Hi, I'm Ms. Finnigan

For ten years I taught high school literature and composition at classical schools. I noticed something: Even the 9th grade students who had studied writing in the past did not know how to write a high school level essay, at least not one that would meet my (admittedly high) standards!

This presented a problem: I did not have the time, in literature classes especially, to teach them how to write. Yet how could I grade them on skills they didn't have? I certainly wasn't going to lower the bar! So I had to find a way to get my students up to speed, quickly. An early version of this course was born.

This course teaches students what a high school essay is, how to write one, and what pitfalls to avoid. 

My colleagues told me that they could easily identify which students had been through my literature classes because they were the best writers. One administrator told me that I was the best writing instructor their school had ever had!

I loved setting up my students for success in high school and beyond. I can help you to do the same for yours!

Parent Testimonial


The 5 Day Essay Course by Ms. Finnigan was very helpful to me as a homeschool mom. I am glad we took a week out of our normal curriculum to devote to working on writing skills, because this course was succinct (about 30 minutes per day) but at the same time, thorough. My students learned a lot in a short amount of time and were able to improve their essay skills as well as writing in general after completing this course. I consider this time well spent and would recommend the course for grades six and up. Ms. Finnigan communicates so clearly that I feel younger students would benefit as well as high schoolers.

Maria B. - Illinois

The series includes:

The 5-Day Essay
6 Steps to Textual Support
How to Assign and Grade High School Essays

The first two are made for students. The third is designed for parents whose students have taken the first two.

The 5-Day Essay teaches:

  • how a high school essay is different from a middle school essay
  • how to identify your purpose
  • how to write a (good!) thesis statement for an argumentative paper
  • how to brainstorm a good argument for an argumentative paper
  • how to organize ideas effectively for strong argumentation
  • the difference between abstract and concrete support and how to draft

Most importantly, it teaches the common mistakes that students make in each part of the process and how to avoid them!

In 5-Days, with five easy lessons, your student will learn the basics of high school level writing and they can take these lessons and practice them all year.

Recommended for freshmen and sophomores!

Click here to watch a short video about this series!

Purchase The 5-Day Essay


Dear Ms. Finnigan,

I hope that you had a wonderful summer! I have been at Franciscan University for a few weeks now, and I am having a wonderful time! I wanted to let you know that earlier this week, I had the first draft of my English paper displayed on the large classroom screen for peer editing (and extra credit!), and as I was reading through it, my English teacher kept pausing me to point out to my classmates all the things that she loved about the paper. She did have some minor edits, but she was very impressed by the draft. Anyway, it made my day, and I figured I'd let you know about it because I know that I can trace a lot of the techniques that I used in that paper back to what you taught me in your class! Thank you for preparing me for the writing I've been doing here at college!

Sincerely, Rebecca

Email received September 2022