Would you toss the car keys to your teen who has never driven before? I hope not! Driving requires familiarity with a car and the rules of the road.

Likewise, essay writing depends on familiarity with essays and the characteristics of good expository writing.

But get this—most high school students have never read an essay before being asked to write one! Is your teen prepared?

Class Overview

Made With You in Mind

Welcome to the driver’s ed of essay writing! Reading the Essay gives students a chance to see what essays are like. We discuss the elements that make them successful, convincing, and compelling! This is a space where your teen can

  • Be curious: What are essays all about?
  • Read quality essays, maybe for the first time!
  • Experiment with different points of view
  • Discover bias or slant in persuasive writing

Knowing more leads to clarity and confidence in academic waters. We discuss the elements that make an essay successful (and interesting!) BEFORE your teen is expected to write one.

What We're Reading!

The essays under examination for this class are:

  • "Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self" by Alice Walker
  • "Fairy Tales and Disability: Do I Have a Happily Ever After?" by Melanie Kennedy-Diver
  • "Say My Name: The Alchemical Magic of 'Rumpelstiltskin'" by Souvankham Thammavongsa
  •  "Murdered by My Replica?" by Margaret Atwood

These essays are accessible online.

At Brave Writer®, we read a range of essays and literature that address a wide variety of perspectives and include time-bound references. Please be aware that you may experience strong reactions to what you read. By using literature as a teaching tool to foster understanding and growth, we have the opportunity to discuss these evolving ideologies.

We encourage you to pre-read essays to determine their appropriateness for your family and to prepare to have discussions on these topics with your students as they participate in the class.

Discussion in this class includes use of a private Padlet board.

Our Essay Prep classes are designed for 8th to 10th graders or older high school students who've had little experience with academic writing.

The Essay Prep series provides a foundation for the Essay Writing 101: Analytic Essay class and ought to be taken first if your kids have never studied the essay form. The classes in this series are designed to be taken in any order. We recommend completing all three classes in the series before moving on to the essay class.

Week by Week

Week One

Personal Narrative Essay. Students discover how to engage with the author’s experience, ascertain an essay's perspective, and write an original multiple-perspective piece.

Week Two

Informative Essay. Students dig deep into the writing strategies authors use to engage and inform readers. They next consider an audience as they employ the element of surprise to inform on a topic.

Week Three

Cultural Analysis Essay. Students examine the tension between two periods: the original experience conveyed in an essay and the author's perspective now. 

Week Four

Persuasive Essay. Students examine how authors persuade readers using emotion, humor, argument, and facts. Students end with a thinking exercise as they develop their own persuasive arguments.

Registration Details

Join Us!

$249.00 per student
Recommended Ages:

13 - 18

Class Size:
25 students
Class Length:
4 weeks
Class Type:
  • High School

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

Regina Verow   Session Full
Hanne Bjornstad   Register

Word on the Street

Before I started this class, I thought that essays were boring papers about boring things. After this class, I believe that essays can be quite interesting and thought-provoking.

Reece, 15

I feel much more equipped to write my own essay after digging deeper into these.

Warren, 14

I didn't expect a class on essay writing to be so fun! I feel like my writing has improved considerably.

Drew, 15

As for writing my own essay I think I could tackle it after this class’s help. I really appreciate all of your feedback and felt comfortable and encouraged.

Radley, 14

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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