English Grammar and Academic Writing Course Description 
The English Language and Academic Writing include grammar, vocabulary, rhetoric, and academic writing curriculum, which requires students to develop evidence-based analytic and argumentative essays that proceed through several stages or drafts. Students evaluate, synthesize, and cite research to support their arguments. Throughout the course, students develop a personal style by writing, editing, and applying grammar and mechanics. Additionally, students read and analyze the rhetorical elements and their effects in nonfiction texts, including graphic images as forms of text, from many disciplines and historical periods.During the first term, in addition to grammar and vocabulary, the students focus on writing rhetorically, reading comprehension, reading mostly technical selections, which will be contributing to their higher-level writing skills. In the second semester, students focus on the application of grammar and mechanics through writing and editing, as well as, reading rhetorically, reading mostly nonfiction selections (with some graphic, poetic, and fiction prose literature options) that will expand their critical reading skills.

Learning OutcomesThe English Grammar and Writing class is designed to help students become skilled readers and writers through engagement with the following course requirements:

  • – Composing in several forms (e.g., narrative, expository, analytical, and argumentative essays) about a variety of subjects.
  • – Writing that proceeds through several stages or drafts, with revision aided by teacher and peers.
  • – Writing informally (e.g., imitation exercises, journal keeping, collaborative writing), which helps students become aware of themselves as writers and the techniques employed by other writers.
  • – Writing expository, analytical, and argumentative compositions based on readings representing a variety of prose styles and genres.
  • – Reading nonfiction (e.g., essays, journalism, science writing, autobiographies, criticism) selected to give students opportunities to identify and explain an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques.
  • – Analyzing graphics and visual images both in relation to written texts and as alternative forms of text themselves.
  • – Developing research skills and the ability to evaluate, use, and cite primary and secondary sources.
  • – Conducting research and writing argument papers in which students present an argument of their own that includes the analysis and synthesis of ideas from an array of sources.
  • – Citing sources using a recognized editorial style (e.g., Modern Language Association, The Chicago Manual of Style.)
  • – Revising their work to develop a wide-ranging vocabulary used appropriately and effectively; a variety of sentence structures, including appropriate use of subordination and coordination; logical organization, enhanced by techniques such as repetition, transitions, and emphasis; a balance of generalization and specific, illustrative detail; and an effective use of rhetoric, including tone, voice, diction, and sentence structure.

  • Vocabulary
    • – Every unit we will be working with about 25 new vocabulary words that are important to learn for students taking the AP English Language & Composition Exam or ACT/SAT. For each word, the student will need to define it, give an example, and provide a visual representation of the word. Students should then work to incorporate the vocabulary into their writing as well as recognize it in their reading.

  • Working Practice Essay
    • – Through each semester, students will be working on writing and revising one essay on a provided topic. They will be revising your essay based on what you learned in that unit, teacher feedback, and peer review. You will not earn a grade on this essay until you submit the final draft in Unit 8. You will also write a reflection on the revision process and an essay on the rhetorical grammar used to strengthen your essay.

  • Independent Reading
    • – VoicED recommends selected independent reading material. Although this activity is optional, it is recommended to read and complete assignments, as well as discuss the rhetoric and themes of the book during class. 

  • Essay
  • – There will be a wide variety of essays required for this course, including timed and impromptu, revised, researched, informal, expository, analytical, and argumentative. Students are always advised to submit their best attempt on the essays, making sure they plan their essays before writing them and review them before submitting them. All students will receive feedback on non-revised essays before they are submitted.

  • Discussions
  • – Each unit has four discussion topics. Discussions are conducted during each class and each subject. VoicED Academy promotes the Socratic Method of teaching by inviting each student during class to encourage participation and engage even the shy or introverted student into the lesson. This acts as an informal assessment to check for understanding and preparation of the student. In addition to the informal assessment during discussions, there are written assessments administered during the year. Students will be notified before the assessment is conducted. The results are reviewed and shared with parents.

  • Student’s Role and Responsibilities in this Course
  • Expectations:
  • It is expected that students are taking this course to prepare themselves for full proficiency in English Language & Composition and preparation for Honors, AP, and Standardized Tests.
    • – Students must put forth their best effort on all assignments and assessments.
    • – Students should complete exercises in the textbooks even if they are not assigned to prepare themselves better to be successful on the exam and in the course.
    • – Students should keep a reading journal to use as a study guide for the exam.
    • – Students must spend time actively working in each unit.
    • – Students should know basic grammar and mechanics. All final drafts should be free from errors. If the student struggles with grammar and mechanics, achieving full proficiency might take longer than specified.
    • – Students will be respectful of the learning environment, their classmates, and the instructor.
    • – Students will participate in discussions, creating a dialogue to further their learning and understanding of the discussion topics.
    • – Students will complete all their own work and will not plagiarize in any sense of the word. Any sources used outside of the course will be properly cited in MLA format.
    • – Students should regularly communicate with their instructor, and let him or her know if they have any questions, concerns, or problems with the course.

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