U.S. College Writing Seminar

Work directly with Ivy League Teaching Fellows and Writing Instructors to improve your analytical academic writing skills!

Modeled on the freshman writing seminars at Yale University, the U.S. College Writing Seminar provides students with the essential writing skills to succeed in U.S. high school and college: ​

Reading and

analyzing a text.

Using
secondary
sources.
Developing
a thesis.

Providing

evidence.

Making an
argument.

Master Essential Writing Skills

Program Structure

Meet some of our writing instructors with elite credentials

Jason Stevens

Assistant Professor, English, Harvard

Ph.D., English, Columbia

MPhil, English, Columbia

BA, English, Haverford

Shaun Halper

Post-Doctoral Associate, Yale

Ph.D., History, UC Berkeley

BA, History and Art History, Columbia

Nicole Richards

Ph.D. Candidate, American Studies, USC

MA, African American Studies, Columbia

BA, English Literature, Penn

Joanna Smolenski

PhD Candidate, Philosophy, CUNY

BA, Philosophy, Columbia

Shannon Beddingfield

Ph.D. Candidate, English Literature, Yale

MA, Middle Age Studies, Yale

BA, OSU

Check out some of the novels past students have read throughout the seminar.

Night
by Elie Wiesel
Animal Farm
by George Orwell
The Crucible
by Arthur Miller
The Outsiders
by S. E. Hinton
The Stranger
by Albert Camus
Stargirl
by Jerry Spinelli
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck
The House on Mango Street
by Sandra Cisneros
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe

Topic 1: Close Reading: How to Analyze Primary Sources

 

Topic 2: Generating a Research Topic 

 

Topic 3: Developing a Thesis Statement 

 

Topic 4: How to Outline a Research Essay 

 

Topic 5: From General Outline to Detailed Outline (Or: How to Select Quotes)

 

Section 1: Producing a Framework 

Section 2: Writing Your Research Paper

Topic 6: Transition Sentences and Topic Sentences 

 

Topic 7: Block Quote Paragraphs

 

Topic 8: Paraphrased Quote(s) Paragraph  

 

Topic 9: Contextualization "Paragraph"

 

Topic 10: Introduction and Conclusion Paragraphs  

 

Topic 11: Editing

One-on-one writing seminar: 16 sessions.

Team-based writing seminar: 12 sessions, with a maximum of 10 students in each seminar.

Feedback from Past Students

"Shaun and I just finished our last writing class. The course was amazing and I really appreciate how much Shaun used his expertise in literary research to help me with my ability as a writer. I have gained a much more structural perspective on writing from my classes with Shaun. Thank you all for  offering me this wonderful opportunity to work with Shaun, and a big shoutout to Shaun for being a professional, patient, and talented instructor as he is. "
"Thanks Shaun, you are very helpful for teaching me writing! You always inspire me to develop my ideas and encourage me to never give up. Thanks for your patient and highly professional competence! I learned a lot lot lot of things during the whole milestone! You motivate my interest in writing!"
"I just wanted to thank you for your patience and guidance. The course was very enjoyable and I learnt so many things about writing that I have never come across before. I am now able to enjoy writing clearly and concisely which is always a pleasure. It was a truly valuable experience. "
"Thank you so much Dr. Halper!!! I really appreciate all the time you spent on helping, guiding, and teaching me. I learned many valuable skills that I can now apply to any writing assignment. So thank you tremendously for everything!! Hope to see you again in the future!"
"Taking classes with Jason is inspiring, he manages to challenge me on different aspects of writing yet also encourages me to explore my own topic of interest. As a fanatic for dystopian novels, I am always confident to share my understandings with Jason, who then will help me materializing these small findings into actual reflection on my writing assignment. Haven’t written a paper longer than 10 pages before the writing session, I now am equipped with sufficient skills to express my ideas in a deeper extent. An additional interesting note is that, as I submitted my work of this class: Ideological Tyranny: Parallel between 1984 and Totalitarian Theory, to a regional writing competition, I finished at the 15% among 1500 participants. "
"Hi Nikki, Thank you for teaching me so much regarding writing and just techniques in general! This has already impacted my high school career already, just imagine how much it would impact me in my life. Thank You!"

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