I was excited and a little nervous to review the Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers by Everyday Education, LLC. This might sound a little funny coming from a written blog, but we struggle with the subject of writing in our homeschool! It is a close second behind spelling for every single one of my children. I think the biggest part of the problem is that I struggle with how to teach it. I know how to write in conversational style but essay style is not my strong suit.
I found the best way to tackle what was inside was by scouring the table of contents (scroll to the bottom) which were 22 pages long by themselves!
Part 1 of this reference book includes teaching helps on the structure of essays including outlines, paragraph functions and structures, defining thesis statements, topic sentences, and conclusion paragraphs just to name a few. Students are given examples of many of the writing topics including sample essays from book reviews, live drama productions, Shakespeare, modern poetry and so many more. Exercises are included for students to put their knowledge into practice. There was even a unique visual guide given so that students could organize their writing papers.
Part 2 focuses more on grammar skills and style including basic punctuation, parallel structure, phrases, clauses, sentences, parts of speech, subject/verb agreement, comma placement and so much more. There is also an extensive section on references and bibliographies. A valuable resource that we found handy in our homeschool were the 52 pages on frequently misused words. Just a few examples of those included were - who's/whose, sit/set, may be/maybe. This is where I chose to begin with my 10th grader. We simply added in two sets of misused words a day to review.
I also loved the rubric that was included for writing evaluation. I need step by step instruction when it comes to checking my student's writing papers so this was a wonderful resource for me. This can be used with any writings by your student. As I am grading my student's writing paper and I notice an area that needs some refreshment, I can direct him to the handbook for help. He just needs to look in the handbook under the table of contents to the page number and section. For example, here was a sentence fragment which could be read about further in section 1.8, page 238. We also discuss it together during our weekly meeting time.
I know that we will be looking through Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers for many years to come. This handbook contains almost everything you will need to help your writers have success. I would love to purchase the print edition as well because my brain just works better with physical books of this magnitude. Then my son could use the pdf file to quickly find the sections he needs to refer to.
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