The Course

In 10 weeks (in six during the summer), students will have the crucial tools, ideas, tactics, and resources to write an essay they could submit for an Oxford tutorial. They will understand essay mechanics and the necessity of big picture (and theological) thinking to craft superb essays.

Students will tackle each of these steps with both exercises and an actual essay:

  • analyzing a question or problem
  • brainstorming answers 
  • reading and note-taking
  • developing arguments and an outline
  • writing the different parts of the essay (introduction, body, conclusion) 
  • revising (including style and grammar) drafts, and finally
  • defending their essay to their tutor

Students will also go beyond mere writing mechanics to reflect on their writing mentality and the larger analytical and theological frameworks necessary for generating ideas and arguments characteristic of a junior scholar. (Register Here)

Famous Oxford Radcliffe Camera

Students will dig into numerous curated resources from books, articles, and the web, including videos of world class writing professors and Oxford students (providing their own tips and tricks). These resources will not only help them in completion of the course, but provide a repertoire for later essay writing and academic work. 

The summer term meets on Mondays and Thursdays from 2:00-4:00pm EST/11:00am-1:00pm PST starting on June 3rd and runs through July 11th. During the regular school year, class will meet two hours per week for ten weeks online (on Thursday or Friday afternoons), and students can attend the professor's office hours as well as receive frequent feedback from the professor and their peers. Students who complete all of the homework will earn half a Carnegie unit of credit in writing and thinking. Cost: $1000 , $880 (12% off launch discount).


  • When: June 3rd-July 11th, Mondays & Thursdays, 2:00-4:00pm EST/ 11:00am-1:00pm PST
  • Where: Live, Online Course
  • Cost: $880
  • Credit: half a Carnegie unit of credit
  • Register Here

But, why an Oxford essay?

Because many great writers have cultivated and employed the essay in various forms (whether ancient authors like Plutarch or Augustine to modern writers like Montaigne or Baldwin), the essay has many shapes and shades. Why take a course on “the Oxford essay”? There are several reasons, but for now, the big reason.

The type of essay an Oxford tutor expects from a student is different from the typical essay taught in American educational settings. The tutor expects the student to show independent, critical thinking. The tutor wants to know what the student thinks on a given question or issue. What does that mean?

In American education, when a student needs to write an essay it is usually to demonstrate that they grasp the course material the teacher wants them to ingest. The essay shows the teacher that the student has that information in her head and is all put together correctly. It looks for basic comprehension.

At Oxford, the essay does not demonstrate mere comprehension, but reasoning and weighing the higher order matters of argumentation and framework analysis, not regurgitation of material back to the tutor.

The Oxford essay and the processes that go into writing one is a robust educational exercise that integrate close reading, careful research, rigorous argumentation, and articulate writing (with revision). And these are highly transferable skills! 

Students who master this craft and its skillset will use them in other types of writing, whether personal, academic, or professional. Perhaps most immediately and tangibly, mastering an Oxford essay will help in writing the essay portion of the SAT, college application essays, college papers, and exam essays. 

However, the ability to write well is closely tied to thinking, and being able to clearly articulate ideas, beliefs, and complex issues to others knows no bounds when it comes to usefulness in life.