The elements of style PDF book by William Strunk (for Writers) 1920

The elements of style PDF book by William Strunk (for Writers)


This book aims to give in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style. It aims to lighten the task of instructor and student by concentrating attention (in Chapters II and III) on a few essentials, the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated. In accordance with this plan it lays down three rules for the use of the comma, instead of a score or more, and one for the use of the semicolon, in the belief that these four rules provided. the internal punctuation that is required by nineteen sentences out of twenty. Similarly, it gives in Chapter III only those principles of the paragraph and the sentence which are of the widest application. 


The book thus covers only a small portion of the field of English style. The experience of its writer has been that once past the essentials, students profit most by individual instruction based on the problems of their own work, and that each instructor has his own body of theory, which he may prefer to that offered by any textbook. The numbers of the sections may be used as references in correcting the manuscript.



 The writer's colleagues in the Department of English at Cornell University have greatly helped him in the preparation of his manuscript Mr. George McLane Wood has kindly consented to the inclusion under Rule 10 of some material from his Suggestions to Authors.

Contents of the book

I. Introductory 5

II. Elementary Rules of Usage 7

1. Form the possessive singular of nouns by adding 's. 7

2. In a series of three or more terms with a single con-

junction, use a comma after each term except the last 7

3. Enclose parenthetic expressions between commas . . 8

4. Place a comma before a conjunction introducing a coordinate clause 10

5. Do not join independent clauses by a comma. ... 11

6. Do not break sentences in two 12

7. A participial phrase at the beginning of a sentence

must refer to the grammatical subject 13

III. Elementary Principles or Composition 15

8. Make the paragraph the unit of composition: one

paragraph to each topic 15

9. As a rule, begin each paragraph with a topic sentence;

end it in conformity with the beginning 17

10. Use the active voice 19

11. Put statements in positive form 21

12. Use definite, specific, concrete language 22

13. Omit needless words 24

14. Avoid a succession of loose sentences 25

15. Express co-ordinate ideas in similar form 26

16. Keep related words together 28

17. In summaries, keep to one tense 29

18. Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end . 31

IV. A Few Matters OF Form ' 33

V. Words and Expressions Commonly Misused.  36

VI. Spelling 48

VII. Exercises on Chapters II and III 50

Author: William Strunk
 Publication Date:1920

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A. P. Chekhov,1,Abraham Cahan,2,Abraham lincoln,1,Acting,2,Actors,2,Actress,1,Adam Smith,1,Adventure,22,Advertising,4,Akhnaton,1,Alan Watts,2,Albert Camus,1,Alchemy,4,Alexander,1,Alexander Kielland,1,Alexander the great,2,Alexandre Dumas,4,Algebra,1,Alice,1,Alice's adventures in wonderland,1,American Alligator,1,American History,5,Anarchism,4,Anarchy,4,Anatomy,1,Ancient,2,Ancient Egypt,15,Ancient Greece,4,Ancient Rome,1,Andrew Lang,2,Andrew Loomis,1,Anger Management,2,Animal magnetism,1,Animals,18,Animism,2,Anna Karenina,1,Anthropology,7,Antichrist,1,Antonio Gramsci,1,Ants,1,Anxie,1,Applied Psychology,14,Arabian Nights,1,Arabic Language,1,Arabic Literature,2,Aramaic Language,1,Aristotle,2,Arnold Bennett,2,Arrian,1,Art,23,Art and Crafts,21,Arthur B. 