Preparing for College and Career

Jan 18, 2024 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team

In the 1970s Dr. James B. Webster began each of his university history classes with lessons from his program Blended Structure and Style in Composition because his students could not write well enough to explain the history they were studying. Today, college professors continue to express concern about the deficient writing and speaking abilities of incoming students.

In an effort to enhance student preparation for college, IEW now offers two twelve-week programs to prepare high school students—even those who have limited or no experience with IEW’s method—for their future. Introduction to Public Speaking, introduced in spring 2023, and University-Ready Writing, which debuted at the beginning of 2024, provide students with tools to communicate confidently and competently, to argue analytically and adequately, and to persuade purposefully and powerfully in the reports, essays, and speeches that will certainly be required of them in college and in their careers.

Introduction to Public Speaking (IPS) is an introductory speaking course designed for both middle- and high-school students. In the first few lessons, participants practice memorization and delivery techniques as they recite poetry and retell informative texts from key word outlines. Students then learn speech structure by delivering five different types of speeches: self-introductory, narrative, expository, persuasive, and impromptu. These speeches range in length from five to ten minutes and provide students with valuable experience speaking in front of an audience, which leads to future confidence.

Since many speaking situations involve persuasion and the art of argument, Andrew Pudewa introduces Aristotle’s philosophy of persuasion using ethos, pathos, and logos. Put simply, ethos refers to persuasion based on the credibility or authority of the speaker, pathos refers to persuasion based on emotion, and logos refers to persuasion based on logic or reason. Using these principles, students choose examples, illustrations, and content for their speeches that engage their audience and strengthen their positions. Since the course includes videos of Andrew Pudewa teaching each lesson and professional exemplars of each speech, any teacher can implement this powerful course in the classroom.

Learn more about the course in “IEW’s New Introduction to Public Speaking(Episode 374). In this podcast Andrew remarks, “If you can speak and write well, then you’ll rise up in positions of responsibility and influence. You will be able to make a greater contribution.” He tells students that these skills will enable them to do something more than they imagine. Download two weeks of free lessons here. Students who complete this course will practice skills that will help them become confident and competent public speakers.

University-Ready Writing (URW) equips high school students with vital skills they will need for college success. In the first few lessons, students learn two powerful note-taking strategies: the key word outline and the stick and branch note-taking method. Because university professors prioritize summarization skills, an area where high schools often fall short in instruction, the initial writing assignments focus on the précis, a short, concise summary of a text.

Throughout the course, students write several essays. To help students organize their information for body paragraphs in an essay, Andrew teaches students how to refine the basic topic-clincher paragraph using the TRIAC model. The acronym TRIAC stands for topic, restriction, illustration, analysis, clincher. Each component serves a specific purpose in crafting a well-organized, logical paragraph. Students learn to choose topics and find facts to illustrate and analyze those topics with the tools of invention: division, comparison, application, and significance. In the final assignment Mr. Pudewa discusses strategies for planning and writing timed on-demand essays, frequently required on midterm and final course exams. So that students are prepared for the diverse expectations they will encounter in higher education, URW requires students to format initial assignments following MLA Style and later assignments using APA Style. For a complete course description, listen to “IEW’s New University-Ready Writing (Episode 407), where Andrew and Julie Walker detail the purpose and the content of the course.

Who will benefit from these courses?  Teachers and teaching parents who want to prepare their students for college and careers, motivated students who recognize the value of writing and speaking well, college tutoring centers, and even adults seeking to continue their education or further their careers will benefit from URW and IPS. Additionally, both programs have useful Portable Walls—Portable Walls for the Public Speaker (IPS) and Portable Walls for Academic Writing (URW)—that students can use through college and during a career as a resourceful reminder of the structures, tips, and tools they learned in each course. If you want professors to ask where your students learned to write and speak rather than bemoan their lack of skills, then these courses are for you!

by Andrea Pewthers

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