The elements of style - William Strunk - PDF ebook

The elements of style 

The elements of style
The elements of style  - William Strunk


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. 

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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