Great Books and More

Many online tutors, schools, and texts now educate with a Great Books approach, encouraging students to engage with ideas from across millennia. I have developed over thirty core assignments from ancient through modern texts, and they can be used as-is or adapted for your particular readings. For example, a Shakespeare assignment may easily adapt to another Shakespeare play, or a comparison of Genesis and Gilgamesh could be applied to King David and Achilles.


The assignments are designed for an evaluated draft stage and then a final version of the essay, and the difficulty is roughly late middle school through high school, expecting at least eight assignments and their readings for a year's language arts curriculum. The final assignments can be 300-1000 words long and some are in essay-exam format. Within each era, assignments are drawn from the Progymnasmata with the addition of modern assignments like definition, comparison of two texts, research/analysis, and the essay exam.


The materials are provided as additions to a consultation so that I can help you strategize the best use of these assignments for your needs. Mixing and matching is encouraged, and with each order the Great Books Writing Prep tutorial is offered as a courtesy bonus.

Great Books Writing Assignments

Era Covered Readings
Bible (Daniel, Genesis), Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Herodotus, Oedipus Rex, Aristotle Poetics, Plutarch, Plato, Julius Caesar (Gallic War), Augustine Confessions
Christendom (Medieval/Renaissance/Puritan) Augustine Confessions, Beowulf, Shakespeare (Henry V), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Inferno, Canterbury Tales, Doctor Faustus, Pilgrim's Progress, Paradise Lost, poetry
Austen, Dickens, Romantic Poetry, history or biography, John Buchan (Greenmantle), The Great Gatsby or To Kill a Mockingbird, assorted short stories
All - Great Books Writing Prep
Free with the order of one or more of the above, a step-by-step treatment of the writing tasks involved in the assignments. Includes brief quizzes and exercises.

Great Books Writing

Choose the item(s) desired from the variations below. Cost represents handling and brief consultation to help you make best use of the materials.

Please include with your order a note about how you would like to use the materials, and I will correspond with you briefly, or in a phone call of up to a half hour for an order of $100 or more


Other Resources for Writing

FREE DOWNLOAD! An Introduction to Research Writing

Almost three decades ago I wrote a tutorial for younger students, to spare them the agony of the traditional term paper - juggling a long essay, bibliography, note cards, multiple sources, and unfamiliar subject matter. I introduced this step-by-step friendly guide to Veritas Scholars Academy online in the five years I taught there, and I believe it is still being used.

The Report: A Simple Start
A tutorial for younger students
Microsoft Word Document 144.5 KB

Building Great Sentences

These 24 exercises are provided by permission of Professor Landon and may be requested for just a handling fee if you have purchased the book. (Click on the cover for the Amazon version of the book or the recommended Great Courses version of the course.)

Building Great Sentences Exercises

Handling fee for this downloadable resource for those who have purchased Landon's book and/or course.


  • Available
  • Ships within 1-3 days

Apprenticeship Writing Workshop

This advanced course is a great follow-up to the Progymnasmata and makes use of Greg Roper's excellent text. (Use the "See Inside" feature on Amazon to learn more). The exercises are organized and designed for evaluation at each stage, which may be arranged with consultation.

Apprenticeship Writing Workshop Exercises

Handling fee for this downloadable resource for using Roper's book. Consultation available for evaluations of the work.


  • Available
  • Ships within 1-3 days

Other Materials, Available With Consultation