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Institute for Excellence in Writing
Advanced Communication Series

by Andrew Pudewa

Reviewed by Martha Robinson

Purchase details: Institute for Excellence in Writing Advanced Communication Series by Andrew Pudewa. Video series available on DVD, $65. Published by Institute for Excellence in Writing Please support by buying this program from our Christian Book Distributors link.

The Advanced Communication Series consists of videos of three of Andrew Pudewa's classes: Persuasive Writing & Speaking, Advanced Note Taking, and Power Tips for Planning & Writing a College Level Paper. The prerequisite for these courses is Teaching Writing: Structure and Style (IEW), and some expertise with the techniques in that program is assumed.

In "Persuasive Writing & Speaking" Mr. Pudewa teaches how to write an essay to present an opinion in a logical and persuasive way. He offers a specific outline to accomplish this and passionately expresses his opinion on an amusing topic as an example. Mr. Pudewa recommends that beginners hone their skills with simple topics rather than trying to tackle highly controversial topics such as abortion. He finishes this session with a discussion about how to be successful as a persuasive speaker.

The "Advanced Note Taking" lecture takes the method taught in "Teaching Writing" to greater detail. Mr. Pudewa suggests using the "tree and branch" technique to pack more information into the notes and to organize the notes as they are being taken. The student starts the process with the main topic (the tree) and draws in the major sub-topics (main branches) as they come along. Keywords for details (smaller branches) are placed coming off of the main topics to which they relate. The resulting note page may look messy with writing going in all directions, but it will be detailed and organized. The program includes several examples of note taking from written material and two examples of note taking from lectures.

"Power Tips for Planning and Writing a College Level Paper" begins by defining the three kinds of papers that most college students must write: essay exams, short papers (2-6 pages), and term papers (7-15 pages.) Mr. Pudewa discusses in detail how to tailor the writing to what the professor prefers by analyzing the professor's writing style, instructions for the assignment, and field of study. He provides various assignment examples and suggests what each of the professors would like to see in the paper. An outline of the "basic essay model" is explained, and the "super essay," which generally is a term paper, is discussed. Rewriting, proofing, and crediting sources appropriately are additional topics.

Recommendation: Andrew Pudewa is a delightful speaker who relates well to his audience and uses humor to make points. The "Persuasive Writing & Speaking" seminar was the favorite here, as one can truly see that Mr. Pudewa, who makes his living by public speaking, is an expert on the topic. It was enlightening and interesting. Both "Advanced Note Taking" and "Power Tips" would be very helpful for college-bound students. They offer tips and details that are not offered in texts. At $65, this set is a bargain for homeschooling families. resources related to this review:'s Language Arts Resources Section for tons of ideas, links, and more!
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