At the heart of effective writing is the ability to develop and sustain a clear train of thought. This acclaimed year-long writing course is designed to help students develop the missing skills — the writing tools and know-how needed to organize and express their ideas. To better understand the essay form, students they not only produce and revise their own essays; they read closely and analyze dozens of essays by really fine writers. — Please note: This course serves as a precursor to our course Essay Writing & Appreciation.
The emphasis of this course is writing essays that produce insight: those fleeting, intuitive leaps and connections we all make at some point — magic glimpses of understanding, and even wisdom.
Students in this course are trained, first, to notice and record their own observations and insights; second, to explore them in the form of essays. For inspiration, they not only read and analyze splendid essays by fine writers; they maintain a commonplace book of their own observations.
This weekly online class is taught by the author of The Writer's Guide to Grammar. It provides complete training in English grammar, usage, and punctuation — but with a twist: Roy Speed emphasizes the topics that writers actually need to know. He teaches grammar principles not for their own sake, but as requisites for important writing tools — as keys to perceiving both:
- how our language works;
- what makes writing effective.
These online sessions provide an in-depth study of this play as well as the historical, cultural, and literary background needed to bring the play to life. This course takes students to an advanced level of reading comprehension and analysis. It strengthens the skills needed to tackle sophisticated material across the curriculum and even dissect difficult passages included in standardized tests.
Hamlet — Ten online sessions
For students, Hamlet can seem daunting — it's Shakespeare's longest play, with dark themes, complex ideas, and difficult verse. This course makes the play accessible and, in ten online sessions, reveals the play's deepest secrets. This course in close reading provides an in-depth study of the play some consider Shakespeare's greatest.
Prerequisites: Students should already have some familiarity with Shakespeare. Our own College-Bound Intensive on Romeo & Juliet is ideal preparation for this course.
Macbeth — Seven online sessions
It may be Shakespeare's shortest tragedy, but Macbeth is packed with some of his most compelling imagery and finest verse. This series of seven sessions is for students who already have some familiarity with Shakespeare and seek greater depth. The emphasis is on close reading, and students also become familiar with 1) Shakespeare's sources for the play, and 2) the most interesting movie versions.
Prerequisites: Students should already have considerable familiarity with Shakespeare. Our own College-Bound Intensive on Romeo & Juliet is ideal preparation for this course.
This new online series comprises eight sessions on one of Shakespeare's finest comedies. Twelfth Night satirizes unrequited love, mocks sanctimony and snobbery, and celebrates the simple pleasures of ordinary life. This course serves as an introduction to Shakespeare's comedy, and it is also a course in close reading — students become acquainted with Shakespeare's vocabulary and verse and get practice in important skills, like annotating the text.
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