Marie Rackham in her hat, greeting you for the Basic Cozy Essay Course

Hosted by

Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma

Marie's Most Surprising Course

No one fails if they have the tools.

Have you been looking for an essay-writing curriculum that might actually inspire your students to writeHave you tried workbooks or other more conventional approaches only to throw up your hands when your kids or students want to throw them away?

Essays have gotten the reputation for being boring, intimidating, and difficult to write. At the same time, however, being able to write a strong essay can open the doors of education, knowledge, and life. The trick is having a solid understanding of the parts of an essay and how they fit together. Then writing essays can be exciting, fun, and joyful.

That's what Marie and Thomas offer in the Basic Cozy Essay Course: a clear essay format that can be used to write many different kinds of essays.

And as with the award-winning Basic Cozy Grammar Course and Basic Cozy Punctuation Course, Marie and Thomas guide students through this format in the context of home, nature, and even a trip to London!

I am SO thrilled to have found Cozy Grammar!

I am SO thrilled to have found Cozy Grammar! I’m a former high school English/Reading teacher turned home schooling mom. 🙂 My oldest two (twins) will be 11 next month, and I also have 9, 7, and 3 year olds. I’ve done a basic intro to grammar with my 10 year olds, but have lacked consistency. I LOVE Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education, so this is what we use in our home school. Last night I was perusing a new-to-me site called Cozy Grammar was linked in the section about grammar – and I was hooked!

I’m not exaggerating when I say I was in tears watching the intro video and the ABOUT section about Marie. She sounds like a lovely woman – someone I would have loved to have known. I can’t wait to start the course with my children!

Cherridon Akers
Homeschooling Mom, North Carolina

Marie's Approach

During her many years of teaching, Marie Rackham became a beloved mentor and guide to thousands of students at every level. And so they were often surprised to learn that she failed second-year university English three times. That's right, three times!

But the fourth time, she had a teacher who gave her what has become her teaching mantra: "No one fails if they have the tools." This teacher taught her what her other teachers had not: a clear essay format with which to formulate her ideas. With this format she went on to get an A and to major in English.

Now she shares this same format with you in her own inimitable way. Her beautiful and cinematic videos engage visual and auditory learners, and her study notes offer engaging real-world activities that tactile learners will appreciate.

In her beachside garden, students gain the confidence not only to write essays, but also to succeed in life.

Marie on the beach in front of her cozy beach cottage.

A teacher full of dramatic enthusiasm

A report to the District Superintendent of Schools about Marie Rackham as a classroom English teacher:

Marie Rackham’s teaching style might be best characterized by the phrase “dramatic.” She throws her total personality into instruction and as a consequence, receives the enthusiastic input of all of her students. As a result of this infectious enthusiasm, Mrs. Rackham undoubtedly draws many students who might otherwise be “turned off” in more traditional teaching formats. She doesn’t hesitate to take on students who do not fit the expectations of other teachers and has often been very successful in turning these students around. The standard of work submitted by her senior class is high and the expectations she sets are equally challenging. Her modified English class is marked by output not previously accomplished by these students. The informal framework of Mrs. Rackham’s lessons does not detract from the quality of the input nor the standard of the output; in fact the opposite can be said: the achievement is enhanced.

Don Muir, Secondary School Principal
Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada

Would just like to tell you that you’re important

I used to watch your DVDs as a kid. I’m 18 now, would just like to tell you that you’re important 🙂

Comment on our YouTube Channel

Here's an excerpt from the Introduction to the course in which Marie describes what happened when she first went to university and had to write an essay:

Thomas and Cozy Grammar for a New Generation

Throughout the course, in an entire set of additional new videos, Marie’s Cozy Language Consultant, Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma, takes students on a trip to London to deepen their appreciation of essay writing and of English.

He brings more than two decades of experience teaching internationally to the course and has received acclaim and awards for his inspirational way of approaching language. His published books include original poetry, translations from the Tamil language, and explorations of our relationship to the natural world.

