Strunk and White's Principles Of Composition

Added on by Matthew Sutton.

Follow These and Write Better

  • Choose a suitable design
  • Use the active voice
  • Put statements in positive form
  • Use definite, specific, concrete language
  • Omit needless words
  • Place yourself in the background
  • Write naturally
  • Write with nouns and verbs
  • Revise and rewrite
  • Do not overwrite
  • Avoid qualifiers
  • Do not affect a breezy manner
  • Use orthodox spelling
  • Do not explain too much
  • Do not construct awkward adverbs
  • Avoid fancy words
  • Avoid dialect
  • Avoid mixing languages
  • Prefer the standard to the offbeat

My students should read this book, Elements of Style. They will be better for it. I know I am.