High School Essay Writing for the Win!

Expository Essay: Rhetorical Critique and Analysis

Looking for a winning move?

Join our Expository Essay: Rhetorical Critique and Analysis online class this spring!

Essay writing is not only about essay formats. Likewise, chess is not only about the checkered board and black and white pieces.

There’s more to both games!

Yes—it’s essential to know the rules of the game, but it’s how the players (writers) apply their unique skills to those rules that makes chess (and writing) powerful to experience and exciting to watch/read!

Check it out:

RISK. Making a bold move/offering a bold perspective.

CREATIVITY. Surprising the opponent/reader with an unexpected move/view.

IMAGINATION. Picturing the opponent’s behavior/reader’s perspective and matching it.

Essay writing is a creative, strategic act!

Just like the mind of the chess player drives the action on the board, it’s the mind of the writer that unleashes powerful insight in the game of academic writing.

Expository Essay: Rhetorical Critique & Analysis

To read and write rhetorically means to

  • Extract meaning from complicated texts
  • Be deliberately open to a wide variety of viewpoints
  • Understand how word choice can elicit a reaction or persuade the reader
  • Recognize how images shape a message or appeal to emotion

Don’t remember covering this in school? That’s because most traditional writing classes focus on the “rules of the game,” not the strategy to go with playing.

Deciding what to do with your ‘chess pieces’ takes a little risk. Some imagination. Creativity. Collaboration with a seasoned essay writer helps. Good news—Brave Writer has a space where your teen can play with all of that!

In Expository Essay: Rhetorical Critique and Analysis, students will

  • Write summaries, drawn from complex topics
  • Consider differences in purpose, genre, and audience when writing
  • Learn to uncover deeper levels of thought and analysis
  • Examine the literary choices authors make
  • Practice critiquing a piece of text
  • Develop visual literacy skills by analyzing images

Your teens will write two essays:

  1. Summary/strong response essay
  2. Image analysis

Expository Essay: Rhetorical Critique and Analysis is the ultimate endgame for your school year! Teens will finish strong with this offering! Sign up now for our session starting April 29.

Note: This course is designed for high school students between 10th–12th grades. Students should already have some experience with academic formats.

Expository Essay

Two Important Ideas

Brave Writer: Two Important Ideas

I’ve noticed two strains of homeschooling advice that I want to bust as worthless.

  1. That learning is hard. It requires a systematic approach. Because the subjects are hard, buckle down with a program and get it done.
  2. That learning is natural. Stop all systems. Go with the currents of a child’s interests and let those teach a child everything he or she needs to know. Get out of the way.

It took me about 20 years to admit two important ideas.

  1. It takes effort to get good at anything.
  2. You only put in effort if you see a benefit to yourself.

The first concept is why some parents get exasperated and focus on “getting done.” The second concept is why other parents cross their fingers that Tinker Toys will teach trigonometry.

I want to change the conversation around learning. We should be discussing ideas for how to provoke interest in a topic that seems dull. We should talk about how to build stamina to keep trying when a child loses heart.

We should be free from proving our membership in a particular philosophy of education (where we prioritize how we appear to adults rather than how our children experience learning).

Want to learn more? Dive into all the free content available on the Brave Writer website.

And for individual hand-holding, join me in the Homeschool Alliance where we address these kinds of issues each month in our Brave Learner Book Club.

The Homeschool Alliance

Friday Freewrite: Four Books

Friday Freewrite

Name four favorite books by four different writers. Now imagine that the authors have dinner together. Write the scene. How would everyone act? What would they talk about?

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.

We Grow Writers

Brave Writer: We Grow Writers

When I built Brave Writer, I had one goal: to grow writers. I found out quickly that most parents had a different goal: to grade writers.

The heart of what we do in Brave Writer, is to give kids the experience of growing. Grading doesn’t do that. Grading measures children against a standard and shows them where they fell short. If they get an A, the impression is created that there is no more growth to be had. Yet that’s also not true. Grading does not accomplish the growing. It only ensures that a child works for approval. Grading doesn’t teach craft.

What leads to growth in writing? A safe environment for risk-taking. That means having a supportive conversation partner who reads your words and gives feedback about that reading experience.

The comments our talented writing coaches (instructors) make help children know that they have been read and understood first.

Kids in our classes experience themselves as writers,
not as taking a writing class.

Our instructors’ comments are:

  • kind,
  • thoughtful,
  • and move the writing forward.

A writing coach might say something like:

“I was drawn in by the opening sentence. Now I wonder what happened to the dog. Can you show me? Can you create a movie in my mind? Like this…”

Students are taught how to grow the content of their writing, not just clean up the mechanics.

So check out Brave Writer’s online writing classes. We have a wide array to choose from!

Brave Writer Online Classes

Support During the Struggle


“Your best bet is to be gentle with yourself & to surround your homeschool life with people who are advocates for you more than your philosophy of education or parenting.” (A Gracious Space, Julie Bogart)

There are two kinds of support during struggle. First, when you face a challenge in your marriage or health or philosophy of education, many people will back the institution. They’ll tell you how to stay married or what kind of treatment you must follow or which educational philosophy is the rightest. They’ll rally around their beliefs and urge you to hold the line—to persevere in struggle, to not give up on your marriage or doctor or homeschooling.

The second kind of support is for you. No matter what you choose, this person understands that you are more important than institutions or philosophies. The support is unwavering for the person you are. Your success as a wife or patient or home educator is not propping up marriage or medical protocols (or holistic nutrition) or homeschooling.


Rather: support feels like being seen, being reminded of your own ability to choose, to make the call for yourself.

Support is believing more in a person’s well being
than any institution’s preservation.

Get friends like that. They are priceless. They aren’t passive-aggressive, or controlling, or manipulative. They are friends.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!