Advanced Essay Writing
Who Should Take This Course?
For students who will be entering Forms 4-6 / Years 11-13 (Ages 15-17)
18 hours with 6 lessons in total (3 hours per lesson)
Advanced Essay Writing: Course Outline
Lesson 1: The Essentials
Students learn about the essential elements of writing. Topics include brainstorming, structure, organization, thesis statements, topic sentences, appropriate transitions between sentences and paragraphs, and so on. Students will be asked to drill on these important elements. The 4Cs of writing: clarity, conciseness, coherence, cohesion will also be emphasized.
Lesson 2: The Argumentative Form
Students learn what a cogent argument consists – its general structure and methods. Topics include the structure of introductory, body, and concluding paragraphs, and the writing process (from brainstorming to proofreading). Students will read sample essays and will have a chance to practice brainstorming and writing.
Lesson 3: The Persuasive Essay and the ACT-style Essay
Students go on to learn more advanced techniques in forming an argument, such as the thoughtful evaluation of the viewpoints of others, tactful alternation between general claims and specific details/examples in body paragraphs, and the anticipation of counter-arguments in addition to purely positive claims. In particular, students will be practicing these skills with ACT-style essay prompts, which ask for an essay that is simultaneously evaluative and persuasive.
Lesson 4: The Analytical Essay and the SAT-style Essay
Students learn how to analyze texts and write essays that explicate how an argument works to convince its audience. Students will learn about various literary devices, their effects on the audience, and how they aid in delivering the author’s central claims. Students will read, passage map and analyze a variety of passages through several SAT-style essay prompts.
Lesson 5: The Compare-and-Contrast Essay
Students learn the ways in which one compares and contrasts two items (texts, periods in history, authors, etc.) in an essay. Writing such an essay requires that the student be able to succinctly summarize each of the two items in concern, and make astute observations on their similarities and differences that amount to a meaningful conclusion. Special attention will be paid to the brainstorming process and the balance and coherence in structure.
Lesson 6: Writing about Yourself and the Personal Statement
Students will learn how to write about themselves and explore what sort of narrative they will tell in their autobiographical essays for college applications. While there is no fixed structure for this sort of writing and content will vary widely, students will be guided to present themselves in a favorable and agreeable light, without being overly humble or boastful. Essay prompts found on the Common App and other college applications will be used as points of reference throughout the lesson.
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