Wednesday, September 11

A Review of a Writing Course by BetterRhetor

This summer, we were given access to the course College-Ready Writing Essentials™ by BetterRhetor for review. This course covers the topic of essay writing for students as they prepare to enter college level courses. It is a complete and practical writing course with step by step instructions. It also gives valuable background information that will raise the awareness of any student embarking on the challenge of college level academics.

My interest in have my daughter use this course despite her recent graduation was to give her one more writing experience to boost her confidence in her knowledge and ability to communicate effectively with the written word. She has written throughout her homeschooling experience but an essay format was not the norm. I want her to have an understanding of for what will be expected of her and to approach it with more confidence. The college essay assignments seem to produce anxiety for many students regardless of the approach to their high school education.

The first section of College-Ready Writing Essentials™ includes lessons and worksheets that prep a student for the process of writing an essay.  The information also includes a discussion of what to expect and what will be expected from students in a college academic setting. This information is presented in a straight forward way and presents useful considerations for a student about to enter a college environment. As a homeschooling parent, I appreciate this aspect of  the course. Having another voice contributing to the importance of taking what will be expected of a college student is helpful. The material covered in the preparation section is a solid reminder of what "the college experience" is really about. Learning, incorporating, presenting and communicating are all necessary skills for successful careers no matter what field of work someone plans to enter.

That this course emphasizes that college is a place to learn and to take that learning and "transform it through your own creative intelligence", from Lesson 9 College-Ready Writing Essentials TM. 

Beyond the background and preparation lessons College-Ready Writing Essentials™ covers all of the essentials of writing a college level essay. It walks the student through the entire writing process step by step. it covers the importance of how to evaluate source materials for credibility and provides ways to discern what is high quality and trustworthy as sources for a student's investigations. The course requires a fairly high level of reading comprehension skill. It gives a range of  topic exposure in general terms including some current events and societal issues.

The full package course includes 25 lessons. Each lesson contains thorough teaching material, examples and some include downloadable pdf worksheets for student use.

Given our very busy summer and the big changes in our family this summer, it was difficult for my daughter to get through the entire course. Even in a normal summer, I think it would be hard to complete the full course. It would be a great course to use over an academic year. It could be worked through at a student's own pace finishing quickly or over a school year's time frame.

The course is easy to access online. However, since we spent much of the summer in a variety of locations and not all together as a family, we struggled with what has typically been an easy, just jump on the computer, to read and do lessons from our home desktop. For most of the summer, my daughter has only had internet access via her phone and that has been spotty at times. It was this experience that gave me the idea and the wish for College-Ready Writing Essentials™  to be available in a text book/workbook format. An old school idea perhaps, but having the course in a book to take along would have made it possible for my daughter to use our travel time as an opportunity to continue to work through the course.

Technically, this year is somewhat of an academic gap year for my daughter while she is pursuing her dream of ballet training. However, we will soon be solving the current online access issue for her so that she can complete the course this year for added preparation for college classes. College-Ready Writing Essentials™ is an extensive and valuable course for any student wanting to improve their writing skills in preparation for college.

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