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Kristin Fracchia

Video: How to Write an ACT Essay from Start to Finish


ACT Example Essay Walkthrough

You’ve heard me blab about the ACT essay in other videos like this one and this one. Maybe you’ve even watched our ACT Writing lessons on Magoosh ACT. But you know what students have been asking for the most? An example essay. And you guys are totally right. It can be really helpful to see the entire essay-writing process modeled from beginning to end–maybe your good teachers do this in school.

So here you have it! An ACT essay from start to finish! In the video, I’m taking on the role of a student seeing an ACT essay question for the first time, evaluating the perspectives, brainstorming, outlining, and finally writing each paragraph of the essay. And I’ll give you all my most important tips along the way, so stick it out :).

Remember, this is just one essay, and it is not perfect. But, hey, no one is perfect in 40 minutes! There are thousands of successful ways to approach this essay. Feel free to practice yourself and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

(Click here for the prompt I am using in the video.)


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About Kristin Fracchia

Kristin makes sure Magoosh's sites are full of awesome, free resources that can be found by students prepping for standardized tests. With a PhD from UC Irvine and degrees in Education and English, she’s been working in education since 2004 and has helped students prepare for standardized tests, as well as college and graduate school admissions, since 2007. She enjoys the agony and bliss of trail running, backpacking, hot yoga, and esoteric knowledge.

2 Responses to “Video: How to Write an ACT Essay from Start to Finish”

  1. Dilo Loan says:

    Hi Kristin,
    According to many sources, it is suggested that we should present our own opinion or choose ONE given perspective to agree.
    However, regarding the Sample essay score 5 on the ACT website, I see that the writer advocates the benefits of automation so he support BOTH perspective 2 and 3 instead of only 1.
    I realise that among 3 perspectives, there are often 2 on the same side(supporting or opposing) and 1 on the opposite 
    Is it ok if I take 1 side (Supporting or opposing) and then write in favor of all supporting (or opposing) perspectives and  finish the essay with a counter argument against the perspective on the side I do not take.
    I look forward to your reply.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert Magoosh Test Prep Expert says:

      The ACT website is a little unclear on this; the official ACT Writing rubric says one thing while the instructions on the ACT website’s writing sample essays say another.

      I just checked with an ACT customer service representative. She said that you should address at least two perspectives plus your own if you want a chance at a full 12. It’s a little hard to tell if that really is the ACT’s strict policy, since there’s some conflicting information on their website. But it does seem like covering at least two perspectives and having your own opinion is the safest bet. Certainly including more than one of the given perspectives can’t hurt your score!

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