Writing & Rhetoric Year 4
Term: Yearlong 2019–20, September 3–May 22
Target Grade Levels: Grades 7–8; 6th graders welcome (see placement details below)
Schedule: 2x / week, 60–75 min.
Section 1: T/Th 9:30 a.m. ET with Mrs. Morgan
Section 2: M/W 11:00 a.m. ET with Mrs. Schinstock
New Placement Process: Click to Read
- students who are new to Scholé Academy
- students who have not completed the previous course level at Scholé Academy
- students who have not completed the designated prerequisites
- students who need to demonstrate skills and proficiency necessary for course success
- If a placement evaluation has not been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted a full refund, including the full $75 deposit.
- If a placement evaluation has been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted part of their $75 refund: $35 will be paid to the instructor for the placement evaluation, and the remaining $40 of the original deposit will be refunded.
Students taking this course continue in the trajectory of the Writing & Rhetoric series using Book 7: Encomium & Vituperation and Book 8: Comparison. During the first semester, students learn how to craft essays praising a virtue (an encomium) and blaming a vice (vituperation), focusing on the following skills: discerning the main idea; utilizing hyperbole and thesis; incorporating background and supportive detail, biography, and autobiography; noting the good and poor qualities present in a person or event; contrasting virtuous behavior and vice; and crafting effective conclusions that encourage readers either to emulate virtue or eschew vice. After completing the first semester, students spend approximately six weeks focusing on a research paper unit. Students will learn the seven steps to writing their own research paper: selecting a topic, getting an overview of the topic, outlining the paper, rounding up sources, taking notes, organizing note cards and completing an outline, and writing the paper while avoiding plagiarism. In the second semester, building on their skills, students develop the art of comparison, learning how to craft a comparative composition that sets two persons, events, ideas, texts, or objects side by side for assessment. In this exercise, students may either offer praise of two things paired together, or praise one while criticizing the other. In learning this art of comparison, students also study elements of critical analysis, assessment, and judgment. After completion of this course, students are well on their way to becoming master writers and effective orators. For a closer look at the texts used in this course, please follow these links and click “Look Inside”: Book 7: Encomium & Vituperation and Book 8: Comparison.
Syllabus: Click here to view the syllabus for 2019-2020.
Placement: Please read about our new process above.
- This course is designed for students who have built a strong foundation in writing and are familiar with the progymnasmata (the “preliminary exercises” on which the Writing & Rhetoric series is based). Students who have successfully completed the previous books in the Writing & Rhetoric series will be ideally prepared for this course. Incoming students should be familiar with elements of the persuasive essay (narrative, descriptive, and expository). Students should feel comfortable with discussing ideas and making connections to the text, outside reading, and life. Students will be expected to write on average one essay a week and refine the skill of annotation to become more discerning readers.
- Students should be comfortable typing essays, although neatly handwritten essays are acceptable.
- Students in this course should have a strong command of grammar and a basic understanding of syntax before enrolling.
- This course is aimed at rising 7th–8th graders. Rising 6th graders who have completed the previous level of Writing & Rhetoric are welcome, though in many cases 6th-grade students require additional support from a parent in conjunction with the course.
- If your student is new to the Writing & Rhetoric series and/or beyond 8th grade, we ask that you contact us for a placement recommendation.
For further information on the Writing & Rhetoric series, please see the Classical Academic Press FAQ page.
“Mrs. Schinstock is amazing! Her knowledge of the classical foundation to both writing and rhetoric truly shines…The scholé pedagogy is what first got me interested. How it’s integrated into the teachers and curriculum makes me confident that my son is receiving some of the best education on the planet!” —Dan Driscoll, Scholé Academy Parent
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 7: Encomium & Vituperation (Student Edition)
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 8: Comparison (Student Edition)
*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 7: Encomium & Vituperation Audio Files
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 8: Comparison Audio Files
These audio files allow students to engage their sense of hearing and their listening intelligence as Greg Lowe delivers the readings aloud in a thoughtful manner.
Joanne Schinstock earned a BA in Journalism from Creighton University and a Master in Humanities from the University of Dallas. After studying a year abroad focusing on Italian language and culture in Florence, Italy, she began her teaching career as a middle school classroom instructor in Language Arts. While working at the Highlands School (Irving, Texas), she was the co-chair of the English department and a middle- and upper-school English instructor. The Dallas Catholic Diocese recognized Joanne as a Work of Heart Award recipient, honoring outstanding teachers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Joanne also obtained an adjunct professor of Humanities position at Brookhaven College in the School of Arts and Sciences (Farmers Branch, Texas).
From classroom teaching, her interests in the profession expanded to work in curriculum writing and professional development as a consultant for primary and secondary schools. Subsequently, she worked as a language arts instructor for a 6th–12th grade all-girls charter school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Joanne joined the faculty of Scholé Academy in 2016. She and her husband, Brad, find joy in forging their family culture in their Catholic faith and in the classical Christian tradition, participating in their church community, their children’s school community at The Academy of Classical Christian Studies, and delighting in weekend family outings. Mrs. Schinstock teaches Writing & Rhetoric, Literature, and History at Scholé Academy. email@example.com
You can read more about Mrs. Schinstock’s philosophy of education here.
Amy Morgan earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts at St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD and continued her education with an M.A. in TESOL/Applied Linguistics at Indiana University in Bloomington. For over 17 years, Amy has taught English to speakers of other languages in the university, community, and private tutoring contexts. Additionally, Amy has enjoyed educating her own two children at home in grades PreK-8 and teaching the K/1 Sunday School class at her church. When Amy’s not doing her favorite thing, teaching (after all, isn’t family vacation even just a bigger “field trip”?) you might find her smiling at the antics of her backyard chickens, cooking family meals, or reading aloud with her family. firstname.lastname@example.org
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
Please Note: This recording is a sample of Writing & Rhetoric Year 3 with Mrs. Joanne Schinstock.
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This registration will be finalized when the student's placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.