Writing of all types, whether it’s being used to persuade, inspire, inform, or entertain is subject to a strict set of rules and guiding principles. While style and syntax differ from one writer to the next there are certain established structural paradigms that each writer should work within. Nowhere are these rules and paradigms better outlined than in William Strunk Jr.’s The Elements of Style.
Known in many academic circles as ‘the little book,’ due its small size relative to its abundance of concisely organized information, The Elements of Style is a book every aspiring writer should own. Heck, even if you’re not an aspiring writer and you just want to improve the quality of your next high school essay, university paper, or business report, you should buy The Elements of Style. Aside from containing all those pesky grammar rules and terms you’ve forgotten from your high school English class (remind me what the difference is between an auxiliary verb and a transitive verb… that’s what I thought), The Elements of Style contains a number of general tips to improve your writing. There are chapters dedicated to grammar, effective sentence composition, commonly misused words and expressions, and general ways to improve overall writing style. William Strunk Jr. has created an essential work that is a must-own for writers of all types and abilities.
Originally published in 1920, The Elements of Style now has numerous editions with E.B. White as an active contributor. Himself a student of Strunk, White possesses the same gusto and passion for writing that his professor did and has updated the book with a new introduction and, where applicable, has modified or added examples that more accurately reflect modern society and the types of writing people are doing.
Writing is something that can never be perfected. While one can learn all the rules and all the tips and tricks, there will always be room for improvement, for evolution, and for growth. As with most things in life, the more one writes, the better one will become at writing. The Elements of Style is a great companion book for aspiring writers and really anyone who is looking to improve the quality of their writing.