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Haddock,3,Frank Harris,2,Frankenstein,1,Frederick Douglass,1,Free Will,2,Freemasonry,5,freethought,4,French,5,French Revolution,6,French/Francais Book,1,Friedrich Nietzsche,1,Funny,1,Fyodor Dostoyevsky,3,G,1,G. K. Chesterton,2,Gadsby,1,Gambling,3,Games,12,Games Gambling,2,Gassendi,1,Gemology,1,Genetics,1,Geology,4,George de Horne Vaizey,1,George Gissing,1,George Manville Fenn,1,George Santayana,1,Georges Bataille,1,German Language,2,German philosophy,1,Germany,3,Germinal,1,Gobineau,1,God,1,Goddess,1,Gods,1,Goodearth,1,Gothic,2,Grammar,2,Grant Allen,4,Gravity,1,Great expectations,1,Greece,9,Greek History,4,Greek Language,2,Greek Mythology,3,Greek Philosophy,13,Grocery,1,Gulliver,1,Gulliver's travels,1,Gustave Le Bon,1,Guy de Maupassant,1,H. A. Overstreet,2,H. G. Wells,3,H.A. Overstreet,1,H.G. 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M Robertson,2,Jack London,6,Jalaluddin Rumi,1,James Allen,2,James Fenimore Cooper,1,James Joyce,1,Jane Austen,2,Japan,4,Japanese,3,Japanese literature,2,Jean-Jacques Rousseau,2,Jerome Davis,2,Jewish,4,Jiddu Krishnamurti,2,John Dewey,1,John Howard Moore,1,John Meade Falkner,1,John Steinbeck,1,Jokes,1,Joseph Conrad,2,Joseph McCabe,5,Journalism,3,Judo,1,Jules Verne,1,Julius Caesa,1,Julius Caesar,1,Kabbalah,1,Karl Marx,1,Karma,1,Kim,1,King Arthur,1,kkk,1,Knowlege,1,Kon Tiki,1,Koran,3,Korean Language,2,Kundalini,1,Latin Language,2,Law,1,Law of Attraction,3,Le miserable,1,Learn English,37,Learn Language,7,Learn Languages,69,Lenin,1,Leo Tolstoy,2,Lewis Carroll,2,LiberNull,1,Lionheart,1,Literature,34,Liverpool,1,Logic,14,Lucian,1,Lucifer,1,Lucretius,1,Ludovico di Varthema,1,Ludwig Feuerbach,1,Ludwig Wittgenstein,1,Mafia,1,Maggie,1,Magic,24,Magic Tricks,4,Magick,3,Majorca,1,Malay Language,1,Management,2,Manly Hall,1,Marco Polo,1,Marcus Aurelius,7,Margaret Mitchell,1,Mark Twain,3,Marketing,14,Marmaduke William Pickthall,1,Marquis de Sade,2,Martial and Self-Defense,9,Martial Art,2,Martinsm,1,Marxism,1,Mary Shelley,1,Masochism,1,Masonic,5,Mathematics,3,Maxims,4,Maya,1,Mechanics,2,Medical,3,Medical Dictionary,2,Medicine,5,Medium,1,mental healing,1,Mental Illness,1,Mentalism,6,Merchant,1,Middle Ages,2,Mike Quin,1,Mikhail Artsybashev,1,Militarism,1,Military,7,Mind,2,Miracles,1,Miyamoto Musashi,1,Moby Dick,1,Modern Philosophy,21,Mohammedanism,1,Mohicans,1,Money,16,Money Business,2,Mongol,1,Moses,1,Music,1,Mustafa Kemal,1,Mystery,5,Mysticism,1,Mythology,24,Mythology and Folklore,27,Nana,1,Naples,1,Napoleon,3,Napoleon Hill,1,Nasser,1,Nationalism,1,Native American,1,Natural History,3,Natural Philosophy,1,Natural Selection,1,Nature,10,Nazi,1,Nazism,2,Nero,1,Netherlands,3,New Testament,1,New Thought Movement,8,New York,2,newspapers,1,Niccolo Machiavelli,3,Nietzsche,6,Nirvana,2,Noivels,1,Non-English Books,1,Non-Fiction,2,Norway,1,Norwegian Language,1,Nostradamus,1,Novels,255,Nuclear energy,1,Occultism,54,Old Testament,1,Oliver Twist,1,Omar Khayyam,1,Orison Swett Marden,5,Ornaments,1,Osamu Dazai,1,Oscar Wilde,1,Outlaws,1,Pagan Bible,1,Pain,1,Palm Reading,1,Palmistry,2,Paris,3,Paternalism,1,Patriotism,1,Pearls Buck,1,People Reading,2,Perception,3,Perfumery,1,Persia,1,Persian Language,1,personal magnetism,1,Peru,1,Philip Gilbert Hamerton,2,Philosophy,229,phonetic,2,Photography,3,Physics,11,pigeon,1,pinned,7,Pirates,2,Places,1,Plato,1,Plays,6,Podiatry,1,Poetry,8,Poker,5,Political,50,Political economy,2,politics,6,Portability,1,Portuguese Language,1,Pottery,1,Poultry,3,Poverty,5,Practicality,2,Pragmatism,1,Prison,2,Projection,1,Propaganda,1,Psychiatry,1,Psychoanalysis,5,Psychology,83,psychotherapy,1,Ptolemaic,1,PTSD,1,Public Speaking,2,Punctuation,1,Pythagoras,1,Quantum Mechanics,1,Queen Moo,1,Quest,1,Quotations,13,Quran,3,R.M. 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