Great writing is often clear, evocative, provocative, and can express complex ideas and arguments persuasively. To become a writer whose work can achieve this level of sophistication takes time and practice, as well as instruction designed around helping students improve upon their weaknesses and find new insight into their own work.
A good workshop program can be the perfect solution for teaching students the qualities of great composition that can transform their writing into something special. Curious about what your child might learn about writing through enrolment in this kind of program? Here are some important examples.
While some ambiguity or artistic license can be beneficial in some writing, it takes remarkable skill to pull these kinds of qualities off well. Most often, when discussing the elements of great writing, it’s things like clearness, logical progression, and straightforward language that are pointed to as indicative of quality. This is evident in work produced by individuals like George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway, both considered among the finest English writers of all time. There are seldom wasted words in their work, and never complex language or sentence construction that seems designed to confuse.
In achieving a mastery of logical writing and clarity, activities like reading can be beneficial, but best of all is getting writing practice. This can be done at home, at school, and in writing workshops that specifically teach logical and clear writing, with the end result being a far higher level of quality than would otherwise have been possible.
Great academic writing has the ability to not only present information, but to do so in a way that seems to predict and address questions and concerns within its own body. Doing this elevates a piece of writing from a mere presentation of ideas to an exploration of them, something that engages with a topic on a deeper and more complete level.
It’s largely in the preparatory phase that this component of great writing is formed, with research and brainstorming serving as excellent ways to identify everything from weak points in the evidence to some of the elements of a given topic that are likely to be most interesting to a reader. Mastering these kinds of skills is, correspondingly, an important area of teaching commonly explored by high school writing programs.
One quality of great composition that is perhaps more elusive than some others, but is arguably among the most important, is that it has been edited. Except for a one-in-a-million piece of exceptional writing, virtually everything can benefit from a second look, ideally by someone other than the writer of the piece. It is in editing that mistakes in grammar, flaws in logic, and other faults are most easily discovered.
Editing has become something of a lost art, though, with impatience sometimes driving writers to race through their work and submit it without another glance. In high school writing workshops, though, the editing process is elevated to something that is valuable and necessary. Young scholars in the A+ program’s writing workshops, for example, spend time editing their own work and the work of others, which offers them practice not only in finding errors in writing, but also in accepting criticism, a necessary part of the editing process. In engaging in this kind of activity, students can gain the ability to polish their work to a new level of quality.
Do you want your child to master the art of composition?
Contact ASC A+ about our writing classes for high school students!