BetterRhetor has a fantastic online course for high school juniors or seniors to help improve their writing skills. It would even be good for recent grads that are getting ready to start writing papers in their college classes. The course is called College-Ready Writing Essentials™ (from here on out referred to as CRWE) and is intended to be completed in about five weeks.
According to information on the BetterRhetor website, 73% of students entering college are actually not prepared for college-level work.
Using step by step instruction, BetterRhetor aims to bridge that gap. The course will guide you through the process of writing a research-based persuasive academic essay. It begins by helping you narrow down a topic to write about and then goes on to help you research and write the essay.
Normally, the curriculum highlighted on this site is geared towards homeschoolers. This course is different. CRWE can be beneficial for truly anyone wanting to succeed in their college studies.
Three options for utilizing College-Ready Writing Essentials™
Your first option is the mini-course, which is a great way to check it out and see if it’s for you because it’s free!
The mini-course is intended to give you a snippet of what to expect in the full course. It helps explain why you would even need the full course in the first place, what is expected of your student in terms of college-level writing assignments, and why it’s important to master the art of writing.
I really do recommend you and/or your student take a look at this mini-course. If you are on the fence about whether or not you want to purchase CRWE, the mini-course could sway you one way or the other.
The other two options are the Full Package or Premium Package. These two options are identical except that with the Premium Package you have the opportunity to turn in your essay to Dr. Bryant (the “teacher” for CRWE) and get his feedback. There are also additional exercises, essay examples and more, included in the premium version of the program.
We reviewed the Premium Package and I feel like it is well worth it to get the premium version of CRWE. Dr. Bryant gave us some wonderful and constructive feedback on my daughter’s essay. His feedback was clearly well thought out and he wrote it in a way that was not offensive. He praised where praise was deserved and gave constructive criticism where it was necessary. He also encouraged us to email him back if we had any other questions, which is a kind offer of his time.
Both the full and premium versions have 25 lessons and are intended to be finished in 5 weeks. That being said, I feel like that is an ambitious endeavor. I would personally plan for it to take longer than that for most kids if your student is going to do every worksheet and use the program to it’s fullest extent.
Here is a screenshot of part of lesson 12, which should give you a good idea of the kind of information that is taught in the lesson. Plus, it shows you how the program is set up. Notice the checkmarks on the left that show which lessons are completed. Also at the top it says what percentage of the program she has completed. When she clicks on “complete and continue” at the top of the page, it will change that progress percentage and put a checkmark on lesson 12.
From my Daughter
My daughter is a senior this year and she is taking dual enrollment English so this was the perfect course for her to take before the semester started to help prepare her. She is also taking Sociology and just found out she will have to write a paper on a “social problem” for her midterm. It just so happens her essay she wrote for CRWE will fit into that category, so she’s already written at least the first draft of her paper for Sociology!
I asked her to write up a little something about BetterRhetor and this course. Since she is the one who had to use it every day I thought it would be good to get her feedback.
Here is her feedback:
Every day, I would go onto the Better Rhetor website and start on my lesson. The reading for each lesson took about 30 minutes depending on the length of the reading section. For each lesson there were 1 – 4 worksheets to do with it. Each worksheet took at least 30 minutes, sometimes a couple of hours. There were many good things I learned in this program. I feel more prepared to write a long essay. However, it seemed unreasonable how long it took to do a lot of the lessons. There’s not enough time to write an essay, if you write all of your essay exactly how Better Rhetor teaches you. If you are assigned something with a quick turn around time, you will need to speed up the process. Again, I did like the program and feel like it has better prepared me to write papers in my college classes.
It did take her much longer to get through the program than we thought it would. In fact, she didn’t even finish all 25 lessons before I wrote this review. She went ahead and wrote her essay anyway so that she could get feedback from CRWE. And I’m glad she did because his feedback was invaluable!
Even without finishing the course, she still feels more confident in her writing skills as she prepares herself mentally to write for her college English and Sociology classes this semester.
I truly do believe this course is worth every penny. If you purchase it and disagree with me within the first 30 days, then just write to Dr. Bryant and he will give you a full refund. You can’t lose with that offer!