IMG_3359At An Elegant Word, students participate in activities aimed to inspire a love of words, sentences, and word-play. With the support of guided group discussion, brainstorming, and critique, students learn to write with appropriate structure while enlivening their prose with stylistic flare. An intensive overview of style elements assists students in developing vivid vocabulary and sophisticated sentence variety.

A transplant from California to Texas, Jen Hartenburg reads, writes, and plays in the Houston area where she lives with her husband and their two children. Having earned a B.A. in English Literature and a M.A. in Education, Jen enjoys teaching writing and humanities courses to elementary, middle, and highschool students. She began teaching literature and writing in 1997 and helped pilot an interactive online program for highschool students through Biola University beginning in 2000. A homeschool parent/teacher of two, Jen also enjoys hiking, dancing, drinking tea, and listening to the rain. Jen is an Accomplished Instructor with the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Her poetry and creative non-fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in literary journals including Rattle: Poets Respond, Weber—The Contemporary West, The Saint Katherine Review, The Other Journal, Dappled Things, and The Christian Century.

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2017 Writing Camp Testimonials

Thank you to all the families who participated in this year’s Basic Essay Camp! And thank you for the encouraging feedback.

One-hundred percent of surveyed parents strongly agreed that the camp met or exceeded their expectations and that they would highly recommend the camps to others. They said they were happy with their students’ experience and were interested in enrolling their students in additional writing camps with An Elegant Word. Here are some of their comments:

“My daughter is actually very excited that things are making more sense to her. Before this camp she would make fantastic outlines after reading her materials and making notes, but she could not get those outlines into paragraph form organically. This week helped her learn how to bite off tasks she can accomplish in logical, consecutive steps and avoid melt downs. This has been very good for her! Even watching my daughter work helped not only her but was also a good refresher for older siblings who were not enrolled in the camp. Thanks so much!”

“We will do the next camp next summer.”

“This course helped solidify essential writing skills.”

“It was a great review of aspects of English grammar, and it was great to learn some new ways to analyze writing and incorporate a greater range of style in future writing assignments.”

“The writing camp helped my daughter to think systematically and be able to organize her thoughts and put them in writing.”

Most students reported that the camp helped them improve their writing and said they enjoyed the camp and would recommend it to their friends. They especially enjoyed the games and writing warm-up activities. They said it was especially helpful learning how to structure and organize their essays using key word outlines and topic-clincher sentences. They also appreciated learning how to proof-read and to take notes from a lecture. Here’s what they said about their experience:

“It has helped me improve my writing, and I created a great essay with the help of your materials.”

“It was fun and engaging. I have a better understanding of how to execute the steps of the writing process.”

“Writing camp has improved my vocabulary and helped me discover all the new words I can use. It was also helpful to learn specific writing terms.”

“It was fun and helpful for me to improve my writing.”

“The camp was fun, and I also learned how to improve my essay introductions and conclusions.”

“The experience was fun.”

“The camp got better and better as the week went on.”

“I enjoyed learning how to organize my thoughts and put them on paper. I also enjoyed learning how to take lecture notes. It was very fun and very helpful and interesting as well.”

There are still spots open in the Thesis Essay Camp which starts next week on July 10!

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