While writing happens across the PUPP curriculum in the summer and throughout the school year, the Summer Institute writing courses are designed to develop specific writing skills and strategies. During their rising sophomore summer, scholars focus on the mechanics of good writing while developing persuasive and analytical essays using evidence. In their final (rising senior) summer, the writing workshop focuses on developing personal perspectives and voices as writers in order to craft personal statements for college applications.


Our Literature course seeks to examine how to read and why. We think about the process and purpose of reading, and the larger issues that subtend written texts. PUPP Literature assigns specific novels for each cohort and a collaborative effort to explore issues across cohort groups. Scholars explore their own understanding of complex themes and participate in the creation of original compositions and critiques, as well as an original dramatic event integrating their words with classic texts to create a unique collaborative production. Written assignments take the form of short responses designed to elicit questions and concerns in addition to areas of interest for class discussion. The course emphasizes a variety of reading experiences (assigned and independent) and a range of approaches (written, oral and dramatic) to engage the content and magic of literature. PUPP scholars have read novels, short fiction, plays and poetry from a range of authors, including Chimimanda Ngochie Adichie, Sherman Alexie, James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, Edwidge Danticat, Junot Diaz, Khaled Hosseini, Toni Morrison, Amy Tan and more.


During the rising junior summer, scholars take a double-block class in Sociology/Writing. The course gives scholars a broad introduction to the major themes and areas of research that sociologists explore – including the disparity in outcomes in terms of education, health and wealth across race, class and gender categories. As part of the course, scholars conduct independent research engaging with both large, publicly available data sets and research articles and constructing their own survey in order to create a 7-10 page research paper. The scholars present their research and findings during the annual Summer Institute Research Symposium.

Below we have a series of photos displaying our scholars engaging in class discussions and hard at work on their class assignments throughout their Writing, Literature and Sociology courses over the summer.