Language Arts: Institute for Excellence in Writing Review

IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing): An Innovative Approach to Building Writing Skills

The Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) is a well-known and widely-used writing curriculum designed to improve students' writing skills.

IEW's distinctive method offers the framework necessary for students to gain confidence in the writing process. It gradually steers them toward increased independence and creativity. Throughout the program, students acquire proficiency in nine structural models, including note-taking, paragraph writing, storytelling, creating reports, using pictures for writing, conducting research reports, engaging in creative writing, crafting essays, and offering critiques. Moreover, stylistic techniques such as strong verbs, quality adjectives, and sentence openers are introduced progressively, gently transitioning students from fundamental skills to more advanced writing.

The following is a basic review with links to more in-depth examinations:


  • Philosophy: IEW follows a methodology that emphasizes structure and style in writing. The approach is systematic and aims to provide students with tools to express themselves effectively in writing.
  • Target Audience: IEW caters to a broad range of students, from elementary to high school level. It is used by both homeschooling families and traditional schools.

Products and Resources:

  • Teaching Materials: IEW offers a variety of teaching materials, including teacher guides, student books, and DVDs.
  • Structure and Style for Students: This is a core program that focuses on teaching students to write with structure and style. It covers various types of writing, including essays, stories, and reports.
  • Fix It! Grammar: IEW provides a grammar curriculum called Fix It! Grammar, which combines grammar and editing skills with writing.
  • Advanced Communication Series: For high school students and advanced writers, IEW offers an Advanced Communication Series, which covers topics like essay writing, literary analysis, and debate.
  • Live Classes and Workshops: IEW conducts live classes and workshops, both in-person and online, providing additional support and instruction.


  • Clear Methodology: IEW's structured approach provides a clear methodology for teaching writing. It breaks down the writing process into manageable steps, making it accessible for students.
  • Emphasis on Style: The program places a strong emphasis on developing a personal style of writing. Students are encouraged to express themselves creatively within the bounds of a structured framework.
  • Applicability Across Subjects: IEW's writing skills can be applied across various subjects, helping students communicate effectively in other areas of their education.
  • Versatility: IEW is versatile and can be adapted for use in different educational settings, including homeschooling and traditional classrooms.


  • Learning Curve: Some parents and students might find the IEW method to have a learning curve, especially if they are accustomed to more traditional approaches to writing instruction.
  • Cost: While IEW provides a comprehensive curriculum, the cost of the materials and courses might be a consideration for some families.
  • Not a Complete English Program: While IEW excels in teaching writing, it is not a complete English language arts curriculum. Parents may need to supplement with additional resources for grammar, reading, and other language arts skills.

Reviews and Reception:

  • Positive Feedback: Many homeschooling families and educators appreciate the systematic and structured approach of IEW. The emphasis on style and creativity within a framework is often highlighted as a strength.
  • Success Stories: Numerous success stories and testimonials are available on the IEW website, showcasing the positive impact the program has had on students' writing skills.
  • Community and Support: IEW has a community of educators and parents who share ideas, resources, and support through forums and workshops.

Links to External Reviews


In conclusion, the Institute for Excellence in Writing is a comprehensive writing curriculum with a clear methodology and a focus on developing individual style within structured writing. It has been widely used and positively reviewed by many homeschooling families and educators. However, as with any curriculum, its suitability may vary based on the learning styles and preferences of individual students. Prospective users may find it helpful to attend workshops, explore sample materials, and consider their own teaching philosophy before making a decision.Top of Form

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