Wednesday, October 5, 2016

{Review} Everyday Education - Handbook for Writers

Over the years we have come across many exceptional English language references and resources that we felt compelled to purchase for our home use. Each of these have been worth the money paid, yet we continue to acquire more writing resources when another fantastic one comes to our attention. This pattern may finally be at an end now that we have found the Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers from Everyday Education, LLC.

Review of Excellence in LIterature Handbook for Writers - a high school and college writing reference.

This handbook for writers is quite possibly the most complete writing resource we have seen and with out a doubt the most detailed in our house. The table of contents alone is 20 pages, which should give you a good indication of how much is covered in this 420 page thorough writing handbook.

The Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers is designed for use in high school and college, which makes it the perfect resource for any student to carry with them throughout their upper level education. Of course, we would expect nothing less from the writer of the Excellence in Literature series of literature guides.

Some of the topics covered in the handbook are:
  • Introduction to Essays and Arguments -  this is a lengthy section that includes details on how to setup arguments, organize the main body of the argument, and  paragraph structure and functions.
  • Writing Arguments About Literary Works
  • Sample Outlines for Essays and Research Papers
  • Criteria for Making Literary Evaluations
  • Usage and Style
    • Phrases, Sentences, and Clauses
    • Words - there are more subtopics to words than I knew possible!
    • Basic Punctuation (some of it is not so basic though)
    • Pronouns
    • Modifiers, Gerunds, and Infinitives
  • References and Biolographies 
  • Basic Format for Essays and Research Papers
Review of Excellence in LIterature Handbook for Writers - a high school and college writing reference.

Each topic in this reference book is covered down to the minutia needed for aspiring writers or those who enjoy language. However, the handbook does not read entirely like a boring reference, but instead is written to the reader mostly in paragraph form with plenty of sample sentences and paragraphs to demonstrate the topic at hand. Even both the MLA and APA writing systems are covered in the References and Bibliographies section, along with a description of when each style is most appropriate.

The Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers in Practical Use

Amber, my 9th grade daughter, currently plans to major in English as well as aspiring to be a fiction writer, therefore it is mostly for her benefit that we have acquired so many English reference books. Since we received the Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers as a PDF file, we put the file on both her computer and her iPad Mini. The idea was that she could use it while working on school assignments with her iPad, but also reference it when typing rough drafts (or even final drafts) on her computer.

Review of Excellence in LIterature Handbook for Writers - a high school and college writing reference.

We found the handbook to be a bit unwieldy as an e-book, especially for my tactile daughter. However at 420 pages, I wasn't willing to print out the entire handbook for her use. Although the table of contents is not linked in the PDF, the page numbers in the contents do coordinate with the PDF page numbers making it easy jump directly to a page. It is also only small matter to search by keyword in the document to find a desired topic. Still for the more tactile people, I definitely would recommend purchasing this in the print format, even though the electronic version is a very useful and portable tool.

Amber ended up reading through the sections on research paper formats in preparation for a paper she is writing in botany this semester. She also found the entire section on Words to be interesting enough to read straight through, instead of as a one use reference. However, the rest of the handbook she used as needed in her daily writing assignments.

Our final assessment would be to highly recommend the Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers as a reference for all students in either high school or college, regardless of their emphasis areas.

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