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Strunk & White: 11 Composition Principles
Strunk & White: 11 Composition Principles
Strunk & White: 11 Composition Principles

White E. B. White holds the rare distinction of being admired both by adults, for such breathtaking essays as “Here is New York” and “Once More to the Lake,” and by children, for such wondrous stories as “Charlotte’s Web” and “Trumpet of the Swan.” White is also revered by writers for bringing us The Elements of Style, a classic on the art of writing good prose, in any form. White actually just tweaked and arranged publication of the book, which was originally a privately printed text by one of his professors, William Strunk Jr.

Though a slender book, it contains such priceless wisdom as these 11 Elementary Principles of Composition:  * 

  1. Choose a suitable design and stick to it.
  2. Make the paragraph the unit of composition.
  3. Use the active voice.
  4. Put statements in positive form.
  5. Use definite, specific, concrete language.
  6. Omit needless words.
  7. Avoid a succession of loose sentences.
  8. Express coordinate ideas in similar form.
  9. Keep related words together.
  10. In summaries, keep to one tense.
  11. Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end.

* From The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White

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