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Building Confident Writers (Tailored Help for Greater Success)


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Building Confident Writers (Tailored Help for Greater Success)


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Do you have a struggling writer? A student who has anxiety about writing? Or even a student who hates to write?

Writing is a critical skill in all academic areas, in every career field, and even in our social and spiritual lives. This course will help high school students improve their academic writing skills and become more confident writers!

Students in this course will specifically learn how to overcome writer’s block (and writing fears), how to organize their ideas and get them down on paper, and how to edit and revise their work. They will focus first on writing well-crafted and well-edited sentences; then they will organize sentences into meaningful paragraphs; and eventually they will organize paragraphs into multi-paragraph essays (including essays with outside sources).

Students will review grammar concepts as they connect to writing and will be expected to complete writing assignments every week. Students will write on a variety of engaging topics with plenty of guidance and encouragement. Because every student’s writing struggle is unique, instruction will be very individualized so that each student has plenty of opportunity for growth. While there is certainly a place for creativity in most types of writing, please note that this is not a creative writing class. And although instruction will be individualized, it is also not private tutoring. Upon completion of this course, students will be prepared for more advanced writing in all content areas.

SPECIAL NOTE: Prior to the first day of class, students must submit a writing sample. The sample should be at least 150 words, typed and double-spaced. The sample can be on any topic (fiction or nonfiction), but it must be the student’s current, original work and should not be edited by anyone other than the student. Please do not use quotations from other sources. This sample will allow the teacher to see each writer’s strengths and weaknesses so she can tailor the instruction to meet the needs of each student. Therefore, an honest and accurate representation of the student’s best but independent work is critical.


Please view prerequisites and required supplies below.

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Notebook or journal with at least 100 lined pages
Painless Grammar by Rebecca Elliott (ISBN-13 : 978-1438007748)
All other instructional materials will be provided by the teacher.

Dawn Burnette​ is truly excited to be part of the Excelsior family as an English teacher! Dawn holds a B.A. in English Education/Journalism from Lenoir-Rhyne University and an M.A. in English Education from Georgia State University. She has also earned National Board Certification and gifted endorsement. While teaching English at a public high school for 15 years, Dawn served as English department chair, coached a nationally ranked dance team, and won a few local, state, and national teaching awards. Dawn loves sharing her passion for reading and writing, and she works tirelessly to help students reach their academic potential and to glorify God in all pursuits. Soli Deo Gloria!

When it was time for their children to start school, Dawn and her husband Rod moved the family from an Atlanta suburb to the North Georgia mountains, acquired way too many animals, and spent the next 12 years homeschooling. Their daughter Ansley graduated from Samford University in 2022 and works at Sight & Sound Theater in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and their son Beck graduated from and played collegiate golf at Lee University and the University of Georgia and began playing professional golf in 2024.

Check our calendar for start dates

11 reviews for Building Confident Writers (Tailored Help for Greater Success) (5/5 stars)

  1. Noah

    First year of excellsior classes, incredibly helpful instructor who is always willing to help her students with any issue they may have.

  2. Laura A

    This class has helped me drastically improve my writing skills. There are so many things I struggled with that I can now do so easily, and the teacher is extremely helpful and kind. It was definitely worthwhile class, and I definitely recommend this class if you struggle with writing.

  3. Nancy

    This class has tremendously helped me improve my writing skills in many ways while also enjoying it. Definitely the best writing class experience I’ve ever had.

  4. This class has definitely helped me become a better writer. I learned so many helpful skills and methods that will help we in future classes. I definitely recommend taking this class if you are struggling with writing.

  5. Michelle

    This class tremendously helped me with my writing capabilities…the environment in this class was so happy and positive, making it a great school year in this class

  6. Student A

    This class definably helped my writing and my skills. The teacher was really nice and so were the class mates, and it was an all around great learning experience.

  7. Kimberly

    This has been the best writing experience I have had. The assignments are well organized and the rubrics make sense. Mrs. Burnette runs a structured class as well.

  8. Leanne

    This was our first experience with Excelsior classes and it has been a great introduction. Mrs. Burnette helps her students grow in their writing and grammar ability in an organized and manageable way. I highly recommend it!

  9. Jamie F.

    This is our first year for an Excelsior Class and it has been a great experience! Mrs. Burnette’s class is very organized and engaging. My 14 year old looks forward to class and participating in the lessons. Her confidence as a writer has increased and so has her organization in planning and completing her assignments. Mrs. B is a great encourager to her students!

  10. Jamie

    My son, who normally does not enjoy writing, has loved this class. Mrs. Burnette’ Building Confident Writer’s class is really well structured. Mrs. Burnette breaks things down into more clearly explained parts and pieces and she builds up the students’ skills in layers, very supportively. My son has grown tremendously in his writing skills. The class is effective but also really FUN. Enjoying the process of learning can make a world of difference, and he has very much enjoyed learning with Mrs. Burnette. I absolutely recommend this class.

  11. E.P.

    My son, who stuggled with writer’s block, absolutely loved Mrs. Burnette’s Building Confident Writer’s class! This class broke down all the components of writing and grammar into easy, achieveable steps and then built upon each step in a very stress free environment. The skills and confidence my son gained from this class greatly increased his writing speed and essay scores in all of his other classes that require writing assigments. He now loves to write! I highly recommend this class to all students, especially those who are college bound!

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