Cozy English Courses

The Basic Cozy Essay Course
on Video or DVD

Appropriate for ages 12 to adult


Essay Course A large number of people are never taught how to write an essay - even university and college students find themselves among this number. Join Marie, a retired English teacher, for a series of relaxed tutorials that will demystify essay writing. In this course Marie utilizes her neighbor's charming garden and a walk among the tidal pools on the beach to supply you with the tools for writing an essay.


Please click on the links below to read detailed descriptions of each lesson and to view video stills.

Introduction - Importance of Essay Format

Lesson 1 - What is an Essay?

Lesson 2 - Research Essay

Lesson 3 - Essay Presentation

Lesson 4 - Expository Essay

Lesson 5 - Final Thoughts on Essay Writing

Product Reviews

Essay Main Page

Synopsis Index 

Next Lesson

Styles of Essays Covered in the Companion Notebook

1.The Admissions Essay

Many colleges and universities require an admissions essay as part of the entrance application. An admissions essay is a personal essay (usually 500 to 1000 words) designed to tell the admissions committee something about you that test scores and fill-in-the-blank information cannot tell. An admission essay is your opportunity to show that you are exceptional. Choose a topic that will grab the reader's attention. Remember that the reader may have hundreds or even thousands of essays to read. Make yours memorable.

Topics can include:

1.something about you (personality traits; special skills; favorite books, movies, music, art, that have influenced you).

2.something you have done (sports, clubs, extraordinary experiences, difficulties, successes, travel.)

3.something you plan to do (career, dreams, and desires, persons past and present who have influenced your future direction).

4.a personal story (what I learned from my pet, a moving moment on a nature trip, an experience that changed my life).

NOTE: In your essay do not include information that is already on the application form like age, test scores, etc.

2.The Cause/Effect Essay

The function of the cause/effect essay is to discuss a condition or situation. It asks the questions why? (the cause) and what is the result? (the effect).

3.The Character Analysis Essay

The function of the character analysis essay is to focus on a specific character or characters in literature, in history, or still living. Your evaluation of the character should be based upon what the character says, does, and what other characters say about him/her.

4.The Comparison/Contrast Essay

The function of the comparison/contrast essay is to show the differences and/or similarities between two persons, places, things, or ideas, etc.

5.The Definition Essay

The function of the definition essay is to define a topic both concretely (by the dictionary) and abstractly (by imagination ,imagery, or personal impressions).

6.The Expository or Demonstrative Essay

The function of the expository essay is to explain, or to acquaint your reader with a body of knowledge.

7.The Informal Essay

The function of the informal essay is mainly for enjoyment. It can be both informative or persuasive but with a casual expression of opinion, observation, or humor. A good informal essay has a relaxed style but retains a strong format. In an informal essay you are speaking directly to the reader in a conversational style.

8.The Literary or Response Essay

The function of the literary essay is to adopt a position with regard to the assigned topic, and to illustrate, with examples from the text, how these examples support your opinions. This essay style is used mainly in the English department. The literary essay addresses such specifics as: structure, character, style, theme, tone, and subtext. Your essay should demonstrate that you understand the author's message.

9.The Personal Narrative Essay

A personal narrative essay relates a personal experience that has somehow affected a change in the writer. It illustrates the lesson learned from the experience and how this lesson has affected the present, and even the future, point-of-view of the writer.

10.The Persuasive or Argumentative Essay

The function of the persuasive essay is to defend one side of an argument. You do not just explain; you convince your reader. You must make a case, consider and refute alternative arguments, and prove that your opinion is the best one. It is important to be aware of the arguments of other sides and to be fair to them.

Another style of persuasive essay is to present all sides of an argument. In this case you become the moderator adopting a neutral position and allowing the reader to form his/her own opinion.

11.The Research Essay

The function of the research essay is to compare the thoughts of published authors with your own thoughts. You must learn to synthesize the authors' ideas with your own. Avoid using a string of quotations because it weakens your essay by diluting your own ideas. The research essay requires footnotes and a bibliography.

12.The Review Essay

The function of the review essay is to determine whether a new book or play has achieved something new and significant. The formality of the review will be determined by how much of the essay is analysis, how much is summary, and how much is your reaction to the work.

Essay Main Page

Synopsis Index

Next Lesson

The Basic Cozy Essay Course is a comprehensive, easy-to-follow curriculum for: home schooling; private tutoring; ESL students and teachers; adult literacy applications; public and private school teachers; university and college students; and, is ideal for the independent learner. The award-winning format addresses audio, visual, and tactile learning styles.

The Course comes complete with one indexed DVD or one VHS video tape featuring: an Introduction; a description of what an essay is; a basic formula for writing an essay; a step-by-step tutorial on writing a research essay with footnotes and bibliography; a tutorial on presentation; a step-by-step tutorial on writing an expository essay; a conclusion; and,  a  companion notebook. The 177 page reproducible Companion Notebook  features: study notes; the two essays that are presented on screen; a sample assignment; and, explanations and samples of ten other styles of essays. 52 minutes of on-screen instruction.


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