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Mass Media Essay Conclusion Generator

Are you debating whether or not to take the optional ACT essay? Some schools require it, so we highly recommend that you take it (make sure to register for ACT with Writing).

But no need to stress! The essay follows a predictable format, which means you can practice and prepare beforehand. Take a look at a sample ACT writing prompt and learn five key steps to penning a high-scoring essay.

ACT Writing Prompt

This example writing prompt comes straight from our book Cracking the ACT:


Education and the Workplace

Many colleges and universities have cut their humanities departments, and high schools have started to shift their attention much more definitively toward STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and away from ELA (English, Language Arts). Representatives from both school boards and government organizations suggest that the move toward STEM is necessary in helping students to participate in a meaningful way in the American workplace. Given the urgency of this debate for the future of education and society as a whole, it is worth examining the potential consequences of this shift in how students are educated in the United States.

Read and carefully consider these perspectives. Each suggests a particular way of thinking about the shift in American education.

Perspective 1 Perspective 2 Perspective 3
ELA programs should be emphasized over STEM programs. Education is not merely a means to employment: ELA education helps students to live more meaningful lives. In addition, an exclusively STEM-based program cannot help but limit students’ creativity and lead them to overemphasize the importance of money and other tangible gains. ELA programs should be eradicated entirely, except to establish the basic literacy necessary to engage in the hard sciences, mathematics, and business. Reading and writing are activities that are best saved for the leisure of students who enjoy them. ELA and STEM programs should always be in equal balance with one another. Both are necessary to providing a student with a well-rounded education. Moreover, equal emphasis will allow the fullest possible exposure to many subjects before students choose their majors and careers

Essay Task

Write a unified, coherent essay in which you evaluate multiple perspectives on the issue of how schools should balance STEM and ELA subjects. In your essay, be sure to:

  • analyze and evaluate the perspectives given
  • state and develop your own perspective on the issue
  • explain the relationship between your perspective and those given

Your perspective may be in full agreement with any of the others, in partial agreement, or wholly different. Whatever the case, support your ideas with logical reasoning and detailed, persuasive examples.

How to Write the ACT Essay

Your job is to write an essay in which you take some sort of position on the prompt, all while assessing the three perspectives provided in the boxes. Find a way to anchor your essay with a unique perspective of your own that can be defended and debated, and you are already in the upper echelon of scorers.

Step 1: Work the Prompt

What in the prompt requires you to weigh in? Why is this issue still the subject of debate and not a done deal?

Step 2: Work the Perspectives

Typically, the three perspectives will be split: one for, one against, and one in the middle. Your goal in Step 2 is to figure out where each perspective stands and then identify at least one shortcoming of each perspective. For the example above, ask yourself: 

  • What does each perspective consider?
  • What does each perspective overlook?

Step 3: Generate Your Own Perspective

Now it's time to come up with your own perspective! If you merely restate one of the three given perspectives, you won’t be able to get into the highest scoring ranges. You’ll draw from each of the perspectives, and you may side with one of them, but your perspective should have something unique about it.

Step 4: Put It All Together

Now that you have your ideas in order, here's a blueprint for how to organize the ACT essay. This blueprint works no matter what your prompt is.

Introduction

  • Start with a topic sentence the restates the central issue
  • Clearly state your position on the issue

Body Paragraph (1)

  • Start with a transition/topic sentence that discusses the OPPOSING SIDE of your argument
  • Discuss the given perspective(s) that would support the opposing argument
  • Give a specific example that could be used to support the opposing perspective
  • Explain why you disagree with the opposing perspective
Body Paragraph (2)
  • Start with a transition/topic sentence that discusses YOUR POSITION on the central issue
  • Explain your position including any of the given perspectives that support your position
  • Give an example that supports your position
  • End the paragraph by restating your position
Conclusion
  • Recap your discussion
  • Restate your perspective and arguments
  • Provide a final overarching thought on the topic

Step 5: (If There's Time): Proofread

Spend one or two minutes on proofreading your essay if you have time. You’re looking for big, glaring errors. If you find one, erase it completely or cross it out neatly. Though neatness doesn’t necessarily affect your grade, it does make for a happy grader.


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Introductions and conclusions can be the most difficult parts of papers to write. However, it is important to write a good introduction and conclusion because they act as a frame for the argument. The introduction and conclusion are also what the reader is most likely to remember.

