The ACT Aspire essay-- 40 minutes
Strategies that we can practice in the classroom:
- We want a HOOK, to get the reader's attention
- CSRQ the prompt for the introductory paragraph.
- End the introduction with the thesis statement.
- Write the thesis statement with a list of reasons that will be used in the BODY paragraphs. This will be a mini-plan and give the writer direction.
Using a "formulaic" thesis statement will give the students direction and plan. Advanced students may not need this, but it is a nice way to begin writing for a timed essay.
- Body paragraph (study French in college)
- Body paragraph (use French for a job translating)
- Body paragraph (travel or live in France)
- Counter-Claim (Some may say...On the other hand,...) This COULD be your last body paragraph.
Our writers need to use transitions between ideas, but "First," "Second," and "Third" will not do.
A strong argument will contain Logos or Logical appeals such as facts or statistics. The evidence must come from the writer's knowledge. They should not make something up.
In the argument essay (8th grade) the OTHER SIDE OF THE ARGUMENT (COUNTER-CLAIM) MUST be addressed. Most exemplar papers have it written after the final body paragraph.
A good sentence starter for the "counter-claim" could be... "Some may say..." or "On the other hand...."
Some may say that Kim should not take the extra French lessons, and should focus on being a well-rounded student.
- One sentence will not score well.
- Students need to pull all of their thoughts together, restate but reword their thesis statement, and find the words to connect to their HOOK.
- (Remember "Bonjour?" How about ending with "Parlez-vous Français?")
Push your students to write in paragraphs and to write a complete essay.
- Aspire doesn't allow indenting with the TAB key.
- Students can use the space bar to move over or add an extra space BETWEEN paragraphs.
- This is not MLA format, but it's okay.
- The more that we practice, revise, and rewrite, the easier it will be on assessment day.