Ernest Hemingway once famously said that “Prose is architecture. It’s not interior design.” Well-known for the sparsity and tight structure of his prose, this is no surprise. That said, there are a number of other writers (and readers) who would no doubt argue with this. Where would most poems be without the aesthetics of both architecture and interior design? Without carefully placed images or artfully extended comparisons then what would the prose of Alice Walker or the soliloquies of Shakespeare be? 


Structures of and within literature create and define it: plot has expectations, sonnets have 14 lines, metaphysicals have conceits, Graham Greene built paragraphs, and Hemingway crafted sentences.


Structures of prose and poetry are essential to understanding how literature is built and how that affects us as readers, but it can be so uninteresting to teach and learn. Teachers regularly report that it is one of the things with which they struggle the most and students are less likely to express interest in it or to choose it as something to explore or write about.  


This webinar will focus on the skills and ideas related to structure in literature and provide some strategies for engaging and exploring it. With the goal of making these things interesting and preparing students to examine and write about them, you’ll walk away ready to get into something that many never feel ready for.


Watch now!


Brandon Abdon has 20 plus years in education including 12 years as a high school English teacher, eight as a professor of English and Education, and eight as a curriculum developer and instructional coach. He also has more than 10 years of experience as a consultant and formerly worked as the lead director for the international Advanced Placement® program at the College Board. A fellow of the National Writing Project, Brandon believes in the power of writing daily in the classroom. He also knows that all students have a path to literacy when engaged and challenged suitably. He is the senior author of two textbooks: AP® Language and Composition (2020) and AP® Literature and Composition  (2021) coursebooks, both by AMSCO®. He is also a collaborator on a number of projects to support English teachers and their classrooms, including the Mosaic Slow-Conference project and The Garden of English. He holds advanced degrees in both English and Education—including a Doctorate in English —and certification as both a teacher and an administrator. During his full-time work in high school classrooms, he was recognized with the National Council of Teachers of English “High School Teacher of Excellence” award in 2010. He has taught courses at the University of Kentucky and Georgia State University, teaching courses including English Composition 1, Introduction to Literature, Literature for Teachers, Composition for Teachers, and others. He likes to read and play sports, but does both of them slowly and only one of them well. He has been married to his brilliant wife, Angela, since 2008 and has two sons, Hilton and Dorian.