Thou Shalt Honor Thy Reader, Thou Shalt Not Waste Words, Thou Shalt Not Kill Thy Sentences—these are three of the “pen” commandments through which, with humor and an engaging sense of purpose, Steven Frank inspires his readers not just to write but to write well.
Thou Shalt Take Pleasure in Thy Pen: As Frank watches a group of students huddle around a boy who is gleefully explaining a mysterious scar, an infallible writing topic emerges—describe the grossest thing that’s ever happened to you. Thou Shalt Not Pick on the Puncts: Frank persuades a hyperkinetic teen to slow down long enough to let punctuation marks help the boy’s own natural storytelling ability come through. Thou Shalt Overcome Writer’s Block: With practical advice and compelling case studies, Frank unfreezes the pens of struggling writers all around him, from his mail carrier to a former student to his own mom.
Drawing on Frank’s considerable experience as an English teacher, his passion for writing, and his love of language, The Pen Commandments is a witty and accessible book that entertains as it instructs.
“Steven Frank is the English teacher you wish you’d had in high school. That’s because he knows that education and humor make terrific team teachers. If thou wishest to become a better—and more joyful—writer, thou shalt follow The Pen Commandments.”
—Richard Lederer, author of The Write Way
Table of Contents
Thou Shalt Honor Thy Reader
Thou Shalt Not Waste Words
Thou Shalt Not Kill Thy Sentences
Thou Shalt Not Pick on the Puncts
Thou Shalt Keep Thy Structure Holy
Thou Shalt Describe Thy World, Express Thy Opinions, and Preserve Thy Past
Thou Shalt Take Pleasure in Thy Pen
Thou Shalt Not Take Essay Tests in Pain
Thou Shalt Overcome Writer's Block
Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Prose
Appendix: The Top Ten Grammar Mistakes You Shouldn't Make
WINNER - New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
Steven Frank has been a high school English teacher for ten years. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.