Book Review – The Elements of Style by Strunk and White

Most of us do not like to write. Writing is a skill and not something you are born with. Initially, I did not like to write. I found it cumbersome and even difficult to put my thoughts into writing. Currently, I love to write. Writing has become a means of expression. It is the best way to organize your thoughts and convey meaning.

There are many books on writing and on technical aspects of writing such as punctuations, spelling, etc. There are few books on the style and proper flow of writing. One book stands above all books. It has also been around for awhile. That book is “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

The authors are also writers themselves. E. B. White wrote the classic children’s book, “Charlotte’s Web”. Their principles on the style and proper usage in writing is generally accepted by anyone and everyone (educators, writers, teachers, etc.).

The book, “Elements of Style”, should be one of those books that students and writers should have a copy of. As a student, you will learn principles that will make your essays and papers convey effective meaning (and earn an “A” at the same time). As a writer, you will be able to make your writing flow purposefully and your ideas come across as organized and effective. This is what you want your writing to be.

The English language has its own code. The book, “Elements of Style”, will enable you to “break that code” in your writing. That code includes how to use punctuations, active tense, composition, expressions, and style. Here are the topics that are covered by this reference book:

* Elementary rules of usage

This includes how to properly use parenthesis, commas, colons, dashes, etc. It is also discusses using the proper possessive form, proper use of pronouns, phrases, etc.

* Elementary principles of composition

This includes choosing a design in your writing, paragraphs, active voice, statements in positive form, using definitive (rather than useless words), loose sentences, keeping related words together, use of tense, placing emphatic words at end, etc.

* An Approach to Style

This includes writing naturally, writing with nouns and verbs, revising, rewriting, cardinal sins such as using foreign languages or excessive opinions, being clear, over explanation, etc.

* A Few Matters of Form and Words and Expressions Commonly Misused.

This will benefit anyone who needs to write to a wider audience. Unless you want to write in fragmented thoughts or in a haphazard way, then this book is not for you. Otherwise, you will need this book, “The Elements of Style”, to be a reference for all your writing.

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