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Writing, Grammar, and Visual Fluency


CTY’s online writing courses for students in grades 5-12 give students the chance to work with professional writers and explore creative and academic writing, all the way up to AP English Language and Composition. Many writing courses are offered in session-based or flexi-paced formats and, as a result, course length varies. Our web-based grammar courses help students in elementary, middle, and high school learn and practice the rules of grammar and usage and better understand how their grammatical choices can affect the quality of their prose. CTY’s session-based visual fluency courses incorporate principles of communication theory, design theory, and cognitive psychology to understand principles of effective visual communication.  

Gifted students whose writing skills are ahead of their agemates should not be held back. The Johns Hopkins University CTY Online Programs Writing Series is designed especially for these children. Begun in 1983 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, these courses provide gifted writers in grades 5-12 rare opportunities to work with professional writers to explore both academic and creative writing.

From an instructor who also teaches at a university:

"Providing feedback to these students, many of whom could have fine writing careers in front of them... has been one of the most rewarding endeavors in my teaching career."


A deep understanding of grammatical structure allows students to make informed choices about style. In Building Blocks, the lessons and exercises encourage students to think like linguists to discover how the parts of speech and sentence patterns can be used to build effective sentences. Grammar FUNdamentals covers a broad range of topics to meet current middle-school grammar standards, and reinforces lessons with grammar games, puzzles, and tests. From Structure to Style encourages students to write analytically about grammatical usage working in an online collaborative community, and then apply the analysis to their own creative writing. All three courses include writing assignments critiqued by CTY instructors to give students the opportunity to practice their grammar prowess. Students emerge from these courses understanding how their grammatical choices can affect the quality of their prose.

Visual Fluency

Digital technology has made the ability to create and share images commonplace. Visual fluency is now as vital as verbal fluency to success in college and life. Students learn to recognize the building blocks of visual composition and to deconstruct and analyze visual messages. CTY instructors guide students as they examine the components of effective visual storytelling and produce their own stories.

To learn more: 

Writing, Grammar, and Visual Fluency Courses

SubjectCourse FormatsCoursesGrade LevelsEligibility

The Process of WritingGrades 5-6Verbal
Writing for an AudienceGrades 6-7Verbal
Crafting the Essay (NCAA Approved)Grades 7-12Verbal
Writing Analysis and Persuasion (NCAA Approved)Grades 8-12Verbal
Session-BasedCrafting the Essay for English Language LearnersGrades 7-12Verbal
Crafting Poetry (NCAA Approved)Grades 8-12Verbal
Crafting Fiction (NCAA Approved)Grades 8-12Verbal
AP English Language and Composition (NCAA Approved)Grades 10-12Verbal
GrammarSession-BasedBuilding Blocks Grades 3 and 4Verbal
Grammar FundamentalsGrades 5 and 6Math or Verbal
From Structure to Style (NCAA Approved)Grades 7-12Verbal
Visual FluencySession-BasedVisual LiteracyGrades 7-12Verbal
Visual StorytellingGrades 7-12Verbal

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