Taking the ACT Writing Test is a great way to show off your writing skills to colleges. While you can’t be sure of the exact prompt ahead of time, you can use the same general structure for every ACT essay.
The following provides helpful suggestions for writing your essay. You do not need to copy this approach exactly; think of it as a framework.
ACT Essay Template
If you are running out of time, don’t write a 2nd body paragraph. Instead, take the time to write a thorough 3rd body paragraph and a clear conclusion paragraph.
[RELATED: What to expect on the ACT Essay]
Sample Essay Using the Prompt
¶1: Introductory Paragraph
- Introductory statement
- Thesis: Schools should offer bilingual accreditation as long as courses offered in languages other than English are carefully selected.
¶2: First body paragraph
- Describe your thesis: All classes need to be carefully selected so scheduling bilingual offerings is not an additional burden for school administrators.
- Provide first example/reasoning: include specific, relevant information—Even if core classes are given in two languages, all students still study the core curriculum and preserve the integrity of the diploma.
¶3: Second Body Paragraph
- Continue supporting your thesis: Offering bilingual accreditation provides an opportunity for schools to offer non-traditional classes for all students.
- Provide second example/reasoning: include specific, relevant information—Every dollar spent to accommodate bilingual education should be matched with equal funding for other types of educational enrichment such as STEM training and career-oriented electives.
¶4: Third Body Paragraph
- Explain how your thesis compares and contrasts with Perspectives One, Two, and/or Three: The first perspective argues that schools should encourage bilingual fluency but not add any bilingual classes, which is in direct contrast to Perspective Three.
- Strengths/Weaknesses of the perspective(s): Perspective One doesn’t take into account that making the existing curriculum better often means adding additional classes, which bilingual accreditation would accomplish.
- Persuasive / Not persuasive: The argument simply says that these classes would only be for interested students, so it doesn’t affect everyone.
- Example or Reasoning: provide specific, relevant information—Most of the world uses English as a second language, and many people speak at least two languages, so to stay competitive, U.S. students should also be fluent in two languages.
¶5: Conclusion Paragraph
- Recap your thesis: I fully support perspective three because it opens up possibilities for all students without denying anyone a full high school curriculum leading to a meaningful diploma.
- Recap how your thesis compares and contrasts with Perspectives One, Two, and/or Three: Recognizing the benefits of being bilingual, and making bilingual courses available but optional, is the best of both worlds.
In today’s world where international education standards are very high and the U.S. needs to remain competitive, educators are looking for ways to enhance high school curriculum. One way is offering classes in languages other than English. Some people think that schools should provide enough education in a different language for students to be certified as bilingual. Others think this will weaken the curriculum. Still others think the accreditation should be offered but carefully administered so that graduation from that school would indicate the completed high school curriculum, and this is the option I agree with. I would further argue that schools should not only carefully implement bilingual programs to suit students who want to become fluent in two languages, but also provide supplemental non-traditional courses for students pursuing their entire education in English.
The third perspective posits that while students should be given the opportunity to learn in other languages and be accredited as bilingual, the courses given need to be carefully selected. In reality, all classes need to be carefully selected so this is not a problem for bilingual classes. And if the classes selected were all optional, not required, it would not affect students who still want to learn everything in English. Since core classes might be given in two languages, and students select which one they want, all students still study the core curriculum and preserve the integrity of the diploma. Schools have always taught languages in high school so a French or Spanish course taught as a bilingual class makes perfect sense. Bilingual classes are also advantageous for students who do well and want to challenge themselves. So a French literature class can be taught in French while students read in French also.
As schools work to accommodate students who wish to pursue a bilingual education, administrators must keep in mind that students who do not want an additional bilingual accreditation should still have every opportunity to excel as they work toward their high school diplomas. Every dollar spent to accommodate bilingual education should be matched with equal funding for other types of educational enrichment such as STEM training and career-oriented electives. That way, every student can benefit from classes that go beyond traditional education, whether the classes concentrate on language, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or future careers. Given the rigorous demands of the current job climate, students will greatly benefit from any additional marketable skills that they can acquire during their high school careers.
The first perspective argues that schools should encourage bilingual fluency but not add any bilingual classes, which is in direct contrast to my position. Instead, the school administrators should make the existing curriculum better so that traditional education is really good. Certainly a high school curriculum should be as good as it can be and we should always be looking for ways to make it better. That often means adding new courses. For instance, computer courses didn’t exist a few years ago, but they are in schools now because it’s important for people to be able to use computers. It’s the same thing with bilingual courses. Most of the world uses English as a second language, and many people speak at least two languages. So it’s only right that to stay competitive, U.S. students should also be fluent in two languages; this is particularly important in careers that require international work. Also, the argument simply says that these classes would only be for interested students, so it doesn’t affect everyone. And finally, how can the schools encourage bilingual fluency if they don’t provide a place for students to practice another language?
Being bilingual in a world with international interaction can’t help but be useful. I fully support perspective three because it opens up possibilities for all students without denying anyone a full high school curriculum leading to a meaningful diploma. Recognizing the benefits of being bilingual, and making bilingual courses available but optional, is the best of both worlds. Expanding courses offered in a curriculum is always better than restricting them, especially when they serve such an important need as the ability to communicate with others in their own language.