The Institute for Excellence in Writing is one of the best curriculum choices available for writing curriculum and one of our favorites. So when we were offered the chance to review High School Essay Intensive with the Homeschool Review Crew, I was happy to jump on the review train. I must admit I wanted this program both for me and to preview for my high schoolers. I’ve not been disappointed, but then I never expected to be because the Institute for Excellence in Writing provides only the best in it’s products.
What Is High School Essay Instensive?
High School Essay Intensive was created by Andrew Pudewa, the Director at the Institute for Excellence in Writing. This program is designed to provide high school students with a firm education in how to write essays. Pudewa breaks down each element of an essay to make it easy to follow and complete the lessons provided for high school students. This program is also designed to help your student preform better on the essay portion of the SAT®.
What We Received:
We were sent a box for the program containing a small DVD case filled with 5 DVD’s required to work through and complete the program. The contents of the lessons are included upon these DVD’s.
Also included and needed for the program, is a cardboard three fold folder called Portable Walls for the Essayist. This folder begins with the word “Essay” displayed in cursive, followed by the definition of what an essay is. A list of essay types follows this definition.
The second page of the folder shows a list of essay models, breaking each down for better understanding. The next page provides specific essay models such as the Argumentative Essay, Persuasive and Rhetoric among others. In the center, the Essay Writing Process is explained. Discussed on the pocket page are Essay Writing Strategies and Sentence Pattern Variety.
On the back of this folder is a full list of Transitional Words and Phrases as well as Prepositions to help guide your writing and expand your vocabulary when writing. These are great for any writer to use. The entire folder is a wealth of information that is great for all writers and a major asset for the program as well.
Inside, filling the folder, is a 25 page guide for the program. This is where you’ll find the program’s questions and other required exercises for completing the program. This is basically your student workbook. I personally would have preferred it to be bound and a little nicer but it works for it’s need.
The DVD’s are led by Andrew Pudewa himself and he jumps straight into the reason for the course and the first assignment for you to complete. The DVD’s are fully directed, telling when to pause and for how long, then you come back to complete more of the program. The DVD’s are also closed captioned making it easy to follow along either by listening or reading the prompts as you go. This helps to eliminate confusion as well.
How We Used It:
This program was for me and my two high school students. I used it as a brush up for my personal writing and blogging and they used it as an introduction to high school essays and more structured writing for their high school assignments. This program is styled more as formal classroom instruction, reminding me more of my high school college-prep courses. I liked this and so did my kids because it gave them a more independent style in learning which they prefer. It also gives choices for their writing instead of keeping them writing only one thing at a time. Having a choice allows more thought to go into their writing and allows them to create better writing in the end.
Together we watched the program. We discussed what we were learning together and then on separate sheets, we wrote our answers using the provided guide/student packet for the program. As I mentioned, I would have preferred this to be an actual workbook but it was more like a classroom handout instead.
Where Can You Buy This Product:
High School Essay Intensive is for high school students to prepare them for Essay Writing. It is available for order through Institute for Excellence in Writing for $79. This includes the 5 DVD set for the program in it’s own DVD case, the Portable Walls for the Essayist folder and the printed Student Handout.
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