Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers {Review}

(Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.)

If you are looking for a writing reference tool for your high school student, check out Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers from Everyday Education. The Homeschool Review Crew has been using the PDF version of the book for about six weeks, in order to give you a fair and honest review.

While this is a go at your own pace kind of book, as opposed to a book with lesson plans and a schedule, you will find that questions and assignments are given to help the student work through what they are reading about.

The 420 page Excellence in Literature Handbook For Writers, designed to be used from middle and high school into college and beyond is effectively two books in one, with the first half giving detailed instructions and models (samples) for constructing arguments and writing essays. Learning to write pursuasively, whether for writing an essay or for debate is an important skill, And I think every writer would benefit from using it.

The first half of this book covers such things as:

Part 1: Introduction to Essays and Arguments

Initial Comments
Trivial Arguments over Matters of Established Fact
More Complex and Interesting Arguments
The Importance of Reason
An Overview of The Major Tools
Exercise 1: Recognizing the Form of Simple Arguments
Some Brain Teasers

Setting Up The Argument: Definition (1)

Defining the Argument: Some General Points
Two Simple Examples
ome Sample Openings
he Importance of Defining a Focus
he Importance of Defining a Thesis
xercises in Recognizing Potentially Useful Thesis Statements
Some Hints on Forming Good Thesis Statements
The Start of an Outline for the Argument
Some Problems with Introductory Paragraphs
Exercise With Sample Opening Paragraphs

And there are many, many other things to learn from in section 1!

My son “The Artist” loves to write Fan Fiction as well as just stories straight from his imagination, so this section was a very good reference book for him to learn about how to properly use things such as transition words within a paragraph, for example. He can identify areas where he struggles, and go straight to the section which covers the issue by himself, thus taking ownership of his education in writing.

Section two is all about usage and style, with sections covering things such as:

The Clause
Sentence Fragments
Dependent Clauses
Which, Who, Whose
Present Participles
Citing Examples
Use of Bulleted Lists
In Regard /In Response
Sentences are either Statements, Questions, Commands, or Exclamations
Direct Questions

Question Marks in a Quotation
Exclamation Points
Subject/Verb Agreement
Compound Subject
Compound Subject as a Single Unit
Plural Forms that take Singular Subjects
Group Nouns
There Is / There Was
Indefinite Prononouns
Compound Subjects
Alternate Subjects
Passive Verbs
Verb Consistency
Use of Passive Expression

The above is just a brief sampling of things covered in section 2!

This section was, and will continue to be a very good reference book for him to double check and see if his writing used accurate grammer, punctuation, and style.

The Excellence in Literature Handbook For Writers from Everyday Education Is a worthwhile purchase for every writer from middle school up through adult. In fact, I was a Journalism major when I went to college and personally, I find this to be a bit more useful than the style book we were assigned back then. I like the exercises given in the book to help one learn to improve his/her writing. and to check him/herself on gramjmer and punctuation.

Please don’t just take my word for it though. To check out what all 28 review families think of this book, please go here!


As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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