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The Art of the Academic Essay

The Art of the Academic Essay
This class is currently archived, but if you're interested in it being taught again, you can express your interest here!
06/29/2020 - 08/21/2020
Summer Term
0.5 credits in Writing
Grades 10-12

Taught by:

About the course

Using Crider’s The Office of Assertion as our guide, we will study the rhetorical art of the academic essay. In this course, students will consider the nature of rhetoric as a liberal art and will practice the various stages of rhetorical composition including invention, organization, style, and revision. By the end of the course, students will produce a polished academic essay that analyzes a piece of literature.

Although this course will focus upon the literary essay, the principles learned are applicable across the humanities. Students will be prepared to write well both in high school and college.

Course Objectives:

  1. To understand and practice rhetoric as the art of persuasion.
  2. To understand and practice the stages of rhetorical composition.
  3. To understand and practice the elements of argument.
  4. To produce an elegant, academic (literary) essay.
  5. To analyze a work of literature via Socratic conversation.
  6. To analyze a work of literature via essay writing.


  • Crider, Scott F. The Office of Assertion: An Art of Rhetoric for the Academic Essay, ISI Books, 2005.

  • Tolstoy, Leo. The Death of Ivan Ilych. Translated by Ian Dreiblatt, Melville House Publishing, 2008.

Course Files

About the teacher

Dr. Scott Postma Scott served as a minister for 20 years and a Christian educator for 28 years. He holds degrees in the humanities, classical studies, religion and theology, English literature, and creative writing. He lives in North Idaho with his family.