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NWSA English 3

Month

February 2016

Multiple ACT Writing Prompts

1. Intelligent Machines (source: ACTstudent.org )

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.

Perspective One: 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.

Perspective Two: 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.

Perspective Three: 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.

Write a unified, coherent essay in which you evaluate multiple perspectives on the increasing presence of intelligent machines.

 

2. Public Health and Individual Freedom (source: ACT.org )

Most people want to be healthy, and most people want as much freedom as possible to do the things they want. Unfortunately, these two desires sometimes conflict. For example, smoking is prohibited from most public places, which restricts the freedom of some individuals for the sake of the health of others. Likewise, car emissions are regulated in many areas in order to reduce pollution and its health risks to others, which in turn restricts some people’s freedom to drive the vehicles they want. In a society that values both health and freedom, how do we best balance the two? How should we think about conflicts between public health and individual freedom?

Perspective One: Our society should strive to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people. When the freedom of the individual interferes with that principle, freedom must be restricted.

Perspective Two: Nothing in society is more valuable than freedom. Perhaps physical health is sometimes improved by restricting freedom, but the cost to the health of our free society is far too great to justify it.

Perspective Three: The right to avoid health risks is a freedom, too. When we allow individual behavior to endanger others, we’ve damaged both freedom and health.

Write a unified, coherent essay in which you evaluate multiple perspectives on the conflict between public health and individual freedom.

 

Here are four other prompts that I have constructed, based on the core question and core perspectives I extracted from the official prompts (if you’re curious about how I constructed these prompts, check out our article on ACT Writing Prompts: Dissected (coming soon)):

 

3. Globalization

Many of the goods and services we depend on daily have global sources. Where once you might speak with a customer service representative from across the country about your computer problems, your call now would most likely be routed across the world. In one grocery store, it can be possible to find a mixture of foods from multiple continents. Various pieces of culture can be instantaneously broadcast around the world via the Internet, enabling shared experiences among people of disparate geographic origins. Globalization is generally seen as a sign of progress, but what happens when we replace local interactions with global ones? Given the accelerating rate of globalization, it is worth examining the implications and meaning of its presence in our lives.

Perspective One: Globalization requires a shift in the way we think about other people, other societies, and the world. This is good, because it will push humanity towards previously unimaginable possibilities and achievements.

Perspective Two: Removing geographic boundaries from commerce means that the right people can be chosen for the right jobs at the right price. This efficiency leads to a more prosperous and progressive world for everyone.

Perspective Three: The flourishing of a new, global society comes at the cost of local cultures. Less diversity leads to deficits in empathy and creativity, two of the most defining characteristics of humanity.

Write a unified, coherent essay in which you evaluate multiple perspectives on the increasing presence of globalization.

 

4. Information Accessibility

At this moment in time, there is more information more readily available to more people than ever before. Smartphones can instantly provide directions to your destination, when even 10 years ago you had to look up directions before you left and/or bring along a map. Researchers from all over the world are able to pool their knowledge to advance their fields more quickly. Many libraries have broadened their collections to include subscriptions to online/electronic databases as well as printed works. Greater access to information is generally seen as a positive advance, but what are the consequences of making so much knowledge available to so many people? Based upon the ever-increasing amount of information in the world and the ever-broader access to it, it is worth examining the implications and meaning of easy access to information in our lives.

Perspective One: With increased ease of access to information, we lose the incentive to gain knowledge ourselves. By outsourcing our memories of facts and other information, we are becoming less intelligent.

Perspective Two: Greater access to information allows us to avoid memorizing facts and, instead, use our brains for higher-level thinking. This efficiency leads to a more prosperous and progressive world for everyone.

Perspective Three: The more people who have access to more information, the greater the chances of collaboration and thus further advances in human knowledge. This is good because it pushes us toward new, unimagined possibilities.

Write a unified, coherent essay in which you evaluate multiple perspectives on the increasing accessibility of information.

 

5. Novelty

In the world today, newness is highly valued. Social media apps constantly update to make sure you’re shown the newest information or posts from those you follow. Many of the products we purchase today are purposefully created with short lifespans to encourage consumers to continue to get the newest, up-to-date versions. Subscription services for music and video make it possible to continuously listen to and watch new media. Novelty is generally seen as a positive characteristic, but what are we losing by constantly focusing on the new? Given its increasing prevalence, it is worth examining the implications and meaning of the growing emphasis on novelty in our lives.

