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. 

Live MS
Simplified Writing for Middle School 2: Introduction to Essays & Papers I (MS 7/8-2)

Help your middle school student gain must-have essay writing skills with personal help and feedback on their work while understanding how to write an excellent introduction with a hook and thesis statement; how to brainstorm, order, and outline; and how to draft, revise, and edit for excellence. Students also learn upper-level paragraph structure. This course prepares your student for high school and helps your student write longer works with confidence.

Total classes: 6

Prerequisite: Simplified Writing for Middle School 1: Foundations of Composition I (MS 7/8-1). An alternative to the prerequisite: a passing assessment from the Aquinas Writing Advantage Assessment service. Please contact [email protected] for any questions on permissions. 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.

Suggested grade level: 8th or accelerated 7th grade

Suggested credit: One-half (½) of a semester’s credit for Writing or English. Precede with 7/8-1 for a full semester’s credit for writing.

Special Notes: This course, a continuation of the Simplified Writing series for 7/8 students, is scheduled during several different time slots in the spring semester. The smaller class size ensures excellent feedback on your student’s work. There are six live classes plus two recorded lectures at the end of the course. A final essay is due before the Christmas holiday. This is the third of a four-part series. Continue with the MS 7/8 Series for a full year’s credit for writing.


Help your middle school student continue to master the critical writing skills learned in the Simplified Writing 1 (7/8-1) course — and put your knowledge and skills into practice with specific feedback and coaching to help your writing improve. Learn the most powerful paragraph structure (“PEAS”), and work through the writing process for academic writing. Brainstorm and craft the outline of an essay and a short paper while learning how to write seven types of “hooks”; master the five parts of an advanced thesis statement; and learn more ways to connect sentences in an introduction. You’ll understand how to smoothly create an essay or paper from start to finish; the most important steps of revising and editing; and how to connect sentences in an essay or paper with linear, focused writing. This course is excellent preparation for high school writing and gives students a jump-start on writing for high school.


Class 1: Writing structure and skill: practicing the introduction, hook, and thesis
Class 2: Writing structure and skill: practicing outlines and the conclusion/concluding statements
Class 3: Writing an essay: rough drafts
Class 4: Writing a paper: five types of papers & practicing the introduction, hook, and thesis
Class 5: Writing a paper: practicing outlines and concluding statements; revising an essay
Class 6: Writing a paper: rough drafts; editing an essay
Class 7: Revising a paper
Class 8: Editing and Formatting Final Papers

Materials and Homework

Course Materials: Course materials are included free. Microsoft Word or the ability to convert a document to a Word-compatible document is required, as all assignments are submitted in Word. If you do not own Microsoft Word, you can use a system such as Google Docs that converts to Word documents FREE.

Homework: Weekly writing assignments, with grading and direct feedback from the instructor. Estimated three (3) to four (4) hours per week for homework outside of class time, depending on the student’s ability.

Important Dates

Class Dates and Starting Times:

Mondays, August 26 to Oct. 21, 2024. No class Sept. 2 (Labor Day)
4:00 PM Eastern (3:00 Central; 2:00 Mountain; 1:00 Pacific)

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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