Review of “Write for Life” Research Papers by Karen Lange

I’m happy to review Write for Life Volume One: Writing the Research Paper by Karen Lange.

Do you remember writing research papers when you were young?  I remember writing about Saturn, The Effect of Ethylene on Growing Bean Plants, Reasons Airplanes Crash, A Correlation Between Rock Music and Suicide Rates, and The History of the Piano.

Since my oldest kids are now in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades I know that it’s time to teach them to write a research paper.  But I was really hoping for a great guideline to lead them (and me) through the process.

I have found it with Write for Life: Volume One: Writing the Research Paper!  It’s a very easy-to-follow downloadable e-book curriculum that guides kids through the research writing process with 8 lessons in 52 pages.  It could take 8 weeks, or spread out the assignments (give them longer to complete them) and it could take a whole semester.  The price is only $.99!

Here is what you will find in Write for Life: Volume One: Writing the Research Paper:

Assignment Schedule:

  • Week One – Topic, several preliminary sources, and rough thesis statement
  • Week Two – Remainder of preliminary sources and revised thesis statement draft
  • Week Three – Working outline, any additional sources and revisions to thesis statement
  • Week Four – Pages one through three of rough draft, any additional revisions
  • Week Five – Finish rough draft, any additional sources
  • Week Six – First revisions of rough draft, rough draft of Works Cited Page
  • Week Seven – Additional revisions to rough draft and Works Cited Page
  • Week Eight – Final draft and Works Cited Page

Along with these assignments you have several pages to read through and study in order to learn how to do it.  For example, with Week One Karen gives lots of ideas of how to go about picking a topic for the research paper.  She gives examples of how to narrow the topic, so it’s not too hard to write about it.

I loved the various brainstorming ideas she gave.  I know kids could really have fun with those.

She also gives links to websites to get more information about writing.

You could certainly change things if you want to, but I like how the assignments and rubrics are so specific.  For example, she says to use a minimum of fives sources and that three of them need to be print books.

Also, at the end of each lesson is a “Just For Fun” activity such as finding out the true stories behind inventors of candies or cookies!

A rubric is included so the students know to check off the guidelines to make sure they aren’t missing anything in their writing.  This was very helpful for me, as the teacher.

Other subjects taught on are plagiarism, taking notes with note cards, writing an outline, and the bibliography/works cited page.


The next book Karen Lange is working on is:

Write for Life Volume Two: Essay Writing

This book offers ready to use lessons for grades 7-12 that guide students through the essay writing process. Suitable for homeschool families, co-ops, or other student groups, these eight lessons break down the steps from start to finish with helpful tips, instruction, practice, and encouragement.

Lesson topics include:

  • Essay basics and structure
  • Choosing topics and sources
  • Taking good notes
  • Thesis statements and outlines
  • Developing content
  • Revision and editing
  • MLA style source documentation
  • Preparing for the test essay

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Write for Life
in order to write this honest review.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

Blog Tour (& Giveaway): “Write for Life” Learn how to write a Research Paper

Welcome to the Blog Tour for . . .

Write for Life: Volume One: Writing the Research Paper by Karen Lange

(Join me tomorrow where I will share my personal review of the e-book.  Keep reading on down below for a chance to win the book!)

This book offers ready to use lessons for grades 7-12 that guide students through the process of writing the research paper. Suitable for homeschool families, co-ops, or other student groups, these eight lessons break down the process from start to finish with helpful instruction, encouragement, and practice.

Lesson topics include:

• MLA style research paper basics, topics, and sources
• Thesis statements
• Outlines
• Developing content
• Rough and final drafts
• Citing sources

No matter what we do in life, good communication skills are an important ingredient for success. Strengthening students’ writing enhances verbal and other interpersonal skills and helps prepare them for a lifetime of good communication.

Since 2005, Karen Lange has used these lessons to teach homeschool teens at the Homeschool Online Creative Writing Co-op. She believes that everyone can improve their writing skills with a good balance of instruction, encouragement, and practice.

Purchase Write for Life on Amazon

About the Author:


Karen Lange is a homeschool veteran and consultant, freelance writer, editor, and online writing instructor for teens and adults. Her articles appear in parenting, homeschool, and other publications. Homeschool Co-ops 101, her first book, was released in 2013. She and her husband homeschooled their three children for grades K-12 in southern New Jersey. They now live in north central Kentucky where Karen enjoys reading, walking, and playing with her grandson. She is a fan of dark chocolate, hockey, and historical fiction.