Perspective One: Change is the only constant in life, and to ignore this is to grow rigid and stagnate.  More exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking can only lead to progress for society and for humanity as a whole.

Perspective Two: By exclusively focusing on the new, we lose sight of what we already know. Instead of ignoring the old, we should be focusing more past accomplishments and errors. The only way to move forward is to heed the lessons of the past.

Perspective Three: Information, products, and ways of thinking should only be valued if they are useful and reliable, not just because they are new and exciting. New does not automatically equal improved.

Write a unified, coherent essay in which you evaluate multiple perspectives on the increasing value assigned to novelty.

 

6. Job Changes

Fewer and fewer people are staying with the same job their entire lives. In the United States, the average person will switch jobs more than 10 times in over the course of his/her life. Some workers will make lateral, or even downward, moves in order to increase personal fulfillment. Others switch jobs in an effort to obtain the highest possible salary. Increasing personal autonomy is generally seen as a sign of progress, but what happens when length of experience is replaced with variety of experience? As the number of jobs people will hold over the course of their lives continues to climb, it is important to examine the implications and meaning of this trend for our lives.

Perspective One: Because jobs are no longer a lifetime commitment, people will feel freer to accept a greater variety of positions. This increase in breadth of experience will in turn make job applicants more attractive to future employers.

Perspective Two: As the frequency with which people change jobs increases, the loyalty of people to their employers will decrease. This in turn will lead to more fractured company cultures, as employees will only care about what’s best for them.

Perspective Three: The disappearance of the stigma associated with frequent job switching will allow employees more leeway with employment decisions. Increased autonomy will lead to increased happiness and job satisfaction.

Write a unified, coherent essay in which you evaluate multiple perspectives on the increasing frequency with which people switch jobs.

 

ACT Writing Rubric (Prior to September 2015)

These are the descriptions of scoring criteria that the trained readers will follow to determine the score (1–6) for your essay. Papers at each level exhibit all or most of the characteristics described at each score point.

Score = 6

Essays within this score range demonstrate effective skill in responding to the task.

The essay shows a clear understanding of the task. The essay takes a position on the issue and may offer a critical context for discussion. The essay addresses complexity by examining different perspectives on the issue, or by evaluating the implications and/or complications of the issue, or by fully responding to counterarguments to the writer’s position. Development of ideas is ample, specific, and logical. Most ideas are fully elaborated. A clear focus on the specific issue in the prompt is maintained. The organization of the essay is clear: the organization may be somewhat predictable or it may grow from the writer’s purpose. Ideas are logically sequenced. Most transitions reflect the writer’s logic and are usually integrated into the essay. The introduction and conclusion are effective, clear, and well developed. The essay shows a good command of language. Sentences are varied and word choice is varied and precise. There are few, if any, errors to distract the reader.

Score = 5

Essays within this score range demonstrate competent skill in responding to the task.

The essay shows a clear understanding of the task. The essay takes a position on the issue and may offer a broad context for discussion. The essay shows recognition of complexity by partially evaluating the implications and/or complications of the issue, or by responding to counterarguments to the writer’s position. Development of ideas is specific and logical. Most ideas are elaborated, with clear movement between general statements and specific reasons, examples, and details. Focus on the specific issue in the prompt is maintained. The organization of the essay is clear, although it may be predictable. Ideas are logically sequenced, although simple and obvious transitions may be used. The introduction and conclusion are clear and generally well developed. Language is competent. Sentences are somewhat varied and word choice is sometimes varied and precise. There may be a few errors, but they are rarely distracting.

Score = 4

Essays within this score range demonstrate adequate skill in responding to the task.

The essay shows an understanding of the task. The essay takes a position on the issue and may offer some context for discussion. The essay may show some recognition of complexity by providing some response to counterarguments to the writer’s position. Development of ideas is adequate, with some movement between general statements and specific reasons, examples, and details. Focus on the specific issue in the prompt is maintained throughout most of the essay. The organization of the essay is apparent but predictable. Some evidence of logical sequencing of ideas is apparent, although most transitions are simple and obvious. The introduction and conclusion are clear and somewhat developed. Language is adequate, with some sentence variety and appropriate word choice. There may be some distracting errors, but they do not impede understanding.

