Essay on Strunk and White’s Elements of Style

Essay on Strunk and White’s Elements of Style

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Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style”


A typical science fiction fan can be more familiar about Star Trek and it’s characters than some of their own family members. For those that are not all that familiar with this “Sci Fi” show, Star Trek remains as a very well known icon in television history. The crew of the Starship Enterprise traveled to mysterious planets, through mysterious galaxies. I wonder if this journey couldn’t be compared to the journey of style for the writer.

In Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style” they state, “Who knows why certain notes in music are capable of stirring the listener deeply, though the same notes slightly rearranged are impotent? These are high mysteries...There is no satisfactory explanation to style, no infallible guide to good writing.., no inflexible rule by which the young writer may shape his course. He will often find himself steering by stars that are disturbingly in motion, “ (Strunk 66). Strunk here mentions that style is of the “highest mysteries”. There are no “inflexible rules” to style, and Strunk compares the writer on search for style as one being steered by the stars. I have chosen to make a correlation from Star Trek the television show, as well as the laws that governed our universe, to elements of style in writing. My goal is to show you the importance of what I have learned about style in a way that is simple and concrete to you. Perhaps, to boldly take your writing to a level it has never been before? You never know!

Style can be compared with one term that operates both in space and on earth: gravity. The Starship Enterprise and it’s crew of space men had to deal with gravity even in space. The Enterprise was able to jump through space a...


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... much less than we do about a subject, it is always prudent to underestimate a reader's knowledge and make themes explicit," (Williams 88,85).

In Conclusion, I have tried to share what I learned about style in a way that is simple and concrete. By comparing the rules of style to the laws of the gravity in a fun way, I hope that you see style is something you too must work with to be an effective writer. I hope by introducing you to these two resources you can use these books and take your writing to levels it has never gone before.


Works Cited


Strunk Jr., William, White, E.B. “The Elements of Style. Fourth Edition”. Mass: Allyn & Bacon. 2000. 18, 20-21, 71-73, 66.

Williams, Joseph M. “Style. Toward Clarity and Grace”. Chicago: University of Chicago Press and Scott, Foresman and Co. 1990. 21-22, 68-69, 85, 88.

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