Visit Karen:  Amazon Author Page


Email –

Facebook Author Page


Twitter – @KLELange


Giveaway Information:

One winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card & a copy of Write for Life ebook.


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Interview Questions:

What prompted you to write this book?

Thanks so much for inviting me to stop by! The lessons in Write for Life Volume One are ones I use with my teen homeschool students in an online writing co-op. I’ve long wanted to convert the lessons into book form for use at home or with student groups. These are lessons I wish I’d had when homeschooling my children. They break writing the research paper down into more manageable, less intimidating steps, offering tips, advice, and insight into the entire process.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

My hope is that readers, students in particular, will come away more confident in their research and writing skills. I believe that with practice and encouragement, every student can write. Certainly not everyone will become a bestselling author, but they can learn to express themselves better through writing. Improving communication skills helps students gain an edge for future pursuits. My philosophy is that everyone has something to share with others, and writing is one way to do that.

Who was Write for Life written for?

The book is designed for group, family, or individual student use. This includes homeschoolers and public and private school students. It can be used anytime to help students brush up on their research paper writing skills.
Write for Life includes an instructor guide with information and advice on how to help students through the process. While best used with parent or other adult supervision, self-motivated students can work through the lessons themselves. I’ve had a writer tell me recently that the lessons would also be suitable for anyone wanting to brush up on research skills.
Since Write for Life is more of an educational resource, how do you plan to market it?
That’s a good question! I am exploring different options as we speak. They include doing articles and guest posts, spots on Blogtalk Radio, and of course, social media. In addition, I may offer some workshops in the future. I will also do another blog tour when Volume Two, Essay Writing, is released.
You mentioned that there is a Volume Two of Write for Life. What will that include? When will it be released?
Write for Life Volume Two’s topic is Essay Writing. It will follow the same format, offering ready to use lessons for grades 7-12 that will guide students through the essay writing process. The lesson topics include:

• Essay basics and structure
• Choosing topics and sources
• Taking good notes
• Thesis statements and outlines
• Developing content
• Revision and editing
• MLA style source documentation
• Preparing for the test essay

Three Tips to Use to Encourage Children to Write:
By Karen Lange
Teaching children to write can be intimidating, especially if you don’t feel like you are a good writer. Here are some tips you can use to encourage your children to write. Grade school, high school – age doesn’t matter; it’s never too late to develop good writing habits. A seventy-year-young gentleman I know took some writing courses and got published. You’re never too old to learn!

Tip #1 – Read to your children. Make family reading time a priority, if only once a week. It’s a great way to share quality time together. It provides opportunities for discussion. The benefits of exposure to literature are endless. It broadens perspectives and lends to a sense of adventure; this can enhance content when they write.

Tip #2 – Set a good example; let your children see you writing. Even if the only things you write are emails, letters, lesson plans, and grocery lists, you are still writing! It’s important to remember that no matter what we do in life, it is necessary to communicate.

Tip #3 – Find writing projects to do together. Writing activities in a standard curriculum are great, but sometimes they don’t spark a student’s creativity. When it comes to writing, especially for the reluctant writers, fun is the key. Engage children by finding short, interesting activities to start. Try writing a continuing story, silly poetry, or a family newspaper together. For ideas, I recommend If You’re Trying to Teach Kids to Write, You’ve Gotta Have This Book! by Marjorie Frank.

It’s worth a little time and effort now, for strengthening their writing will enhance verbal and other interpersonal skills, preparing children for a lifetime of good communication.


(Disclosure:  I received a copy of Write for Life in order to write an honest review for this Blog Tour.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

Intro to Our Brand New Curriculum: Tapestry of Grace (+ Giveaway!)


We are doing something new this year:  Tapestry of Grace!

I’m really excited about it because it completely fits in with my style of teaching: some Charlotte Mason (reading living books) and Classical Education (learning all humanities through the guidance of the the history we’re studying).  We’re doing Year 4, which means we will all be studying 20th Century history, literature, music, and art.  The kids will also have writing assignments for history and literature “class.”