Score = 3

Essays within this score range demonstrate some developing skill in responding to the task.

The essay shows some understanding of the task. The essay takes a position on the issue but does not offer a context for discussion. The essay may acknowledge a counterargument to the writer’s position, but its development is brief or unclear. Development of ideas is limited and may be repetitious, with little, if any, movement between general statements and specific reasons, examples, and details. Focus on the general topic is maintained, but focus on the specific issue in the prompt may not be maintained. The organization of the essay is simple. Ideas are logically grouped within parts of the essay, but there is little or no evidence of logical sequencing of ideas. Transitions, if used, are simple and obvious. An introduction and conclusion are clearly discernible but underdeveloped. Language shows a basic control. Sentences show a little variety and word choice is appropriate. Errors may be distracting and may occasionally impede understanding.

Score = 2

Essays within this score range demonstrate inconsistent or weak skill in responding to the task.

The essay shows a weak understanding of the task. The essay may not take a position on the issue, or the essay may take a position but fail to convey reasons to support that position, or the essay may take a position but fail to maintain a stance. There is little or no recognition of a counterargument to the writer’s position. The essay is thinly developed. If examples are given, they are general and may not be clearly relevant. The essay may include extensive repetition of the writer’s ideas or of ideas in the prompt. Focus on the general topic is maintained, but focus on the specific issue in the prompt may not be maintained. There is some indication of an organizational structure, and some logical grouping of ideas within parts of the essay is apparent. Transitions, if used, are simple and obvious, and they may be inappropriate or misleading. An introduction and conclusion are discernible but minimal. Sentence structure and word choice are usually simple. Errors may be frequently distracting and may sometimes impede understanding.

Score = 1

Essays within this score range show little or no skill in responding to the task.

The essay shows little or no understanding of the task. If the essay takes a position, it fails to convey reasons to support that position. The essay is minimally developed. The essay may include excessive repetition of the writer’s ideas or of ideas in the prompt. Focus on the general topic is usually maintained, but focus on the specific issue in the prompt may not be maintained. There is little or no evidence of an organizational structure or of the logical grouping of ideas. Transitions are rarely used. If present, an introduction and conclusion are minimal. Sentence structure and word choice are simple. Errors may be frequently distracting and may significantly impede understanding.

No Score

Blank, Off-Topic, Illegible, Not in English, or Void

ACT Writing Skills

Practice Your Writing Skills

Read. Write. Repeat.

There are many ways to prepare for the ACT writing test that don’t even include writing at all. Reading newspapers and magazines, listening to news analyses on television or radio, and participating in discussions and debates about issues and problems all help you build a foundation for your writing skills. These activities help you become more familiar with current issues, with different perspectives on those issues, and with strategies that skilled writers and speakers use to present their points of view.

Of course, one of the best ways to prepare for the ACT writing test is to practice writing. But you don’t have to sit at a desk and fill a notebook with essays. Practice writing for different purposes, with different audiences in mind. The writing you do in your English classes will help you. Practice writing stories, poems, plays, editorials, reports, letters to the editor, a personal journal, or other kinds of writing that you do on your own—including, yes, essays.

The ACT writing test asks you to explain your perspective on an issue in a convincing way, so writing opportunities such as editorials or letters to the editor of a newspaper are especially helpful. Practicing various types of writing will help make you a versatile writer able to adjust to different writing assignments.

Finally, don’t forget you only have 40 minutes on test day. Get some practice writing within a time limit. This will not only give you an advantage on the test, but also will help you build skills that are important in college-level learning and in the world of work.

Build Your Writing Skills

Everyday ways to improve your writing

You can strengthen your writing skills just about anywhere, anytime. Read below for some ideas to make writing, responding, and organizing your thoughts part of your daily routine:

  • Read and write frequently. Read as much as you can from a variety of sources, including plays, essays, fiction, poetry, news stories, business writing, and magazine features.
  • Become familiar with current issues in society and develop your own opinions. Think of arguments you would use to convince someone of your opinion. Taking speech and debate classes can help you think through issues and communicate them to others.
  • Practice writing in different formats and in as many real situations as possible. Write letters to the editor, or letters to a company requesting information.
  • Try some writing in extracurricular activities. School newspapers, yearbooks, and creative writing clubs offer opportunities to express ideas in writing.
  • Share your writing with others and get feedback. Feedback helps you anticipate how readers might interpret your writing and what types of questions they might have. This can help you anticipate what a reader might want to know.
  • Learn to see writing as a process—brainstorming, planning, writing, and then editing. This applies to all writing activities.
  • Listen to the advice your English teacher gives you about your writing.
  • Strive for well-developed and well-organized writing that uses precise, clear, and concise language.
  • Remember that everyone can improve their writing skills. Confidence and skill will grow with the more writing you do. Practice and work lead to achievement.

