Guide to ACT® Reading

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Social Studies

Analyze, on both a granular and holistic level, the detail, tone, and style of nonfiction prose passages from prominent figures such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Elie Wiesel. As you read, pay close attention to how these writers convey their thoughts, bearing in mind their audience, purpose, and occasion for writing. Pay close attention to paragraph and sentence structure to help you assess how each writer creates meaning. Use what is directly stated in the text to answer comprehension questions, and flex your reasoning skills as you comb the text for what is indirectly stated or implied.

CompletionAccuracy

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Status

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Your weighted accuracy is based on your most recent attempts compared to everyone else’s first attempts.

Re-answering questions correctly will improve your weighted average status.

Robert Kennedy: 1968 Speech

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MLK, Jr.: I Have A Dream

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Elie Wiesel: The Perils of Indifference

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Elizabeth Stanton: The Declaration of Sentiments

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Upton Sinclair: The Jungle

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Emma Hart Willard: Education of the Weaker Sex

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Franklin Roosevelt: What the New Deal Has Done

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Massachusetts Report: Report on Child Labor

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EV Smalley: Life On Prairie Farms

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Doris Stevens: Suffragettes

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Jonathan Zittrain: New Republic

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Natalie Rotman: Blackfish Documentary

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William Bradford: History of Plymouth Plantation

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Natural Sciences

From environmentalist commentary to a historical account of astronomy in the early 1900s to reports on medical research, these selections represent an interesting cross-section of scientific writing. Using only the knowledge presented to you in the passage, assess the author's argument by practicing careful, detail-oriented reading. At the atomic level, pay close attention to unfamiliar vocabulary and its context, so you can comprehend and evaluate the relationships between the author's ideas. On a comprehensive level, pay close attention to passage structure so you can best analyze how the author presents his or her arguments.

CompletionAccuracy

Accuracy is based on your most recent attempt.

Status

Your status is based on your weighted accuracy which accounts for the difficulty of the questions.

Your weighted accuracy is based on your most recent attempts compared to everyone else’s first attempts.

Re-answering questions correctly will improve your weighted average status.

David McNamee: Medical News Today

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Theresa Chong: IEEE Spectrum

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Jonathan Benson: Natural News

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Lily Berrin: Public Library of Science

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P.R. Kincaid: The Arabian Art of Taming

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Cecil Dolmage: Astronomy of Today

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William Hornaday: The Extermination of Bison

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Royal Dixon: The Human Side of Animals

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Gifford Pinchot: The Training of a Forester

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Martin & Martin: Sociable Killers

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Rockefeller University: Potential Alzheimer's Cure

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Pitman & Durban: Save the Seal

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Craig Packer: Rational Fear

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Literary Narrative and Prose Fiction

Hone your inference and reasoning skills by engaging with some of the greatest fiction ever written. Masterful writers command of literary techniques to illuminate some of life's deepest truths. From the stark Puritan setting of The Scarlet Letter—with its rigid gender norms and social expectations—to the allusive and allegorical atmosphere of The Three Questions, these highly literary works of fiction demand that you read carefully. Pay close attention to how the writer creates and wields setting, tone, direct and indirect characterization, diction, syntax, dialogue, and much more.

CompletionAccuracy

Accuracy is based on your most recent attempt.

Status

Your status is based on your weighted accuracy which accounts for the difficulty of the questions.

Your weighted accuracy is based on your most recent attempts compared to everyone else’s first attempts.

Re-answering questions correctly will improve your weighted average status.

Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe

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Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter

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Washington Irving: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

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Jack London: To Build a Fire

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Leo Tolstoy: Three Questions

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Mark Twain: The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

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Aldous Huxley: Brave New World

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Willa Cather: My Antonia

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Alexander Dumas: The Count of Monte Cristo

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Thomas Hardy: Tess of the D'Urbervilles

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Kate Chopin: The Awakening

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Red Headed League

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James Fenimore Cooper: The Last of the Mohicans

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Humanities

These writings are culled from narrative essays, academic reports, journalistic accounts, and criticism. As you read, pay close attention to the author's point of view and intended audience. Is the selection an excerpt from a humorous memoir? A detailed analysis of why American audiences go wild for true-crime television? A sociological report on life abroad? The context of the passage will help you answer questions about tone, argument, and structure.

CompletionAccuracy

Accuracy is based on your most recent attempt.

Status

Your status is based on your weighted accuracy which accounts for the difficulty of the questions.

Your weighted accuracy is based on your most recent attempts compared to everyone else’s first attempts.

Re-answering questions correctly will improve your weighted average status.

Esther Burr: Diary Entry

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Frederick Douglass: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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Cambridge History: The Drama and The Stage

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Edwin Royle: The Vaudeville Theatre

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Cambridge History: Revolutionary Newspapers

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Henri Bergson: Dreams

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Eric Deggans: The Success of The Jinx

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Linda Poon: MTV Pimps Cars, Brazil Pimps Trash Carts

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