William Strunk Jr. Writing Styles in The Elements of Style

William Strunk Jr.
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Authoritative Tone

Strunk wrote his original manuscript in the authoritative tone of the professor speaking from the lectern, and White, in his additions, followed Strunk's lead. While the authors acknowledge that some of their views are not universally held, they go on to present those views as representing the highest standards of written English. Virtually all of the book's rules and principles, and also much of the text that supports them, are presented in imperative sentences: "Put statements in positive form"; "express coordinate ideas in similar form" (the principle of parallel construction); "revise and rewrite." Following their own advice about not weakening sentences with vague qualifiers, Strunk and White never write "try to . . ." or "it is a good idea to . . ." or "if possible . . ." Their presentation can be summed up as follows: These are the rules. Good writers follow them. A reader of The Elements of Style is likely to...

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This section contains 550 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Elements of Style Study Guide
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
The Elements of Style from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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