Think of the progymnasmata as a step-by-step apprenticeship in the art of writing and rhetoric. In the award-winning Writing & Rhetoric series, author Paul Kortepeter has recovered this proven method of teaching writing in conjunction with critical thinking and speaking. This is the sixth in a series of 12 books that will train students over 6 years.
Writing & Rhetoric Book 6: Commonplace continues the development of the art of persuasive writing and oration. Students will learn to create six-paragraph essays that are arguments against the common vices of people and arguments in favor of common virtues. For example, cowardice and boasting are criticized while courage and humility are commended. This teacher’s edition includes the complete student text, as well as answer keys, teacher’s notes, and explanations. For every writing assignment, this edition also supplies descriptions and examples of what excellent student writing should look like, providing the teacher with meaningful and concrete guidance.
In addition to practicing skills they learned in earlier books, students will learn to:
- Write six-paragraph essays
- Support a thesis statement
- Argue against certain vices
- Argue for certain virtues
- Use comparison and contrast
- Introduce and conclude an essay
- Use a rhetorical device known as “the contrary”
- Invent soliloquies to support an argument
- Deliver writing orally
- Revise writing
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Paul Kortepeter currently serves as curriculum director and eighth-grade teacher at The Oaks Academy, a private K–12 classical school in Indianapolis. His passion for helping students write effectively and speak persuasively led him to write the Writing & Rhetoric series, a step-by-step program for young writers based on the classical progymnasmata. Paul has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Earlham College and a master of fine arts degree in cinema production from the University of Southern California. While a student at USC, he edited a documentary film on the homeless that was nominated for an Academy Award. He spent the next six years in Los Angeles developing made-for-TV movies for popular performers such as Jane Seymour, Pierce Brosnan, Walter Matthau, and Isabella Rossellini. More recently, he worked as senior editor for Sunrise Publications, now a division of Hallmark Cards. While at Sunrise, he met artist Susan Wheeler and the two collaborated in creating picture books for Dutton Children’s Books and gift books for Harvest House Publishers.
Grade Level: Grades 5-6
Course Length: Semester