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3 Standout Tips for ACT Writing

A frequently asked question from students is whether or not to partake in the "optional" writing portion of the ACT test. The short answer to this question is YES! Think of the writing section as your place to shine; the one area within the test where you are able to showcase who you are, your unique personality, and truly differentiate yourself! The writing section offers students the chance to show their individuality and produce the "wow factor" that sets them apart from everyone else. The goal of ACT writing is to persuade, engage, and entertain your audience.

TIP ONE: Quality over Quantity

Find your point and stick to it. This is not the time to repeat yourself and write in circles. A four page essay is not necessarily better than a two page essay. Your content, organization of thoughts, and ability to support your argument is far more important than number of words or pages. Stay on topic. Students can easily get off track and find themselves writing about details that have no purpose being included, careful! Make an outline before-hand and follow it!


Draw upon your own life experiences when crafting your supporting details and arguments. These personal examples make your essay far more engaging and show your ability to connect with the prompt on a deeper level. Include these personal connections in your body paragraphs to strengthen your arguments and provide opportunities for the reader to connect with your words and thoughts. Draw upon the readers EMOTIONS! Is our personal example humorous or sad? Whatever you write, do it with emotions in mind.

TIP THREE: Include Real-World Connections

Keep in mind that your essay is meant to persuade. Your arguments will be more effective when backed and authenticated by real world sources and resources such as news articles, publications, etc. Bringing in real-world connections adds depth to your essay and increases the legitimacy of your points. Simply put, is there anything happening in the world around you or that is a topic of discussion that can be related to your writing prompt? Consider the BIGGER PICTURE!

The ACT writing section can be intimating because of its random prompt nature and time limit, but with thoughtful idea organization and outside-of-the-box thinking when crafting your supportive arguments, your reader will be engaged and interested in what you're saying!


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