Our family will be partcipating in a brand-new Tapestry of Grace Fellowship group that will be meeting on Wednesday mornings for 3 hours.  Thirty-five families are involved! My oldest two boys will be in the Dialectic group, which means they will have assignments to read and complete each week so that they will be able to participate in the discussions.  Here are the books they will be reading this year:  The Call of the Wild, Tales of O. Henry, Anne of Green Gables, Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost, Peter Pan, Our Town, The Snow Goose, Homeless Bird, The Little Prince, My Side of the Mountain, Onion John, Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes, The Lilies of the Field, Have Space Suit – Will Travel, Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood, Raising Dragons, and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.


My oldest daughter will be in the Upper Grammar class.  The next 3 kids are in Lower Grammar.  The Grammar classes will be doing all kinds of neat projects and activities that will enrich our read-alouds at home.  I’ll share what they are after we do them!

My youngest son will be in the preschool class, and my 2-year-old in the nursery.

I will be teaching 4 music classes at our Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group: 20th Century Music History/Appreciation for Dialectic/Rhetoric classes (middle school and high school), 20th Century Music History/Appreciation for the Grammar (elementary) classes, Early Childhood Music and Movement for the preschool class, and Early Childhood Music and Movement for the nursery class.  I’ve been working hard this summer to come up with the music history/appreciation curriculum. I’ve actually been writing it since I haven’t been able to find exactly what I was wanting to teach.  It’s going to be so exciting to share this music with the kids.  They won’t all like it, but I do hope they will learn to appreciate classical music more!

For the preschoolers and baby/toddlers I’ll be teaching music and movement classes that I have taught for 15 years.  I love teaching those classes!

I’m glad we don’t start until the end of the month because I still have so much planning and writing to do.  I’ve been slowly ordering the books we need.  At least we’re set for the first couple of weeks.  It’s going to be an exciting year!


Read some other homeschooling posts at these blogs this week:

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop
Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Jenn @ Treasuring Life’s Blessings
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Dusty @ To the Moon and Back
Michelle @ Delightful Learning 
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Rebekah @ There Will Be a $5 Charge for Whining 

And don’t miss the Awesome, Incredible $1300 Homeschool Curriculum and Cash Giveaway!
Back to Homeschool Grand Prize Giveaway

Awesome, Incredible Homeschool Giveaway: $765 Curriculum + $150 Cash!

Back to Homeschool Giveaway

Wow–what an awesome, incredible giveaway I have today!  This one is specifically for homeschoolers because it includes $765 worth of homeschool curriculum plus $150 cash!  See below for all the wonderful things you can win.  I own a lot of these and can verify that they will certainly be an asset to your homeschool!

Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew have joined forces during our August Back to Homeschool Blog Hop to bring you these giveaways, totaling more than $1300 in homeschool curriculum and Paypal cash!

Back to Homeschool Grand Prize Giveaway


Grand Prize Giveaway

In the Grand Prize  Giveaway, someone will win $765 in curriculum, plus $150 in Paypal cash to help you finish up your homeschool shopping! You could win all of the following. Please click on the prize links to learn more about each product.

From Home School Adventure Co. — Philosophy Adventure–Pre-Socratics and Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal (digital editions)

From Diana Waring Presents -Experience History Through Music

From Writing with Sharon WatsonThe Power in Your Hands: Writing NonFiction in High School and Writing Fiction [in High School]

From Homeschool LegacyWestward Ho I & Westward Ho II Once-a-Week Unit Studies

From The Old Schoolhouse MagazineOne-Year Membership to

From Shining Dawn Books — Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Bundle (Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Loving Living Math, Grammar Packets, and Creative Nature Walks)

From Memoria PressLatina Christiana I Set

From Excelerate Spanish — Excelerate SPANISH DVD Lessons 1-6

From WriteShop — Winner’s Choice of WriteShop Primary Book A, B, or C (Teacher’s Guide + Activity Pack)

From New Millennium Girl Books — Isabel Writing Bundle

From Write Bonnie RoseAsia: It’s People and History

From Home School in the Woods — Project Passport: The Middle Ages

From NotebookingPages.comLifetime Treasury Membership

From Victus Study Skills SystemVictus Study Skills Student Workbook & Teacher Edition Bundle

From the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers — $150 Paypal Cash

Back to Homeschool Second Prize Giveaway

 2nd Prize Giveaway

In the 2nd Prize Giveaway, someone will win $325 in curriculum, plus $100 in Paypal cash to help you finish up your homeschool shopping! You could win all of the following. Please click on the prize links to learn more about each product.

