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College Prep Writers Bundle

A complete language arts program for the later high school years.

The College Prep Writers Bundle consists of two components, each of which addresses a different aspect of language arts:

  • The Slingshot yearlong subscription - our Mechanics & Literature program for older high schoolers, ages 15-18. The Slingshot contains five meaty issues per school year, designed to be completed every other month beginning in September. Each uses passages from high-quality, novels to teach students the mechanics of writing: grammar, punctuation, spelling, and literary elements. The Slingshots also feature a strong focus on literary analysis.
  • Help for High School - This is a self-directed program written directly to the teen designed to teach the fundamentals of rhetorical thinking and the academic forms of writing required for high school and college essays.

Our online classes offer a terrific alternative to Help for High School with the benefit of an instructor to give feedback. Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking , Essay Prep: Research & Citation , and Expository Essay: Exploratory & Persuasive cover much of the same material found in the digital product. 

Purchase the College Prep Writers Bundle here: College Prep Writers Bundle

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Summer 2024.

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Analyzing Lit: High School

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Jot It Down! (5-7 yrs)

Jot It Down! (5-7 yrs)

Welcome to the joy of writing without requiring your child to lift a pencil! Jot...

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Partnership Writing (8-10 yrs)

Partnership Writing (8-10 yrs)

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Building Confidence (11-12 yrs)

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Help for High School

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A brave writer's life in brief, thoughts from my home to yours, posts tagged ‘test prep’, writing for exams.

Writing_Timed_Exams

The SAT/ACT is now including an essay portion. I just taught an online course to help students with preparation for that test. I love timed essays, believe it or not. I took all kinds of essay tests in college and they were my favorites. I had an advanced composition teacher in high school who made us write fifty minute essays for six weeks straight, every single day. I got a C on my first and by the end was easily earning As. I “got” it through practice and some guidance.

For those of you who follow the Brave Writer philosophy , you are already ahead of many of your homeschooled peers with respect to timed writing. Can you think why? Because you’ve been freewriting with a timer for years. That timer has taught your kids how to face the blank page and dive into writing. Their freewrites will develop into more and more complex tangles of thoughts if they are in the freewriting habit and learn how to think and discuss and develop their thinking through all the things we do in Brave Writer. Some of your teens will become good at expressing their ideas in live journals and blogs.

To hone these raw thoughts into an essay format without the benefit of revision is the tricky part. Of course. And it’s also a bit ridiculous from my perspective. There is no other time of life that judges your writing without reference materials, revision opportunities and the eye of an editor. But, this is the method of choice for college (and end of the year exams for younger kids) so we press forward.

The key to timed writing, then, (after learning how to freewrite comfortably) is to have a plan. I tell my students:

“Make a plan, follow your plan, stick to your plan.”

The plan is your quick outline that you write before you start answering the question. To make a plan, think three.

You should have one clear point you want to make that responds to the question (we call that “the thesis”). But then you need three examples that will support the point.

For instance, if the question asks what you will put in a time capsule for children 100 years from now (like last Friday’s freewrite prompt ), the child will think about what areas she’d like to reveal to those in the future: popular music, big news events, famous movie stars. Then she will write an essay that goes through each of those one at a time, explaining her choices.

Let’s say the question asks for whether or not the student agrees that failure leads to success. The student will need to decide if he agrees or not with that assertion (the thesis) and then will choose three examples to support that viewpoint.

For a simple way to come up with three examples , tell your kids to mine their knowledge base. What do they know the most about? Look for a subject area that is personal and deep (basketball, Lord of the Rings, Jane Austen books, origami, Eagle Scouts, raising chickens, WWII, computer programming…) and then try to find three examples within that subject area.

Don’t fall into the trap of most teens, using cliched examples from history or pop culture (such as the Wright brothers, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Hitler and so on). If one of these is of personal interest to your teen and he’s studied it because he cares about it, then he can use the example because it will reveal a deeper knowledge of the topic than the typical trite facts associated with it.

Essay structure

The basic structure of the timed essay is one paragraph to get in (include a personal anecdote that shows why you feel connected to the topic, why you care about it, and state your thesis and what your examples will be), three paragraphs to develop the thesis using your plan (and examples), include transitions, and one paragraph to get out (sum up the point you were trying to make and offer a comment on the subject).

