Laurie Rozakis

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Laurie Rozakis
BornLaurie Ellen Neu
(1952-07-20) July 20, 1952 (age 70)
New York City
OccupationWriter, editor, professor, public speaker
Alma materHofstra University, Stony Brook University
SpouseBob Rozakis
ChildrenCharles Rozakis
Samantha Rozakis

Laurie Rozakis (born July 20,[1] 1952) is a writer of the Complete Idiot's books and an expert on writing, grammar, usage, test preparation, and coaching writers.[2][3][4] She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Hofstra University in 1973; her Master of Arts from Hofstra in 1975; and her PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1984.[5]

Career highlights[edit]

Rozakis got her start as a writer in 1981 when she published a review book on the Advanced Placement exam in English Literature with ARCO. To date, she has published more than 100 books and articles.[2]

In addition to writing, Rozakis has been teaching for 42 years.

Rozakis's first work was a series of books for test preparation (The New GED, College English Placement and Proficiency Exam, Reading Power: Getting Started, and Power Reading.)[5] She continued writing widely on test preparation, publishing three test prep books for elementary and middle-school students through Scholastic.[6]

Complete Idiot's Guides[edit]

Between 1995 and 2003, Rozakis wrote more than a dozen books in the Complete Idiot's Guides series, including The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creative Writing, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Research Methods and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style. She has revised many of the books for subsequent editions.


Rozakis's early scholarship focused on writing, including articles on evaluating writing for SUNY Councils on Writing, The Missouri English Bulletin, Exercise Exchange, and Kansas English. Subsequently, she turned to early American literature, publishing "A New Source for Hawthorne's Hester Prynne" in American Transcendental Quarterly: A Journal of New England Writers (1986). This was followed by “Puritan Punishment for Adulterous Conduct” in The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review (1990). In 2004, she wrote essays on Louis Simpson and Alicia Ostriker for the Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature. She wrote an analysis of classic American novels for the PBS televisions series The American Novel (2007).[7]

Video instruction[edit]

Rozakis has combined her expertise with writing and speaking in a series of instructional videos. These include a 10 CD/video series: Upgrade Your Writing Skills (2006–07) and a four CD/video series: SAT Subject Test, English (2008) for Video Aided Instruction.[8]

Writing coach[edit]

Rozakis also works as a writing coach for fiction (novels and short stories), academic writing, and memoirs, helping writers organize their ideas, craft their sentences and find their individual voice.

Speaking career[edit]

Rozakis has a career as a public speaker, giving frequent lectures, seminars, and interviews. Her television work includes serving as the "Vocabulary Judge" in the Word of the Day final contest on Live with Regis and Kelly, being a grammar expert on Good Day New York, and being part of a panel on the CBS The Morning Show and another on the Maury Povich Show.[2]

She has been interviewed for Newsday,[9][10][11] the Los Angeles Times,[12] The Sacramento Bee, The New York Times,[13] the Chicago Tribune,[14] National Public Radio's Morning Edition,[15] New York Daily News,[16] The Newark Star-Ledger,[17] Seventeen magazine,[18] the New York Post,[19] The Dallas Morning News,[20] and Newsday,[21] on grammar and test preparation,

Personal life[edit]

Rozakis is married to former comic book writer and editor Bob Rozakis, with whom she has collaborated on a few comic book stories,[22] as well as The Complete Idiot's Guide to Office Politics[23][24] They have two children, son Charles "Chuck", who wrote his Princeton University thesis on the business viability of webcomics,[25] and daughter Samantha "Sammi".[26]

Honors and awards[edit]

Rozakis has received a number of noteworthy awards including being named the Town of Oyster Bay "Woman of Distinction" in the Arts (2008). She won The State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1994 and number of fellowships, including several Joint Labor/Management Committee Individual Development Awards, a Porter Fellowship, a Farmingdale College Foundation Faculty Merit Award, and an Empire State Challenger Fellowship.[27] Her career and life are profiled in the reference books Contemporary Authors and Something About the Author.[2]

Bibliography (selected)[edit]


  • New GED, College English Placement and Proficiency Exam (ARCO)
  • Reading Power: Getting Started (ARCO)
  • Power Reading (ARCO)
  • Holistic Evaluation: A Primer, Kansas English (University of Topeka: Topeka, Kansas).
  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Office Politics (with Bob Rozakis) (Alpha Books, 1998) ISBN 0-02-862397-5
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creative Writing (Alpha Books)
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Research Methods (Alpha Books)
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Grammar and Style (Alpha Books)


