The Elements of Style
William Strunk, Jr.
Asserting that one must first know the rules to break them, this classic reference book is a must-have for any student and conscientious writer. Intended for use in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature, it gives in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style and concentrates attention on the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated.
Bibliographic Record Frontmatter
ITHACA, N.Y.: W.P. HUMPHREY, 1918
NEW YORK: BARTLEBY.COM, 1999
2. ELEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE
1. Form the possessive singular of nouns with 's
2. In a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction, use a comma after each term except the last
3. Enclose parenthetic expressions between commas
4. Place a comma before and or but introducing an independent clause
5. Do not join independent clauses by a comma
6. Do not break sentences in two
7. A participial phrase at the beginning of a sentence must refer to the grammatical subject
8. Divide words at line-ends, in accordance with their formation and pronunciation
3. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION
9. Make the paragraph the unit of composition: one paragraph to each topic
10. As a rule, begin each paragraph with a topic sentence; end it in conformity with the beginning
11. Use the active voice
12. Put statements in positive form
13. Omit needless words
14. Avoid a succession of loose sentences
15. Express co-ordinate ideas in similar form
16. Keep related words together
17. In summaries, keep to one tense
18. Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end
4. A FEW MATTERS OF FORM
5. WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS COMMONLY MISUSED
6. WORDS COMMONLY MISSPELLED
Creative writing programs teach students to compose poems, short stories, novels, and plays. Students learn how to write and edit their work and learn the components of literary genres. They learn to work with edits made by others. They study methods of literary criticism and learn how to market their work.
It was a dark and stormy night, begins a long-forgotten novel written in 1830. This sentence, however, has become the symbol of the so-important first sentence in a creative work. This sentence needs to delight, intrigue, and entice the reader to continue. As a writer, you must be able to combine inspiration with patient revision and editing to develop, polish, complete, share, and publish your projects.
Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in English and Fine Arts with emphasis on writing. Most two-year colleges offer the first two years of study. Students can often transfer these credits to a four-year school. Master's degrees typically take five or six years of full-time study after high school. Doctoral degree programs typically take three to five years after the master's degree.
Students who major in creative writing may choose concentrations such as:
Film and Television
Admissions - