Essay on The Significance of Style

Essay on The Significance of Style

Length: 1242 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Significance of Style


Robert Burton, lifelong scholar and librarian in the 16th century, wrote: “It is most true, stylus virum arguit,--our style betrays us” (qtd. in Bartlett). Whether inserting the most complicated words possible in order to sound scholarly, littering sentences by overusing slang and contractions, or keeping every sentence to a tight structure of subject, verb, object with no variation—these elements of style used improperly say something, even if unintentional, about the writer. In the end, the writer ends up sounding pompous, uneducated, or stilted and boring. While it would be easy to confuse style with voice and insist that every writer must be true to their voice and so cannot “learn” style, it is clear that style is much more than just the voice of the writer. No one writes in order to sound pompous, uneducated, or boring; we write to educate, to entertain, or even to make connections. Two books, Style: Toward Clarity and Grace by Joseph Williams, and The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, address the issues of style and attempt to give the writer tools to improve their writing style. While there are many important elements to style, the ones I found most helpful deal with audience, clarity, and emphasis.

Few people write for the pure pleasure of writing alone—writing is meant to be read. According to Williams, it is important “to understand not only [writings] social origins but its social consequences” (xi). He asserts that when writing is unclear, often the reader mistakenly makes the assumption that it is their fault when it is the writers. In other words, writers have a responsibility to write clearly for their intended audience. The elements of style that...


... middle of paper ...


...s control of his words—they are “tumbled about” for people to understand or misunderstand (362). In taking the responsibility for a clear writing style, writers can more effectively allow their audience to understand their intended meaning, and they can set at least one of Plato’s fears to rest.

Works Cited

Bartlett, John. “Bartlett’s Book of Quotations.” June 2000.

http://www.bartleby.com/100/151.6.html>. Bartleby. 17 Oct. 2004.

Bowron, Kelly. “Prompt Five.” < http://bkellyaf.blogspot.com/>. 17 Oct. 2004 Exploring Writing. 18 Oct. 2004.

Plato. “From Phaedrus.” Readings from Plato to the Digital Age. Evelyn B. Tribble and Anne Trubek, Eds. New York: Longman, 2003. 360-364.

Strunk, William Jr., and E.B. White. The Elements of Style. New York: Longman, 2000.

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

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Pop Style: Live Concert Performance Analysis

- The live concert performance that I attended was the Dana Concert Series Presents: Faculty and Guest Artist Recital at the The College of Creative Arts and Communication. The venue was Bliss Recital Hall. The recital included the faculty performers, Dr. James Umble on saxophone and Dr. Glenn Schaft on vibraphone. The guest artists from the Cleveland Orchestra, were Art Klima on viola, Stephen Warner on violin, Carolyn Warner on piano, and Richard Weiner on percussion. Modern and Late Romantic style music was the theme of the live performance....   [tags: music, late romantic style, debussy]

Strong Essays
971 words (2.8 pages)

Malaysian Leadership Style and Employees' Organizational Commitment Essay

- Bibliographical Entry Lo, M.C., Ramayah, T., and Min, H.W., (2009). Leadership styles and organizational commitment: a test on Malaysia manufacturing industry. African Journal of Marketing Management, 1 (6), 133-139. Problem In Malaysia it was a common complaint that employees were no more loyal as they used to be in the passed. Employees would tend to leave their companies for slightly better pay due to low commitment. Hence, the biggest challenge for Malaysian organizations was to provoke a sense of commitment and loyalty to their employees....   [tags: Leadership]

Strong Essays
940 words (2.7 pages)

Manfred, by George Byron; Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen; and Castle Rackrent, by Maria Edgeworth

- Historically, the Romantic era has come to symbolise an age of change and desire in the social and political sense. In a time of revolution abroad and domestic reform, one can see the importance of desire as a vehicle for change. By examining Byron, Austen and Edgeworth in a new historicist style, one is presented with differing viewpoints on desire, its effect on the narrative and its inferred comments on society. One can argue that desire is used by the aforementioned as discourse with the reader....   [tags: The Significance of Desire]

