Carnell Offers Composition Class with Purpose


Arrowhead High School has a variety of English classes for students to choose from. There are literature classes like modern lit, British Literature, American Literature, but there are also writing classes like composition.  


Composition is a writing based class that has students learn tips to enhance their stories and express their ideas. 


According to the Arrowhead 2022-23 Course Guide, Composition is a rigorous course that will focus on the writing process. This will include the concepts of writing well: brevity, clarity, word choice, mechanics, voice, style, organization, audience, and paragraph development. Students will also study vocabulary with application to ACT-timed writing. The course will provide a background in writing formats, determining purposes, punctuation, and grammar. Students will compile a portfolio of work including narrative, informative, explanatory, impromptu, and opinion pieces.”  


One of the teachers that teaches the composition class is Terri Carnell. 


“[Fellow teacher] Ms. Jorgensen and I work together to come up with ideas based on what is out there,” Carnell said. 


Carnell says she looks for writers’ markets and places for her students to send their work. Carnell and Jorgensen work together to come up with activities such as contests that give specific prompts for students to follow and then submit their work to. 


The composition classes are made up of a variety of different people with different writing backgrounds. Each student is encouraged to share however, still given the option to write in private. 


Composition classes provide built-in time for students to accomplish their college essays to assure they will be ready to be sent off when necessary. 


“There was a need for college essays to be written, so we added that to the curriculum of the class, along with the writing of narratives,” Carnell said. 


“English and writing classes at south had been showing a decline of skills as students came up to north campus,” Carnell said. 


This gave teachers at north a reason to add the composition class before advanced composition.


According to the Arrowhead 2022-23 Course Guide, “Advanced Composition is a rigorous writing course that will build on and enhance the concepts taught in Composition. Students will further develop their own clear, coherent writing style, while producing publication-ready writing. Students will complete sustained research, synthesize and evaluate the credibility of sources, use citation styles appropriate to essay formats, and interact and collaborate with technology. Students will compile a portfolio of work including narrative, persuasive, analysis, on demand, research and syntheses.”


“The composition classes give real life skills that students can always use,” Carnell said. 


The skills and writing tips provided in class help students to achieve writing habits that can benefit them in everyday use.