Level 3: Essay Writing - Suggested Ages: 16-18

Essay Writing is intended for high school students ages 16 – 18. It is designed for high school students to satisfy high school English requirements. Students learn how to develop college level 5+ paragraph essays and study how to handle quotes, write a research paper, and practice writing timed essays. Before attempting Essay Writing, students should have some formal writing experience with an understanding of writing structure and the fundamentals of the writing process.

  • Lesson plans formatted in an easy-to-follow system
  • Begins with a 3 paragraph rewrite of a parable and then a 4 paragraph myth
  • Reinforces the organizational process of brainstorming, outlining, rough draft and editing.
  • Improves sentence structure with basic grammar and figures of speech home school student doing homework
  • Teaches different styles and techniques each week
  • Quickly moves to introducing the 5 paragraph college level essay
  • Focuses on writing the five-paragraph formal essay
  • Progresses to seven, nine- and eleven-paragraph essays
  • Introduces the composition of a research paper
  • Moves to five-paragraph timed essays in 60 and 45 minutes
  • Ends with composing a five-paragraph essay in 30 minutes
  • Guidelines, checklists and correct structure
  • Creative poetry writing with advanced figures of speech
  • 30 lessons with lesson plans for either a one- or two-year format

Sample Lesson Plans


For a detailed scope and sequence: Syllabus

The Write Foundation has a free reading list for each curriculum level to encourage reading of quality literature.
Free Essay Writing Reading List

Essay Writing is designed for the student who is ready to write a multi-paragraph paper, is familiar with the organizational process of brainstorming, outlining, rough draft, and editing final copy, and is able to work independently most of the time. It reviews how to write a multi-paragraph paper and focuses on formal essays, introducing the student to college level essay writing. More structure and mechanical requirements are introduced and encouraged.

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As usual, however, I tweaked the curriculum to suit me…For example, the first two lessons (Essay Writing) involve outlining and retelling the story of the prodigal son in a three-paragraph narrative essay. Since we were currently reading Greek tragedy to coincide with our ancient history studies, I assigned a three-paragraph retelling of Oedipus Rex, and used the lesson plans for teaching the brainstorming and outlining. Loretta, Books 'n Other Stuff