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The Elements of Style [Paperback]

William Strunk Jr. , E. B. White
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 23 1999 020530902X 978-0205309023 4
You know the authors' names. You recognize the title. You've probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered.This book's unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of "the little book" to make a big impact with writing.

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The Elements of Style + On Writing Well 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction + Keys to Great Writing
Price For All Three: CDN$ 37.28


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Review

"...a marvellous and timeless little book... Here, succinctly, elegantly and without fuss are the essentials of writing clear, correct English." John Clare, "The Telegraph"

From the Back Cover

Some acclaim for previous editions:

"Buy it, study it, enjoy it. It's as timeless as a book can be in our age of volubility."
The New York Times

"No book in shorter space, with fewer words, will help any writer more than this persistent little volume."
The Boston Globe

"White is one of the best stylists and most lucid minds in this country. What he says and his way of saying it are equally rewarding."
The Wall Street Journal

"The book remains a nonpareil: direct, correct, and delightful."
The New Yorker

". . . Should be the daily companion of anyone who writes for a living, and for that matter, anyone who writes at all."
Greensboro (N.C.) Daily News

"This excellent book, which should go off to college with every freshman, is recognized as the best book of its kind we have."
St. Paul Dispatch – Pioneer Press

"It's hard to imagine an engineer or a manager who doesn't need to express himself in English prose as part of his job. It's also hard to imagine a writer who will not be improved by a liberal application of The Elements of Style."
Telephone Engineer & Management


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Zaid
Format:Paperback
This is the most precious book I have ever read. I have learned from it in few hours what I could not learn in more than 12 years of schooling. In particular, it is a little book about how everyone must write in English, and I emphasize on the words ‘little’ and ‘must’ for reasons you will know as soon as you start reading the book.
The book contains 11 elementary rules of usage, 11 elementary principles of composition, a few matters of form, and a list of words and expressions commonly misused that establish the, not a, solid ground, of plain English style in brief space. All these rules and principles are given by William Strunk Jr. in the form of sharp commands, who is appropriately strongly self-confident of his approach to English writing style. The book is enriched by the revision of E. B. White and his addition of a chapter on writing. The author strongly argues that the main elements of correct English style are “cleanliness, accuracy, and brevity”, with a very strong emphasis on the latter. Under Strunk’s sixth principle of composition, Omit Needless Words, he writes:
"Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell."
I liked Strunk’s audaciousness and self-confidence of presenting his view on the topic. He also has a very nice sense of humour, which he had probably never intended. My favourite example is his strong criticism of how the word ‘hopefully’ is used.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless - Clear and Direct June 12 2006
Format:Paperback
Roughly 80 years ago, William Strunk wrote a small textbook for students in his English Composition class. He wrote it with the intention of creation a short and accessible reference for his students, one of whom - E. B. White, author of the children's classic "Charlotte's Web" - would revise it almost thirty years later for publication to the general college market.

Since its inception, "The Elements of Style" has been the definitive text on clear written communication. It contains explicit guidelines that can easily be followed by anyone, and lays down the law in the form of 22 Elementary Rules of Usage and Elementary Principles of Composition (my favorite of which, "Omit needless words," I couldn't resist quoting in my own book).

Perhaps most importantly, from the perspective of the aspiring writer (who generally has neither an abundance of time nor money), the book is short (can be leisurely read in a couple of hours) and inexpensive (affordable for even the starving student).

This book is highly, highly recommended for anyone who considers taking pen to paper.

Danny Iny

Author of "Ordinary Miracles - Harness the power of writing and get your point across!" (ISBN 1-4116-7252-6)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get the 3rd Edition Sept. 4 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The second edition of this classic work improved on the first edition, and the third was the best of all. It was perfection. The fourth, posthumous edition slips a little bit. It's still better than any other style guide, but a hint of Political Correctness has crept into some of its advice and examples. Why did the publishers feel the need to tinker with perfection? If you already have the third edition, don't bother getting the new one. If you don't have any copies of this great book, check the used bookstores for the previous edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the Best Dec 20 2001
Format:Paperback
Twenty-one years ago, a professor in one of my English Lit. classes brought out a book that was NOT one of those texts that you thought you were going to have to take along into the next life in order to finish it. The book was quite the opposite. It was a small 78 page publication that was no more intimidating than a comic book.
I was a student that needed help in my punctuation, word usage, and style. I hoped, as did all the students, that the day would come when we would be published. The professor said, "If you're ever going to make it in the writing field, this book will be your best guide. Stick to the principles mentioned in its pages and you will achieve your goals. That is, assuming you have any writing ability in you at all."
Currently, I am taking a refresher course through a correspondence school back East. Guess what book is part of their curriculum? You're right, it's The Elements of Style. This time I have given the book a strict credence, and in the next few months I will have my first publishing credit.
I believe, The Elements of Style, is still the best book on correct writing techniques there is on the market. It was so tweny-one years ago and it will be so twenty-one years from now.
M.D. Cummings
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Little Book May 9 2004
Format:Paperback
A pithy little handbook that gives rules and examples to help you avoid the most common mistakes in writing, plus some smart advice on the finer points by a renowned essayist and children's writer. It is by far the single most useful book on writing. But it is not the last word. For those who wish to go further, I recommend these books in addition to Strunk & White: The Prentice Hall Handbook for Writers, for a review of basic grammar and syntax; Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, by Joseph M. Williams, for more detailed advice on constructing paragraphs; The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing, by Thomas Kane, for more general advice; and Garner's Modern American Usage, for intelligent, detailed, and up-to-date guidance on diction. All these books belong on the shelf of every serious writer.
(By the way, I agree with the previous reviewer that the third edition is slightly preferable to the current one.)
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has helped me to win accolades in the writing world.
No writer should be without this book, and everyone I mention it to orders a copy for themselves. Perfect example of good writing: brief, clear and concise.
Published 26 days ago by Sheila White
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, it's a must have for every English ...
Very good book , it's a must have for every English speaking person.
Published 1 month ago by Colin Henville
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Writing Reference
A review of this book is almost unnecessary. If you ever write and want someone to read it, you own this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kevin Krogstad
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
The Foreword is very moving.
Published 3 months ago by Jerry1001
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great reference for people interested in writing and and writing it correctly.
Published 3 months ago by Munawar Rasheed
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be called: The Writer's Bible
Hands down, best book of it's kind of all time. Should be every writer's bible.
Published 3 months ago by S Legend
4.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic
I thought this would be a boring book but I actually found it very educational, and it certainly helped me to improve my writing skills. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joseph
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for serious writers
Very technical but essential to knowing the mechanics of word sentence design. Aimed at literary artists, this is a staple for writers.
Published 8 months ago by Derek Finnik
5.0 out of 5 stars Never learned so much from such a tiny book
This book is just amazing. It's extremely clear and to the point... More importantly, it's certainly useful for basically everybody (except for whoever doesn't ever need to write... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Gabriel Silva
3.0 out of 5 stars It is not as well-organized as I expected
I am not a native English speaker, but my english as second language is quite good. I read the reviews for this book, and people said this book is really well organized. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Yingche CHEN
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