How to Write the ACT Essay

The ACT essay differs from regular essays in a few ways, including time. The ACT essay format is slightly different and since this is an essential part of your future, you’ll want to make sure you know how to write an ACT essay.

The best way to get ready for the big test is to practice, practice, practice. ACT essay time is just 40 minutes, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have the ability to write quickly and persuasively in a limited amount of time.

ACT Essay Initial Preparation – Choosing Argument, Brainstorming

The new ACT essay gives students three different perspectives to consider and include in the essay. While the new regulations state that you can just discuss one perspective and your own, there’s no good reason not to include all of them in order to make a good impression.

To start off with the essay, you will need to pick your argument. Which perspective do you agree with? Think about why you agree with it and come up with a few arguments as to why your perspective is correct.

Next, brainstorm specific examples for each perspective. It’s essential to have good, solid examples. These cannot be general or vague . . . that will only serve to lose you points on the essay. Make sure you have a good, very specific example for the perspectives and at least two for the one you support.

This preparation takes a bit of time, so make sure you allot no more than 10 minutes to this part of the test. Remember, you have just 40 minutes to complete the entire essay, including brainstorming and editing.

New ACT Essay Writing – Introduction, Body Paragraphs

It’s a good idea to check out some ACT essay examples to use as samples to copy when you’re practicing. This will give you a good idea of what you need to write. However, the basic template begins with an introduction.

The introductory paragraph should state your perspective, as well as covering at least one other perspective that has been given in the essay question requirements. Let the reader know what they should expect from your essay.

Next, you will need to expound a bit on each perspective. The body of the ACT essay should be at least three paragraphs long and needs to include a minimum of two perspectives. Start with the point of view that you didn’t choose and explain it. You should include at least one specific example to illustrate the point.

The last paragraph or two needs to be about your chosen perspective. Whatever you decide to argue for, make this the bulk of the essay. It should also include very specific examples to prove your point. These examples are necessary to score high points, so do not leave them out.

Write Your Conclusion

Finishing up the ACT essay is just as important as starting it. With limited time, you need to create an excellent conclusion to the essay that will give the reviewer a reason to give you good marks. The conclusion or thesis statement is just a couple of sentences long, so make them count. This is the final impression you give the person marking your essay, so you’ll need to make sure you cover your argument and close out properly.

Finally, take a few minutes to proofread your essay and make sure there are no errors. Again, this is important, as you can easily lose points for incomplete sentences and other mistakes. Plot your time carefully to ensure you have enough left for proofreading.

The new ACT essay may have more time, but you will still need to practice and prepare for the test. Look at samples and write up a few practice essays to get a feel for things.

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