The Humble Method

Avoiding the jargon for which English teachers are known and admired, The Humble Essay and The Humble Argument introduce students to college writing in down-to-earth, readable prose. These books don’t talk down to students — they talk to them — and that makes these books valuable assets for the composition classroom.

The Humble Essay, for introductory or pre-college courses, introduces the college essay and the process of educating oneself about any topic so that students can enjoy writing about anything — not just the topics they already care about. The Humble Argument, for freshman composition courses, introduces the college essay, argument, and the argumentative process more directly but still does so with an informal style that makes these ideas accessible to nonmajors.

These are books that your students will actually read and at times enjoy. However, they are written for your students and not for you. What you won’t find in either book is apparatus — sample assignments, discussion questions, sample papers, and so on. That keeps the cost down for your students and allows you the freedom to make each course your own endeavor.

See For Yourself

To see for yourself how Humble translates useful rhetorical concepts into accessible language, check out these samples:

The Humble Essay

The Humble Argument


From Actual Faculty

  • As a teacher of academic writing, who supposedly should have found [The Humble Essay] boring, I have to say that I enjoyed it. It even made some ideas clearer to me. His explanation of what a thesis statement is, how to formulate it, and how to organize your writing and reading around it is probably the most useful part of the book, and changed my own teaching of novice writers.
  • I liked how Humble breaks down the writing process in a simple way, and he asks students to flip what they’ve been doing/taught, which goes a little like this: 1) ask a good question, 2) decide on the best answer, 3) consider the evidence. For Humble, it is 1) ask a good question, 2) consider the evidence, 3) decide on the best answer. 3). This flip of 2 and 3 makes all the difference. In short, this text is asking students to be open to discovery rather than telling them how research and writing should go.

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From Actual Students

  • While most books that teach writing, critical thinking, or other English-related subjects are hard to read because you keep falling asleep, The Humble Argument is the opposite. At times I forgot I was reading a book that was designed to teach me how to improve my writing because it was so entertaining.
  • I started college nine years after high school. The Humble Argument did a great job of bringing back long forgotten lessons about writing and introducing new ones in an easy to understand and engaging way. It’ a great book for anyone new to academic writing or just struggling to understand how to do it right.
  • Humble has managed to strip the esoteric jabber out of writing textbooks, leaving behind a book that makes essay writing unintimidating and even fun. I know my writing has improved substantially from his advice.
  • Honestly, it’ the only textbook that I’ ever read from beginning to end.

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