- Sample Syllabus
Composition 102 continues to instruct students in the fundamentals of writing and equips them to compose in a wide variety of writing styles.
Advanced students are offered "challenge track" assignments, and if a coach sees readiness, students can be considered to slide to Composition 103 for further advancement.This class begins with a grammar review and an introduction of the use of sentence variety in writing. A wide variety of styles are presented, including memoir, narrative, poetry, exposition, persuasion, and comparison.
The final unit of the course will include a multi-week research project. Self-reflection as a revision technique is introduced. Students use a workshop approach to critique, revise, and edit one another's work.
Students who complete the course will be able to ...
● Write with sentence variety including complex and compound sentences
● Utilize sensory details, figurative language, and internal dialogue in writing
● Cite textual evidence for research including in text citations using the MLA format
● Write in several different styles, including narration, exposition, comparison, poetry, and description
● Give constructive criticism and encouragement to another student
● Students will submit their memoir and fictional story to a contest of their choice as part of the class
● Daily contact with a coach who evaluates mastery and skills will be provided
● A Parent Handbook in ebook form is included. This handbook gives you tips and suggestions for how to help/guide your child in their work. Weekly parent suggestions are also given in the classroom materials.
Composition 102 is designed for 8th-12th graders with little or no previous writing experience.
If the student has completed Composition 101A & B, they do not need to take Composition 102.
Classes have daily assignments. Some assignments span several days to give flexibility. Assignments are intended to take approximately 1.5 hours per day to complete.
● Writing with Heart: A Resource Guide to Engage Writers—available in our online store
● One novel of the student’s choice
● Three fiction short stories of the student’s choice (resources provided)
● Collection of six poems of the student’s choice (resources provided)
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It is time to prepare for the next assignment, a compare-contrast essay! The most important, and challenging, part for a writing in a compare-contrast paper is choosing how to organize your thoughts.
There are two organizational choices, and it is a matter of preference as to which one you select. You can choose from a "block" method or a "point-by-point" method. Please read the explanation in the document Comparison Organizational Techniques
●To gain a better understanding of compare-contrast essays, complete the Literature Connection - Comparison activity. Submit your document in the file Comparison Literature Connection. Attach your completed sheet in the folder.
●Begin thinking. You have until this Friday to choose a topic and form an outline for your compare-contrast essay. The assignment is:
Level2: Compare and contrast a real-life decision you are facing. (Ex. two particular sports/activities that you are choosing between; two different items you are considering purchasing; two ways of spending money; two ways of spending significant free time; two educational opportunities for which you have permission to decide; two particular job opportunities you are considering; two volunteer opportunities you are considering; etc.)
Challenge TrackWhen selecting a topic for your compare contrast essay, follow the regular assignment about making a real-life decision AND include the responses to an interview within your essay. The interview should be with someone who can give you factual information that will help you make a decision. For example, if you are writing about a choice between two positions of volunteer service, interview the people in charge of both positions, and collect information that will help you choose which position you will accept. Mention in your essay who you interviewed and what their answers were. Caution: do not interview a friend or family member who is going to tell you their opinion about what choice you should make.
Level 3 Compare and contrast a movie, not a TV series, with a book of the same name (i.e. “Where the Red Fern Grows,” “Johnny Tremain,” “Little Women,” etc.) Make sure you’ve already seen the movie and read the book. The book must have been written before the movie, as opposed to “Star Wars” in which the book was written after the movie, causing the two to be practically identical. CAUTION: Do NOT write a plot summary of both! Do NOT focus merely on specific details like, "In the book the main character was knocked unconscious at the beginning of the battle, but in the movie he was knocked unconscious three quarters of the way through the battle." Instead, think in terms of broader categories, or elements, of the story, like the setting or how internal thoughts were displayed in the movie.
Level 4 Compare and contrast the opposing viewpoints of two people you’ve already studied. Do not organize your thoughts into only 2 categories, such as “ways the people are the same and different” or “what I agree with and what I disagree with,” etc. You should organize your thoughts according to at least 3 specific features of the subjects’ viewpoints. Select two people that have strong viewpoints or theories or outlooks on the world. These should be people you already know something about. However, you might want to do some additional research. To provide accurate information, do an internet search or rely on magazine and newspaper articles. (You may not use Wikipedia or other similar sites in which information can be changed by readers; they are not reliable sites.) You do not have to cite your sources at the end of the essay, but you DO have to name your source within the context of your essay.
Wednesday-Thursday: Revise your expository essay based on the recommendations from your coach conference. When you are done, copy/paste a clean copy of your essay into the Board “Expository Essay - Ready for Editing.”
Friday: Create an outline for your compare/contrast essay. For an example of the two types of outlines, see the file called Comparison Organizational Techniques. Here are some requirements for your outline:
● Make sure you have chosen at least 3 specific features to compare and contrast.
● Any feature you list for “Subject A” must also be mentioned in “Subject B.” Present them in the same order for each."
● Decide whether you will use the Block Method or the Point by Point Method.
● Begin with a snapshot to depict the scene.
● In the conclusion, use a thoughtshot to reveal what decision you will make or which philosophy you agree with and explain why.
● Since this paper depicts your personal thought processes, make sure you write in first person (I, me, my). Do not write in second person (you).
Post your outline to the Week 13 file, “Outline for Compare Contrast Essay.” Please note that forty percent of your grade on this assignment will be for how well you organize your thoughts and clearly communicate them.