The Elements of Style - William Strunk Jr The Elements of...

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William Strunk, Jr.The Elements of StyleNEWYORK1918
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ContentsPREFACEIIIIINTRODUCTORY1IIELEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE31. Form the possessive singular of nouns with’s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32. In a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction, use a comma aftereach term except the last. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43. Enclose parenthetic expressions between commas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44. Place a comma beforeandorbutintroducing an independent clause. . . . . . .65. Do not join independent clauses by a comma. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76. Do not break sentences in two. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87. A participial phrase at the beginning of a sentence must refer to the grammaticalsubject. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98. Divide words at line-ends, in accordance with their formation and pronunciation.10IIIELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION139. Make the paragraph the unit of composition: one paragraph to each topic. . . .1310. As a rule, begin each paragraph with a topic sentence; end it in conformity withthe beginning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1511. Use the active voice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1812. Put statements in positive form. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2013. Omit needless words. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2114. Avoid a succession of loose sentences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2315. Express co-ordinate ideas in similar form. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2416. Keep related words together. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2517. In summaries, keep to one tense. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2718. Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28IVAFEW MATTERS OF FORM31VWORDS AND EXPRESSIONS COMMONLY MISUSED35VIWORDS OFTEN MISSPELLED45i
iiCONTENTS
ivPREFACE
Chapter IINTRODUCTORYThis book is intended for use in English courses in which the practice of compositionis combined with the study of literature. It aims to give in brief space the principalrequirements of plain English style. It aims to lighten the task of instructor and studentby concentrating attention (in Chapters II and III) on a few essentials, the rules of usageand principles of composition most commonly violated. The numbers of the sectionsmay be used as references in correcting manuscript.The book covers only a small portion of the field of English style, but the experienceof its writer has been that once past the essentials, students profit most by individualinstruction based on the problems of their own work, and that each instructor has hisown body of theory, which he prefers to that offered by any textbook.The writer’s colleagues in the Department of English in Cornell University have greatlyhelped him in the preparation of his manuscript. Mr. George McLane Wood has kindlyconsented to the inclusion under Rule 11 of some material from his Suggestions toAuthors.The following books are recommended for reference or further study:in connec-tion with Chapters II and IV, F. Howard Collins, Author and Printer (Henry Frowde);

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