Common Mistakes to Avoid in ACT Exam Essay Writing

Written By: William P. Leblanc
Published On: Oct 5th,2023


Essay writing is a crucial component of the ACT exam, and it plays a significant role in determining your overall score. Whether you're tackling a diversity essay, a narrative essay, an academic essay, or any other type of essay, avoiding common mistakes is essential. These mistakes can cost you valuable points and affect your chances of achieving a high ACT score. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most common mistakes students make in ACT essay writing and provide tips on how to avoid them.


  1. Ignoring Essay Format: One of the most common mistakes is neglecting the proper essay format. Your essay should have a clear structure, including an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each paragraph should have a specific purpose and should be organized logically. Failure to adhere to the correct format can make your essay confusing and difficult to follow.
  2. Lack of a Strong Thesis Statement: Your thesis statement is the backbone of your essay. It should be clear, and concise, and provide a roadmap for the rest of your essay. Some students fail to include a strong thesis statement or include one that is vague and unclear. Take the time to craft a compelling thesis statement that sets the tone for your essay.
  3. Ignoring the Prompt: Many students make the mistake of not fully addressing the prompt provided in the ACT essay section. It's crucial to read and understand the prompt thoroughly and ensure that your essay directly responds to it. Failing to do so can result in a low score.
  4. Spelling and Grammar Errors: Simple spelling and grammar errors can significantly impact your essay's readability and overall quality. Always proofread your essay carefully to catch any mistakes. Additionally, consider using online tools or essay typer services to assist you in checking for errors.
  5. Using Complex Vocabulary Unnecessarily: While it's essential to demonstrate a strong command of language, using overly complex vocabulary can make your essay sound forced and unnatural. It's better to use clear and concise language to convey your ideas effectively.
  6. Lack of Specific Examples: In essays, especially in argumentative essays, specific examples, and evidence are critical to support your arguments. Avoid making broad statements without providing concrete examples to back them up. Use real-world examples, statistics, or anecdotes to strengthen your essay.
  7. Failure to Edit and Revise: Rushing through the writing process without taking the time to edit and revise your essay is a common mistake. Editing is where you refine your ideas, improve sentence structure, and eliminate errors. Allocate enough time for this crucial step.
  8. Copying from Online Sources: Plagiarism is a serious offense in academic writing. Some students resort to copying content from online sources, such as essay websites. This unethical practice can result in severe consequences, including disqualification from the exam. Always write your essay in your own words.
  9. Not Staying on Topic: It's easy to get sidetracked when writing an essay, especially when you're trying to impress with your knowledge. However, veering off-topic can confuse the reader and detract from your overall argument. Stick to the main points relevant to the prompt.
  10. Ignoring Counterarguments: In an argumentative essay, failing to address counterarguments weakens your position. Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and then refute them logically. This demonstrates a more comprehensive understanding of the topic.
  11. Overly Long or Short Essays: The ideal length for an ACT essay is around 500-600 words. Writing an excessively long essay can result in you losing focus and straying from the prompt. Conversely, writing a very short essay may not provide enough content to support your argument adequately.
  12. Repetition: Repeating the same ideas and phrases throughout your essay can be monotonous and unimpressive. Instead, aim for variety in your language and ideas to maintain the reader's interest.
  13. Not Using Reliable Sources: If you include facts or statistics in your essay, ensure they come from credible and reputable sources. Using unreliable sources can undermine your credibility.
  14. Using Fillers and Fluff: Some students use fillers and unnecessary fluff to meet word count requirements. This approach adds no value to your essay and can make it less engaging. Focus on quality content instead of quantity.
  15. Procrastination: Waiting until the last minute to write your essay can lead to rushed and subpar work. Start early and allocate sufficient time for brainstorming, writing, and editing.


In conclusion, avoiding these common mistakes is essential for achieving success in the ACT essay section. Whether you are writing a diversity essay, a narrative essay, or any other type of essay, following the proper format, staying on topic, and providing strong evidence are key to earning a high score. Remember that practice and preparation are the keys to improving your essay-writing skills. If you need additional help, consider seeking guidance from dissertation help services or consulting with an essay writer to refine your writing abilities. With dedication and attention to detail, you can excel in the ACT essay section and enhance your overall exam performance. Good luck!

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