Expository Writing

Expository Writing will not be offered as a live group class in 2015-16.

Asynchronous Expository Writing is now FULL for 2015-16. Contact Elena if you would like to be added to a wait list.

Asynchronous Tutorial: No meeting time (Students work at their own pace but must complete the course between September 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016.)

Course Description

In the first eight weeks of this course, we study aspects of sentence structure, style, and organization that serve as a foundation for all essay forms. We then move on to explore the persuasive essay, the comparison/contrast essay, the personal essay, the literary analysis, and the research paper, through which students practice choosing a good topic, developing a strong thesis, and organizing information and ideas in clear, powerful prose. Writing the research paper, students also learn how to document their sources according to MLA style, the citation style often required in college. One of the hallmarks of this class is a very strong emphasis on revision, and detailed, individualized feedback from the tutor guides students throughout that process. Geared toward junior high and early high school, this class is intended to prepare students for writing in advanced high school courses and beyond.

NOTE: In the live group version of this course, students meet once per week for two hours on Skype and turn in homework by weekly deadlines. Students who take the class asynchronously complete coursework at their own pace with extra instructional material and periodic private conferences with me to replace in-class teaching. Whether taking the class live or asynchronously, all students receive detailed feedback from me on every assignment and can email me with questions at any time. See a comparison of the two options at the end of this page.

Weekly Homework

Each week students turn in homework, which consists of exercises during the first eight weeks and writing assignments–outlines, rough drafts, or revisions–during the rest of the year. Students also complete reading assignments each week

Book List

  • Writers INC by Patrick Sebranek
  • Fahrenheit 451 (Students may use any edition.)
  • Other readings will be available for students to download from the course website.

Sample Paper Assignments

Sample Student Papers with Feedback


How do the live class and the asynchronous tutorial differ?

 Live Class  Asynchronous Tutorial
$550 tuition +$50 registration fee $500 tuition +$50 registration fee
Weekly two-hour group class Extra instructional readings; private conferences with tutor, each lasting 20-30 minutes (five conferences per semester)
Deadlines for all assignments; grades lowered 10% per day late No deadlines; students complete work at their own pace
Students read and respond to other students’ essays Students do not read and respond to other students’ essays
Students may email the tutor with questions or set up a private conference at any time. Students may email the tutor with questions at any time; private conferences beyond the ten included with the course are available for an extra $15 per half-hour.

Both options include detailed feedback from the tutor on every single outline, rough draft, and revision.