Thursday, March 11, 2021

Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers from Everyday Education: A TOS Crew Review


Disclosure: I received this product free through the Homeschool Review Crew

Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers from Everyday Education

Writing.  It's full of twists and turns that can be difficult to navigate. Our high school students need to know the correct path to help them write well now and into college.  We have discovered a must-have writing "GPS" the - Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers from Everyday Education!

This 420 page reference manual is available in either downloadable PDF or print version.  Author, Janice Campbell has gotten permission from Mr. Ian Johnson, a college professor, to adapt a couple of his writing handbooks into this one comprehensive, easy-to-use volume. We have been long-time fans of Janice's Excellence in Literature series, and were excited to take a look at the Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers.

This handbook is organized into 2 parts.  Part One offers models and instructions for writing persuasive essays and research papers.  Part Two is full of tips on style and usage on grammar and the mechanics of writing.

This is a resource you can use over and over again. I have three students currently in high school, and another three in college.  I decided to print out our downloadable ebook and put it into a binder, so we can all easily access it.  

With both of my high schoolers knee-deep in ACT and SAT exams, the sections on writing essays were of particular help to us.  Janice takes them step-by-step from setting up the argument, defining key terms, guidelines for a strong thesis, and how to organize paragraphs and essays. 

The section on Writing Arguments About Literary Works is one of our favorite "go-to" sections.  The instructions and samples are a great guide for how to write in this necessary, but unique style while evaluating stories, poems, Shakespeare and even performing arts events.

I have also referred back to this invaluable book over and over as I teach our Communications and Literature classes for our small co-op. Openings, defining a thesis, organizing arguments and acknowledging opposition have all been topics we used to build our speeches, and her examples were just what I needed to brush up and be ready myself. 

The second part contains hundreds of grammar and usage tips.  

This was a reference section we found ourselves reading just for fun (can you tell we're homeschoolers).  It's organized into numbered sections so you can pinpoint areas to focus on, or use as a tool when you evaluate your student's papers.

I thought it would be fun to start each day with a quick read of 2-3 tips from this section as a "warm up" as we get our day started,  it's been a great review and since we're all "word nerds" we have even enjoyed the discussion! 

The Handbook is well organized, and you can use the detailed (9 pages) Table of Contents to find exactly what you need.  This is a book that you can use over and over throughout the years - both for yourself and your students. This is a great writing road map for every high school (and college) student. 

 I highly recommend adding it to resource shelf!

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