ACT Writing Sample Prompt 3

Arts v. Sciences

It is relatively rare in our society for an individual to be incredibly talented in one of the arts as well as in one of the sciences. It may be that the areas of the brain that dictate these abilities are simply too different. Are individuals born with certain abilities at birth, or is it possible for someone born with one inclination to succeed in an entirely different field later in life? It would be a great idea to explore in more detail whether nature or nurture plays the greater role in our abilities in the arts and sciences.


Read and carefully consider these perspectives. Each suggests a particular way of thinking about the development of our abilities in the arts and sciences.

Perspective One: If a child is not exposed to a language at a young age, he or she will never attain native fluency. There are certain talents that cannot be thoroughly developed beyond a certain age.

Perspective Two: Adopted children often acquire certain characteristics from their adopted parents. For example, if the parents have a passion for a sport or a field of learning, they are often able to impart that passion to their adopted children. However, the extent to which environment plays a role in human development is still an open question.

Perspective Three: Though all children have certain likes and dislikes, they are molded to a great extent by their parents and their environments. A child’s inclinations along with factors such as environment and access to resources contribute to the child’s ability at maturity.

Essay Task

Write a unified, coherent essay in which you evaluate multiple perspectives on the development of our abilities in the arts and sciences. 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.


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