This basic course in an essay and creative writing helps students develop the skills they need for academic writing now and in the future.  The course uses a structured approach to support students' skills and gives them a framework from which to explore various types of essays and creative narratives.  

Middle School & High School Students only
Max Seat:
Saturday - 12 pm - 1pm
Barbara Kirksey

Price for Creative Writing Class: $240

The current STARR test requires 7th grade students to complete an expository essay with good organization and clear, grammatically correct writing. This course supports students’ progress to create readable essays as a preparation for writing the essay exam. Course topics covered include prewriting methods, generating a thesis statement to function as the central concept, different types of essays, organizational strategies, vocabulary development, and writing effective conclusions. In addition, the course will spend time helping students explore topics that are interesting to them, and some written essays will be discussed to generate ideas. 

Course Outline:

  •  Week 1: the purposes of writing, creative vs. expository writing, principles of good writing

  •  Week 2: Methods of prewriting, generating topics, types of essays

  •  Week 2: Methods of prewriting, generating topics, types of essays

  •  Week 3: The thesis statement and how to build it, the importance of a clear thesis statement, a simple method to build effective thesis statements

  •  Week 4: The structure of a 5-paragraph essay and writing body paragraphs

  •  Week 5: Writing lab—exercises to create thesis sentences

  •  Week 6: Development of ideas in the essay and vocabulary development

  •  Week 7: Style—avoiding choppy sentences and using connectors to create a readable style

  •  Week 8: Writing lab—exercises to improve writing style

  •  Week 9: Writing conclusions

  •  Week 10: Writing from a test prompt and applying the methods from the course

  •  Week 11: Practice test writing using a prompt

  •  Week 12: Practice test writing using a prompt

    This course is recommended for six and seventh graders who will take the STARR writing test in the seventh grade. High school students may also benefit from it as a preparation for the ACT or SAT writing exam.

  • Teacher

    img_20161219_170709Barbara Kirksey began teaching English as a second language while in graduate school at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas.  After 7 years, she became the director of ELS Language Center in Dallas.  She received an offer to teach at DeVry University, and spent 22 years as a professor of psychology and English.  During these years, she taught English composition, literature, and business writing  to students majoring in technical and business programs.  After taking early retirement to care for her granddaughter, she continued to teach for DeVry as an online adjunct professor.  Currently she works part time as a private tutor and copy editor, and she participates in various arts organizations in the Metroplex.