All Star Review

All-Star ReviewsReview: The Basic Cozy Essay Course

Reviewed October 2003

SynopsisThe Basic Cozy Essay Course features a series of five easy-to-follow filmed essay tutorials  and an online 177 page companion notebook. A retired schoolteacher, Marie, walks you through the mechanics of essay writing, including a basic formula for writing an essay. She presents a step-by-step tutorial on writing a research essay and an expository essay, complete with footnotes and bibliography. The companion notebook goes into more detail on these and other types of essays including: Expository, Argumentative, Informal, Review, Literary, Character Analysis, Cause & Effect, Comparison/Contrast, Definition, Personal Narrative, and Admissions Essays. Sample essays are also included.

Age-Appropriateness: The simplified method taught can be applied to different subjects and grade levels.

Educational Value: Essay writing is a necessary part of a student’s life and this program provides a valuable resource for the many assignments students will face from the elementary level to the college level. The examples are helpful, and the simple formula makes the whole process less intimidating.

Graphics/Sound: English courses can be dry or dull but that is not the case with this program. The location shots of the beautiful Pacific Northwest and the gentle, soothing classical music helps hold the attention of most age groups. Also, the course uses colorful graphics to clarify examples.

Pros: The Basic Cozy Essay Course uses a winning formula for teaching the basics of essay writing. The comfortable manner of presentation is easy to understand, thorough, and entertaining.

Cons: Some might consider the program slow and repetitive, though repetition does reinforce learning and you come away from the lessons familiar with the concepts taught.

Conclusion: The Basic Cozy Essay Course takes the mechanics of grammar and punctuation taught in previous programs (The Basic Cozy Grammar Course and The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course) and applies them to the practical challenge of writing an essay. After watching the DVD, my college-age son revised an argumentative essay which he had written the day before, and the subsequent results were more professional and polished. Another child (my 14 year old daughter) commented that the formula taught would also be useful in preparing speeches and talks. Overall, this is a most useful program.

Ages: Recommended for ages 12 to adult

Rating (out of 5): All-Star Reviews 4.5 Stars