Your child’s initial essays will be rough and ragged. That’s normal . Practice is the key.

The key to timed writing: make a plan, follow your plan, stick to your plan.

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I remind students to make a plan, follow the plan and stick to the plan because initially it is tempting to run off after some mental flurry of activity and think that is the same as good writing. It usually isn’t. Clarity and organization trump flights of fancy in timed assessment essay writing.

–julie

Online MLA Essay Class

Image by Kiran Foster ( cc cropped, dry brush, text added)

Tags: essay writing , test prep Posted in Tips for Teen Writers | 1 Comment »

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Julie Bogart

Welcome, I’m Julie Bogart.

I’m a homeschooling alum -17 years, five kids. Now I run Brave Writer, the online writing and language arts program for families. More >>

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COMMENTS

  1. Reading the Essay

    At Brave Writer®, we read a range of essays and literature that address a wide variety of perspectives and include time-bound references. Please be aware that you may experience strong reactions to what you read. ... Our Essay Prep classes are designed for 8th to 10th graders or older high school students who've had little experience with ...

  2. College Prep Writers

    Help for High School. $79.00. Help for High School is a self-directed writing program for teens that prepares them for college writing. It teaches critical thinking as well as the expository essay (persuasive and exploratory). Models and criteria for feedback included.

  3. Dynamic Thinking

    At Brave Writer®, we recognize that tween and teen writers have a tentative confidence that can be crushed just as easily as when they were novice writers. ... classes are designed for 8th to 10th graders or older high school students who've had little experience with academic writing. The Essay Prep series provides a foundation for the Essay ...

  4. Training Tip: Essay Prep « A Brave Writer's Life in Brief

    Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking is our revolutionary class that grows your teens into critical thinkers. Great essays are built from great insight. To generate that insight, teens need to consider multiple points of view simultaneously and dispassionately. Academic discourse requires the writer to know what they think, and why.

  5. The Driver's Ed of Essay Writing: Brave Writer's Essay Prep Classes « A

    Yet most high school students have never read an essay before being asked to write one! Our Essay Prep series (for ages 13 - 18) is the driver's ed of essay writing. Let Brave Writer introduce your teen to the essay form: reading essays, examining them, playing with essay skills and tools BEFORE careening down the highway of academic discourse.

  6. High School Essay Writing

    Essay Prep lays the foundation for the essay writing classes. Help Center Go to www.bravewriter.com ... Brave Writer Basics—What Makes Brave Writer Unique But What About _____? Common Questions More than a Curriculum!—The Brave Writer Lifestyle Digital Product Consultation: What should I buy? ...

  7. College Prep Writers Bundle

    The College Prep Bundle features two of our programs: A manual written to and for teens that teaches them critical thinking and essay writing. ( Help for High School) Five handbooks that explore modern and classic novels—a shortcut to literary analysis! (Select Classic or Contemporary when you add to cart—see book lists on Slingshot page.)

  8. Brave Writer

    Ages 15-18 College Prep Writers View Products ... Essay Writing, Movie Discussion Club, Nature Journaling, Songwriting, History Writing Lab, and Science Writing Projects to name a few; ... Brave Writer has helped us bring joy and creativity back into our language arts. My son is actually choosing to write beyond the minimum I require!

  9. Original Thought and Essay Writing: Help for High School

    Similar content found in the following online classes: Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking, Essay Prep: Research & Citation, and Expository Essay: Exploratory & Persuasive. Purchase Help for High School here: Help for High School . Learn more about this stage of writing development here: Academic Writing: The Original Chat Room. The Rhetorical Imagination

  10. Essay Prep: Reading the Essay « A Brave Writer's Life in Brief

    In our Essay Prep: Reading the Essay online class, teens discover (often for the first time) that essays are compelling to read (and write!). They learn to see the "angle of vision" and to uncover bias or slant in the writing. They gain skill to identify the difference between reasoned arguments and ranting an opinion.

