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.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Strunk_White_Declutter

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.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.