Advanced Composition

Advanced Composition Syllabus


This mid-level writing course is designed to prepare students for college writing and writing they will be faced with in life after high school.  We will study four types of writing and complete the semester with a multi-genre paper that combines all styles of writing in one project. Attendance is critical, as we will be working in groups often and sharing our writing for editing and response in class.  Approximate point values for assignments are listed below, but are subject to change.  Points will also be given for smaller assignments and participation activities.  Papers will be accepted for late credit up to two weeks after the deadline.  Credit will be reduced 10% per day late, but not lower than 50% for tardiness. Please keep all your graded work in a portfolio folder for further reflection.



Unit 1:  News Writing

We will learn the objective style of writing journalists use.  We will learn interviewing techniques, how to write headlines, how to take digital pictures, and how to lay out a newspaper.


  • Feature story:  Write a personality story about a person in class, which involves interviews with the person and others involved in his/her life. (50 points)
  • News story:  Write a news story about something that affects our student body.
  • Newspaper project:  Your group is responsible for writing and designing a newspaper. (100 points total)


Unit 2:  Technical Writing

We will learn how to write in a clear, easily understood manner that is practical for the business world.


  • Business letter (résumé and cover letter) (20 points each)
  • Job Interviewing skills –possibly watch a video
  • Grammar and punctuation work and test (work is ungraded; test is around 75 points)


Unit 3:  Creative writing

This unit will allow us to have some fun with writing and learn about what our styles are like.


  • Writing about ourselves and developing a voice:  personal essay (25 points)
  • Rhyme, Rhythm, Imagery:  Poem for two voices (20 points)
  • Writing a children’s story on Storybird.com and responding to the work of others (30 points)
  • Writer’s workshop (to be determined)


Unit 4:  Writing for school

This style of writing will prepare students for writing essays required in college.


  • Argumentative research paper about an Iowa issue including a bibliography (100 points)
  • Literary Analysis of Cool Hand Luke (50 points)


Final project:  Multi-genre paper –This project is a compilation of entries from each type of writing we have studied this semester, all of which are about one topic of your choice. Length and point total will vary depending on time available.



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