Rhetoric and Composition

Leah Sievers
Rising 11th – Rising 12th Graders
July 8 – Aug. 2 • 9 a.m – 1:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday
In Rhetoric and Composition, students examine the art of effective and persuasive writing (rhetoric) and the art of composing a piece of writing (composition). Units of study include but are not limited to the following topics: Audience Awareness, Critical Thinking, Literary Style, Description, Narrative, Classification, Process Analysis, Comparison and Contrast, Definition, Cause and Effect and Argument. Study of these subjects revolves around readings from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and Thomas Cooley’s The Norton Sampler: Short Essays for Composition. In preparation for future English courses at Collegiate and in college, Rhetoric and Composition further develops students’ writing, revising and researching skills; strengthens students’ skills in careful and critical reading; and introduces students to college composition coursework. In this class, students write frequently, both formally and informally, on topics of their choice. Writing assignments are graded and ungraded and are completed both in and out of class. Students write private journal responses, short experimental pieces, first-person reflections and formal essays. The class focuses heavily on the process of writing and on the importance of revising; therefore, the final project for the semester constitutes a collection of heavily revised pieces of students’ own writing and includes one “new,” unrevised paper. Students taking the course for Honors choose from a range of projects to complete an additional six- to eight-page paper.
Leah Angell Sievers teaches ninth grade English and junior-senior English electives such as Rhetoric and Composition, Literature of Elegy and Redemption and Explorations in Creative Nonfiction at Collegiate School. She is also an assistant varsity swim coach and the departmental curriculum coordinator for Community Engagement Week, a 9th Grade service-learning program. Dr. Sievers previously taught at the University of Richmond, Union Presbyterian Seminary, the University of Virginia and the Peddie School. She also served as the Manager of Museum Educational Programs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Her work has been published in Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust, a journal of the University of Haifa.
Qualified Collegiate students – those who have earned an Aaverage or better in their last two semesters of English – may take this elective for Honors credit. However, this will require additional, independent reading and writing.
For more information, contact Dr. Leah Angell Sievers at leah_sievers@collegiate-va.org.