This course is a full-year, combined course of High School Academic Writing with Literature 1 (first semester) and High School Academic Writing with Literature 2 (second semester), making it a complete high school English credit. Students may register for the full-year course or each semester individually (semester are 0.5 credit each).
High School Academic Writing with Literature 1 (first semester) will help students unearth their opinions and give them the tools they need to express their ideas in clear academic writing. At the start of the semester, students will spend time developing vivid voice while writing a variety of short pieces according to the three modes of writing—narrative, informative/explanatory, and opinion/argument. Shorter pieces will allow students to focus on the six traits of writing on a detailed level. Students will gain important skills in prewriting, drafting, and revising.
In the second half of the semester, students will journey through the essay-writing process with support from their instructor and feedback from their peers. Students will master basic essay structure and build confidence throughout the writing process all the way from thesis development to editing.
Reading and revising are essential to strong writing, so this class will provide mentor texts for students to study together as well as ample time for revision.
Students will read two novels and various short stories, poems, and nonfiction texts. Literature discussion boards and two cumulative literature projects will help students to strengthen their analytical skills and refine their own writing styles.
Students will learn how to do the following:
- Brainstorm and outline
- Narrate with creativity
- Incorporate research
- Analyze a text
- Develop a thesis
- Persuade an audience
- Take an essay through the writing process
High School Academic Writing with Literature 2 (second semester) will help students master essay writing according to the three modes of writing—narrative, informative/explanatory, and opinion/argument. Students will receive instructor support through each step of the writing process allowing them to strengthen their analytical skills and build confidence. They will also have the opportunity to give and receive feedback in Peer Reviews.
As a class, we will respect the value and creativity of what each student has to say, and through feedback and revision, students will learn how to write exactly what they mean. By the end of the semester, students will have written a personal narrative essay, an explanatory synthesis essay, and an argumentative essay in addition to shorter writing assignments.
Students will read one novel and Book VI of The Aeneid as well as various short stories, poems, and nonfiction texts. They will complete literature discussion boards and two cumulative literature projects.
Students will do the following:
- Sharpen ideas through prewriting activities
- Find and evaluate sources
- Develop and refine theses for different purposes in writing
- Create logical flow within an essay
- Analyze and synthesize research
- Use research to support an argument
- Refine voice, word choice, and sentence fluency
An honors level of this course is available. Honors students will be challenged with additional creative projects and analytical assignments throughout each semester.
We will meet weekly for interactive live classes. Students may expect the following elements in Canvas:
- Mentor texts including scholarly writing, creative writing, and persuasive speeches
- Editing assignments to practice conventions
- Discussion boards
- Prewriting submissions due as prerequisites for formal writing assignments
- Videos to watch
Who should enroll?
This course is designed for 9th–10th graders (8th graders with instructor approval) who want to develop their voices through academic writing and build confidence in every part of the writing process.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Web cam, sound card, and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
- A word processor and the ability to convert Pages documents to Word documents or PDFs
Evaluation and Feedback
Students will receive feedback on the first draft of each essay as well as on their theses and outlines. Students will be able to revise and edit their writing before receiving a final grade according to the course rubrics. The rubrics show students how their work will be evaluated, and students will not be graded on something that is not covered in a rubric. Discussion boards are graded according to simple rubrics. Prewriting and brainstorming assignments are graded for completion. Grammar and editing quizzes are automatically graded in Canvas.
Students will also have opportunities to workshop their essays and receive feedback from their classmates.
Parents are welcome to email me with any questions they have about the course at firstname.lastname@example.org. Students will receive a welcome email and syllabus with important course information before the semester begins. I appreciate questions from students, and I respond to emails within 24-48 hours. Students will also receive guidance from me in Announcements throughout the semester.