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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Simplified Writing for Middle School 3: Writing the Excellent Essay (MS 7/8-3)

In this advanced-level essay writing course for middle school students, help your student master essay writing with advanced concepts leading the student into high school writing. Taking the concepts learned in the 7/8-1 and 7/8-2 courses, the successful student finishing this course has the tools and is ready for successful high school essay writing.

Total classes: 8

Prerequisite: Registration in Simplified Writing for Middle School 2: Introduction to Essays & Papers I (MS 7/8-2). 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: 8th or accelerated 7th grade

Suggested credit: One-half (½) semester Writing or English. Follow with 7/8-4 for one (1) full semester’s credit for writing. 


It’s time to help your student dive into longer essays and advanced writing concepts! In this course, your student will take the skills learned in the Simplified Writing 1 and 2 courses (7/8-1 and 7/8-2) to write short essays, receiving specific feedback and coaching regarding how your student’s writing can improve. Your student will go through the start-to-finish process of creating an academic essay, with specific instruction regarding the use of strong rhetoric, diction, and syntax (words and order). While previous classes taught the “how and why” of writing skills (with first-time introductions to ideas), this course gives your student critical practice – under the tutelage of a teacher and professional writer – to prepare for high school writing and beyond.


Class 1: Types of essays – an introduction to rhetoric and choosing an essay topic

Class 2: Narrowing topics (from the last class); brainstorming content for your topic and creating the thesis statement

Class 3: Analyzing and improving thesis statements (from the last class); creating outlines

Class 4: Analyzing and improving outlines (from the last class); creating introductions

Class 5: Creating rough drafts

Class 6: Revising the essay

Class 7: Editing the essay

Class 8: Formatting for the academic essay; an introduction to style guides

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 five (5) hours per week for homework outside of class time, depending on the student’s ability.

Important Dates

Class Dates and Starting Times:

Mondays, January 8 to March 4, 2024. No class Feb. 5 (mid-semester break)
4:00 PM Eastern (3:00 Central; 2:00 Mountain; 1:00 Pacific)

Duration per class: 55 minutes

Registration link
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