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Writing Help For Older Students


Q. We have a set of encyclopedias at home and some CD-ROMs and other general reference books for our two teenagers, a junior in high school and an eighth-grader. But they need at-home writing help. What resources help with writing projects?


It's a "must" to provide children in the older grades with a few basic resources for better writing. Hint to grandparents for gift ideas, visit sales at bookstores or hit the garage sales for bargains. Ideas:


n       A sizeable dictionary in reasonably big type.


n       A thesaurus that's easy to use.


n       Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.


n       The Elements of Style by Strunk and White.


There are many other subject-area references and resources that can help. Some parents frequent the withdrawal cart at public libraries or their annual inventory reduction sales, where wonderful books can be acquired for a dollar or two.


In addition, there's a clear, concise set of English guides that might be just the ticket. Published by BarCharts, Inc., the "Quick Study Academic" guides cover English, history, foreign language, math, science and other topics for middle school and high school students. The company also offers guides for college-level academics and beyond, on into adult learning needs.


The guides come on color-coded, laminated sheets that fit nicely in a notebook or folder for use during class assignments or while doing homework. They sell for $4.95, for the most part.


The English Grammar & Punctuation guide has sections on subjects, verbs, modifiers, objects, words, phrases, clauses, connectors, sentences, commas, semicolons, apostrophes, quotation marks, end punctuation and other punctuation.


Other English guides cover English composition and style, American literature, British literature, essays and term papers, Greek mythology, Shakespearean plays and other topics.


Homework: Take a look at the homework helpers in English and other subjects available from Bar Charts, including quick-study products, online study, and "Nifty Knowledge Foldouts." Call 1 (800) 226-7799 to order or visit


By Susan Darst Williams Homework 11 2008


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