Act - Writing - Domain 1: Ideas and Analysis

Domain 1: Ideas and Analysis

This domain tests your thinking and analysis skills regarding the three perspectives you are given. Evaluators want to see how deeply you delve into those perspectives to see things that may not be stated but are just implied. You need to be exact and thorough in order to score well in this domain.

Engagement with the Perspectives

This is done by citing specific claims made by the authors as you present your views. Instead of randomly making statements, build your argument using things the authors said in their arguments. This doesn’t mean you necessarily agree with them, but actively use the author’s points to create yours.

Nuance and Precision

Be specific in your writing, rather than making general statements. Again, delve deeply into specific points, whether you are agreeing with them or pointing out fallacies. This is about saying exactly what you mean, using precisely appropriate vocabulary.

Context in Analysis

You need to establish a context for your argument. This is done by sort of setting the stage for your comments. To do this, be sure to present “in exactly what circumstance” the arguments of the authors would be valid, invalid, etc.

Deep Examination

In the author’s work, look for evidence of underlying reasons he/she feels that way about the issue. Address any complexities you find that you think the author may not be considering. This requires examining the author’s possible motive for writing the piece in the first place. Furthermore, discuss how you think the author’s experiences and/or values contribute to his/her opinion.