Essay on Good Writing Style

Essay on Good Writing Style

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The Elements of Style written by William Strunk and E.B. White, and Style: Toward Clarity and Grace written by Jospeh Williams both offer suggestions for establishing the comprehensive application of literary techniques and style. Each book, constructed differently, focuses on various areas of writing through comprehensive basic rules and guidelines. These books specifically identify the basic foundation for writing rules of usage, principle composition and offer suggestions for different types of style approach. The information provided also compels the average writer toward the necessary elements of the writing process through various methods of grammar, punctuation, and style implications. Though they are presented completely different, some of the basic style suggestions found in Strunk and White are somewhat similar to those in Williams. Both books propose that good writing style must consist of: clarity, precision, length, revision, cohesion, and reader sensitivity_all with the application of basic writing rules and guidelines. Although each book can be very helpful to the average writer, the intense amount of instruction may, at first, seem overwhelming.

I must honestly admit that Williams was not the easiest style guide to read. The longer paragraphs were easy to get through, but some of the examples were a little confusing and could have been seen as having ambiguous meanings. I think the book is written well, but I’m not sure that some of the examples were as “clear” as they could have been: maybe I was the only one who didn’t understand some of them. Regardless of their structure, I still managed to learn a lot about style. I’ve found that a writer must understand and naturally apply the necessary writing te...


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...ledge of literary principles and techniques.

I’m not necessarily sure that good writing style is something which can simply be taught, but that it is somewhat possessed internally, or comes naturally. Good style is not one specific quality, but rather a comfortable combination of distinctive features. Writing must create a clear, consistent, graceful form of expression. Distinguished writing forms a rhythm through the arrangement of words, and the integration of implementing preparation with precision. Style does not necessarily have to be aesthetic by any means, but it must create an enticing, yet simplistic appeal.


Works Cited:

Strunk, William JR., and White, E.B. The Elements of Style. Massachusetts: A Pearson Education Company, 2002.

Williams, Joseph M. Style: Toward Clarity and Grace. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1990.

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