A free, comprehensive, peer-reviewed, award-winning Open Text for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research.

Style is not what we write but how we write it. For our purposes, style includes:

  • grammar (the rules that govern standard American English)
  • punctuation
  • point of view
  • syntax (how we arrange our sentences)
  • word choice/vocabulary
  • figurative language (metaphors, narratives, similies, etc.)

Just as wearing certain articles of clothing are more appropriate for certain occasions over others, so too does word choice, syntax, metaphor, and other stylistic devices impact the interpretation of a text. Using style effectively in writing does not just mean that the text uses fancy words; rather, using style effectively means that the “feel” and “tone” of the text is appropriate for the given situation.