The MLA Research Essay class starts on Monday, August 29 and runs for six weeks through October 7. Students in grades 10-12 learn how to choose a topic for a persuasive research paper, develop a hypothesis, narrow their research possibilities, take notes, organize their materials, create an outline, write a rough draft, polish their essay into final draft form, and create a Works Cited, all according to the latest format required for colleges. I’ve taught the MLA Research Essay at the university level since 1992, and it’s one of my very favorite writing projects. We work hard together, but we also have fun along the way. The topic of the essay is left almost solely to the student as long as they can provide an argumentative edge–that is, persuade their audience regarding a topic that possesses at least two distinct opinions. I want students to choose topics near and dear to their hearts so that they invest their time in a topic about which they care deeply or about which they are extremely interested in further learning.
The Literary Analysis: Anne of Green Gables course starts on October 31 and finishes on December 9, with a week off for Thanksgiving. We’ll be exploring this very popular young adult novel starring the accident-prone yet endearing Anne Shirley, discussing setting, American/Canadian society in the early 1900’s, characters and their motivations, themes, and L.M. Montgomery’s gorgeous writing style. I personally think that her prose is among the most beautiful in the entire English language. I practically have this book memorized, so I’m very much looking forward to facilitating the discussion of the book and guiding the students through a final writing project. But the main focus of this class is literary analysis via discussion, and with students around the globe participating in Brave Writer classes, the discussions are intriguing and thought-provoking–never a dull moment!
I hope to see some of you and/or your students in my Brave Writer classes this fall!