If I had to choose only one book on writing, or was asked to recommend one, it would be The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. This little volume is only 100 pages, but it’s packed with essential information, and useful tips for writers. It’s not new . The first edition came out in 1935, and the fact that it’s still around and into a fourth edition, attests to the usefulness of this little volume. What’s so great about it? Well, here are a few examples:
Confused about when to use commas, colons and dashes? The Elementary Rules of Usage section in the introduction clears it all up – and more.
There are helpful and clearly illustrated sections on composition, form, misused words and expressions, and a very good section with guidelines on style.
The book is very easy to read, and gives clear examples..
In summary, The Elements of Style should be in every writer’s reference library – even if it’s the only book.
And no, I don’t receive any monetary gain or favour for praising this book – it’s just good.
What do you think? Are you familiar with this book? I’d love to hear from you.
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John R. Paterson