ACT CRASH COURSE

ACT CRASH COURSE<—- Click Here

What is the ACT Writing Test? -Sample Prompt

What is the ACT Writing Test?

The optional ACT Writing test consists of one essay question for which students are allowed 40 minutes to plan, write, and edit their essays. The essay prompts address contemporary issues, such as the pros and cons of living in an increasingly automated society. After being provided with three diverse perspectives that encourage critical thinking about the issue, students are asked to develop their own unique perspective and explain the relationships among the varying points of view. As a whole, the Writing test calls upon tools of expository writing, evaluative argument, and rhetorical analysis.

Your essay will be evaluated based on the evidence that it provides of your ability to:

  • Analyze and evaluate multiple perspectives on a complex issue
  • State and develop your own perspective on the issue
  • Explain and support your ideas with logical reasoning and detailed examples
  • Clearly and logically organize your ideas in an essay
  • Effectively communicate your ideas in standard written English

Two trained readers will score your essay on a scale of 1-6 in each of the four writing domains. Each domain score represents the sum of the two readers’ scores. If the readers’ ratings disagree by more than one point, a third reader will evaluate the essay and resolve the discrepancy. Your writing score is calculated from your domain scores and is reported on a scale of 1-36. Your domain scores do not necessarily add up to your reported writing score.

ACT Sample-Writing-Prompt

Discussion Questions-AP

Chapter 1:

1. What types of imagery are used to introduce the Puritan
townsfolk in “The Prison Door”?  What is the effect of this imagery and how does the narrator further this portrayal in “The Market
Place”?

2. What is the significance (symbolic, thematic, or otherwise)
of the rosebush outside the     prison
door?

Chapter 2:

4.  What is Hester’s first action in the novel and what does it reveal about her
character? Describe her demeanor as she emerges from the prison.

Chapter 3:

7. Describe the stranger standing next to the Indian during
Hester’s punishment. What signal passes between him and Hester? What emotional
affect does his presence have on Hester?

10. What argument does Dimmesdale use to try convince to Hester
to name her “fellow-sinner”? How does Hester respond? How does her child
respond?


11. Why does Hester say the scarlet letter can never be removed
from her breast?

 

12. How does the sermon delivered by John Wilson begin to expand
the symbolic significance of the scarlet letter? How does town gossip and
superstition do the same?

Chapter 4:

13. What does Chilling worth mean when he says to Hester, “We
have wronged each other”?

14. Why does Chillingworth ask Hester to keep his identity a
secret? Why is this ironic in the light of his profession?

Chapter 5:

15. How does Hester’s life change once her public humiliation is
over?

17. Where does Hester live after her leaving the prison? What is
significant about this location?

18. How does Hester support herself and Pearl? What does her
profession reveal about the Puritan society? What is the one job she is never
asked to do and why?

19. Apart from wearing the scarlet letter, in what specific ways
is Hester isolated from the townspeople? How is she made to suffer by this?

20. What new and special power does the scarlet letter seem to
have given Hester? What is Hester’s reaction to this newfound ability?

Chapter 6:

21. Why does Hester name her child Pearl? Why does she worry
about Pearl’s character?

22. How does the narrator account for Pearl’s wild and untamed
character?

24. What purpose might the mother-daughter conflict play in the
novel?

The Scarlet Letter Vocab

Scarlet-Letter-Vocabulary-2016

Feb 5 Warm-Up

Feb 5 Warm Up 2 Feb 5 Warm Up

Example of charts/graphs included in Graduation Paper

Example chart inclusion

 

REMEMBER THAT YOUR PAPERS ARE DUE TO ME BY 4:12 on FRIDAY or you will only receive (up to) a 70%.

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