He also hosts our Ask Cozy Grammar Live Q & A series and is always happy to offer his suggestions and advice to our students.


One of the things that makes the basic essay format that Marie and Thomas teach so powerful is that it can be adapted to any kind of essay. It allows students to take readers on a journey through their ideas, logically, coherently, and cogently, no matter what those ideas might be.

In fact, that's why all of his videos for this course take place in London, England.

Thomas wanted to show step by step, in a completely different setting, how to write two kinds of essays that are different from the ones that Marie walks students through.

The first kind of essay that he shows how to write is a persuasive or argumentative essay which answers a question you may be wondering yourself: Why go to London to talk about writing essays?

Here's an excerpt from his introduction:

Thomas also takes students to Leavesden Studios where the Harry Potter movies were made to walk them through a personal narrative essay about how J. K. Rowling's series has inspired many other kinds of creativity.

You won't want to miss it!

I built my language arts curriculum around Cozy Grammar

I am a public school 6th grade teacher and homeschooling Mom. I built my language arts curriculum around Cozy Grammar, and as a result the reading and writing skills of my students have improved considerably. Many of the students study music, so they also recognized and enjoyed the classical piano pieces.

6th Grade Teacher and Homeschooling Mom, Los Gatos, CA, USA

A refreshing change

This course is a refreshing change from regular texts and workbooks. The video captured my children’s attention and helped them to develop a better understanding of grammar. The written portion of the lessons is easy to work through once a lesson has been watched and learned.

Tania D.
Homeschooling Mom, British Columbia

The Course In a Nutshell


Each of the 5 lessons of the Basic Cozy Essay Course consists of a streaming video in which Marie delves into her basic essay format or into writing a sample essay using this format, and an additional video from Thomas in which he explores this format further in additional sample essays in the context of London, England.

These videos are supplemented by an online workbook with comprehensive study notes and written versions of all the 16 sample essays.

At the end of the course, students will have a solid basic essay format that they can use for writing 12 different kinds or styles of essays:

1. The Expository or Demonstrative Essay
2. The Research Essay
3. The Literary or Response Essay
4. The Persuasive or Argumentative Essay
5. The Cause/Effect Essay
6. The Character Analysis Essay
7. The Comparison/Contrast Essay
8. The Definition Essay
9. The Informal Essay
10. The Personal Narrative Essay
11. The Review Essay
12. The Admissions Essay

Not as daunting or traumatic as you may recall from your own school days!

Retired Canadian school teacher Marie Rackham does it again with her fun, UNintimidating way of teaching necessary English basics. The Basic Cozy Essay Course is a five-lesson, easy-to-follow course with separate tutorials ranging from four to 30 minutes in length. Considering these lengths, it’s easy to imagine how The Basic Cozy Essay Course will fit into your Language Arts teaching time, and mesh well with an overall curriculum.

The course is aimed at your students in 6th grade and up; even adults will benefit from Rackham’s fun teaching style. Her 30-day, money-back guarantee further reinforces her assurances that this style works and works well in teaching your 12-year-olds-and-up how to write essays. It’s not as daunting or traumatic as you may recall from your own school days! Really! Remember Rackham’s favorite teaching slogan, learned from a college professor and earned from her personal failures and triumphs: “No one fails if they have the tools.” With The Basic Cozy Essay Course, you’ll have those tools.

Rackham walks you through her garden, tidal pools, and the beach as she talks you through her well-tested, step-by-step method. Her warmth comes across the screen and her tone of voice is light and encouraging, nearly sing-song at points. She is quite articulate, and, though the format is not closed captioned, there are extensive on-screen graphics that, word by word, change colors to iterate her points throughout the presentation. This format tempts audio, visual, and tactile learners out of the natural shudderings that go with an essay assignment, and onto writing essays, even those with footnotes and bibliography. Your students may say, as my own daughter did, “This isn’t so hard after all!”

