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Grammar through Proofreading Review by Renita Kuehner

The Simple Essay: Its Organization and Development
Ann Hamblin, Professor of Developmental Studies, Amarillo College
Step Up with Ann
(806) 570-2741
Fulton Drive
Amarillo, Texas 79109

Online writing programs can be beneficial for families who just need a little extra help in their writing skills or even those who are struggling to teach this essential skill. Grammar through Proofreading and The Simple Essay: Its Organization and Development (7th-12th grade individualized, online skill development)are online writing programs written by Ann Hamblin. These new online writing programs are a fantastic addition to help your students make strides forward in their writing skills.

The Simple Essay: Its Organization and Development is a five-part series that takes students through the steps of writing a simple essay. Each section contains video and PDF worksheets that take students from the start through to the finish in their writing process. Topics covered in this course include writing a thesis statement, developing the body, transitions, keeping the reader’s attention, and conclusions. Each section can be used over a week with a student, but you can make adjustments depending on your student’s writing abilities. If they need longer to continue to work on mastery of a topic, you can give them extra time. There is an amount of flexibility when using The Simple Essay:  Its Organization and Development.

Grammar through Proofreading takes students through the multiple steps of making sure that they are using proper word and sentence structure. The course takes them through nouns, verbs, complements, subject/verb agreement, clauses, fragments, run-ons, and many other grammatical techniques. Likethe Simple Essay program, Grammar through Proofreading also has a video approach for instructing students. Included also are PDF worksheets that they use right along with the videos.

Video instruction varies in length between three to fifteen minutes, depending on the topic. The videos are the perfect length for kids with short attention spans, like Lydia. We have been working with both programs for a few weeks. My favorite part is that the videos and the worksheets work well together. They reinforce so she not only hears the material but sees it in print also. You can choose to print the materials or not, depending on your student.

As I mentioned above, the period for using each section of the program can vary depending on the student’s writing abilities. Lydia would watch a video and then work on a topic, but not daily. She would write and then we would edit or proofread the material. Some areas were easier for her than others. The Simple Essay:  Its Organization and Development did show her the definite areas of and essay, and that it is simple and easy if you break it down. Each area comes together to make the whole essay.

Both programs are written for grades 7-12. You do need internet access to use both programssince there are videos to watch and materials to download. I am grateful that we have had the opportunity to review this product, and know that we will be using both Grammar through Proofreading and The Simple Essay: Its Organization and Development with our younger daughter when she gets up to this grade level.

-Product review by Renita Kuehner, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2020