The Lost Tools of Writing (Level 1)

Class time: Tuesdays, 10:30-11:30am EST
Cost: $225/semester
Tutor: Jessica Shao
Required materials: The Lost Tools of Writing Level 1 Student Workbook; The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (any edition)
Recommended Age: 12 years old and up

“I don’t know what to write!”
“What do you mean by elaborate? I did elaborate!”
“Writing is boring.”
“I don’t know how to start my essay.” 

These are some of the most common complaints from students facing writing assignments. One of the biggest reasons why students often find writing difficult is because they have not mastered the three most important tools of writing. In classical composition, these three tools are: invention (coming up with ideas), arrangement (organizing ideas), and elocution (expressing the ideas appropriately). In this course, students will learn these three tools early on and receive step-by-step guidance for applying them to essay writing. This 2-semester course will focus on writing the persuasive essay. By the end of the year, students will have completed 7 essays and will have learned the necessary skills of writing which they can then carry into many other writing tasks, including exam essays, college-level papers, and speech writing.

This course does not assign extra reading material in order to allow students to integrate their other school subjects into their writing if they so wish. Students are only asked to read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe before classes begin, because we will be using that book for in-class examples. We will meet once a week for one hour. This course is recommended for students age 12 and up. The estimated workload is 3 hours/week.

We strongly recommend that students participate in the Summer Writing Workshops on stylistic techniques. It will provide them with a helpful bank of stylistic ideas which they can then use for this course.