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ACT Write: Example Essays and Their Scores (page 2)

By — John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Updated on Dec 21, 2011

3 — Still Finding Yourself on the Wrong Side of the Tracks

In my opinion, kids should not have a uniform because it takes away freedoms that they should have. There are some clothing styles that teenagers wear that are not appropriate like tight revealing clothes. But to make students buy certain clothes like blue pants and white shirt infringes on their rights.

In America freedom of expression is very important and by forcing us to wear certain things schools are taking away one of our rights. If they start taking away this right, they might start taking away other ones too.

Uniforms are unfair because some families cannot afford them. Many kids would need a whole new wardrobe and their families would have a hard time buying this for them. Not only would they need clothes, but they also need clothes for outside of school. For poorer families this would be hard.

A uniform would take away some of our freedom of expression and it would be a financial strain for poorer families. I think that there should be no uniforms.

A 3 is almost a reason for celebration. Almost. This writer answers the question, gives reasons to support her ideas, and advances her argument. The essay maintains a semblance of structure. She presents a clear point of view with two supporting points that address the language presented in the prompt. Her sentences are more complex than the ones written by most eighth-graders, and she presents a clear conclusion that sums up her points.

However, she's still hanging around on the wrong side of the tracks. The ACT folks are starting to recognize her developing skill, but she still has room for improvement. Her essay would be better if she included a discussion of the counterargument and more fully developed her ideas. Her paragraphs aren't complete, and she doesn't include transitions to link her ideas and increase the essay's flow. Plus, she makes numerous punctuation mistakes. With a little work, this essay could make it to the right side of the tracks.

4 —Reaching 4 a Better Score

I believe that it would be a good idea for our schools to adopt uniforms. Some people argue that it would restrict student's freedom of expression, but I do not agree with this position. It is important that we have a right to express ourselves, but our society does not allow us to have unrestricted freedoms like this all the time. It is important to learn discipline, show respect for other's feelings and learn how to be successful operating in the real world. School uniforms create a better learning environment and also helps students prepare for their futures.

The most important benefit of imposing dress codes would be creating a better school environment. Students who are trying to concentrate and learn would be unfocused because of inappropriate clothing. Small clothing, tight tops, and sagging pants might be okay for after school but not appropriate for the classroom. Certain types of people might find profanity and obscene images offensive. Art and creative writing are better ways to express your creativity rather than on your clothing. Less distractions in the classroom would help a student to get a better education.

Another important benefit of having uniforms would teach students how to dress properly for different occasions. Clothes that you would wear to a party would not be appropriate for a dinner with your boyfriends parents. Likewise, you wouldn't wear your work clothes on a date. Some jobs in society require people to wear uniforms. Uniforms in schools help students to realize what the world is like and get ready to enter it.

Another important concern for students is trying to fit in. Uniforms take the emphasis off what you look like and put more emphasis on learning. In conclusion, it is important for schools to require uniforms. Getting an education is the most important thing about school and uniforms take away distractions. Learning how to dress for the real world is also important. And it helps with the pressures of trying to fit in.

A score of 4 would make anyone want to run and frolic through green pastures because the ACT folks think you have adequate writing skills. You may not be the best, but at least you're average and your score is respectable. This writer takes a stance and acknowledges counterarguments. He maintains focus throughout the essay, and he supports each idea in the well-defined paragraphs with specific examples to make the graders happy. This writer demonstrates a simple organizational structure that works; it properly includes an introduction that sets up what the writer talks about in the body paragraphs and a conclusion that sums up his points without word-for-word repetition. This essay shows that the writer has learned adequate writing skills in school, even though he hasn't mastered perfect punctuation or impeccable word choice. On the second paragraph, less distractions should be fewer distractions, and switching back and forth between third and second person isn't stylistically pleasing).

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