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Self-Study Short Course for the Great Books

Miniature painting of Dante Alighieri by Betsy Marsch

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

- T.S. Eliot


Students learning about the Great Books, or studying meaningful literature and history, are facing their first big essays about this time in the semester. In September and October I met with a few students online to go through a thirty-page document* I have used for almost two decades to help Great Books students prepare for their essays.


The course Writing Skills for Literature and History, offered through the education website WizIQ, allows students to work independently through the material in about five sessions, with the help of 30-50-minute audio-video-Power-Point recordings of our meetings this year. Topics include thesis, comparison, description, strong verbs, quotation techniques, and the all-important introduction and conclusion. The course can be completed within a week but is easily spread out over several weeks. It is appropriate for grade 7 through early college years and could be of great use to homeschooling parents and new (or weary) teachers.


Click here to explore Writing SKills for Literature and History .


Please consider enrolling in this brief course, just $30, and let me know in the comments or via email if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing your favorite writing assignment - each student is encouraged to choose one to send for private evaluation.


*P.E.P Talk, in its original form, adapted for this course

(Painting image courtesy Betsy Marsch. TS Eliot, a minuscule 1" x 1.25")


Meet Me in a Late Fall Workshop!

Miniature painting of Dante Alighieri by Betsy Marsch

We've just finished several weeks of Writing Workshop for Great Books Essays, and as I look at the calendar I realize our best bet for the weeks of the holiday season will be to have some low-key free online writing workshops and office hours. We will spend the first half hour of each meeting doing some fun and easygoing writing workshop activities, and the second half hour talking about whatever you like--my courses, your writing work for me or for other teachers, or whatever occurs to you.


For the remainder of October and November (except Thanksgiving week), and through December 15, we will meet on Monday mornings at 9:00 Eastern time, or Tuesday evenings at 9:00 Eastern time. Each week will bring new workshop exercises.


In January, probably beginning the second half of the month, we will begin a new workshop course, Thesis Craft: The Guiding Force of the Essay. Details will follow . . .


If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments below, and I will be glad to help.

( Image of maples courtesy Glenn Marsch, )


Those Who Can, Write (and Teach)

Pencil sketch of a 19th-century woman holding a book, standing under a tree with fall foliage, in a cultivated field
Preliminary sketch for the cover of ROSETTE

"And what shall poor me do? I never wrote a composition in my life." - Rosette Cordelia Ramsdell, September 1856


Because I have reduced teaching duties this year, I have been able to work on a long-dreamed project - the novel Rosette. It is based on a real journal and the true history of this young woman from pioneer Michigan, and I invite you to learn more - and join my email list for updates - at .

(Pencil sketch courtesy Betsy Marsch)


Writing Assessment Services

Cindy Rinaman Marsch

154 Dight Road

Slippery Rock, PA  16057