The Elements of Style

Okay! Call me old and grouchy.
In fact, I am getting old but I'm still going to recommend Strunk & White's "Elements of Style" for two reasons: 1) That's how I learned the vagaries of grammar, punctuation, usage, etc. and I've used "the little book" successfully in ESL, composition, literature and creative writing classes. 2) The major reason is that no student wants to spend--or needs to spend--hours going through interminable grammar and punctuation exercises.
Instead, use E. B. White's marvelous book to learn the fundamentals. Then, student and tutor can begin to learn how to write, edit and re-write. A far more profitable and enjoyable line of work.
I have written professionally for over forty years. Far more helpful than grammar and punctuation tests is a good ear. If something sounds wrong, it most likely is! The last thing to try to memorize are dozens of meaningless rules. Spend that precious time on developing a topic and re-writing for impact and clarity. You'll discover that by focusing your attention on the real priorities of writing, editing and re-writing your effort will pay far more dividends, far more quickly.
Frank R. - Los Angeles Tutor


Frank in no way, shape, or fashion is the book "The Elements of Style" old fashion and neither are you. Thank you very much for introducing the book to the blog. Strunk and White's work is critical at all levels. Saying that the Elements of Style are out dated would be like saying  2 + 2 no longer equals 4, even when students are attempting to create new math.
A major theme in the book is "keep it simiple". Keeping writen expression simiple is a monumental task and is, as the book suggests, directly related to Vocabulary. I credit Strunk and White with my unquenchable thirst for the field of Etymology.  I first read the book in the summer before going to college and when I finished I kicked myself for not mastering the book in middle school. I apologize for my un-Strunk and White's "verbosity".


Frank R.

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