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How do you write a perfect essay for the ACT or SAT?

1. Understand the prompt

Read the prompt question first,Then read the quote. Without knowing what the prompt is, you don’t really know why you are reading the quote.

Many students jump into writing once they see a topic or familiar subject. However, they don’t fully understand what the prompt says. This can cost them.

Essays that do not address the prompt are automatically given a zero.

2. Brainstorm ideas first, then determine a thesis 

Brainstorm examples that could answer the prompt question as ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Try to list five or six examples. Review the list and decide what thesis you can prove with these examples. Then choose a few strong examples for your essay.

Organize your thoughts into a logical pattern or outline before writing. Don’t get hung up if you don’t actually have strong feelings one way or the other on a subject. Don’t feel guilty about saying things you don’t really believe. Your task is to show that you can craft a complex argument essay. Just take a side and argue it!

3. Be clear on the position you take

Some students agree with the prompt at the beginning of the essay. However, at the conclusion, they say the alternative position also makes sense. This undermines all the strong reasoning used previously.

4. Show critical thinking

To receive a top score on the ACT essay, the graders definitely want to see students examine different perspectives or respond to counterarguments.

In comparison, the SAT graders are somewhat vague about the importance of addressing opposing points of view. To be awarded the highest score on the SAT essay, a student needs to demonstrate critical thinking and provide solid support through good examples. Even though it is not absolutely necessary to address opposing points of view on an SAT essay, doing so is a great way to show off your critical thinking skills.

An efficient way to do this is to use the word ‘although’ to introduce an opposing argument and then go on to demolish it. This can be done in just a sentence or two, and it definitely shows sophisticated thinking.

5. Use carefully crafted sentences

Starting with an unusual or surprising introductory sentence makes a great first impression, For example, if the prompt was, ‘Should students be paid for bad grades?’ A perfect first line—not even a complete sentence—would be ‘Cha-ching!’” However, don’t try too much cute stuff! If you start with something edgy, be sure to follow up with something factual and well-considered.

While you are still in the planning stages, create a few clever sentences that will fit in someplace. It is not always easy to vary sentences when you’re writing and brainstorming at the same time.

The good news is that sentence variety typically happens naturally as we think, talk or write. Students who do not vary their sentence structure are often unconsciously forcing themselves to write in a simplistic or repetitive way.

Don’t keep repeating the same point by rewording it several ways, test readers will see right through that.

6. Write legibly

Neatness is not counted in the scoring guide and therefore does not add to the score, illegible handwriting only brings disadvantage to the writer.

To redress any errors, completely erase or neatly cross out any mistakes.

7. Practice writing essays

With some practice, students can throw off bad writing habits and express themselves in a non mechanical and interesting way. Make a habit of reading good books and articles whenever possible. The best student writers often keep journals and write well-thought-out e-mails, not just text messages filled with abbreviations.

And from the online essay companies represented in this article, there are plenty of opportunities to improve your writing skills under the guidance of an experience writing coach.


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