Language and Composition Synopsis

    The new 9th grade Language and Composition course is intended to give students additional instruction in academic writing separate from their 9th grade literature course. Through close reading of nonfiction texts, students will build an understanding of the rhetorical triangle and rhetorical techniques that effective writers use to persuade their audiences. This type of close reading is an essential skill for academic success.

     As students become aware of writer's craft, they will begin to incorporate new techniques in their own writing. They will be challenged to write clear, effective essays, and add their voices to academic discourse on a range of subjects. Our study of writing will be accomplished with practice, direct writing instruction, peer editing, vocabulary building and grammar exercises.

    With the advent of the internet, all of us have the ability to create content and share it with large audiences. Some of that content is worthwhile, but much of it is poorly written, false or misleading. Writing, reduced to brief posts or tweets, often lacks sophistication in its ideas and its style. Students need exposure to well-written, sustained arguments, and they need experience entering into conversation with the written and visual texts they are examining. Students also need media literacy skills to determine author's bias and the reliability of information.

    This course will teach students how to evaluate and understand complex texts and articulate opinions about them in clear, coherent writing. They will develop skills that can be applied to many reading and writing situations in various disciplines. The themes we have chosen will help students enter into thoughtful dialogue with important issues of our day: the construction of "truth," our responsibility in a diverse community and our obligation to live an examined life.