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 2: Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay (HS 9-4)

Go beyond writing standard essays to mastering the secrets of advanced essay writing, including different essay types, advanced brainstorming techniques, using parallelism, cohesive writing, bookending, and more. These must-have essay skills apply to all high school and college courses. Take the 9-3 course with this course to gain a full semester’s credit for writing.

Total classes: 8

Prerequisite: Required: Registered for High School Simplified Writing 1: Strong Foundational Writing Skills (HS 9-2). Recommended: High School Writing Essentials 2: Excellent Paragraphs & Essay Writing (HS 9-3). Because courses in the program are sequential, for your student’s success, it is required that your student take the 9-1 and 9-2 courses before enrolling in this course. Students will be held accountable for all content taught in the previous courses. 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. 

Alternative Prerequisite: A passing assessment from the Aquinas Writing Advantage Assessment service. Please contact h[email protected] for any questions on permissions.

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

Suggested credit: ½ semester Writing or English


The Five-Paragraph Essay has been the standard for essay writing for years — and in this course, your student will understand that there is so much more that’s necessary to be a competent writer and go beyond the typical form to learning what makes an essay exceptional. Students will craft essay assignments and practice becoming comfortable with thinking quickly in creating, drafting, and polishing essays. Special attention will be paid to how to write essays that capture the attention and flow from beginning to end, with meaning.


Class 1: Essay types and differences, and where you’ll write them

Class 2: The traditional five-paragraph essay

Class 3: What makes an essay great: researching an essay and brainstorming with the “then what?” question; taking your thoughts “to the end of the line”

Class 4: What makes an essay great: writing an essay and examples and analysis of form, parallelism, and rhythm

Class 5: What makes an essay great: transitional tricks, answering the reader’s questions, making cohesive decisions, and bookending

Class 6: What makes an essay great: storytelling and creative elements

Class 7: What makes an essay great: analyzing three essays

Class 8: Revising and editing your essays

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): 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:

Mondays, March 4 to April 29, 2024. No class April 1 (Easter Monday)
5:30 PM Eastern (4:30 Central; 3:30 Mountain; 2:30 Pacific)

Duration: 55 minutes

Registration link
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