  • “Holistic Evaluation of Writing: A Grading Practicum” Proceedings of the SUNY Council on Writing 3rd Annual Conference (pp. 97–112)
  • “To Change the Things that Can be Changed.” The Missouri English Bulletin.
  • “A Placement Writing Program,” Exercise Exchange (Utah State University: Logan, Utah.)
  • “Establishing, Administering, and Holistically Scoring an English Placement Writing Assessment.” The Minnesota English Journal (St. Cloud State University, MN)
  • “A New Source for Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne,” American Transcendental Quarterly: A Journal of New England Writers (1986).
  • “Puritan Punishment for Adulterous Conduct” The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review (Vol. XV, No. 2, 1990).
  • Essays on Louis Simpson and Alicia Ostriker for Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature. Greenwood Press, Emmanuel S. Nelson, ed. (2004).


  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2008. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008.
  3. ^ "Tips for the Test Takers." Carl Macgowan. Knight Ridder Tribune Business News. August 30, 2006. p. 1
  4. ^ "It's hip to be grammatically correct. Know when to use a semicolon? How about the difference between 'lay' and 'lie'? These days, English teachers aren't the only ones embracing the correct use of the language." Gina Kim Bee, Staff Writer. The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, Calif.: January 8, 2006. p. L.1
  5. ^ a b "The Ubiquitous 'Idiots Guides' Are Not Being Written by Idiots." By Marjorie Kaufman. The New York Times, September 21, 1997, p. 6 Long Island Section.
  6. ^ Get Test Smart! Scholastic (New Products: The Latest Offerings in Books, Hardware, Internet and Software), District Administration, 43.3 (April 2007), p. 76.
  7. ^ American Novel official website, on
  8. ^ Video Aided Instruction website.
  9. ^ Newsday Part II. "More Older Folks Flocking to MySpace and Facebook" Reporter: Arlene Gross April 26, 2008
  10. ^ “She Knows from Nice” by Judith H. Bernstein. Newsday May 9, 2007
  11. ^ “Ingrates and Ingratitude.” Newsday. Caryn Eve Murray, reporter. November 22, 2006
  12. ^ “Anger in the Workplace” The Los Angeles Times, Susan Vaughn, reporter. November 2, 1998
  13. ^ “Holidays’ Convergence Adds to December Dilemma.” Andy Newman, New York Times, B1, December 20, 2005
  14. ^ “How to Manage a Mother-in-Law,” by Kevin McKeough. Chicago Tribune, 2002, p. 2, March 20, 2003
  15. ^ National Public Radio Morning Edition Interviewer: Brakkton Booker. November 15, 2004
  16. ^ “In-Law & Order: Finding Relative Calm.” New York Daily News, June 30, 1998
  17. ^ Newark Star-Ledger, August 22, 2000.
  18. ^ “How Boys Can Write Effective Love Poems,” Seventeen Magazine. April 5, 2000
  19. ^ “Maybe I Shud Go Bak Too Skul.” The New York Post. Todd Venezia, reporter. December 8, 2006
  20. ^ Dallas Morning News, Joy Dickinson, reporter. August 7, 2000.
  21. ^ Newsday “New SAT: College Board Says Scores are Running Higher” Reporter: John Hildebrand, September 27, 2016
  22. ^ Laurie Rozakis at the Grand Comics Database
  23. ^ Rozakis, Laurie; Rozakis, Bob (1998). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Office Politics. Alpha Books. p. 320. ISBN 0-02-862397-5.
  24. ^ Rozakis, Bob (November 24, 1998). "The Bob Rozakis Home Page". Archived from the original on July 26, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  25. ^ Rozakis, Charles (April 9, 2003). "An In-Depth Look at the Business Viability of Webcomics" (PDF). Princeton University. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 26, 2004. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  26. ^ Rozakis, Laurie (September 26, 2008). "Adventures with Sammi!". Test Success: Grammar, She Wrote. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2012. We were able to go because Sammi held me up, especially up and down the stairs. What a wonderful daughter!
  27. ^ Rozakis profile at Farmingdale College website. Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine


External links[edit]