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Book Report On Strunk And White Element Of Style Essay, Research Paper

The book Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White is a book which talks about rules of the English language. Rules that are important in communication between one person to the next. In the book, White has his rules and Strunk has his own, but they come together to make the book more detailed. Strunk talks about things such as using ’s when you are talking about plural, adding ’s to make a noun possessive, putting commas where they are needed and breaking sentences off properly. On the other hand, White is talking about things like placing yourself in the background, don’t overwrite and don’t overstate. Although Strunk’s rules deal more with the mechanics of writing and White tends to talk about the presentation of the writing, it comes together to make the book complete.

From the book I have learned some things about writing that I did not know, but I have also refreshed my memory on some things that I already knew. Strunk states that we should form the possessive singular of nouns by adding ’s. This shows that a noun is owned by a another noun. Placing a comma before a conjunction introducing an independent clause. If there is a comma placed in the middle of a sentence before a word, such as and or but, there are two separate clauses in that sentence. When the comma is reached the second clause has the appearance of an after-thought. You should be careful on the that rule because if there is not an and or but then the comma should be a semicolon. Make sure that you keep the writing in one tense because the reader may get confused if the writer keeps going to past to present or even future. He also says that you should place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end. He feels this is necessary because it makes the prominent position more emphatic if its is before the emphatic word.

White has a different view on writing. He is more into the presentation of the writing more than the mechanics. Place yourself in the background, it gives you more of the natural feeling as you write, like you are there at the time and it makes your writing so much more complete. If you vision yourself in the background then the writing is going to come more naturally. It is wise to make the sentence complete by using nouns and verbs because without both the sentence will not sound right. Another thing that I learned from White is that it is not wise to overwrite or underwrite. If you don’t write enough then the reader does not have enough information and if you write too much then the reader might be bored by it. Some other things I learned is that you should use orthodox, avoid fancy words and be clear.


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