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Intimidated by the Research Essay?
Worried about notecards and outlines?
Want a sane approach?
In eleventh grade I had to write a term paper about The Scarlet Letter, and not only did I need to do
background research on Hawthorne and the American Puritans, but I also had to learn the strict discipline of keeping carefully-coded note cards and remember those pesky Roman numerals to
keep a proper outline. Oh, and did I mention that we hadn't even discussed the novel in class? This was an independent project.
Even though I was a good writer in high school, I hate to think what a chore it would have been to my teacher to read the
resulting essay. So when I started teaching young writers how to write this kind of essay decades ago, I decide to approach the task in a way that would save their sanity and mine, and actually
teach them the mechanics of a research essay without overly complicating it with unfamiliar material.
The result was The Report: A Simple Start. I used this tutorial years later when I developed a unit on the research essay for Veritas Scholars Academy, and hundreds of students have used it in the last seven years. It is now available for free for all who are interested in pursuing a less-painful version of a classic academic essay. It is appropriate for students from about seventh grade on up - anyone who is not yet comfortable with the process of writing a research essay.
Please consider enrolling in evaluations for your work with this assignment or others.
"Great writing begins - and ends - with the sentence."
-from the Great Courses description
Brooks Landon of the University of Iowa created a video course for The Great Courses entitled Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft. Professor Landon and I corresponded about the lessons and he gave me permission to use his material to create a small workbook based on the course, and I am using those for WRIT 101 students at Grove City College this year.
The link above will show you the contents of the video course (I encourage you to wait for a sale!), and the cover to the right is the book form of the course, available on Amazon. When I watched I had to replay early lessons several times to really follow the deep rhetorical analysis, but the magic of the course is in the sentence play Landon invites. My local high school class got a lot out of the exercises several years ago, and I want to share them with you.
You can sample one exercise in the September issue of the WRASSE Line (subscribe at www.writingassessment.com ), enroll in the "Building Great Sentences" course I am offering, or simply request the exercises (with handling fee, via the course link) if you have purchased Professor Landon's book or the video course.