Strunk and White: Cutting clutter and throttling the passive voice

The famous ‘Elements of Style’ marks a century of lessons for writers: ‘Omit needless words,’ and use a ‘concise, comprehensive statement’ to anchor descriptive paragraphs, among others.

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Strunk and White writing tips

If you ever head back to college to finish that master’s degree, William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White’s “The Elements of Style” could provide a refresher in term-paper structure.

Communicators, however, may find less interest in the college writing-type tips that start Section III. Few professional writers fret over topic sentences or providing supporting information.

Page deeper, however, and the section titled “Elementary Principles of Composition” offers a wealth of helpful tips for the writing professional. These can come in the form of old lessons we have forgotten, along with new (to us, anyway) tips worth putting into practice.

In the centenary of the Strunk and White collaboration, we are taking another look at this influential little book. We are finding much to appreciate in the advice that has guided communicators, journalists, copywriters and others for so many years.

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