Essentials in Writing & Essentials in Literature Level 10-End-of-Year Update

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Essentials in Writing & Essentials in Literature Level 10 worked well for both my freshman and senior in our homeschool high school. Here are my final thoughts after using it for a whole school year.

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I can’t believe we are already at the end of another school year! We’ve really enjoyed using Essentials in Writing Level 10 and Essentials in Literature Level 10 in our homeschool high school this year. I provided our first impressions about a month into the school year and then did a mid-year update after Christmas. Now, it’s time to wrap it all up and let you know our final thoughts about this homeschool curriculum.

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Essentials in Writing Homeschool Curriculum

Essentials in Writing Level 10

Essentials in Writing Level 10 covers

  • Sentence Structure
  • Paragraph Structure
  • Essays
  • Research Papers
Essentials in Writing Homeschool Curriculum


The way these topics are built upon one another is very effective. The paragraph structure carries over to the essay structure, and the essay structure carries over to the research paper structure. This allows students to use what they’ve already learned as they expand their writing to longer formats.

The consistency of this structure solidifies the writing process as the students repeat it for each type of essay:

  • Personal
  • Persuasive
  • Expository
  • Compare & Contrast

Then, the same structure is implemented again as they do the final project, a research paper.

Essentials in Writing Homeschool Curriculum

Research Paper

Just like the rest of the lessons in Essentials in Writing, Mr. Stephens breaks the research paper down into small, manageable steps:

  • Choose and Narrow Topic
  • Research Questions
  • Research
  • Plan
  • Draft
  • Revise
  • Edit/Publish
  • Citing Sources

He models the process for the students by choosing a topic and writing a sample research paper along with them as they write their paper. This was super helpful for my kids. They could easily look at his example to compare their own as they progressed through the steps.

We decided to use topics related to the novel we were reading, Around the World in 80 Days. It just so happened that there was a crisis in the Suez Canal (one of the stops on the trip around the world) while we were reading the book, so my senior dove into that as the topic of his research paper. My freshman decided to write her paper on the life and career of the author, Jules Verne.

I think the only modification we really made to the instructions given in the lessons for the research paper was that I allowed my kids to keep track of their sources and notes on the computer, rather than doing physical note cards. They each did this in whatever way made the most sense to them.

As long as they were gathering the information they needed, I thought this was a good compromise. I have one with dysgraphia, along with other learning differences, so physically writing things out by hand is exhausting. Learning the process is what is important here, so don’t be afraid to tailor it to fit the individual needs of your kids.

This research paper was the last assignment of the school year for my kids, so they were both ready for it to be done. One handled that by jumping in with both feet and doing it more quickly than I expected. The other