The Lively Art of Writing

( 4 )
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)
$6.99 price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (78) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $3.63   
  • Used (67) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451627124
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/1969
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 88,575
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

A Note to the Student

Chapter 1 What Is an Essay?
Subjects for Essays
What Is an Opinion, and How Do You Reach It?
What Makes an Opinion Interesting?
Examining the Opposition
Believe What You Say

Chapter 2 From Opinion to Thesis
"Closing In" on Your Thesis
The Five-Step Process
A Subject Close to Home

Chapter 3 The Full and Final Thesis
Elements of a Full Thesis
The Psychology of Argument
Strongest Argument Last
Form of the Full Thesis

Chapter 4 Structure
The Introduction
No Bombs, Please
The Big Middle Section
Refer to Your Full Thesis
Your Strongest Argument

The Conclusion
Back to Beginnings
Understand the Structure
Tying in the Middle Section


Chapter 5 First Steps toward Style
The First Commandment
The Second Commandment

Chapter 6 The Size and Shape of Middle Paragraphs
One Point, One Paragraph
Length of Paragraphs
Basic Paragraph Structure
Developing a Paragraph
Picture-Frame Paragraphs

Chapter 7 Connections between Paragraphs
Standard Devices
A Note on 'however"
Paragraph Hooks
The Combinations

Chapter 8 The Passive Voice
What It Is, and How to Beat It
Adrift in Nobody-Land
Making the Subject Perform
Why Passive Voice at All?
A Plan for Self-Protection

Chapter 9 The Sound of Sentences
The Rhythm of Speech
Getting Inside the Sentence
The Basic Statement
The Strung-Along Sentence
The Periodic Sentence
The Combinations
Selecting the Details
Expanding the Subject
Expanding the Verb
Expanding the Rest of the Sentence

Chapter 10 Parallel Structure
Look for the Common Denominator
The Smaller Parallels

Chapter 11 A Way with Words
Synonyms and Antonyms
Big Words and Small
The Solemn Vapors
Metaphor and Simile

Chapter 12 Odds and Ends and Means
The Terrible Three
The Troublesome Twenty-Seven

Chapter 13 More Freedom and a Few Flourishes
Assignment 1: First Person at Last
Assignment 2: How to Write Badly by Trying Very, Very Hard
Assignments 3 and 4: Irony
The Fully Ironic Essay
The Ironic Touch

Chapter 14 Writing the Term Paper
The Trial Thesis
Procedure for Research
The Final
Your Paper Is in the Cards
Writing the First Draft
The Final Draft

Chapter 15 Summing Up

Handy Reminders

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent book for review and illumination

    This book is fantastic. It was written two years after I graduated from college. Boy, could I have used it the previous four years.

    It is a tremendously helpful tool for remembering what I forgot, and shedding light on some fuzzy areas. I never knew that I should never, or hardly ever, use the word there. I do now.

    I heartily recommend this book for anyone who has to write anything from personal letters to books.It is an excellent tool to have right beside your dictionary, thesaurus, Strunk & White's Elements of Style and Peter Flescsh's The Art of Readable Writing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2005

    The Lively Art of Writing is a great resource for homeschoolers.

    Many times boys are reluctant writers. The Lively Art of Writing is written to the student and does everything a homeschooling parent wishes a writing 'program' would do. Our older son's tutorial group used this book in a once-a-week tutorial, with students working independently during the week. By the time our older son finished this book, he was writing very well. I was so impressed I am using this book with his 9th grade brother in the fall.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2003

    indispensable for teaching style in high school

    Payne's pivotal work is as fresh today as it was when she wrote it. I used it with AP English juniors last year and plan to use it again and again. It outperforms Strunk & White in that it gives succinct lessons on style, parallelism, paragraphing, and essay writing. When you describe an essay like a train with transitions linking all of the freight cars, students can visualize what an essay needs to look like. The introduction is the locomotive, the conclusion the caboose. Practice exercises and vocabulary at the end of each chapter reinforce the principles Payne teaches. A nice companion to state-issued grammar books, Payne can be taught while asking students to use her principles in their own essay writing. My students claim that they learned much from our study of The Lively Art of Writing. If your students are struggling, have them get Payne.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)