Disclosure: I received this product free through the Homeschool Review Crew
The ability to write a well-written essay is an important skill for high school graduates. Having two teenagers still in our homeschool is why I was happy for the chance to use Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers from Everyday Education. This writing reference tool is a thorough resource that can be used to improve and strengthen writing skills for middle school aged students right on up through adulthood.
It is designed to be used independently, more of a resource guide than a full curriculum. Students can use it to find answers to questions about writing, grammar, punctuation, and much more. Parents/teachers can use it to show samples of writing style, mechanics, etc. as they correct and critique their student’s work.
This 420+ page reference guide is made up of 2 main sections. The first section focuses on writing effective essays and arguments. Sample writings from authors such as John Steinbeck and William Shakespeare are used. You see a step-by-step process for writing paragraphs, essays, arguments and theses. Being able to see real examples of quality writing is an excellent teaching model.
The second section covers more of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of writing. Everything from punctuation to spelling to word usage is addressed. The detailed table of contents lists it all out for you, making this a user-friendly resource.
I found the Rubric for Writing Evaluation to be the most helpful section, personally. Teaching and grading writing assignments is a very personal and subjective thing. Have specific guidelines and criteria are helpful for both the student and the teacher.
I was very glad to see the sample writings and discussion on works from Shakespeare. I plan to include this in our curriculum plans for our high school students next year. The teaching helps included in the resource will be invaluable!
With the amount of detailed information given in Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers, we are using it on an as-needed basis. When a child is struggling with forming paragraphs in a writing assignment, viewing some sample writings has been helpful. Another child struggled with how to argue their point of view and found the section on ‘Setting Up The Argument’ helpful. As I see mistakes in sentence structure continually popping up I have been able to pull up the pages that deal with this and walk through things with my child.
Things you and your students will find in this Handbook for Writers:
— how to construct an argument in a logical and interesting manner – good for essays, debates, or research papers
— how to structure various types of essays, with suggestions paragraph by paragraph
— how to use inductive and deductive reasoning
— how to read and write in a thoughtful manner concerning classic literature, short stories, and poetry
— examples of topic sentence outlines for papers in the subjects of literature, social studies, public policy, and more.
Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers is available in both print and ebook. I received the digital version (pdf file download) for the purposes of this review. We access it on my laptop, but have also printed sections to use. I personally would prefer the physical, bound copy available on the website. I am more of a hands-on-grab-it-from-the-bookshelf sort of girl, but I do like that both options are available!
I look forward to using this with our two high schoolers as they work toward graduation and their life career paths. Helping them learn to express themselves clearly and in an interesting fashion is part of a homeschooling mom’s job, right?
Click on the banner below to see how others are using this helpful resource for writers.