Clean, Well-Lighted Sentences

A Guide to Avoiding the Most Common Errors in Grammar and Punctuation

Janis Bell (Author)


An extraordinary handbook: with clarity and humor, it tells the story that even good writers have been longing to hear.

Clean, Well-Lighted Sentences is a small, engaging book that sits at your desk and gives golden advice. It knows precisely what your questions are, answers them clearly, makes sure you understand, and stops. What an unusual find: a grammar and punctuation guide that speaks only about issues that trouble—nothing more. Perfectly suited to anyone who has to write, from high-school and college students to senior-level executives.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • September 2009
  • ISBN 978-0-393-33715-0
  • 5.5 × 8 in / 176 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverClean, Well-Lighted Sentences: A Guide to Avoiding the Most Common Errors in Grammar and Punctuation


Endorsements & Reviews

“Janis Bell is the warm, smart English teacher you wish you’d had, and [this] is the grammar book you’ve been waiting for.” — Samantha Berry, Marin Magazine

“This gem provides answers to everyday questions facing writers rather than an exhausting list of rules we seldom remember or need.” — Mike Nobles, Oklahoma Observer

“I am not a fan of grammar and usage books that try to be too cute…[Bell’s] book is not dry or boring, but [she] doesn’t waste a reader’s time with her own cleverness. Her explanations are straightforward and practical. (She writes ‘clean, well-lighted sentences.’)” — Pam Nelson, News & Observer

“This will sit on my shelf alongside the dictionary and will undoubtedly develop worn pages from frequent use.” — Melanie Sperling, Associate Professor of Education, University of California, Riverside

“This book has made me a better writer and communicator and is a must-read for college students, future teachers and others who must continue to rely on written forms of communication.” — Mark Clark, Professor of Education, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

“What a gem this book is! Clean, Well-Lighted Sentences can be your handbook (open to the page you need—everything’s easy to find), your tutor (open it at random every day, or create your own program of grammar points to learn or review), and probably your last-minute savior when a paper is due tomorrow. I’m keeping my copy close at hand.” — Les Gottesman, chair, Department of English and Communications, Golden Gate University

“Ms. Bell and her book will bring plenty of smiles to your face as you read and learn…Clean, Well-Lighted Sentences is a perfect book for people who need to write in the course of their occupation or avocation and want to be better understood. Very few of us can remember all of these rules and we have need for just such a book. Thank you, Janis Bell.” — Dennis Bianchi, San Francisco Police Officers Association, POA Journal?

“You will find reading Janis Bell is a pleasure…This is a book that gives you an immense training ground without being dry or mechanically overloaded as such books too often are.” — Michael Krasny, host of Forum on KQED-FM, San Francisco, and professor of English, San Francisco State University

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