The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition


By William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
Longman/Prentice Hall

FEW WRITING MANUALS have withstood the test of time as well as William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White’s The Elements of Style. Strunk and White focus on elements of usage, the principles of composition, form and commonly misused words and expressions.

The Elements of Style was first used in 1919 by Strunk for his composition courses at Cornell University and published in 1935 for the general public. E.B. White, a former student of Strunk was commissioned by MacMillian for the 1959 and 1972 revisions.

The revisions to the new edition are purposely kept minimal in order to retain the book's unique tone, wit, and charm. A new glossary of the grammatical terms used in the book provides a convenient reference for readers. The discussion of pronoun use is revised to reflect the contemporary concern with sexist language. In addition, there are numerous slight revisions in the book itself which implement this advice. A new foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered.

This book has conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of “the little book” to make a big impact with writing.