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Andrew Holyfield

Hi everyone! My name is Andrew. I graduated Summa Cum Laude at UC Riverside in 2016, with a B.A. in Creative Writing. While there, I completed the Honors Program, published a thesis, was an editor for both the campus Research Journal and Honors Program literary journal, joined the Writing Program as a Teaching Assistant, and completed three MFA courses, all with a 4.0 GPA.

Tutoring started for me in the campus Writing Program, in which I tutored eighteen students per week. Around that same time, my younger brother, diagnosed with Aspergers,  started college. I tutored him during his four-year journey to receive his Paraprofessional Certificate.

Nerdy as it sounds, I love Grammar and read often (in-between Netflix binges). Until my time at UC Riverside, I abhorred reading and preferred the trusty summaries from Spark Notes. I know English and writing can be both challenging and boring, but perhaps all a struggling student needs a little help and positive reinforcement. If that sounds like you or your kid, I'd love to help.

I’m a published songwriter with 20+ years experience in the music industry.

Writing and Literature
Using great novels to fuel our analytical essay writing

Homework:  Yes!  Homework is REQUIRED in this class.   Our writers will need time to both read and to write to become better writers!

Ages:  11-13

Requirements:  Students must be willing to participate in both collaborative work and in sharing their own writing.   This class requires discussion, board work, worksheets in grammar & collaboration.

Note:  Essays at HuckleBerry are run through AI generator detection services.  Students and parents will be notified if AI generation has been detected.

This class will cover multiple forms of essays over the Fall, Winter and Spring session when we will be reading, analyzing and reporting on our assigned books, along with discussions and practice on grammar and syntax.  Each trimester will include 2-3 essays, one of which will be a book report with a summary and an analysis of a theme with our book.

 

Novels will be read outside of class with book discussions happening within the class.  Students will need to be committed to reading the assigned chapters so that they can participate in the discussionsl
 

Fall:

One of our essays will be an Argumentative Essay, requiring a thesis (argument), research around a given topic, and cited credible sources. This will be structured in five paragraphs with an introduction and thesis statement, three supporting paragraphs with topic sentences, and a concluding paragraph.  Our other essay will come in the form of a book report. Students will read our selected novel, Fahrenheit 451,  incrementally with the class and we'll conduct guided discussions on craft, theme, character development, and plot in class. In this classic, the firemen are there to burn books that are being hidden.  Our protagonist must decide if he can continue to do something he doesn't believe in, or if he must fight against censorship.  Once we've completed this book, students will write a book report that will be broken into two halves: Summary and Analysis. This will develop the skill of summation (concise language, reciting a sequence of events) and analysis; extrapolating themes and connecting them to real life issues.  This essay will pair well with the reading and discussions around the importance of free-speech, thought, censorship, and argumentation.

These essays are designed to help writers create strong and grammatically correct sentences, paragraphs with strong topic sentences, cohesive content and conclusions, effective transitions to new or expanded ideas, and strong conclusions to their essays. 

Grammar lessons will be included in the class to ensure students can crate grammatically correct sentences.  We'll be reviewing parts of speech, how to recognize them, their functions and how they work together to form complete thoughts. 

 

Over our sessions together, we will study the four essay structures; Narrative, Descriptive, Argumentative and Comparative.  The components of each essay type will be practiced with different topics, reviewed in class to look for audience impact and improvements.  Once feedback has been received we will also be learning about the editing process and how to strengthen one's writing with meticulous revision in four simple steps: line edits, structural changes, addition/omission, and proofreading.  We'll also work on transitions, proving our point with examples and quotes, connecting the dots for our readers, creating strong conclusions and more.  As we progress through the year, we will expand our experience in different essay types and in-class writing.

Winter:

In our Winter session we will be practicing our Research essays where students will  research a relevant historical figure and describe and detail their importance.  We will also be reading The Outsiders where we will once again work on summarization and analyzing a theme within the novel.

 

Spring:

In our Spring session we will be writing a Descriptive essay!  This is a good opportunity for students to learn how to research a figure that also aligns with their interest and historical knowledge.  We will be reading Bud, Not Buddy, and practicing comparative essays.

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Writing only gets better when we practice writing!  In this class, writing is required outside of the classroom.

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