For Middle School 3:
Writing the Excellent Essay
Suggested Grade Level: 7th or 8th grade
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.
Your Course Description
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.
Your Course Outline
Class 1: Types of essays – an introduction to rhetoric and choosing an essay topic
Class 2: Narrowing topics (from last class); brainstorming content for your topic and creating the thesis statement
Class 3: Analyzing and improving thesis statements (from last class); creating outlines
Class 4: Analyzing and improving outlines (from 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
Your Course Details
Total Number of 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. An alternative to the 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
Duration: 55 minutes
Suggested Credit: One-half (½) of a semester’s credit for Writing or English
Follow with 7/8-4 for one (1) full semester’s credit for writing.
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.
How this course fits with your Middle School Writing courses...
|Fall Semester||Spring Semester|
** The 7/8-3 and 7/8-4 courses are consecutive courses. To create a full semester of Middle School Writing, sign up for the 7/8-4 course when you sign up for 7/8-3, to complete the 7/8 series of courses.
Live, Interactive Courses
During the week, multiple course sections, times, and instructors are offered for this course. Sign up for the time and the instructor that best meets your needs. Click here to see the days and instructors for the LIVE course offerings — and to sign up for a LIVE course.
Recorded, Independent-Learning Course
When you sign up for Unlimited Access and take this recorded course, your instructor is the designer and Director of Aquinas Writing Advantage, Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA (aka author EB Conroy/Erin Brown Conroy).
Three Sign Up Options (Choose One)
1. Live, Interactive Course
Students attend a LIVE class in a virtual classroom on a specific day, at a specific time. After class (during the week), the student independently completes the coursework that includes readings, activities, and weekly quizzes. Quizzes are graded automatically by the computer for instant feedback. Written assignments are graded with feedback by the instructor. Your instructor is also available for communication outside of class via email, to help answer questions. Homework time outside of class is estimated to be one to three hours per week, depending on your student’s skills.
2. Unlimited Access: Recorded, Independent-Learning Course
When you take the Recorded course, you will independently view the recorded video lesson and complete the coursework in the learning management system. Quizzes in the course are graded automatically by the computer for instant feedback. If choosing to not use Instructor Access, grading with feedback is provided by the parent; however, Instructor Access grading is available (see below). There is an estimated one to three hours of homework/coursework per week outside of watching the weekly video lecture.
When you get “Unlimited Access,” you get 24/7 access to ALL of the writing courses — AND access to 400+ middle and high school courses, in all subject areas, for only $34.97 a month.
3. Unlimited Access with Instructor Access Grading Services
Instructor Access is an optional service, for an additional fee, that accompanies Unlimited Access. When you sign up for one-on-one tutoring with Instructor Access, in addition to the weekly quizzes that are graded automatically by the computer for instant feedback, your student will receive one-on-one help via email with the professional writing instructor. The Instructor Access instructor will grade the course work submitted, and there is an estimated one to three hours per week for homework for your student outside of watching the video lecture. If you’d like Instructor Access, once you sign up for Unlimited Access, you’ll receive email instructions on how to sign up.
Specific Course FAQs
Is this course required? Can I skip this course?
Because the content in this program is sequential, for your student to be successful and not miss any prerequisite content, it is requested that he or she watch the videos of the 6/7 Series courses and the 7/8-1 and 7/8-2 courses in Unlimited Access before entering the remainder of the 7/8 Series courses. Special permission may be granted for attending this course without prerequisites. Please contact [email protected] to discuss permissions.
Can I start 7/8-3 course in the Fall Semester?
The LIVE 7/8-3 and 7/8-4 courses are held in the Spring Semester only; Spring Semester courses begin in January. If you are beginning this course in September (or at any other time of the year besides January), simply take this course in Unlimited Access (with or without Instructor Access grading services).