This is our catalog of courses. We will occasionally adjust the course listing to reflect the addition of new courses and the retirement of others. 

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Advanced Rhetoric & Writing 1: Rhetoric, Figures of Speech, Essays, & Papers (HS 12-1)

Join this advanced college-prep writing course and learn how to write in the nine rhetorical modes, with dozens of rhetorical techniques and devices to make your writing strong. Much of this course is equivalent to first-year college writing, so you can get what it takes to write excellent college-level essays and papers now. Be sure to sign up for 12-2 for a complete year of senior-level college-prep writing.

Total classes: 10

Prerequisite: Required: High School Essential Writing 1-4 (HS 9-1, 9-2, 9-3, & 9-4).
Recommended: High School Vocabulary and Writing 1 & 2 (HS 10-1 & 10-2).
Students may take the prerequisites in Unlimited Access recording or LIVE. An alternative to the prerequisite: a passing assessment from the Aquinas Writing Advantage Assessment service. Please contact [email protected] for any questions on permissions.

Suggested grade level: 10th to 12th grade, as long as the student has the required prerequisites.

Suggested credit: One (1) full semester’s credit for Advanced Writing or English

Special Notes: This course only takes 15 students per time slot, so sign up early to ensure a seat. Choose the day and time that works best for your family. This is the first of a 2-part series. Continue with HS 12-2 in the spring for a full year of Advanced Writing. The 12-series courses are foundational for all high school students and essential for college-bound students.

Special Note 2: This course is considered an advanced writing course. As such, there is a greater amount of homework due each week — and students are expected to have the skills of the 9-Series FOUNDATIONS courses and the 10-Series and 11-Series DEVELOPMENT courses here at the Aquinas Writing Advantage program. If you have not taken the previous courses, a passing assessment from the Aquinas Writing Advantage Assessment service is also acceptable. It will help the assessment student’s success to watch (or review) the 9-3 and 9-4 courses before taking this course.


Give your teen the advanced skills to make writing strong and clear. In this course, your student will learn how to use foundational college writing skills—including in-depth use of the nine basic forms of rhetoric (rhetorical modes); identifying and using major rhetorical strategies and figures of speech; and pre-writing, drafting, and editing a comparison and contrast paper. Students will also use advanced writing methods for a paper’s hook, thesis, introduction, body, conclusion, and key rewriting skills with specific, individual feedback from the instructor. Vocabulary related to upper-level writing will be introduced and integrated into the learning. Specific class time will be used to show how to edit and revise upper-level work. This course content is a prerequisite for many colleges for college-bound students.


Class 1: The academic paper; advanced academic writing with strong thesis construction, hooks, and introductions
Class 2: Rhetorical Mode 1: Narration; rhetorical strategies and figures of speech (tropes, aposiopesis, apostrophe, chiasmus, epithet)
Class 3: Rhetorical Mode 2: Comparison and Contrast; creating a thesis and hook for your paper
Class 4: Rhetorical Mode 3: Illustration and Exemplification; rhetorical strategies and figures of speech (litotes, zeugma, euphemism, idiom)
Class 5: Rhetorical Mode 4: Description; drafting your paper’s outline
Class 6: Rhetorical Mode 5: Process Analysis; rhetorical strategies and figures of speech (hyperbole, metonymy, metaphor, mixed metaphor, extended metaphor); prewriting for papers
Class 7: Rhetorical Mode 6: Definition; rhetorical strategies and figures of speech (bathos, caricature, Deus ex machina, epiphany), and your paper’s rough draft
Class 8: Rhetorical Mode 7: Cause and Effect; advanced methods of draft revision 1
Class 9: Rhetorical Mode 8: Division and Classification; advanced methods of draft revision 2; formatting advanced academic works (brief style guide introduction)
Class 10: Rhetorical mode 9: Argumentation and integrating rhetorical strategies into upper-level writing

Materials and Homework

Course Materials: Simplified Writing 101: Top Secrets for College Success, by Erin Brown Conroy:
Buy the hard copy of the book here: http://amzn.to/2FMCose
OR, buy the Kindle version of the book here (Download the FREE Kindle app to easily read on your computer, tablet, or mobile device): https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00B7AB90W/catholictreas-20

Microsoft Word or the ability to convert a document to a Word-compatible document is required. If you do not own Microsoft Word, you can use a system such as Google Docs that converts to Word documents FREE.

Homework: Students will have weekly writing assignments with grading and direct feedback from the instructor. Estimate four (4) to five (5) hours per week for homework (outside of class time); this includes reading, writing, and responding to instructor feedback.

Important Dates

Starting Dates and Times:

Mondays, September 9 to December 2, 2024. No class Sept. 30, Oct. 28, & Nov. 25.
10:00 AM Eastern (9:00 Central; 8:00 Mountain; 7:00 Pacific)

Duration per class: 55 minutes

Choose from courses in all subject areas for your upper grade school, middle school, and high school student—taught by worldwide experts in Catholic education.
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