Writing & Rhetoric Year 3
- Scholarship Skills
- Course Texts
- About the Instructors
- Technical Requirements
- View Sample Class
Writing & Rhetoric Year 3 continues the series with Book 5: Refutation & Confirmation and Book 6: Commonplace. In this stage, students start to develop and hone their skills in persuasive writing and speaking. In the first semester, students learn to refute or defend certain parts of narratives according to whether the identified parts are unbelievable, improbable, unclear, or improper—or believable, probable, clear, or proper. After learning to identify the parts of a story that can be attacked or defended, students practice writing refutations or confirmations using sound arguments to explain their opinions. In the second semester, students continue to develop the art of persuasive writing and oration. They learn to create six-paragraph essays that are arguments against the common vices of people and arguments in favor of common virtues. Students also learn to support a thesis statement, use comparison and contrast, introduce and conclude an essay, use a rhetorical device known as “the contrary,” invent soliloquies to support an argument, deliver writing orally, and revise writing.
In this course, students dive deeper into their understanding of narratives to make connections between their lives and stories. Students are exposed to peer editing and are expected to assess their own writing by identifying the main argument, selecting appropriate textual support, strengthening phrasing, and finding grammar errors. Students will be expected to write on average one essay a week and begin to develop the skill of annotation (learning to take notes and comment on the readings). For a closer look at the texts used in this course, please follow these links and click “Look Inside”: Book 5: Refutation & Confirmation and Book 6: Commonplace.
Placement: Please read about our new process above.
- Students who have successfully completed Books 1–4 of the Writing & Rhetoric series will be ideally prepared for this course. Students who are new to the Writing & Rhetoric series should be familiar with elements of narration, description, and exposition in writing and should feel comfortable writing a five- or six-paragraph essay when guided by prompts. The course material provides a light review of some of the concepts and program vocabulary that was introduced in the prerequisite material, and the course instructor will work to welcome and orient students who have a foundation in writing skills but are new to the program.
- This course is designed for rising 6th–7th graders. Rising 5th graders who have completed the previous level of Writing & Rhetoric are welcome, though in most cases 5th-grade students require additional support from a parent in conjunction with the course.
- Occasionally students older than 7th grade are well suited for this course. If your student is in 7th grade or above and is new to the series, please contact us for a placement recommendation.
- Recognizing that each student develops keyboarding skills at a different pace, neatly handwritten essays are acceptable, but typed essays are preferred.
- If a student does not have a strong command of grammar and a basic understanding of syntax, outside grammar instruction is advised.
For further information on the Writing & Rhetoric series, please see the Classical Academic Press FAQ page.
For each skill instructors have determined whether it is a prerequisite skill or a skill to be developed throughout the course. For lower school, instructors indicate where parent support is expected.
- With Parent Support: Skills that most lower school students will need help with.
- Developing: Skills that the instructor will help develop and emphasize throughout the year.
- Mastered: Prerequisite skills that the instructor is expecting students to possess.
- Be responsible for reviewing teacher feedback, suggestions and comments about student work and employing that feedback as necessary.
- Be able to manage Canvas assignments and submissions (view assignments, check for teacher messages, submit homework as pdf file, submit revisions if necessary, set Canvas notifications for the class, view class notifications when posted, etc.).
- Be able to review notifications ongoing throughout the year; notifications which include: class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.
- Be able to respectfully and wisely engage with other students and the instructor on Canvas discussion boards.
- Be able to respectfully, wisely and formally engage with instructor through private Canvas messaging.
- Be able to build and use alphanumeric outlines as part of the writing process.
- Be able to self-edit written submissions for grammar and spelling mistakes.
- Be able to employ the feedback of the instructor into future edits and submissions of the assignment.
- Be able to build well organized paragraphs which employ (among other skills) topic sentences, transition sentences, clear linear thinking throughout the essay.
- Be able to build a logical, well-reasoned argument through a written essay providing sound reasoning (i.e. true premises, valid arguments, sound conclusions).
- Be able to spell at grade level and employ course vocabulary cumulatively throughout the course.
- Be able to request a family or peer to edit submissions, but understands these requests should be for the purposes of raising important questions for the student to consider and suggesting minor edits. The student understands that family or peer editors should not be reworking of sentences, redefining terms, building new concepts, building arguments or writing passages for the student.
- Be able to hand-write answers in complete sentences.
- Be able to write sentences with basic sentence syntax (i.e. capitalization of first word in a sentence, punctuation at the end of each sentence, space between sentences, capitalization of proper nouns, each sentence having a subject and predicate, etc.).
- Be able to read material independently and identify questions which require clarification or further explanation from the instructor.
- Be able to mark, underline or highlight important words, definitions or concepts within a text being read both while reading independently and reading corporately as a class.
- Be able to identify key terms in a passage, and follow the author’s argument.
- Be able to listen to the author’s argument and understand it even if the student disagrees with the conclusion reached or reasons given.
- Be able to read material independently and identify the information which might be relevant to course discussions and objectives (even if the student doesn’t fully understand all of what’s being read).
- Be able to employ basic MLA formatting skills (i.e. 1-inch margins, double spacing, heading on paper).
- Be able to employ MLA citations for (for quoted material and referenced material) through the use of footnotes or endnotes, bibliography, work-cited page. Student should have a concept of what plagiarism is and know how to avoid it.
