No, we won't actually be going into the alpine wilderness. But in 10-Days, with only 20-40 minutes of assigned work per day, I can help your high school student take his or her essays to new heights!

This bundle includes:

  • The 5-Day Essay ($75 value)
  • 6 Steps to Textual Support ($75 value)
  • Personalized coaching from Ms. Finnigan along the way (except holidays)

Starting at "basecamp" with The 5-Day Essay, a video-based course, your student will learn (or review) the fundamentals of argumentative writing in 5 days, turning in 5 assignments along the way and drafting a full essay with the fifth assignment.

Then, we'll set off "up the mountain," building on those fundamentals with 6 Steps to Textual Support, another video-based, self-paced course. Your student will learn the general conventions of academic writing, as well as how to elegantly and effectively incorporate quotes into an essay, a critical skill.

Students will be invited to submit 10 assignments throughout the course for immediate correction, guidance, and personalized feedback, to make sure they're "getting it." They'll have 30 days to watch all the videos and submit the assignments.


I have been teaching these tips, tricks, and techniques to my students for years -- with great success! These writing techniques help students to conduct better analysis, show keener insight, and exercise more critical thinking in their essays.

In a short time, your student can level up their writing to alpine heights!

For students ages 14 and up.

Great for college prep!

Hi, that's me, Ms. Finnigan

When I'm not hiking with my nephew in the Rockies (and telling him tales of the great Odysseus!), I love to teach writing. This is a quick "camp" that can easily be done over summer break between campfires and water balloon fights!

For ten years I taught high school literature and composition at a classical school. I did not have time in my literature classes to teach students how to write. So I created an early version of these courses.

They are concise, quick, to-the-point. "The 5 Day Essay" works as an introduction to essay writing, or as a very important review of the fundamentals. Almost all high school students can benefit from one or the other. "6 Steps to Textual Support" teaches very specific techniques that aid critical thinking and analysis.

They are effective. 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'd love to do the same for yours!

Now, time to go roast some marshmallows...


"I taught with Ellen Finnigan at Kolbe Academy for several years. She taught English Composition at the 9th an 10th grade levels, and I taught Literature and History at the 10-12th grade levels. Without question I knew that her students who took my classes were excellent, well-trained writers. Often these students were as well-prepared as any students I had taught at the college level in my previous positions. Ms. Finnigan does an excellent job of preparing young writers to master the arts of composition. Anyone who takes the time to study with her and follow well her instruction will become competent at the craft of writing. She has the gift of teaching composition well!"

Carl Hasler, 2024

"Loved it. It was easy for my son, but it took him back to the basics. I really valued the well-thought out writing feedback Ms. Finnigan gave and her encouragement meant a lot to him!"

Parent, Spring 2024

"My daughter learned several techniques to keep her writing on track and more connected. Ms. Finnigan was approachable and so helpful during coaching."

Parent, Spring 2024

"This class was a good review of things that I had learned from you before at Kolbe. I enjoyed watching the videos; you were very enthusiastic and fun in them. Also, the feedback on assignments was timely and helpful."

Student, Winter 2024

"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 

"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, Fall 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

My bundle includes coaching. How do I schedule that?

There will be an assignment in each lesson with instructions on how to submit work to Ms. Finnigan, your personal writing coach for these courses.