Brave Writer Teen Essay Guide Writing

Summer KISS Essay Series #5: Research


We’ve reached the point where our teens go off to research their topic. Finally! This is where we parents can now sit back and relax, right?!

Floating Feeling Myself GIF by Mighty Oak - Find & Share on GIPHY
Time for mama to chill

Well, sort of. Research is more independent than some of the other stages, but I’m still on call if they hit a snag.

We spend about a week doing research, more or less depending on the complexity of the topic or essay.

I don’t have much to say on this stage beyond what I already put in my guide notes, so I won’t blather on. But I will highlight just a few things.

Organization is important in this stage.

Easier said than done with teens. Organizing information didn’t come naturally to my teen boys; I had to step in and help them figure out what that looks like. Finding an organization process that works for your teen will be invaluable once they get to college.

Paraphrasing and summarizing are tricky skills for teens to learn.

It’s hard. Some isolated practice throughout the year wouldn’t be a bad idea. I like to use Science News for Students articles to practice. Warming up those paraphrasing/summarizing skills by helping them with one from their research isn’t a bad idea either. You guys do the first one together, then they do the rest. Put the paraphrasing steps from H4HS in list form & keep it in front of them while they work, if that helps.

They Say/I Say book enters the process

The book makes its appearance in the essay writing process. I don’t tell you to buy it so it’ll collect dust on your shelf. I’ve raved about it before. It’s still one of my favorite purchases. We use it every time we write a paper.

There’s only the teen guide for this one. Nothing extra or specific for the teacher here.

Flamingo-floaty cheers!




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  • Slowly turning over the revision process to my high schoolers. I found a color-coded highlighter analysis of their body paragraphs helped them see the holes in their paper before I point it out. Training wheels, baby!
I explain my three highlighter revision process on my blog. Look under the essay guide series, then the revision post. Blog link in my profile.
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So, the quote. It’s a bit dark and I would normally save it for our spooky theme in October. But I’m a bit distracted and busy, and I do live the way this phrase feels on the tongue. Hello, alliteration! You are one of my favorites! Plus we’re reading Hamlet right now, so reinforcing the lines.
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Now we’re ready to rewatch the movies for more “evidence” and then expand his commentary. But first I need to restock movie treats. 🍿🍫🍬
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Of course, I refuse to do pumpkin anything before official fall, if not October 1st. Yes, I’m anal like that. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I can’t get in the mood when it’s still 95 degrees and I’m sweating in shorts. Can’t rush Mother Nature! But I did go ahead and plan it last week while I was laid up in bed.
I appreciate the inspiration from the #homeschoolalliance. Such an easy way to have a touchpoint for the #bravewriterlifestyle! For September, we’re digging deeper into connecting and collaborating with our kids, expanding on a talk @juliebravewriter gave at the #bravelearner conference. Can’t wait to dig into the nuances, rewards, and challenges of collaboration!
#bravewriterteens #secularhomeschool #homeschoolhighschool
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