Writing and Research Skills

Writing and Research Skills: 2½ hours per week, 32 weeks
Goals: To provide students with a fun and rigorous introduction to the writing skills necessary for a successful college career.  Additionally, to leave students confident in their ability to be powerful, clear, and engaging writers.   Homeschoolers face a unique set of challenges when transitioning from the relatively unstructured environments of the home, co-op group, or independent school, to the realm of higher education, with its rules and rigor.
The Structured Writing curriculum is a proven and effective method–using color-coded formulas and a step-by-step approach–to teach various types of fully-developed single paragraphs.

  • Narrative writing for multi-paragraph college-entrance essay
  • Informative
  • Process sequence
  • Abstract Definition
  • Summary (book report)
  • Literature analysis
  • Compare and contrast
  • Persuasive
  • Position/counter position, by use of color-coding, an innovative and effective teaching method, students see clearly how to stay on-topic
  • Fully support or back up all statements with details, examples, facts
  • Research paper (or PowerPoint presentation)

Color-coding allows the student to see the different parts of a paragraph and how the parts fit together to make a whole.  Since the student is soon able to relate information into paragraphs by color and structure, much of the fear of the writing is removed.

Assignments progress to five-paragraph essays and research writing

  • MLA Citation
  • Self-editing for grammar and clarity
  • Style, varied sentence starts, transitions
  • Proper citation to avoid plagiarism
  • Research Tools–Search Engines, Institutional Libraries, and Academic Databases
  • Research Skills–Judging the reliability and suitability of sources

Homework: Two to Five hours a week

Several topic suggestions are provided.   Students revise essays to improve their editing skills.

Parents, please plan to sit in the first 30 minutes of the first class.

Meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Prerequisites: None.

Spring 2016 Semester: $657 per year or $357 per semester.
To arrange monthly tuition payments, you must make an appointment with Deborah Hill for a consultation.

Class Materials

  • Course Packet provided by instructor
  • Structured Writing and Write for College will be ordered by the teacher.
  • $30 copy fee that is included in the tuition
  • 3-ring binder
  • 2 two-pocket folders without brads
  • 10 divider tabs
  • Spiral notebook
  • Colored pencils
  • An MLA reference guide is recommended, but not required.
  • Textbooks:
  • Structured Writing (out of print; pick up copies from printer)
  • A Writer’s Guide to Transitional Words and Expressions; Victor C. Pellegrino;   6th Revised Edition; ISBN-10: 0-945-04502-6ISBN-13: 978-0-945-04502-1
    48 pages, paperback
  • Better Sentence Writing in 30 Minutes a Day, Diana Campbell