Intro to Literature and Academic Writing

From: $85.00 / month for 8 months

Grades:  8th–11th

Live class: Thursdays 6:00–7:00 p.m. EST

Course dates: August 26th–May 1st

Price: $599

Instructor: Colette Bailes

Instructor email:

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Course Description

See Reviews of Instructor Colette Bailes

Students have opinions— I want them to be able to express these opinions through their writing in a way that is clear and understandable to the reader. My goal is to motivate students using engaging literature and class discussions as agents to help formulate arguments and then provide the necessary skills and language to adequately communicate their ideas within the conventions of academic writing.

Course Structure

There are ten modules in this class – nine associated to the novels we read and analyze. Homework assignments are posted on the classroom site on Mondays to be submitted by end of week on Friday. Typical weekly assignments include: readings of text and supplemental materials, defining literary and/or vocabulary terms associated to readings and some type of writing assignment due each week with a major essay due at the end of each month. Class recordings are posted on Fridays.

Who should enroll?

This class is for 8th—11th grades who want to develop the necessary skills and competencies of conventions for academic writing and the writing process.

Technology Requirements:

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures

Evaluation and Feedback

I provide extensive comments on all submitted essays. We work toward having responses with fully developed thesis statements, topic sentences that are related to and supporting points of the thesis, properly cited evidence from the text with appropriate commentary to ensure understanding by the reader, integration and discussion of literary elements/devices and evaluation of author craft. I will send out a mid-year evaluation and end of year evaluation with additional parent communication as needed.


Parents do not need to contact me before registering for the class. You will receive a response from me within 24 hours.

View Course Syllabus


Required Texts

Required Texts: It is in the best interest that students purchase the recommended texts so that they may annotate their copies.

First Semester:

  • The Giverby Lois Lowry  ISBN # 0-440-23768-8 (pbk)
  • Fahrenheit 451by Ray Bradbury ISBN # 0-345-34296-8 (pbk)
  • Animal Farmby George Orwell  ISBN # 0-451-52634-1 (pbk)
  • Ender’s Gameby Orson Scott Card ISBN # 0-81255070-6 (pbk)

Second Semester:

  • Everyman and other Miracle & Morality Plays ISBN 0-48628726-2 (pbk)
  • Beowulf (translated by Burton Raffel)  ISBN-13: 978-0-451-53096-7 (pbk)
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (translated by Burton Raffel) ISBN # 0-34527760-0 (pbk)
  • The Hobbitby J. R. R. Tolkien ISBN # 978-0-618-15082-3 (pbk)
  • The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton  ISBN # 0-14240733-X (pbk)



  1. Ying-ya Shey (verified owner)

    I feel like this class was very informative for Nicholas. His writing has matured, along with his literary analysis. Mrs. Bailes’ class has been the best class that Nicholas has taken. The discussions in the live class led by the teacher were very helpful, especially in honing Nicholas’ analysis skills. I would highly recommend this class to others.

  2. Nicholas Shey

    This class was great. I learned a lot about academic writing thanks to Mrs. Bailes! At the beginning of the year, I struggled at academic writing. Now, I am skillful at crafting body paragraphs and analyzing points. Additionally, I practiced my public speaking skills when answering questions in class. This literature class was by far the most informative class I have ever taken.

  3. Leigh Berry

    This was by far the best literature class I have ever taken! The books were interesting and fun to read and Mrs. Bailes’ class discussions and lectures showed me how to look at a book’s themes from multiple angles. The class greatly improved my writing skills and taught me how to write a cohesive thesis statement as well as an organized academic paper, which are skills I will continue to use as I go through highschool and eventually college. Because of Mrs. Bailes’ class, I now genuinely love writing and no longer see it as just another subject I have to pass in order to graduate. I had a lot of fun in this class and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to improve their critical thinking and/or writing skills!

  4. Kara Miller

    I absolutely loved this class. Mrs. Bailes is a brilliant and engaging teacher who is well-rehearsed in this field. She provided thought-provoking ideas and analysis during class, along with asking questions that made me think about the book at a different angle. On my writing assignments, Mrs. Bailes gave such in-depth feedback and helpful tips that allowed me to grow not only as a writer, but also as a thinker. The books assigned were books I usually wouldn’t take off a shelf, but ended up actually being a joy to read. I learned so much from each book when looking for literary devices, and my knowledge expanded further from our weekly discussions in class. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who is considering it. I learned so much!!

