Chapter 10 What About Style As

What about style?

Writing with style
"thoughtful flexibility" the ability to adapt voice, word choice, sentence structure, rhetorical effects, and document design to different situations, expectations or demands.

  • scholarly style

The universal rule is to make your writing seem seem deliberate.
Write Compelling prose that cannot possibly be misunderstood.

Higher Order and Later order concerns

  1. perfectionism can cause writers block. Freewrite first, then go back and perfect and organize your ideas and concepts.
  2. Polishing can waste time and energy.
  3. Editing while drafting is less effective-its difficult to concentrate. Put your writing aside for a day and come back to have a fresh mind and perspective.


  • Errors- a simple mechanical error can change the meaning of a sentence.

errors make the readers job harder and can diminish credibility.

  • Grammar vs Usage

grammar are the rules of language traditionally and formally while usage is how people use language on a day to day basis.

  • Punctuation

commas, colons and other punctuation makes writing more readable.
Punctuation marks create connections between ideas

  1. Period- used to show full separation between ideas
  2. dash- used to set apart or emphasize or elaborate portion of a sentence.
  3. Colon- two ways (1) to introduce a list and (2) to combine two independent sentences where the first part of the sentence introduces the ideas of the second part.
  4. Semicolon- used to connect closely related ideas that could be separated into two sentences but demonstrate a stronger connection when a semicolon is present.

Scholarly writing often employs active voice, where the doer of the action (subject) comes before the object
Passive voice reverses the sentence order, placing the object before the verb and subject
Many readers prefer active voice because it's clearer and easier to read

Clarity and Vividness
Use strong verbs
Remember that less can be more
Vivid and precise language

Creative choices we make to improve style

  • Imitation

imitate other writers that you admire.
-Whats the typical length?
-How are they organized?

  • sentence variation
  • Figures of speech

Visual Design
Capitalization, bold, italics, other special formatting

Writing in digital spaces

  • How is it different?

Always public
Audiences move quickly
The Web is big and noisy

Proofreading and editing
read your writing aloud
Review with others
Use technology

Developing more style
Alway read as a writer- pay attention to how others write and take ideas from other writings.
Always write as a reader- Write as if you are reading and make it appealing to your readers.

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