- Be able to type paragraph essays (short essays, and 5 or more page essays).
- Be able to type short answers in complete sentences.
- Follow class discussions and seminar conversations to record notes without the instructor identifying specifics.
- Be prepared to generate thoughtful questions to enhance the class discussion, to identify areas needing clarification, and to make valuable connections with other course content.
- Be prepared to thoughtfully answer questions when called on in a group setting, during class.
- Be prepared to volunteer thoughtful comments, answers and ideas in a group setting, during class.
- Follow along with instructor-led note-taking and record notes during class.
- Follow along with instructor-led workbook completion and record answers during class.
- With Parent Support
- Be able to schedule time outside of class to complete independent review of materials.
- Be able to determine the best places and ways to study at home (i.e. quiet, undistracted, utilizing various methods of review (auditory, written, visual, practice tests, flashcards, etc.).
- Understand the difference between assignments given by an instructor and the necessary and independently initiated need for private study of material.
- Be able to schedule and manage multiple projects from multiple instructors and courses.
- Be responsible to study at home for quizzes, tests and other assessments.
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 5: Refutation & Confirmation (Student Edition)
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 6: Commonplace (Student Edition)
- Notebook for Commonplace Journal (Semester 2)
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 5: Refutation & Confirmation Audio Files
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 6: Commonplace Audio Files
These audio files allow students to engage their sense of hearing and their listening intelligence as Dr. Christopher Perrin, Christine Perrin, and Greg Lowe deliver the readings aloud in a thoughtful manner.
*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.
Amy Morgan earned her BA in liberal arts at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, and continued her education with an MA in TESOL/applied linguistics at Indiana University in Bloomington. For over 18 years, Amy has taught English to speakers of other languages in the university, community, and private tutoring contexts. Additionally, Amy educated her own two children at home in grades PreK–8. When Amy’s not teaching, you might find her serving families who care for children in vulnerable circumstances, hosting international guests, reading aloud with her family or smiling at the antics of her backyard chickens. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ash White holds a BA in English and theater from Mary Baldwin University and has taught literature, writing, and logic at the middle and secondary level for nearly 15 years. Ash is passionate about classical education and homeschooling, both of which are flourishing in the Shenandoah Valley, where she and her husband, Jon, make their home and perform in the local music and theater scene. If you visit their house, you’ll find it difficult to determine which is largest: their library or their record collection! email@example.com
Stephen Williams once told his longsuffering, homeschooling mother that his future job would never depend on his ability to write in cursive or diagram a sentence. Similarly, he spent over a decade swearing that he would never enter pastoral ministry, yet he is nonetheless now creeping towards a decade in the classroom while pursuing theological studies at Beeson Divinity School in preparation for the Anglican priesthood. Stephen has had the privilege of being shaped by several classical institutions throughout the course of his life, most notably his alma mater, Patrick Henry College, which exposed him to the glories of the Western Canon and began to grow in him a love of literature, history and theology. After a season spent in campus ministry at PHC, he stumbled into a teaching career that has spanned the elementary, middle, and high school levels, turning him into an amateur medievalist, Inklings enthusiast, and subject-matter expert on the psyches of middle school boys. Rumor has it that he sleeps with a baseball and a copy of Tolkien’s The Silmarillion under his pillow each night. When he doesn’t have his head in a book, Stephen enjoys hiking, dabbling in poetry and cooking, and cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals with his brilliant and hilarious wife and fellow Scholé instructor, Sarah Williams. firstname.lastname@example.org
Kara Lobley, enjoys finding answers and imparting those discoveries to everyone. This passion for truth inspired her to earn her bachelor’s degree in history at Patrick Henry College (PHC), in Purcellville, VA. The classical experience at PHC and her own experience being homeschooled outside the classical tradition (K-12) showed Kara the beauties of each approach. She delights in witnessing how classical homeschooling equips students to identify and discover “the true, the good, and the beautiful” in the world around them and to share those revelations with others.
Kara began working with children as a high schooler at children’s theater camps and at her church’s Vacation Bible Schools. During college and post-graduation, she spent five years as a high school writing tutor and one year as a preschool teaching assistant. Kara has spent the past three years teaching lower school Well-Ordered Language and Writing and Rhetoric with Scholé Academy and is excited to return for a fourth year this year. Outside of the classroom, Kara can be found reading, hiking, or singing. email@example.com
Monika Minehart has been working in Catholic Religious Education for over a decade, serving as both a Youth Minister & Director of Religious Education at several Catholic Churches. She earned her B.A. in English with a minor in Early Christian Studies from the University of Michigan and her M.A. in Divinity from the University of Chicago with a focus in Biblical Studies and Koine Greek. Having observed teaching styles in a wide array of school settings (homeschooling, private, public & charter) in her own education and that of her children, she understands the necessity of restful learning wherever you may be attending school. Monika is passionate about reinvigorating Catholic catechetical programs through relational ministry using the mediums of literature, music, and art. She is delighted to be an instructor with the Aquinas House of Studies at Scholé Academy. Monika cherishes the time she gets to spend with her husband and four children, enjoys weightlifting and exercising in her garage gym, and loves listening to uplifting music. firstname.lastname@example.org
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Webcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
Please Note: This recording is a sample of Writing & Rhetoric Year 3 with Mrs. Joanne Schinstock.
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This registration will be finalized when the student's placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.