  11. Frequently Asked Questions

    If you're new to Brave Writer, or are looking for the best products for your child or family, choose from below: For Families Multiple Ages; Ages 5-7 Beginning Writers; Ages 8-10 Emerging Writers; Ages 11-12 Middle School Writers; Ages 13-14 High School Writers; Ages 15-18 College Prep Writers

  12. Essay Prep Online Writing Classes

    Brave Writer's three Essay Prep online classes help teens bridge the gap between free-form personal narrative writing and the more disciplined rhetorical thinking required in essay writing. The main goal is to help kids discover they have something to say before they try to muscle those thoughts into the confines of format writing.

  13. College Prep Writers Bundle

    The College Prep Writers Bundle consists of two components, each of which addresses a different aspect of language arts: The Slingshot yearlong subscription - our Mechanics & Literature program for older high schoolers, ages 15-18. The Slingshot contains five meaty issues per school year, designed to be completed every other month beginning in ...

  14. Help for High School

    Help for High School. $79.00. Pay in 4 interest-free installments of $19.75 with. Learn more. Finally, a program written for teens, to teens! Help for High School is a self-directed academic writing program. It teaches rhetorical thinking, as well as the essay formats most commonly assigned in high school and college.

  15. Analytic Essay

    Brave Writer® specializes in transitioning students from creative, personal experience writing to academic formats. Students should already be competent writers. Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking, Essay Prep: Reading the Essay, and Essay Prep: Research and Citation are recommended preparatory courses, though not required.

  16. Brave Writer Classroom

    Brave Writer® 101: Guided Writing Process May 6 - June 14 with Shaista Moosa Bux. $249.00 for 1st student, $149.00 for each additional student ... College Admissions Essay July 29 - August 23 with Ethan Jacobs. $239.00 per student Opens May 6. Comic Strip Capers July 15 - August 9 with Sarah Kerr. $199.00 per student

  17. Analytic Essay + Movie Discussion Club + Persuasive Essay

    If you're new to Brave Writer, or are looking for the best products for your child or family, choose from below: For Families Multiple Ages; Ages 5-7 Beginning Writers; Ages 8-10 Emerging Writers; Ages 11-12 Middle School Writers; Ages 13-14 High School Writers; Ages 15-18 College Prep Writers

  18. Online Classes

    If you're new to Brave Writer, or are looking for the best products for your child or family, choose from below: For Families Multiple Ages; Ages 5-7 Beginning Writers; Ages 8-10 ... Thinking and Writing Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking Sep 9 - Oct 4, 2024 Essay Prep: Reading the Essay Oct 14 - Nov 8, 2024 Movie Discussion Club Nov 18 - Dec ...

  19. The Definitive High School Class Guide

    Essay Prep Series ← Start here if you have a tween or young teen who is just beginning! Essay Writing 101: Analytic Essay Essay Writing 102: Persuasive Essay. Essay Writing 201: Critical Response Essay Essay Writing 202: Timed Essay. Essay Writing 301: Advanced Composition Essay Writing 302: MLA Research Essay. High school for Option 1 can ...

  20. Essay Prep: Research and Citation

    Our Essay Prep classes are designed for 8th to 10th graders or older high school students who've had little experience with academic writing. The Essay Prep series provides a foundation for the Essay Writing 101: Analytic Essay class and ought to be taken first if your kids have never studied the essay form. The classes in this series are designed to be taken in any order.

  21. Online Writing Classes for Teens

    Brave Writer's online classes offer the whole spectrum of interest-led to formal writing. All these classes prepare your teen with the writing skills they'll need in college. ... Advanced Composition Book Club Boomerang Brave Writer 201: Kind, Dynamic Revision College Admissions Essay Essay Prep: Dynamic Thinking Essay Prep: Reading the ...

  22. Writing Projects

    Special Offers. Jot It Down! (5-7 yrs) $49.00. Partnership Writing (8-10 yrs) $59.00. Building Confidence (11-12 yrs) $69.00. Help for High School $79.00. The writing puzzle is complete when a child combines their current level of skill in mechanics with their original thoughts and produces a writing assignment—what we call a "writing ...

  23. test prep « A Brave Writer's Life in Brief

    If you're new to Brave Writer, or are looking for the best products for your child or family, choose from below: For Families Multiple Ages; Ages 5-7 Beginning Writers; Ages 8-10 Emerging Writers; Ages 11-12 Middle School Writers; Ages 13-14 High School Writers; Ages 15-18 College Prep Writers