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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Writing Research Papers: High School Online Classes

Update: This live course has concluded and is available now as a recorded course through our Subscription Service. This is a great way to learn at your own pace when your schedule allows. To subscribe or learn more:Adult and High School Catholic Online Classes


Is your high school child ready to write in college? If not and you'd like some help in preparing him for higher education, this is the course for you. Learn straight from a college professor who knows exactly what is expected of college students.

Session dates
: Thursdays, April 8 to May 13, 2010
Total classes: 6
Starting time: 1:00 pm, Eastern (Noon Central)
Class length: 1 hour
Professor: Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.
Course fee: $120 for all 6 classes plus all homework is graded by Dr. Gotcher

Course Description:
What are the characteristics of excellent writing in the eyes of college professors? This course will use the rhetorical arts to help turn competent writing into impressive writing. What are the essential components of an excellent piece of nonfiction writing? How does one write a compelling introduction and conclusion? How does one argue effectively for one’s position? What are important mistakes to avoid? The course will work with previous writing samples of the students, as well as composition exercises, culminating in the writing of a short argumentative essay. Juniors and seniors.

Course materials needed by students: None. Everything provided free online or by Dr. Gotcher.

Equipment requirements:
Students are required to have high-speed internet. A headset with microphone is strongly recommended. If you do not own a headset, you can find them at a local computer store or online from Amazon.

Course access:
All Homeschool Connections courses are recorded and available to registered students for up to six months.

Week-by-week outline:
Class 1: Characteristics of a well-written college level research paper.
Class 2: Basic outline of a paper: introductory paragraph(s), body, and conclusion. Special focus on thesis and "hook."
Class 3: Argumentation in the body of the paper. There are three types of appeal in classic rhetoric, ethos, pathos, and logos. Also focus on logos or rational argumentation. Plus anticipating objections
Class 4: Review of samples for thesis, hook, and argumentation. Discussion about the syllogism, major premise, minor premise, and conclusion.
Class 5: Review of templates for four types of writing: Expository essay, textual analysis, argumentative research paper, and book review. Remembering that the "thesis" is the same as the conclusion of a syllogism. A look at the use of definitions in the major and the minor of a complex argument.
Class 6: In this final session we will review practical suggestions about formatting and editing. We will also discuss how to use the work of others and how to avoid plagiarism.

CLEP: Information on Testing for College Freshman English Composition

Professor's biography:
Dr. Robert F. Gotcher most recently served as Associate Professor of Systematic Studies at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. He and his wife, Kathy, are raising their seven children in Franklin, Wisconsin. Dr. Gotcher has been actively involved in the home schooling of his children, especially in the junior high and high school years. He has taught Latin, literature, physics, astronomy, and religion to homeschooled students. He has a special devotion to the classical trivium of grammar, logic and rhetoric, especially as they pertain to the written arts.

Dr. Gotcher graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1981 with a B.A. in the Program of Liberal Studies. He received his M.A. in Theology of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul in 1991 and his Ph.D. from Marquette University in 2002. In his adult life he has done everything from volunteering with the poor in Appalachia, to religious education and youth ministry, to desktop publishing and computer related responsibilities at a law firm. At the seminary he taught introduction to theology, the doctrine of God, one and three, theological anthropology (creation, sin, redemption, grace, four last things), life principles, and human sexuality and has given public presentations on Vatican II, the encyclicals of the pope, social justice, life issues, human sexuality and the theology of the body. His publications focus on family issues, lay spirituality and issues related to the Second Vatican Council. He is involved in the secular Franciscan order, home schooling, and pro-life activities in the Milwaukee area and nationally.


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