Artificial Intelligence can spit out a generic essay of regurgitated ideas pieced together from various public sources. In seconds.

Original voice? Something AI can’t do.

Personal reflection? Something AI can’t do.

Complex reasoning? Something AI can’t do.

Critical response essays are popular in college because they defy ChatGPT. Students will be required to apply those skills to specific assignment parameters, subjects, and texts. They’ll need to write about history, investigate science, or respond to current events.

We teach your teens how!

Class Overview

Made With You in Mind

Raising nuanced thinkers is increasingly difficult in the age of images, short ranty blurbs of text, and speedy delivery of new content that just races by.

In Essay Writing 201: Critical Response Essay, students

  • get into the center of the reading and writing experience
  • read purposefully, identifying main points and arguments
  • decipher images in the news
  • separate how a text is written from what it’s written about
  • receive feedback showing that their thoughts and reactions matter 

We revitalize your teen’s thinking, leading to more complex thoughts. Experience the satisfaction of transferring thinking to the page and seeing the reaction of other readers as they interact with those thoughts. 


The skills taught here have maximum cross-curricular appeal. Use these exercises again in your history, art, or civics units! All great reasons to consider picking up this class.

Who should take this course?

This course is designed for high school students with essay writing experience.

Students should already be competent writers and have experience with academic formats. The Essay Writing 101: Analytic Essay and Essay Writing 102: Persuasive 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 learn to wield tools that will help them develop sophisticated habits of thinking. The initial target of analysis: examination of a photograph.

Week Two

Critical reasoning includes powerful reading habits. Students work on seeing texts from various points of view and offering a personal reflection on those texts.

Week Three

Rhetorical analysis of a modern-day text is the focus this week in preparation for the final critical response essay. 

Week Four

Students draft, revise, and edit a critical response essay this week.

Registration Details

Join Us!

$249.00 per student
Recommended Ages:

13 - 18

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

There are currently no upcoming sessions scheduled for this class.

Word on the Street

I enjoyed getting another set of eyes on my writing projects from my teacher. We were able to toss some ideas back and forth until I found what I needed to do to the current assignment.

Orson, 18

I like the flexibility of the class. The fact that there is no scheduled live class is nice. It gives me the opportunity to work on the assignments when it is most convenient.

Samir, 17

This class was amazing! The weekly readings were excellent and were very helpful for the assignments, which were fun and creative, while also being challenging.

Val, 17

You learn how to look at an image or a piece of writing and determine why the creator made certain choices (lighting, word choice, magazine article vs speech) in their work. You also learn how to analyze the pieces to see what effect those rhetorical choices had on the piece.

Mike 16

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 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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