Just as your introduction acts as a bridge that transports your readers from their own lives into the "place" of your analysis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. Such a conclusion will help them see why all your analysis and information should matter to them after they put the paper down. 1

Strategies for Writing an Effective Introduction

  • Try writing your introduction last. You may think that you have to write your introduction first, but that isn't always the most effective way to craft a good introduction. The writing process can be an important way to organize your ideas, think through complicated issues, refine your thoughts, and develop a sophisticated argument. Therefore, an introduction written at the beginning of that discovery process will not necessarily reflect what you want to say in the final draft. You will need to revise your paper to make sure that the introduction, all of the evidence, and the conclusion reflect the argument you intend. Sometimes it helps to write the body first and then write the introduction -- that way you can be sure that the introduction matches.
  • Don't be afraid to write a tentative introduction first, and then change it later. Some people find that they need to write some kind of introduction in order to get the writing process started. Make sure to review the introduction afterward writing the entire paper and rewrite if necessary.
  • Open with something that gains the reader's attention. If the topic of your paper is somewhat dry or technical, an effective opening is especially helpful. An effective opening might be a surprising scenario or shocking statistic. For some papers, a personal story might also be appropriate.
  • Pay special attention to your first sentence. Because the first sentence is often the most memorable, it must be completely free of errors and vagueness.
  • Be straightforward and confident in your writing. Avoid statements like "In this paper, I will argue that Frederick Douglass valued education." While this sentence points toward your main argument, it isn't especially interesting. It might be more effective to say what you mean in a declarative sentence, such as "Frederick Douglass value education." It is much more convincing to discuss the ways that Frederick Douglass valued education, rather than just saying it.

Assert your main argument confidently. After all, you can't expect your reader to believe it if it doesn't sound like you believe it. 2

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Strategies for Writing an Effective Conclusion

A conclusion can function effectively in several ways. Any one of these may be an appropriate ending to your paper; however, your conclusion will more often combine several of these functions. Here are some of the ways in which the conclusion may work within a paper.

  • A conclusion can sum up the main points of the paper. But if the conclusion does nothing more than repeat what you have already said, it will not be effective. Sometimes, however, summary can be effective. If your essay describes a process, such as the development of a character or the course of a historical event, you may want to retrace the steps of that process in the conclusion. If the structure of your argument is complex, you may also want to extract the main points from the argument and restate them.

Here is an example of an effective conclusion:
It has been shown, therefore, that stereotypes have always existed in society, and probably will always do so. The mass media is a relatively recent phenomenon, which is one reason for the widely differing views on its role in creating and fostering stereotypical images. The actual causes of stereotyping in the mass media have been shown to be surprisingly diverse, although there can be no argument that any form of it which leads, albeit indirectly, to suffering in any form must not be allowed to take place. It is society itself which must stop this from happening, as laws and regulations are often ineffective. Things are changing, though, and in some areas very quickly; some commonplace stereotypes of only twenty years ago and today virtually taboo. It is society which must indirectly control the mass media, not vice versa. However, in an increasingly 'global' world, controlled by fewer and fewer corporations and individuals eager to please the governments of the major world powers, and, in the mass media, who are more than willing to use stereotyping as a tool in the control of society, we must be more and more vigilent to avoid this cynical manipulation. 3

  • Broader context.
    • The conclusion can suggest a broader context for your paper by posing further questions, mentioning the issues you couldn't discuss, and stimulating the reader's thoughts about them.
    • The conclusion can suggest a broader context into which your paper fits by showing how it falls within some larger area of concern: if you compare two modes of narration, you are talking about the issue of the narrative voice in literature; if you analyze the causes of the battle of Lexington, you are talking about the Revolutionary War; and if you trace the discovery of DNA you raise the scientific and ethical issues of genetic research. It's often effective to make these larger issues explicit in your conclusion.
  • The conclusion can point out the justification for writing on the topic. If you prove the existence of author-figures within the text of Don Quixote, you still have to explain why they're important. Again, this won't automatically make the paper effective, but it may more fully explain the paper's focus. 4

Sources

  1. Conclusions
  2. Introductions
  3. Example Conclusions
  4. Conclusions: Online Handout

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Citation: factcouraud. (2007, May 22). Introductions and Conclusions. Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: http://ocw.usu.edu/English/introduction-to-writing-academic-prose/introductions-and-conclusions.html.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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