Are you registered for the June 9 ACT? Here are some tips to help you stay focused and succeed:
- Know your audience: You do not need to restate the prompt. Your audience has the prompt in front of them.
- Introduction: Use a nice opening (e.g., a quote, anecdote or statement). Remember you need a thesis – it should be the last sentence of your introduction. Be straightforward; this is not the time and place to be clever.
- Body: Use specific examples, and introduce one example at a time. Start a new paragraph for each new example.
- Focus: Your points should be distinct. There should be a reason for every word on the page. Don’t repeat yourself.
- State your views: There is no need to say, “I think,” “I believe,” “In my opinion,” etc. Just make your point. Your reader knows that your essay is written from your point of view. This is not to say you can’t include personal anecdotes. First person is acceptable; just don’t waste time or space with unnecessary statements. Make every word count.
- Keep it simple: This is not the place for grammatical experimentation. If you know how to use a semicolon, then go for it. If you’re not sure, don’t try it here.
- Conclusion: Restate your thesis. Summarize your main points. You can wrap up with something clever or insightful, but don’t add new evidence.
Kim Lifton is co-founder of Wow Writing Workshop, which is running two ACT Writing Workshops in the coming weeks. Berkley school district residents are invited to a free class at Berkley High School on May 23. There is another class open to all high school students on June 4 at West Bloomfield High School.