ACT / SAT Writing Section Tip: Be Concise

Be concise on the ACT / SAT writing section test

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When it comes to writing, being concise is usually linked to being stronger. The ACT and SAT writing sections are not like school essay projects that have a certain page requirement or word count goal. Your objective here is to either write a persuasive essay, or determine what made a certain essay persuasive, and the single best way to do that: be concise.

Don’t Add Fluff on the Writing Section

Readers can tell when a student is just writing fluff—extra sentences and words that don’t really add anything to your argument, except space. Fluff can include saying the exact same thing in a slightly different way (or repeating a theme in a varied but similar manor). You’re only wasting your time—and the reader’s time—when you add unnecessary words. Instead, focus on your argument, counterargument, and structure.

Avoid Superfluous Words

Oftentimes people think using bigger words makes them sound smarter. Unfortunately, this thinking can lead to two dangerous things: 1) Using a “big word” incorrectly or 2) Using way too many big words and sounding pretentious. Simple doesn’t necessarily mean bad, after all. If you can use a “smaller” or more common word in place of a fancy-sounding one, do it. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to flex your vocabulary every once in awhile, provided you know how to use it properly and use them sparingly.

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