The Elegant Essay Writing Lessons might serve as the composition strand of your language arts instruction for a school year. The course should take about twelve to fourteen weeks to complete and targets students in grades 6 through 12. Students need to be able to construct paragraphs that include topic and closing sentences before beginning this course. You can adapt your expectations for younger or older students, demanding more thoughtful and researched content and presentation from those students with better skills. You can also require documentation of sources by older students. (Instructional information is included for those who want to teach MLA formatting.)
The course is designed to be presented by a teacher, but it will work either in a group class or one-on-one with a single student. It requires some discussion and interaction, and group input on the discussion should be very helpful. Teachers need not be skillful writers themselves since lessons include very detailed plans along with samples/models and evaluation tools. I especially appreciate Myers' inclusion of sections on “Lesson specific issues” in many of the lessons; here she points out common pitfalls and suggests specific strategies that should help both teachers and students.
While The Elegant Essay works especially well for those who have already used Teaching Writing: Structure and Style (from IEW), it is not dependent upon it. However, it reflects TWSS's emphasis on structured formats using specific methods as well as on interesting stylistic techniques.
The course consists of a student book and a teacher's manual. The teacher's manual has instructions for teaching each lesson, sample compositions, an answer key, a sample schedule, and suggestions for evaluation and grading. The consumable student book includes instructional information, exercises, and models.
The Elegant Essay Writing Lessons is definitely Christian with its Christian worldview assumptions, frequent references to God, quotations from Scripture, and writings from Charles Spurgeon.