Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Style of the Essay :: Writing Writers Education Essays

The Style of the Essay Prior to reading Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style and William’s Style, I was under the assumption that everyone had their own writing style. Once I had read the texts and listened to the classroom discussions I realized that I didn’t really know what style was when it came to writing. We as writers must all follow rules and guidelines for writing in order for the reader to understand what we are trying to get across. Without these rules and guidelines we probably wouldn’t be able to understand what the author is trying to express. I think that the word â€Å"style† has been thrown around so much that I never really understood its true meaning. Before going further let’s briefly look at the authors backgrounds. The Authors of The Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, have similar backgrounds. William Strunk Jr. was a professor at Cornell University, an Ivy League school on the east coast. E.B. White was a student of Strunk’s in 1919 and also a professional writer. While enrolled in Stunk’s class White and the rest of the students were required to purchase a little text book that Strunk had written to be used as a reference for writing. Thirty-eight years later White revised the text book by adding passages about the power of words and clear expression of thoughts and feelings (87 Stunk and White). Both authors are now deceased. Joseph M. Williams formally an English professor and linguist still alive as of October 2003, is the author of Style: Toward Clarity and Grace. Style, was originally published in 1981 as a text book and has been revised to reflect the changing times (ix Williams). Strunk and White’s Elements of Style tends to focus more on rules of accuracy, brevity and clarity etc. They offer few good and bad examples of these rules and write more for an educated White Anglo-Saxon Male in the early to mid 1900’s. Professor Strunk wrote the rules in the form of direct orders; â€Å"Sergeant Strunk† as E.B. White has called him focuses on the fundamentals: the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated (xiv Stunk and White). Williams explains the â€Å"styles† of writing more in depth than Strunk and White.

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