Archive for the ‘Tips for Teen Writers’ Category

[Webinar] High School Writing in the Age of AI

Brave Writer High School Writing in the Age of AI

How it started: dinosaurs, daisy chains, phonics and lapbooks. 

How it’s going: citations, quotations, note-taking and ChatGPT.

Yikes! The high school years are upon you and it’s a whole new world.

You know you want to prepare your kids for college writing, but the task can seem daunting.

  • How much essay writing should they be doing?
  • How do I best prepare them for what’s next?
  • What really matters?

Add to the mix worries of the rising use of AI writing generators, and you may feel like giving up before you even start.

Let Us Help!

Brave Writer is here to shine a light on the high school writing path.

Kirsten Merryman (Director of Online Classes) and Jen Holman (class writer and coach) give you practical tips and show you how our writing program can help you address these burning concerns:

  • Expectations from colleges
  • Increasing issues related to AI
  • Gaining age appropriate skills
  • Covering all the bases
  • Why it matters to infuse your essays with authenticity 

Discover how to balance AI and human creativity in your teen’s writing journey.

Free Webinar Replay

Listen as we talk about High School Writing in the Age of AI.

More Resources

  1. 100+ Creative Ideas to Use AI in Education
  2. A People’s Guide To Tech – Allied Media Projects
  3. The practical guide to using AI to do stuff
  4. Murdered by My Replica? By Margaret Atwood
  5. Article on bias in AI images

AI portals to explore:

How to Research a Topic Online

Online Research

We taught our kids to tie their shoes by tying them for years in front of them, then with explicit teaching and supervision.

We taught them to load the dishwasher, brush their teeth, run a load of laundry, and buckle up in the car the same way.

When it’s time to learn how to research a topic for writing, you can use the same tactics!

  • Model what it looks like to do an online search.
  • Show them how criteria changes the search results.
  • Discuss how to differentiate reliable and unreliable sources.
  • Look at viewpoints in conflict with each other.
  • Discuss the key ideas that each source wants to convey.

Each of the search ideas below shift the focus slightly to seek and include more data from a variety of sources.

Search Terms

  • [topic] data
  • [topic] experts
  • [topic] interview
  • [topic] vocabulary
  • [topic] eyewitness
  • [topic] controversy

Try this exercise even if you aren’t working on a writing assignment. The practice of conducting these searches, even with topics like “Yu-Gi-Oh cards” or  “swimming” or the “Olympics” will call up controversy and aspects of the topic you and your kids have never considered.

See what you find!

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

Brave Learner Home

Essential Skill: A Good Thesis Statement

Brave Writer

Let’s discuss a specific essential skill that Brave Writer can help you tick off your list. It’s the heart of a successful expository essay: a good thesis statement! 

A thesis statement is the risky claim a writer aims to prove in an essay.

A strong thesis statement:

  • Identifies a risky proposition
  • Implies a counter-thesis
  • Clarifies or enlarges a position
  • Surprises the reader
  • Is defendable with science-backed proofs

How do we help students get there?

In one exercise, we help them work through three types of thesis statement for one topic.

  1. Expose a myth
  2. Explode a stereotype
  3. Expand an understanding

Here’s one example from Brave Writer’s Expository Essay: Exploratory & Persuasive online class.

Notice the writing coach’s kind support and gentle instruction for improvement. The yellow portion is the student writing and the white is the writing coach feedback.

Thesis statement example

Throughout the course, your kids are nurtured into better and better writing, while also giving their minds a chance to flex and grow as well!

Want more help with thesis statements?

Brave Writer’s Expository Essay: Exploratory & Persuasive online class offers:

  • Personal instruction from a trained instructor (what we call a writing coach)
  • Detailed explanations about how to write, not just what to write
  • Incremental steps that make crafting an essay a breeze
  • Processes that develop the thinking that goes into the essay format (my favorite part!)
  • Printable guides so your teen can keep writing essays after class is over

This class uses college techniques taught in university with the writing strategies of Brave Writer. The result? A new twist on learning the old ways!


Webinar: Wrangling Research

Question: What does RESEARCH look like?

  1. Your teen embarking on a new hobby and devouring tutorials on YouTube
  2. Your budding naturalist learning all the types of birdsong in your neighborhood
  3. Your tween playing different versions of a song to find the one she likes best
  4. Your university student using an online encyclopedia or academic journal 
  5. Your three-year-old asking a ton of questions—why? why? why?


While we’ve come to think of research as something particularly grownup and laborious, kids naturally do research every day as they explore and learn about the world. 

They’re passionate about monster trucks, princesses, or insects. They want to know MORE.

As we grow older, this inquiry becomes more complex and formalized as our research is

  • evaluated,
  • recorded,
  • synthesized, and
  • shared.

Wrangling Research Webinar

Research doesn’t need to be intimidating! Join us for a webinar where we’ll show you how to wrangle research in your homeschool. 

Don’t miss our webinar (free for those taking Brave Writer classes this semester):

April 22, 2020 at 3 PM EDT on Wrangling Research.

How it works

  1. Sign up for a Brave Writer online class.
  2. Look for the webinar link inside your registration confirmation email.
  3. Register for the webinar and join us on April 22. Replays are available for those who register.

You’ll be so glad you made time for this one!

Brave Writer Online Writing Classes

The Original Chat Room

Teens write every day. On their phones! In texts, social media, and chat rooms, they freely express their opinions and ideas.

Time to level up: academic writing is the original chat room! 

Higher education is all about making those opinions precise and well supported. Just with a more narrow set of rules.

We want to show students how to

  • navigate difficult topics 
  • avoid ranting, emotional language 
  • use research and logic to make their points
  • understand someone else’s opinion
  • disagree respectfully, without resorting to personal attacks

These skills are essential to the academic enterprise and to all communication!

Need more help?

Brave Writer’s Essay Prep: Research and Citation teaches your kids how to find reliable, essay-worthy information on the Internet. We also tackle the nitty-gritty when it comes to current expectations on how to format an essay and cite sources.

Students will:

  • keenly observe and examine an idea 
  • use inquiry as the basis for writing
  • research with search engines and local library databases
  • evaluate the credibility of a source
  • take efficient notes
  • summarize, quote, and paraphrase 
  • plan and write a research project
  • cite sources using MLA format

Rescue your kids from hours of fruitless Internet research and let us teach them tools to find reliable information quickly. Register for Essay Prep: Research and Citation today!

Essay Prep: Research and Citation