From Home School Adventure Co. — Philippians in 28 Weeks, The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Question, and The Wise Woman Print Set (digital editions)

From Writing with Sharon WatsonJump In: a workbook for reluctant and eager writers

From Home School in the Woods — K-2 Lap-Pak: Knights

From Write Bonnie Rose — Printables Bundle (Writing Prompts About Space Bonus Pack; Revolutionary War Activities: Patriotic Copywork; Revolutionary War Activities for Kids: Puzzles, Games, and Quizzes; Praying Through the Produce Aisle; Summer Olympics and Paralympics Unit Study)

From Excelerate Spanish — Excelerate SPANISH DVD Lessons 1-6

From Memoria PressPrima Latina Text Set

From New Millennium Girl Books — Callie’s Contest of Courage Mid grade novel and Callie’s Contest of Courage Literature Guide

From The Old Schoolhouse Magazine — One-Year Membership to

From the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers — $100 Paypal Cash

To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Residents of the U.S., ago 18 and older only. See more Terms and Conditions in the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review of Lewis & Clark: From Sea to Shining Sea, a Once-a-Week Unit Study

lewis & clark unit study

I’m excited to do a review today of an awesome product called Lewis & Clark: From Sea to Shining SeaIt’s a Once-a-Week Unit Study from Homeschool Legacy.

Are you familiar with unit studies?  I have done tons of them in my homeschool career.  What I usually do is pick a topic and then head to the library to check out a bunch of books, CDs, and/or DVDs on the subject.  We then try to add as many disciplines as we can that fit into that topic:  science, history, geography, writing, math, art, music, Bible, read-alouds of fiction and biographies, etc.  We’ve done lapbooks with them, too. They are a great way to do school with the whole family–all ages!

So, here is one of the things that is great about Once-a-Week Unit Studies.  They have all the research done for you!  

You’ll find:

*  All of the lessons are typed out for you to read.  Just get some library materials and craft materials and recipe ingredients to add to it!

*  Library book list (arranged by age, in alphabetical order, and with the Dewey decimal numbers)

* Photographs and drawings

*  Suggestions for how to schedule your time (what to do each day of the week–it’s called Once-a-Week because the majority of the work is done on just one day.  Read-alouds could/should be done each day of the week.)

*  It’s very flexible.  Use it for however it works best for your family.

*  It’s Biblically oriented

*  Field trip ideas

*  Art projects

*  Recipes

*  The unit studies could be used at co-ops

If you have a child in Boy Scouts or American Heritage Girls, you’ll really love these unit studies.  They have lots of badge projects included!  It can be used for 4H projects, too.  

At this time they only sell only physical copies, but plan on introducing digital versions in the very near future.

The first thing to do when getting your Unit Study is to read the section, Getting the Most Out of Your Once-a-Week Unit Study, located in the back. It will help get you off to a great start.  

Here are some specifics for the Lewis & Clark unit study:

*  It’s 80 pages long.

*  It has enough material for 7 weeks.

*  All books and DVD ideas are included.

* The cost is $21.95

*  It’s really fun and interesting!

*  Recipes are included (like Crawfish Etoufee) and some great projects (like making a journal and a mold of an animal track).

*  Each week has a different focus:

Week 1: New France (animal tracks, beavers)
Week 2: Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Louisiana Purchase  (zydeco music, architecture, Lousiana/Cajuns)
Week 3: Fixing for a Start (map, plants, Newfoundland dog)
Week 4: Sacagawea Joins the Corps! (American Indians, birds)
Week 5: Trials and Tribulations (buffalo, bears)
Week 6: Ocean in View! Oh the Joy! (otters, Pacific Ocean)
Week 7: Homeward Bound (wolves, Old Faithful, horses)


Here are the other titles of Once-a-Week Unit Studies that are available right now:

Birds of a Feather

Forest for the Trees

Horsing Around

Weather on the Move

Knights and Nobles

Native America

Early Settlers

Revolutionary Ideas: The Story of the American Revolution

Christmas Comes to America

Westward Ho Part I

Westward Ho Part II

We the People: Getting to Know Your Constitution

Lewis & Clark: From Sea to Shining Sea

(I received a copy of Lewis & Clark in order to write this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)