Writing & Rhetoric B (Honors)

How can I share my ideas clearly and persuasively in the 21st Century?

Our Approach

Writing Honors - B

Writing Honors – B helps students feel comfortable with their new writing skills.

This course continues to build on the skills covered in Writing A (Honors), as described below, and requires you to apply these skills in new venues. This course challenges you to think deeply and critically about literature, and helps you develop your ability to thoughtfully critique literature through essays. You will read short works of both fiction and nonfiction, and read and discuss a book or work of book length. In addition, you will learn how to effectively use your skills to write timed essays on any topic.

The two skills sets covered in both Writing A (Honors) and Writing B (Honors) are foundational skills and 21st Century skills.

Foundational Skills

This course will help you acquire seven foundational writing skills. You will be taught each skill in a live course, practice the skill in multiple small assignments, and apply the skill in each graded essay in the course. Your success is contingent on learning and correctly applying each of these skills. When you master these skills, you will be equipped to write engagingly and effectively throughout high school, college, and life. Mentors will provide you with an overview of these skills at the beginning of the course, and regularly remind you how what you are learning throughout the semester ties back into one or more of these skills. These skills are at the heart of this course, and you will be provided the feedback and support you need to master them.

Each of the assignment types used in this course is built around one or more of these foundational skills:

  1. Critical Thinking: I know how to think critically and express unique thoughts.
  2. Usage: I use proper grammar, mechanics, and spelling.
  3. Structure: I express my ideas in an organized manner that is well-suited to the genre.
  4. Style: I use language tools that add depth and interest to my writing.
  5. Voice: I learn what makes my voice unique, and I express my ideas in my own unique voice.
  6. Formatting: I learn and apply the MLA guidelines (or other applicable guidelines) for formatting and documentation.
  7. Research: I conduct research and synthesize multiple sources to drive my provable points.
  8. Rhetoric and Debate: I use appropriate rhetorical devices in speech and debate.

21st Century Skills

The world is shifting around us, and while many foundational writing skills are still relevant, an emerging skill set is becoming increasingly important, including but not limited to the following:

  • Quickly find relevant information online
  • Evaluate online information for credibility, accuracy, reasonableness, and support
  • Understand how and why modern media messages are constructed
  • Understand and utilize the most appropriate media creation tools
  • Use technology to research, organize, evaluate, and communicate information
  • Use communication and networking tools and social networks appropriately to access and share information
  • Incorporate feedback effectively; deal positively with praise and criticism
  • Respect cultural differences and work effectively with people from a range of social and cultural backgrounds

Williamsburg’s Honors Writing course is designed to help students gain both the foundational and emerging skill sets needed to succeed and lead in the 21st Century.

In this course, you will write literary analysis and timed essays, although the course assumes you already know how to write five-paragraph essays. You will also read and discuss literature and add writing from other disciplines to your Writing Portfolio. Finally, you will begin to learn the craft of narrative research essays, an exciting genre used in many 21st century publications.

Course Framework

Unit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4
How do I read and discuss literature with an analytical purpose?How do I craft innovative writing using 21st century genres?How do I craft an effective timed essay and engage in constructive debates?How do I craft an engaging and effective literary analysis essay?
What is literature analysis?What are 21st century genres and when might I use them?What is a timed essay? When will I need to complete timed essays in high school and college?What is a literary analysis essay? What is the purpose of a literary analysis essay?
How should I read and think critically about literature?How can I craft creative and engaging Short Fiction?What three tools can I use to make my timed essays stand out, and how can I master them?How do I form a thesis for a literary analysis essay in response to a prompt?
How do I discuss literature without relying on summary?What is narrative reporting? Which style tools characterize narrative reporting?How can I adapt my strategy according to how much time I have left to complete my essay? What options do I have when I am short on time?How do I construct minor arguments that strongly support my literary analysis thesis?
How can I use a Reading Guide to track my critical thoughts about a full-length work?What are the specific parameters for the essays in the ACT and SAT? What is a good plan for me to prepare for these tests?How do I construct an effective One-paragraph Literary Response essay?
How can I write critically about literature?How are the skills I learn writing timed essays transferable? When will they help me in college and professionally?How do I construct minor arguments that strongly support a literary analysis thesis for a five-paragraph essay?
What are the major literary devices and how can I use figurative language to drive my literary analysis?What makes for a constructive debate and when might I need to use debating skills?How do I use an outline to guide the development of body paragraphs that support my literary analysis thesis?
What is correct MLA Formatting for an academic essay?What are the structure and roles of a formal debate?How should research guide my interpretation of literature?
How and why do I incorporate primary and secondary sources in a literary analysis essay?
How do I write strong Introductory and Conclusion Paragraphs for a literary analysis five-paragraph essay?
What are the most important grammar and usage skills and how can I master them?
How do I craft a debatable argument based on literary analysis?
What rhetorical skills do I need to develop in order to contribute to a team debate effectively?

Texts and Materials Students Must Purchase

Charles DickensA Tale of Two Cities
Various - Provided by mentorEssays and Short Stories


  • Recommended Grade: 9th (Freshman)
  • Prerequisites: Writing & Rhetoric A (Honors)
  • Versions & Estimated Weekly Hours: Classic: 4 Hours / Honors: 6 Hours
  • Format: Live
  • Credits: 0.5
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