TGS Writing Project
The hallmark of a Gunston education is graduates who can think well, write clearly, and communicate effectively. Through intensive writing coursework, one-on-one feedback, and mentoring in their freshman and sophomore years, Gunston students become prepared to participate in a culminating writing experience in their junior and senior years.
This intensive writing project provides students experience in meaningful reading, and critical analysis of literature. At the beginning of the junior year, students confer with their English teacher and select an author of focus for the year. The students spend the balance of the school year reading five of the author’s works and researching the author's life. From their reading, they devise an original thesis statement reflecting their synthesis of the author’s works. Following approval of their thesis statement, the students craft their paper, which must clearly and logically defend their thesis and be no less than fifteen pages in length. The project enhances student skills in reading, writing, critical thinking, and research while at the same time providing them a valuable independent learning opportunity. In keeping with the Gunston family traditions, the completion of this milestone is celebrated by the entire school community.
The goal of this project is for seniors to complete a summative narrative of how their years at Gunston shaped their own ‘language of values.’ In effect, we are asking students to create their own value model by examining key moments of insight in the following areas:
- Experiences—Students should identify three significant experiences at Gunston and explain how those experiences transformed or impacted them:
- Knowledge—Students should discuss how three pieces of acquired knowledge influenced them (perhaps an author they read, an historical event they studied, etc.);
- People—Students should identify three people who helped to shape their view of the world and explain how these people influenced them.
Although this is a writing project, it is interdisciplinary in scope in that it requires students to synthesize the knowledge, skills, habits, and thought processes that they acquired in their courses, athletics, and in special programs like Bay Studies.