The Writer’s Workshop takes an approach to teaching writing that is new only because it is so old. Today, rhetoric and composition typically proceed by ignoring what was done for 2,500 years in Western education. Gregory Roper, on the other hand, helps students learn to write in the way the great writers of the past themselves learned: by carefully imitating masters of the craft, including Cicero, Thomas Aquinas, Charles Dickens, Sojourner Truth, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemingway. By living in their workshops and apprenticing to these and other masters, apprentice writers—like apprentice musicians, painters, and blacksmiths of the past—will rapidly improve the complexity of their art and discover their own native voices.
Interspersed into chapters full of sound practical advice and challenging assignments are reflections on Great Ideas from “Realism and Impressionism” to “Nominalism and Modern Science.” Perfect for the college or even high school writing classroom—as well as a marvelous book for homeschoolers and others who would like to improve their own writing—The Writer’s Workshop is a fine practical guide, and Dr. Roper a friendly yet demanding teacher-mentor.