Originally written by William Strunk, once an English professor at Cornel University, “The Elements of Style” was later revised by E.B White. The latter took an English course from professor Strunk thirty-eight years before he revised tis small book.
The authors tell you the basics of proper writing, the do’s and don’ts, as well as some tips to on clarity and how to keep your writing constant. I particularly enjoyed the author’s style. Whenever they instructed the reader in certain areas, such as the do’s and don’ts, it was always followed by a written example. In my case, in order for my to learn best, I need an example to go on, otherwise I tend to forget part of the lesson. Also, they explained the reason some words were better than others, for clarity and conciseness.
The authors exhort their readers to be consistent in the use of their words; like if you have a character that has a Scottish accent, be sure to be consistent in that persons speech. If he says a word one way, do not write it another way the next time he says it.
Another example of inconsistency, is when two or more characters are speaking with one another and you do not clarify who is speaking. Such inconsistency can confuse the reader, and make him or her read back several paragraphs to find who is speaking. (I have had to do this in a few books I read, it was quite annoying.)
One more admirable aspect of this small book, is that it is small. I don’t know about you, but I can read a lot of little books on writing; if its long it tends to get tiring. This small book keeps itself humorous, instructive and concise.
Seeing my growing interest in writing, my mother gave this book to me to read for school. I found it very enlightening, and saw my writing improving every time I sat down to write. The two authors do an excellent job of instructing the reader on the elements of style; I did not find it at all boring. In fact it was quite amazing to read what they had to say, and all in a short ninety-five pages.
I highly recommend this book to any and all students who write for school, or aspiring authors.