The Elements of Style refers to stylistic or linguistic attributes associated with highly prized language practices.
- Examples of valued language practices at the global/rhetorical level are whether a rhetor stays focused on unified topic, maintains a consistent rhetorical stance, and provides substantive content, especially evidence for claims.
- Examples of language practices at the local/syntactical level are the rhetor’s diction, sentence structure, paragraph structure.
A rhetor’s style plays an impactful role on comprehension. Thus, identifying stylistic or linguistic attributes associated with readability has been a long-term preoccupation of writers.
In 1918, William Strunk published The Elements of Style. Remarkably, much of Strunk’s advice on elementary rules of usage remains relevant today. That said, important stylistic changes have occurred over the past century, particularly due to disruptions in communication tools (e.g, the internet).
The following language practices are highly prized in contemporary discourse: