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Continuing Education at PAFA

Pre-College Workshop

Pre-College: Persuasive Writing Workshop: Rhetorical Tools for Visual Rhetoric


with Brian Heston

Calendar Next available session starts Dec 5, 2020

Persuasive writing is essential in many fields. Researchers, policy makers, advertisers, critics and visual artists all must convince others to adopt their point of view, often in writing. 

For this two-day, weekend workshop, you will practice taking a position and supporting that position in an op-ed. To be persuasive, you cannot just write what you feel  -  you must educate yourself on the issues surrounding a position by finding and employing credible sources and then conveying information in a way that elicits an emotional response from your audience.

To practice this skill, we will focus on an ongoing cultural debate: is graffiti art or vandalism?  How we answer this question has huge ramifications for real people and communities. Writing a clear and persuasive answer will require students to take a position and defend it convincingly. Students are also free to develop an op-ed on another topic they are interested in.

You will meet with the teacher and fellow students live on Zoom from 10-11 AM on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday the teacher will guide you in op-ed writing, and on Sunday students will share their work with each other and receive feedback. Additional readings, resources, and feedback will be available on the learning management system, Canvas.


Learning Objectives:

  • Improve your ability to differentiate between informed and uninformed opinions       
  • Improve your ability to use source material to support a thesis
  • Improve your ability to write grammatically correct prose

Teacher Information:

Brian Heston is a faculty member in PAFA’s undergraduate liberal arts program with over 20 years of experience as a published writer and teacher. Learn more about him here:  

Need based scholarships are availble, apply here:

Parent/Guardian must fill out Student Information & Release Form BEFORE first day of class. 

International students are welcome! However, the registration process is different to support international payment systems. Please reach out to to register as an international student.

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