may result in ambiguity and hint at poor language mastery.

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