Classical Composition

Going back to the method of writing instruction used for over 2,000 years, Memoria Press’ Classical Composition teaches the student 14 composition skills, called the “Progymnasmata,” or “progym.” These skills are the set of elementary rhetorical exercises that form the basis of persuasive writing. They were employed by Quintilian and Cicero to teach writing and produced writers such as Milton, Shakespeare, and Benjamin Franklin. These classes move at an age-appropriate pace, and they provide your student with the tools to communicate with clarity and force. Never heard of the progymnasmata? Take a moment to explore this article, Introduction to the Progymnasmata or watch the short video descriptions at the bottom of this page.

6th-8th graders new to Memoria Press may benefit from an accelerated sequence through the first two levels. Please see the additional notes below* and speak to the Directors if this applies to your family. This can be accomplished over the summer in preparation for enrollment.

High school students new to Memoria Press will need to take the High School Composition I course offered through the Memoria Press Online Academy. Students may take one or more years with the Online Academy and then join an HLN class with their peers. Honors English 9 (or 10/11/12) Literature/Composition is the title you should use when combining an HLN Literature course with a Classical Composition course for one English credit on your student’s transcript.

Courses offered 2020-2021:

  • Fable
  • Narrative
  • Chreia/Maxim
  • Refutation/Confirmation
  • Common Topic
  • Encomium/Invective/Comparison
  • Characterization & Description

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Click on the links below to watch a short video describing each level.