The Elements Of Style Essay, Research Paper
Alex Jerriperiod 410/9/98 The Main Points of The Elements of StyleStyle is often viewed as an abstract component of writing, the presence of which can determine the quality of a piece of literature. While many works have been devoted to explaining style, The Elements of Style helps the reader to develop a understanding of style by defining and explaining the elements of writing. In The Elements of Style, E.B. White s purposes are to make the reader more sensitive to their audience, to identify a purpose in their writings, and to develop and use their own voice. A goal of White s was to make his reader more sensitive to their audience. White reminds the reader to keep the audience s attention in mind, and on page 85 states, “It is now necessary to warn the writer that his concern for the reader must be pure. . .” By being aware of the reader, the writer is able to make his writings more interesting. Wordy expressions and overly-flowery speech are shunned by White because they often bore the reader. White captures the reader s attention by addressing them directly. The author s work is interesting and often humorous. White s ability to hold the reader s attention makes The Elements of Style a good example of work that engages the reader.Another of White s goals was to make sure all writing was clear, and above all, purposeful. White encouraged readers to write in a direct and purposeful manner, without overstating or understating their points. By establishing a purpose to writing, the writer is able to eliminate useless words and be more clear. Much of Chapter V, An Approach to Style, deals with cutting away pretentious words and lengthy expressions to get to the point. White s writings were purposeful and efficient. The author made his points in as few words as possible, and avoided awkward sentences. White s clear and purposeful style makes The Elements of Style a useful book for studying clarity.
White s third goal was to emphasize that writers should develop their own style while still following grammatical rules. White felt that each writer s style would show in their work, and said of a careful and honest writer, “As he becomes proficient in the use of the language, his style will emerge. . .” White felt that grammatical rules were not to be viewed as constraints, but as guides for better writing. The author wants beginning writers to become more comfortable with proper grammar before they concern themselves with style. White s direct style served as an example of how writers should compose their work. White maintains a positive and personal tone throughout. White was able to give instructions without talking down to the reader, a fact that made the book more useful and enjoyable. While style is often difficult to define, its effects are easy to spot. In The Elements of Style, E.B. White s goals are to make the reader more sensitive to their audience, more purposeful in their writings, and develop their voice while following grammatical principles.