What makes anyone qualified to comment on the works of Plato, or Abraham Lincoln? The Dead Sea Scrolls or a scientific journal?

Once your kids are in college, they just might have to interpret primary sources by the great thinkers and researchers of our time!

Does your teen know the way to interact with texts meaningfully and skillfully? 

Once they have the knack, they'll have a plan for encountering everything from interviews to speeches to editorials. 

Let’s give them the know-how!

Class Overview

Made With You in Mind

Even within topics our students adore, they will encounter texts that require interpretation and analysis.

That’s where Advanced Composition comes in. 

What skills are needed for effective textual criticism in an essay format?

  • Close reading and comprehension
  • Keen analysis of the text
  • Insight generation
  • Generating plausible conclusions

Analysis takes practice. Teens don’t immediately know what to look for. We teach them to notice and appreciate the importance of 

  • understanding context
  • social location
  • definition
  • literary devices (in the category of argument)
  • tools of logos, pathos, and ethos
  • the student’s relationship to the text

These skills are especially valuable to students whose degree programs will be within the College of Letters and Science and majors in the humanities.

But students aren’t only preparing for college!

These skills enable students to be disciplined thinkers as they encounter texts every day in their lives. Those might be online news articles, their for-fun reading, scripts they use when they act, non-fiction autobiographical narratives, blogs, and more.

The Details

This class focuses on preparation for academic writing at the college level.

We’ll tackle two types of essays:

  • The Definition Essay 
  • The Textual Analysis Essay

Students should be able writers, highly motivated, and willing to devote several hours per week to their writing and research.

  1. The first essay will analyze the famous article from Ms. Magazine (1971): “I Want a Wife” by Judy Brady.
  2. The second essay will center around a close reading of The Gettysburg Address.

Your teens will learn the particulars of textual analysis in a low-stress, guided environment.

Who should take this course?

This course is designed for older high school students with essay writing experience. The Essay Writing 201: Critical Response Essay and Essay Writing 202: Timed Essay classes are recommended preparatory courses, though not required.

If your teen has multiple essay writing experiences, knows how to formulate a thesis and offer their own analysis in writing, then you are ready for this course! If you have any questions about your student's eligibility for this class, don't hesitate to contact us with a writing sample and we'll point you in the right direction.

Week by Week

Week One

Students read, discuss, and analyze the article "I Want a Wife," published in 1971 in Ms. Magazine. Students situate the article in the context of its time as they examine effective persuasive techniques employed. 

Week Two

The focus this week is on examining the role of the reader in analysis as students connect personal experience to the text. Textual criticism and personal insight are then brought to the first drafted essay.

Week Three

The second primary document under examination is "The Gettysburg Address." Focus this week is on the difference between analyzing modern language versus English from another era. 

Week Four

Rhetorical critique forms the basis of the second essay. Students apply all textual criticism tools mastered in the class for the final writing project.

Registration Details

Join Us!

$299.00 per student
Recommended Ages:

15 - 18

Class Size:
18 Students
Class Length:
4 weeks
Class Type:
  • High School

Select from the available class dates below to register for that session:

Heidi Blanchard   Register

Word on the Street

This class gave me an experience on how the background of the author, time period in history, and their education really enriches the writing and provides higher insight while reflecting on the work. 

Ethan, 17

I often freeze up when writing and have a hard time doing reflections and getting my thoughts on paper, but this class jumpstarted my confidence in my writing process.

Penelope, 17

I was hesitant at first about doing this because it didn't have a live class but you are incredible [at] guiding everyone with your feedback and quick responses. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.

Pamela, 18

I acquired the ability to analyze a text and then create an essay from that analysis. The teaching was great, and the structure was perfect.

Rupert, 17

More Information

Sample class login

Want to see how our classroom works? Test drive a sample class complete with real class readings, assignments, and instructor comments!

Follow these instructions:

  1. Navigate to class.bravewriter.com. If you are a current student, you’ll need to log out in the upper right corner before proceeding.
  2. Log in using these credentials:
    Username: [email protected]
    Password: Brave1
  3. Next, you will land on our Family Dashboard. You'll find a Parent icon and a Student icon to represent classes where the parent or the student is the primary participant. Click on Parent to view parent participation classes. To find classes with direct student-instructor interaction, click on Student.
  4. Click on the class name of interest and start reading posts!
How Our Classes Work Download a class summary
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