  5. Aaron Shey

    This class greatly improved my writing skills through its multiple writing assignments, which I am thankful for because the ability to write well will be a useful tool throughout the rest of my life. The books were interesting and enjoyable to read, and lecture times were also engaging and helpful. In fact, I liked the lecture times so much I was sad when the class ended. Overall, I highly recommend this class for people who enjoy literature and want to improve their writing skills.

  6. Zachary Hagerup

    I highly recommend this class for developing writing skills. This was especially a great opportunity to learn how to write large academic papers. This was a great tool for learning many writing skills, which I will continue to use throughout the rest of high school and into college. I appreciated that we had plenty of direction, which included a live class every week, and the ability to email Mrs. Bailes any time we had a question. Another bonus is that while taking this class you are not just learning writing skills, but also reading and studying important novels. This has been one of my top classes this past year.

  7. Debra Kinsman (verified owner)

    I highly recommend Mrs. Bailes’ Introduction to Literature and Academic Writing to students who want to improve their writing skills, as well as learn the tools necessary to succeed in the higher grades. The class was challenging, yet manageable for a dedicated student, and introduced so many wonderful pieces of literature. The children found themselves disappointed the class was coming to an end, yet thankful for all the knowledge they gained throughout the year. Mrs. Bailes is an engaging, supportive instructor who provides a wonderful platform for students to challenge their creative thinking skills, while allowing them to explore the deeper meaning of some amazing pieces of literary works. I highly recommend this class.

  8. Ying-ya Shey (parent) (verified owner)

    This is a wonderful class and a truly blessing for my daughter. Being a novice writer and no prior experience with academic writing, Rachel enthusiastically dove into the class. Her zeal was met with excellent support from Mrs. Bailes. She has blossomed and learned so much through the class. We could not ask for a better class to prepare her for the next language class she will take. Rachel was so looking forward to her classes every week that she grew depressed when there isn’t any. Mrs. Bailes’ lead in classroom discussion is the best I have heard, and I have been in school for 20 years. We highly recommend this class for anyone.

  9. Rachel (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed Mrs. Bailes’ class, “Intro to Literature and Academic Writing.” I learned a lot from the class, especially through the major academic writing projects I undertook throughout the year, and Mrs. Bailes was very helpful and responsive with all my questions; she provided helpful feedback and rubrics. I read interesting books and the class discussions were eye opening. Not only did I learn much about academic writing, I also learned about literary terms to incorporate in writing and use to express myself. I highly recommend this class to students who are looking to improve their knowledge of literature and their academic writing skills.

  10. Natasha (verified owner)

    I am so thankful to have Mrs. Bailes teaching my children. My son took this class a few years ago and it was such a wonderful and challenging class for him that I signed my daughter up for the class and she is taking it currently. My son was always a strong reader but my daughter had some challenges in her reading and writing so I was concerned about her ability to excel in the class but Mrs. Bailes was able to challenge her and increase her love for both reading and writing. I am very thankful for her teaching style and her belief in her students as long as they work hard. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who wants their student challenged and motivated to write well.

  11. Sheetal Enright (verified owner)

    I am so glad that we picked this class for my ninth grader this year. He is enjoying it tremendously but also learning so much! Growing up in India, I never had formal writing training, so I was never able to give him productive feedback on his writing. Mrs. Bailes’ class has been a real blessing, giving him tools and processes needed to put together a good paper.

  12. Meg Puckett

    This is an excellent course!! In this class, my daughter read several excellent books as well as greatly improved her writing skills.
    Mrs. Bailes provided constant feedback as my daughter worked to improve each paper she wrote. It was obvious that Mrs. Bailes cares deeply about her students and desires for them to grow and succeed.

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Instructor Bio

Colette Bailes

This will be the sixth year Mrs. Bailes has taught for AIM Academy. Colette Bailes has been teaching homeschooled students and supporting home educators for 25 years. She was the founding middle grades English teacher at Creative Home Educators Support Service (CHESS) in Pennsylvania, where she taught fourteen years. Colette homeschooled her own five children: two are currently pursuing doctoral degrees, one received a Fulbright research fellowship, one has finished law school, and the youngest will graduate from college in 2016. She is known for compassion and warmth as well as the academic excellence she inspires in her students.

Intro to Literature and Academic Writing



All classes taught by Colette Bailes