Today I'm sharing my review of Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers from Everyday Education, LLC. This is a high school to college level writing class that teaches the student how to write essay's in a logical and systematic approach, while still allowing for creative flair.
First of all, don't let the title "handbook" make you think we're talking about a pamphlet of some kind. No, this handbook is a hefty 420 pages (with the first 15 pages being the table of contents) and is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on giving detailed instructions and samples for constructing and writing arguments and essays. The second part focuses on the actual mechanics or writing, including style and usage. There is also a rubric for you to use to help you (or your students) grade their writing assignments.
There are no graphics, worksheets or "lessons" within this Handbook. Instead the book gives the student concise, step-by-step instructions on how to gather your information, assemble your thoughts and create a well written paper. For those who will be doing public speaking or debate, the handbook will be a valuable tool to help with everything from collection of data, to how to write primary and secondary informational source listings.
With this product, I incorporated its use into Olivia's writing work. She is currently working on essay writing in her language arts curriculum, so we used the workbook to help her better understand how to lay out the essay, as well as create both topic and supporting sentences. Once she was finished and was satisfied with her work, I then had her use the rubric herself to determine how well written her papers were. After going through the process a time or two, she finally saw that it was just better to take the time to write the paper well the first time, than to have to give herself a poor grade and then redo the paper.
During our review period, the girls' writing class mini-coop started back up. Both girls have been able to use the Handbook to help create stronger writing assignments to turn in. Having said that, you must take into consideration that there is a two year age gap (and three year grade gap) between the two, so we've had varying results with the younger, but I see where this is going to be a valuable resource for both girls to used throughout the rest of their academic years. Lindsey, while an incredibly imaginative child, is a poor writer. I'm seeing this book as being an invaluable asset to us for 8th/9th grade as we focus a GREAT deal on her writing skills.
We reviewed the down loadable version of the Handbook for Writers, however it's also available in preprinted, paper bound 8.5x11 size as well. I've printed out a few sections for our review period, and since I am not a huge fan of ebooks, I'll be printing the entire book out and putting it in a binder to make it more user friendly for our family.
To read other Homeschool Review Crew reviews of this product and vendor, click here.