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Sample ACT Essay Prompt (and How to Tackle It)

Tackling ACT Writing, Step by Step

❶The argument establishes and employs a thoughtful context for analysis of the issue and its perspectives.

ACT with Writing: Sample Prompt

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Part I: What a 12 on the ACT Essay Means

Analysis, Explanation, and Strategies. Knowing how to write other kinds of essays will only help you a limited amount. Because the whole essay must be written in 40 minutes, getting a 12 requires some luck. You have to pick a thesis and think of relevant and convincing evidence to support it before you can even start writing, so a lot depends on how quickly you can decided on a point of view and relevant support for whatever the prompt happens to be.

And, on top of this, no college worth its salt is going to base your college admission on getting those last two points on an essay you had to write in 40 minutes.

The goal, really, is to show that you can write a decent essay in that time, and a 10 in each domain shows that just as well as a 12 does. If we asked the ACT what the difference is between a 10 and a 12 ACT essay, they would direct us to their scoring criteria replicated in the table below that describes the difference between the 5 and 6 essay scores in each domain.

As you may already know, a total domain score of 12 comes from two readers separately giving your essay a 6; the four domain scores are then averaged to calculate your total essay score of The 6 essay gives a more specific and logically precise context.

The thesis and argument show a deep understanding of the issue, while the analysis not only mentions, but also inspects the complexities and implications of the issue. Many of the goods and services we depend on daily are now supplied by intelligent, automated machines rather than human beings.

Robots build cars and other goods on assembly lines, where once there were human workers. Many of our phone conversations are now conducted not with people but with sophisticated technologies. We can now buy goods at a variety of stores without the help of a human cashier. Automation is generally seen as a sign of progress, but what is lost when we replace humans with machines?

Given the accelerating variety and prevalence of intelligent machines, it is worth examining the implications and meaning of their presence in our lives. What we lose with the replacement of people by machines is some part of our own humanity. Even our mundane daily encounters no longer require from us basic courtesy, respect, and tolerance for other people. Machines are good at low-skill, repetitive jobs, and at high-speed, extremely precise jobs. In both cases they work better than humans.

This efficiency leads to a more prosperous and progressive world for everyone. Intelligent machines challenge our long-standing ideas about what humans are or can be. This is good because it pushes both humans and machines toward new, unimagined possibilities. Now, read the ACT essay example below , and try to notice how it meets the criteria in the table above.

From the simplest system of pulleys and ropes to the most complex supercomputer in the world today, machines have had and continue to have a profound influence on the development of humanity. The increasing prevalence of intelligent machines challenges us to change long held beliefs about our limitations and to continue forward to new and even more advanced possibilities. One common argument against the increased presence of machines in our day to day lives is that machines leach from us our basic humanity.

Indeed, certain people whose only social interactions are anonymous text-based conversations with other anonymous Internet forum dwellers over computers may begin to lose basic human courtesy and empathy.

This is crystal clear with a glance at the comments section of any popular news article. Such interactions would be impossible without the existence of intelligent machines. Therefore, I must disagree with Perspective one. Rather than losing part of our own humanity to machines, we instead make that most-essential-to-humanity of acts, communication, possible.

Another school of thought Perspective Two argues that machines are good at how and high skill repetitive jobs, which leads to a more prosperous and progressive world for everyone. This can be seen in the human work hours that are saved daily with automated phone menus.

Before intelligent machines made automatic telephone menus possible, every customer service call ate up valuable employee time. In terms of automated telephone menus, this means that sometimes, no menu options are correct. While automated systems may take the burden off of human workers, it is a mistake to think that they can replace humans entirely.

A final example will demonstrate how intelligent machines challenge longstanding ideas and push us towards new, unimagined possibilities perspective three. At my high school, all students had to take diagnostic tests in every main subject to figure out our strengths and weaknesses, and we were then sorted into class by skill level.

Each suggests a particular way of thinking about the shift in American education. Write a unified, coherent essay in which you evaluate multiple perspectives on the issue of how schools should balance STEM and ELA subjects.

In your essay, be sure to:. Your perspective may be in full agreement with any of the others, in partial agreement, or wholly different. Whatever the case, support your ideas with logical reasoning and detailed, persuasive examples. What in the prompt requires you to weigh in? Why is this issue still the subject of debate and not a done deal? Typically, the three perspectives will be split: For the example above, ask yourself: This blueprint works no matter what your prompt is.

Spend one or two minutes on proofreading your essay if you have time. If you find one, erase it completely or cross it out neatly. Connect with our featured colleges to find schools that both match your interests and are looking for students like you. We know that great scores take work. We love our teachers, and so will you. As far as the students are concerned, writing a research paper is one of the most difficult and frustrating task for them.

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How to Write the ACT Essay

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How to Get a Perfect 12 on the ACT Writing Essay. Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Jan 13, PM. Knowing how to write other kinds of essays will only help you a limited amount. Check out our best-in-class online ACT prep program.

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For this sample ACT essay, I'm going to tentatively choose to argue Perspective Three (that intelligent machines challenge long-standing ideas about humanity, which in turn pushes humans and machines toward new, previously unimaginable possibilities), simply because that happens to be the position I think I'll be able to support the best. The 8 Best ACT Prep Books to Buy in Here's the short list of study guides that will help you get a high score.