Short Answer
Open Ended Response
ACE Strategy- A way of organizing
your writing and “showing” what
you know
• Answer opened ended and short
answer questions by citing several
sources and using effective textual
evidence to clearly and convincingly
support your response.
What is the ACE Strategy?
• Answer the question
– Answer with restating the question in your
• Cite your evidence
– Cite the evidence that BEST supports your answer
• Explain and extend your response
– Explain how/why your evidence supports your claim
Textual Evidence
What is it?
Support for your response, opinion, or idea
Why do I need it?
To prove that you are not just making up your
answer, opinion or idea
When will I use it? In every writing response! It’s your proof that you
know what you’re talking about!
In real life, people who can back up an opinion with
How about
outside of school? specific information are taken more seriously than
people who can only give a reason of “just because”
or “because I said so.”
ACE your response
• Start your response with a topic sentence.
– This should be a declarative sentence.
• Answer the prompt while restating the
– Stay on topic and respond to the task fully
– Make sure you have support for your claim
– Make it easy to follow the progression of your ideas
ACE your response
Citing Explicit Evidence
Introduce your direct evidence with a “text talk” prompt
• From the reading I
know that…
• The illustration/graphic
shows that…
• Based on what I read…
• An example on page
___ is…
• I know because…
• According to the text…
• The author wrote…
Make sure your starter matches your evidence type (reading, video, graphic, etc.)
ACE your response
Citing Inferential Evidence
Introduce your indirect evidence with an
evidence based prompt/term
• I can infer from…
• I know because…
• I think because…
• Because
• For instance
• For example
Make sure your starter matches your evidence type (reading, video, graphic, etc.)
ACE your response
Explain and extend your response
Don’t leave your evidence hanging! Explain it!
• This shows…
• This is because…
• This means…
• This reveals…
• This illustrates …
• This highlights…
After your evidence is explained, finish your response with a
concluding sentence.
Sample ACE response
How can geography shape a civilization?
Cite direct
textual evidence
(source & page #)
Explain &
Geography can greatly impact a civilization and the way in which
people live. The ancient city-state of Athens was influenced to be a
trading settlement based on its location of being 4 miles from the
Aegean Sea. According to the article, “Maritime Traders of the
Ancient Greek World” the ancient Athenians became one of the
wealthiest civilizations because of their ability to trade with
neighboring regions. They exported goods such as olive oil, wine,
grapes in exchange for gold, timber and wheat.(p. 2). This shows that
if they weren’t located along the Aegean Sea and close to a body of
water, the Athenians might not have been one of the wealthiest
cities of the Ancient World. In fact, Athens rival Sparta was not
located near a body of water and as a result they established
themselves as a farming city-state instead of a wealthy trading
power. Even today geography plays a major role in shaping our
economy and industry based on where nation’s are located and the
valuable resources within.
Sample ACE response
• How can a single action change the course of history?
Cite direct
textual evidence
(source & page #)
Explain &
A single moment in time may seem insignificant and yet it is in that
moment that history has changed. The history of ancient Greece is
filled with many noteworthy moments, but it is the moment when
Greece fell into the Darks Ages that changed the course of history.
According to the article, “The Rise of Hellenic Civilization,” the
ancient Greeks recovered from the Dark Ages by the middle of the
eighth century and “a new civilization emerged” (p. 5). This shows
that if it weren’t for the lowest of lows, the Greeks wouldn’t have
reached the height of its civilization. Greece went on to create citystates, start colonies and even developed democracy. These are
ideas that emerged after the Dark Ages and have continued to
impact the course of history. Emerging from the Dark Ages is just one
action that changed history, but it has played a significant role in the
development of Greece and the development of our country, the
United States, today.
Let’s try an Open Ended Response
using the ACE strategy
• Do you think the Peloponnesian Wars were
Academic Vocabulary (inevitable) meaning
unavoidable, predictable, bound to happen
Causes of the Peloponnesian Wars
1) Once allies in the Persian Wars, Athens and Sparta
began to grow resentful of one another
2) Growth of Athens worried many city-states
3) Sparta became nervous about the size of the Athenian
4) Forming of the Delian League and Peloponnesian
5) Each member of the Peloponnesian League swore to
defending each other and to have the same enemies
6) Athens imposed a trade embargo (Megarian Decrees)
Other city-states couldn’t freely trade
7) Power struggle over control of the region
8) Thebes attacked Plataea
9) Sparta burned farms and the area around Athens

ACE Response to Open Ended and Short Answer