Strong Essays
1203 words (3.4 pages)

Manfred, by George Byron and Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen Essay

- Historically, the Romantic era has come to symbolise an age of change and desire in the social and political sense. In a time of revolution abroad and domestic reform, one can see the importance of desire as a vehicle for change. By examining Byron, Austen and Edgeworth in a new historicist style, one is presented with differing viewpoints on desire, its effect on the narrative and its inferred comments on society. In Byron’s ‘Manfred’, the theme of desire primarily concerns knowledge and in the latter acts, a need for forgiveness....   [tags: The Significance of Desire]

Strong Essays
1122 words (3.2 pages)

An Overview of Leadership Style Essay

- ... The best styles depend on the criteria used to judge “best”. If group productivity is the criterion, any of the styles could be effective. If optimizing group freedom is the criterion, styles at the right end are better than styles at the left. If quickness in decision making is the criterion, styles that maximize leader authority usually are best. Thus, the value of leadership style must be evaluated in terms and desired outcomes. Another important point can be seen in the figure. A leader’s behavior at anyone time falls somewhere on the continuum or within some range on it....   [tags: autocratic, democratic, laissez faire]

Strong Essays
1359 words (3.9 pages)

Leadership Style Essay examples

- 1. Introduction 1.1 Background 21st-century organizations are different, and the pace of change is even faster. This has given rise to new ideas about where leaders need to put their energies. Perhaps this means less vision and more connectivity (Esther and Mike 2004). Today, organizations are in a continuous process of transformation. Change became the norm of organizations not an exception. If organization is traveling on the rout of success then its possible destinations are change management, adoption of new technologies and phenomenon (Joachim and Ralf 2008)....   [tags: Business Management]

Strong Essays
3981 words (11.4 pages)

Essay on Baroque Style Basilicas

- Baroque Artwork Throughout the Baroque Ages, many artists created paintings and sculptors due to their great religious beliefs or creativity during their time. It was the beginning of new masterpieces and the show of how creative the arts could be. Out of these masterpieces, there were three famous buildings that contained the most extravagant artwork. They are the St. Peter’s Basilica, the Versailles, and the Hampton Court. These works had great designs that were elegant and creative, which are perfect examples of baroque styles....   [tags: saint peter's basilica, versaies basilica]

Strong Essays
953 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Writing Style in The Awakening

- Writing Style in The Awakening    In her novel The Awakening, Kate Chopin is an artist who paints a picture for the reader with every word:"The sun was low in the west, and the breeze was soft and languorous that came up from the south, charged with the seductive odor of the sea." (12) The inclusion of such alluring and dramatic images allows the reader to see, hear, feel, smell, and live in the scene which she creates. Chopin writes to awaken the senses, and her style is one of beauty and uniqueness....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Strong Essays
998 words (2.9 pages)

Dante's Literary Style Essay

- Dante's Literary Style Dante was a genius, having being said at the cost of sounding trite. He was also the master who wrote the masterpiece appropriately called La Comedia which, most clearly of all his works demonstrates his genius profoundly. Dante lived in Florence, Italy in the late 13th and early 14th century. This was at a time when Florence was in political turmoil. Dante, however, was not a commoner. In fact, Dante's party, who were called the Guelfs, took control of Florence during Dante's time in 1266 (Fergusson, Francis, 26)....   [tags: Dante Comedia]

Free Essays
1432 words (4.1 pages)

Hemingway Style Analysis Essay

- 1 Earnest Hemingway is one of Americas foremost authors. His many works, their style, themes and parallels to his actual life have been the focus of millions of people as his writing style set him apart from all other authors. Many conclusions and parallels can be derived from Earnest Hemingway's works. In the three stories I review, ?Hills Like White Elephants?, ?Indian Camp. and ?A Clean, Well-lighted Place. we will be covering how Hemingway uses foreigners, the service industry and females as the backbones of these stories....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Strong Essays
1361 words (3.9 pages)