Writing & Rhetoric Year 4
Term: Yearlong 2020–21, September 8–May 28
Target Grade Levels: Grades 7–8; 6th graders welcome (see placement details below)
Schedule: 2x / week, 60–75 min.
Course Sections (choose one)
M/W 9:30 a.m. ET with Amy Morgan (Section Full: Join Waiting List)
Section 2: T/Th 12:30 p.m. ET with Amy Morgan
Section 3: T/Th 12:30 p.m. ET with Colleen Coleman
Ongoing Enrollment and Placement
- if the student falls outside of the stated age/grade range for the class.
- if the student needs to demonstrate a certain level of skill and proficiency for the course.
- if the student has completed prerequisite requirements somewhere other than Scholé Academy (e.g., at home or with another school). In this case, our instructors will need to verify that the student has adequately fulfilled the prerequisite requirements.
- if a placement assessment has been recommended by a Scholé Academy instructor.
- If a placement evaluation has not been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted a full refund, including the full $75 deposit.
- If a placement evaluation has been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted part of their $75 refund: $35 will be paid to the instructor for the placement evaluation, and the remaining $40 of the original deposit will be refunded.
Students taking this course continue in the trajectory of the Writing & Rhetoric series using Book 7: Encomium & Vituperation and Book 8: Comparison. During the first semester, students learn how to craft essays praising a virtue (an encomium) and blaming a vice (vituperation), focusing on the following skills: discerning the main idea; utilizing hyperbole and thesis; incorporating background and supportive detail, biography, and autobiography; noting the good and poor qualities present in a person or event; contrasting virtuous behavior and vice; and crafting effective conclusions that encourage readers either to emulate virtue or eschew vice. After completing the first semester, students spend approximately six weeks focusing on a research paper unit. Students will learn the seven steps to writing their own research paper: selecting a topic, getting an overview of the topic, outlining the paper, rounding up sources, taking notes, organizing note cards and completing an outline, and writing the paper while avoiding plagiarism. In the second semester, building on their skills, students develop the art of comparison, learning how to craft a comparative composition that sets two persons, events, ideas, texts, or objects side by side for assessment. In this exercise, students may either offer praise of two things paired together, or praise one while criticizing the other. In learning this art of comparison, students also study elements of critical analysis, assessment, and judgment. After completion of this course, students are well on their way to becoming master writers and effective orators. For a closer look at the texts used in this course, please follow these links and click “Look Inside”: Book 7: Encomium & Vituperation and Book 8: Comparison.
Syllabus: Section 1 & 2 here.
Placement: Please read about our new process above.
- This course is designed for students who have built a strong foundation in writing and are familiar with the progymnasmata (the “preliminary exercises” on which the Writing & Rhetoric series is based). Students who have successfully completed the previous books in the Writing & Rhetoric series will be ideally prepared for this course. Incoming students should be familiar with elements of the persuasive essay (narrative, descriptive, and expository). Students should feel comfortable with discussing ideas and making connections to the text, outside reading, and life. Students will be expected to write on average one essay a week and refine the skill of annotation to become more discerning readers.
- Students should be comfortable typing essays, although neatly handwritten essays are acceptable.
- Students in this course should have a strong command of grammar and a basic understanding of syntax before enrolling.
- This course is aimed at rising 7th–8th graders. Rising 6th graders who have completed the previous level of Writing & Rhetoric are welcome, though in many cases 6th-grade students require additional support from a parent in conjunction with the course.
- If your student is new to the Writing & Rhetoric series and/or beyond 8th grade, we ask that you contact us for a placement recommendation.
For further information on the Writing & Rhetoric series, please see the Classical Academic Press FAQ page.
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 7: Encomium & Vituperation (Student Edition)
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 8: Comparison (Student Edition)
*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 7: Encomium & Vituperation Audio Files
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 8: Comparison Audio Files
These audio files allow students to engage their sense of hearing and their listening intelligence as Greg Lowe delivers the readings aloud in a thoughtful manner.
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
Colleen Coleman completed her undergraduate studies in English and Latin at Hillsdale College, where she was awarded a fellowship to study the life and writing of Winston Churchill. She has taught middle school and high school students in subjects ranging from Humane Letters and Scripture to Literature and Life Science. She loves creating an atmosphere where her students can experience wonder and pursue the truth together through Socratic dialogue. She has an active interest in permaculture farming and exploring the ways ecosystems work together to enhance communities. When not teaching, she enjoys playing the violin, running, reading, and cooking. email@example.com
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.
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.
Explore our courses!
First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.
Read the Student-Parent Handbook.
Please take careful note of our teaching philosophy, our technology requirements, our school policies, the parent agreement, and the distinctions between our grade levels.
Double-check the course section dates and times.
Make sure they don't conflict with other activities in your schedule or other courses you are purchasing. Our system will not catch double-bookings!
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Our Assistant to the Principal will be in touch with you after your enrollment to help you with next steps, including any placement evaluations that may be required for your course selections.
This registration will be finalized when the student's placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.