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Writing, Essay

Writer’ Easy Reference Guide

By Bonnie Terry, M.Ed. • Published by Bonnie Terry Learning • 238 Poet Smith Drive, Auburn, CA.  95603; 530-888-7160 • Available at


By Kay Miller

In a perfect educational system, students would be taught to write using a logical and progressive approach. Elementary students would learn to write interesting and properly punctuated sentences, paragraphs, book reports and essays, middle school students would learn to write the four basic essays in a coherent manner, and high school and college students would be able to incorporate literature terms and analytical thought into their writings. Unfortunately, the educational system is not perfect and, too often, students are passed from one grade to the next without the solid foundation of proper writing skills necessary to succeed in school and in life.

The Writer’s Easy Reference Guide available at is a concise reference tool that provides as much, if not more information, that is available in most reference books. This 12-page Guide includes a description of the basic writing format including types of sentences as well as paragraph and essay format. On one page alone, Ms. Terry discusses the three parts of basic American paragraphs and essays and the types of sentences used in the English language.  Five clearly-written Steps in the Writing Process are noted on page 2 along with an introduction to Words, including examples of synonyms, adjectives, interesting verbs, and transition words necessary to make writing more interesting. The section on Words continues with two pages that define and illustrate commonly-used prefixes, suffixes and root words. The four basic essay types (descriptive/narrative, analytical/expository, compare/contrast, and argument/persuasion) are defined in succinct paragraphs that clearly describe their differences.

Especially important for writers of all ages are the rules of capitalization and punctuation.  Regardless of age or educational background, no writer has total recall of all of the rules of capitalization and punctuation. The Writer’s Easy Reference Guide is an excellent resource, as it provides only the most essential rules and does not bog the reader down with rules that will rarely be used.

Older students, grades 6th and above, will find pages 8 and 9 of the Guide useful when they can’t recall Usage Definitions or Parts of Speech Definitions or if they need quick tips on Literature Vocabulary. And, for those writing a research paper, the Guide offers a section on “How to Write a Works Cited or Bibliography” including examples.

Included with the Guide are suggestions for incorporating its use into the learning process. Teachers are advised to review “The Steps of the Writing Process” at the beginning of each writing assignment until they are able to use the steps with little, if any, direction. “Words To Make Your Writing More Interesting” should be used after completion of a rough draft to show students how verb changes can improve the quality and make they writing more interesting. Obviously, spelling, capitalization and punctuation are important and the rules of each should be reviewed with each assignment, prior to its completion.

The Writer’s Easy Reference Guide is a comprehensive source of pertinent writing information. Following the suggestions for instruction offered by Bonnie Terry will assist in improving writing skills and will help students become more efficient learners. For additional information or to purchase the Writer’s Easy Reference Guide please visit K.M.

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