All year long, students practice various modes of composition, with special emphasis on critical analysis. Along the way, they’ll study a Shakespearean comedy, a contemporary novel that deals with questions of place, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain’s masterpiece critique of racial injustice in America.
Every week, their writing assignments will challenge them to think clearly, argue persuasively, and express themselves with clarity and beauty.
Sophomores at Moses Brown undertake a deep investigation into one poet of their own choosing. Called the ‘Lit-Search,’ this project challenges students to read widely from a poet’s body of work and evaluate analytical and critical writing about that poet, including scholarly articles, reviews, and literary journals. Many students cite this project as the awakening of a passion for–and confidence with–literature that they never knew they had.
Another project that has a profound effect on many students is the ‘Reflective Place Paper.’ In it, students are asked to identify a place that is special, even sacred to them, and finely record their feelings and observations about the place and their reactions to it. Students learn to command the power of sense-based writing, often discovering a kind of synesthesia that is uniquely their own. Through the seasons, they record the observable changes in their chosen place, and the subtle changes within themselves. These profoundly introspective essays help students know themselves–and their classmates–with respectful intimacy, and some have ended up finding publication elsewhere.Inquire