Reviewed by Deborah Deggs Cariker
Eclectic Homeschool Review

Who This Course is For


Families and Individual Learners


The Basic Cozy Essay Course is suitable for students in the equivalent of 6th grade and up and is particularly helpful for learners exploring the possibility of going to college. We've also had students even younger than that enjoy it, and have also had high-school age students, adult learners, and families who have benefited from the course.


Charter School Students


We actively partner with Charter Schools to offer our courses to their students. The following schools currently make our programs available to their learners:

If you don’t see your charter school listed, you can ask them to add us as a vendor and we’ll set up a partnership right away!


Schools, Homeschool Groups, and other Organizations


We also offer classroom and group licenses at reasonable rates. Please contact us for more information.

What You'll Get

  • A personal account on Cozy Grammar’s website with 24/7 access to all the course videos, study notes, sample essays, and printable PDFs, with up to four additional sub accounts for family members.
  • A video introduction and 5 extended comprehensive video lessons from Marie, optimized for viewing on every kind of device, from desktop and laptop computers to the latest tablets and smartphones.
  • A video introduction and 5 additional extended video lessons from Thomas, who takes us to London to explore essay writing further and to write two supplementary essays.
  • Detailed study notes with sample essays for all of the kinds of essays that Marie and Thomas discuss.
  • Printable PDFs of all study notes and sample essays, formatted to save paper.
  • A suggested 36-week schedule that you can modify and adapt if you so desire.
  • A classical music soundtrack designed to enhance learning, performed by Marie Rackham herself.
  • An official course completion certificate at the end of the course.
  • A free group Q & A session each month to ask Thomas directly any questions you may have about essay writing.

Two Ways of Working

The Basic Cozy Essay Course supports two distinct ways of learning at home.

For parents and teachers whose hands are already full, the course offers a fully self-contained curriculum that students can follow on their own.

For parents and teachers interested in being actively involved, the course also allows working through the course beside one's students. It can often be helpful to have someone to look at drafts of essays and offer suggestions.

But as Marie would say, “It’s up to you!”

Marie smiling with delight on the beach with seagulls behind her.

Additional Free Support


In this time when more students than ever are learning from home, we’ve added additional support in the form of a monthly online Q & A session that's free for all current students and families.

The call meets on Zoom and lasts for up to 1 hour. You can connect via your computer or even just your home phone.

You can learn more about the Q & A call in this video:

We're currently taking a break from our live sessions to film the supplementary videos for the revised and expanded version of the Intermediate Cozy Grammar Course, Levels 1 & 2

Please feel free, however, to continue sending in any questions you might have and Thomas will respond to them in an email.



Marie and Thomas have designed this course to meet the needs of students who want to be able to speak well, write well, and thrive in their studies and their life. However, the course also corresponds with the various state, national, and international educational standards for English Language Arts and Literacy.

It meets or exceeds, for instance, the Common Core Writing Standards for Grades 6-10, especially as students write the additional essays suggested in Lesson 5.

If you have a question about how The Basic Cozy Essay Course meets the requirements in your region or country or need specific documentation, please contact us and we’ll be happy to provide specific details.

Awards and Reviews


Cozy Grammar's courses have received some of the highest awards available to creators of educational videos:

Cozy Grammar has also received professional reviews in some of the world's most reputable journals, including:

Our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

If you're looking for an effective, creative, and heartfelt curriculum for learning how to write strong essays, we believe you'll be delighted with the Basic Cozy Essay Course.

However, if you're dissatisfied in any way, you are welcome to cancel your registration within 30 days of purchase and we'll issue you a complete refund.

And if you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us. We’ll get back to you right away!

Satisfaction Guarantee

Rates and Registration

In order to support students and families in these unusual times we're working to keep our rates as affordable as possible.

The Basic Cozy Essay Course (Lifetime): $80 $40 USD

Access for an individual or a family for as long as Cozy Grammar is around (20 years and counting!).

Basic Cozy Essay Course Group Edition

Please contact us for a custom quote!