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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High School Simplified Writing 1: Strong Foundational Writing Skills (HS 9-2)

Make your writing strong & clear — and master the most critical foundations needed for excellent high school writing, including writing for an audience and purpose, perfecting word choice, strong sentences & paragraphs, linear writing, rhetoric, transitions, and more. Take the 9-1 course with this course to gain a full semester’s credit for writing!

Total classes: 8

Prerequisite: Required: Registered for High School Essential Writing 1: Essential Punctuation and Grammar I (HS 9-1) or a passing grade from the AWA Writing Assessment, https://awa.homeschoolconnections.com/assessments/.

Suggested grade level: 9th grade; however, all high school students are welcome.

Suggested credit: One-half (½) of a semester’s credit for Writing or English.
Combine with High School Essential Writing 1: Essential Punctuation & Grammar I (HS 9-1) for one (1) full semester’s credit. When combined with the 9-1 course, this course is worth one (1) full semester’s credit for writing.

Special notes: Due to the popularity of this course, it is offered during several different time slots in the fall. Choose the slot that works best for you. This is the second of a 4-part series. Continue with the HS 9 Series (9-3 and 9-4) for a full year’s credit for writing.

Special note 2: Because courses in the AWA program are sequential, for your student’s success, it is required that your student take the 9-1 course, or pass the AWA Writing Assessment, before enrolling in this course. Students will be held accountable for all of the punctuation and grammar taught in the previous course. If your student is unable to take the previous courses LIVE, then at a minimum, he or she can watch the recordings on Unlimited Access before taking this course. An alternative to the prerequisite: a passing assessment from the Aquinas Writing Advantage Assessment service. Please contact info@[email protected] for any questions on permissions.


In this foundational course, you can gain the skills that make writing strong and clear, lacking nothing—to articulate ideas well in writing for all of high-school-level work. The most important foundations of high school writing are introduced and discussed, and students learn the keys to perfecting strong sentences and paragraphs; learn nine basic forms of rhetoric; focus on linear academic writing for a purpose; practice transitions and connectives, parallelism, paraphrasing, and summary; review punctuation as it influences excellence in writing (comma, semicolon, colon, and dash use); learn how to recognize and correct common grammar struggles; understand the characteristics of an effective introduction, body, and conclusion; learn prewriting, drafting, and editing skills; and practice sculpting a piece of writing with direction, receiving specific feedback from the instructor.


Class 1: Audience, purpose, and word choice
Class 2: Perfecting strong sentence and paragraph construction
Class 3: Nine forms of rhetoric (and what they have to do with great writing)
Class 4: Linear writing for a purpose; more how-to’s for crafting strong sentences and paragraphs
Class 5: How to use transitions, connectives, and parallelism to make writing cohesive
Class 6: Punctuation and excellent writing: the comma, colon, semicolon, and dash; conquering common grammar struggles
Class 7: Key components of an essay/paper; the introduction, body, conclusion, hook, and thesis; prewriting for success
Class 8: Drafting for success; editing and polishing your writing

Materials and Homework

Course Materials: The same textbook is used for all four courses in the HS 9 series:

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): 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. Expect an estimated two (2) to four (4) hours per week for homework outside of class time, depending on the student’s ability; homework includes reading, writing, and responding to feedback.

Important Dates

Class Meetings:

Wednesdays, October 16 to December 11, 2024. (No class Nov. 27 for Thanksgiving break)
11:30 AM Eastern (10:30 Central; 9:30 Mountain; 8:30 Pacific)


Wednesdays, October 16 to December 11, 2024. (No class Nov. 27 for Thanksgiving break)
1:00 PM Eastern (Noon Central; 11:00 Mountain; 10:00 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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