ACT Essay Samples | Good vs Bad Examples

The ACT Essay option is a great way to impress college admissions officers with your writing ability. But what does a good essay look like vs a bad one? Thankfully, ACT has provided some helpful ACT essay samples that you can study based on good vs not-so-good examples.

In addition, here are 10 helpful ACT Essay prep tips to practice before test day.

ACT Essay Samples Prompt

This provided prompt, Intelligent Machines, is a good representation of how prompts are provided to you on the actual test.

“The test describes an issue and provides three different perspectives on the issue. You are asked to read and consider the issue and perspectives, state your own perspective on the issue, and analyze the relationship between your perspective and at least one other perspective on the issue. Your score will not be affected by the perspective you take on the issue.”

ACT Essay Samples Passage

Here is the actual passage that students drew from when writing the sample essays below.

Intelligent Machines

“Many of the goods and services we depend on daily are now supplied by intelligent, automated machines rather than human beings. Robots build cars and other goods on assembly lines, where once there were human workers. Many of our phone conversations are now conducted not with people but with sophisticated technologies. We can now buy goods at a variety of stores without the help of a human cashier. Automation is generally seen as a sign of progress, but what is lost when we replace humans with machines? Given the accelerating variety and prevalence of intelligent machines, it is worth examining the implications and meaning of their presence in our lives.

Read and carefully consider these perspectives. Each suggests a particular way of thinking about the increasing presence of intelligent machines.”

ACT Essay Samples Perspective Choices

  • Perspective One: What we lose with the replacement of people by machines is some part of our own humanity. Even our mundane daily encounters no longer require from us basic courtesy, respect, and tolerance for other people. “
  • Perspective Two: Machines are good at low-skill, repetitive jobs, and at high-speed, extremely precise jobs. In both cases, they work better than humans. This efficiency leads to a more prosperous and progressive world for everyone.”
  • Perspective Three: Intelligent machines challenge our long-standing ideas about what humans are or can be. This is good because it pushes both humans and machines toward new, unimagined possibilities.”

ACT Essay Sample 1 (Low-Scoring)

“Well Machines are good but they take people jobs like if they don’t know how to use it they get fired and they’ll find someone else and it’s more easyer with machines but sometimes they don’t need people because of this machines do there own job and there be many people that lack on there job but the intelligent machines sometimes may not work or they’ll brake easy and it’s waste of money on this machines and there really expensive to buy but they help alot at the same time it help alot but at the same time this intelligent machines work and some don’t work but many store buy them and end up broken or not working but many stores gets them and end up wasting money on this intelligent machines’ but how does it help us and the comunity because some people get fired because they do not need him because of this machines many people are losing job’s because of this machines.”

Sample Essay 2 (High-Scoring)

“Should machines be used to do good and services instead of humans? I believe they should not for many reasons. Machines can not be smart unless a human is controlling it. So it would not matter if it’s an intelligent machine or not a human is still controlling it to do everything.

When using a machine it could easily malfunction and it could be hard to fix the problem or it will just take a while to fix it. If a human is taking over instead of the machine there may be fewer problems. Machines have so many problems that it would not be worth having.

Also, the more machines you have the fewer jobs there are for people because everyone thinks it would be better to have machines instead of people. When fewer people are out of work that means less money for those people and sometimes they will lose their homes or cars because they can not afford anything.

Sometimes working with machines can be very stressful because they may not work at times or they could be running extremely slow and won’t get anything done. Machines are not smart at all, only when people are controlling them they are but not all the time. It may seem smart but it’s really not.

In conclusion, I think machines should not be used to take over a human job because machines can not think only humans can think and make right or wrong decisions. Machines do not have brains, they’re not wired to think so why have them do stuff that we can do ourselves.”

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