Essay Rock Star: The Expository Essay – REVIEW

Essay Rock Star: The Expository Essay REVIEW

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Writing essays has never been my children’s favorite school activity. They love to talk and share ideas, but trying to get those ideas down on paper has been a bit of a challenge.

Since we are wrapping up our middle school studies and looking forward to high school level work I knew it was important to help my children address their writing concerns head-on and fine-tune their skills. We decided to get a little outside coaching to assist with this effort and we found exactly what we needed through the Fortuigence Essay Rock Star Courses.

Fortuigence

Fortuigence is an online program to teach writing to middle and high school students. Students work through the course lessons and submit their work to a teacher for feedback.

The founder of Fortuigence is Lily Iatridis, a certified teacher who has spent more than a dozen years teaching writing to students in the United States and Japan.

Lily understands the writing skills students need to be successful in college and beyond and in 2010 decided to offer her teaching and coaching services to homeschool students through online courses.

I have to say that one of my favorite parts of this program is Lily’s personal involvement with her students. Before we began using the program I emailed with her and shared my son’s writing challenges due to his dysgraphia. Lily understood our concerns and offered suggestions for helping him work through the material at a pace that was most effective for him.

Essay Rock Star: The Expository Essay

This is a short course (it can usually be completed in about 4 weeks) to teach students how to write an expository essay in 5 steps. This is the most common type of essay students will be assigned in high school, college, and the work place. The purpose of an expository essay is to explain or inform an audience about a specific subject.

The course includes 7 lessons:

  1. Introduction and pre-assessment – Students submit a writing sample so the instructor is familiar with the student’s skills before the course begins.
  2. Brainstorming – Several resources are offered to help students begin the brainstorming and mind mapping process.
  3. Organizing ideas – Students learn the difference between main ideas and supporting details and create an outline.
  4. Free Writing – This is where students get their ideas on paper without focusing on grammar, spelling, or mechanics.
  5. Revision – During this step students build solid paragraphs and smooth transitions between paragraphs.
  6. Editing – This is the longest and most detailed step in the writing process. Students learn to make corrections focusing on sentence structure, vocabulary, word choice, and more.
  7. Wrap Up – This lesson reviews everything learned in the course and provides a certificate of completion for the student’s transcript.

Each lesson includes:

  • Information about an aspect of the writing process delivered via text and video
  • Samples of other students’ work to demonstrate the step in the writing process
  • Additional resources for support
  • An assignment to be submitted to the instructor for feedback

Reason We Enjoy Essay Rock Star

Resources – One of the reasons my son dislikes the writing process so much is because he hates looking at a blank piece of paper! He says he either has too many ideas and feels overwhelmed, or he can’t think of anything to write about. On the Fortuigence website Lily offers everyone a free ebook: “End Blank Page Terror Forever!” filled with 24 pre-writing tools. This, along with online brainstorming tools recommended in Lesson 2, gave my son all of the structure he needed to comfortably come up with writing ideas.

FREE ebook "End Blank Page Terror Forever"

Independent learning – The course is written directly to the students. We have been encouraging our middle school students to become more independent learners and this course succeeds in meeting that goal! The information is clear and students are encouraged to ask questions of the instructor when they need help or clarification.

Instructor Feedback – Once my children submit an assignment they wait about an hour and then begin checking their email to see if they have a return email from Lily! They really enjoy receiving help and feedback on their school work from someone other than mom for a change. There are no “canned” responses here (we have received that kind of “feedback” from other online programs), the feedback is always personal and constructive, providing direction to help the student move forward.

Course Details

The Fortuigence writing courses are perfect for students in grades 7-12.

Fortuigence offers a total of 4 writing short courses:

  • The Expository Essay
  • The Personal Statement
  • The Persuasive Essay
  • The Textual Analysis

Courses can be purchased separately or all 4 can be purchased together (this offers a discount over purchasing the courses separately).

Where can you find Essay Rock Star?

Fortuigence.com
Don’t forget to download the FREE ebook “End Blank Page Terror Forever!”

As a veteran educator, Susan is always looking for new ways to bring learning to life for her family.  Her family’s favorite subjects to study together are history, geography, and literature.  Susan shares her family’s educational adventures at Education Possible and literature related resources at World for Learning.

Susan Williams (7 Posts)

As a veteran educator I am always looking for new ways to bring learning to life for my family. I enjoy traveling, sharing ideas with other moms, and helping my children explore the world around them. Our favorite subjects to study together are history, literature and geography. I blog about our educational adventures at Education Possible and I share literature related resources at World for Learning


{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Meredith May 7, 2014, 2:35 pm

    Great review Susan, I am looking forward to this with my kids :) The Essay Rock Start looks perfect!
    Meredith´s last blog post ..Collaborating With Your Teen – Using the Buddy System for Homeschooling High School

    Reply
  • Mary June 23, 2014, 4:45 pm

    Susan, I am finding everything you say to be the case as Anna is going through Essay Rockstar this summer. My husband read one of Lily’s emails to Anna and said, “Wow, this lady takes a lot of time with her students.” I agree.

    Thanks for this great review!

    Reply

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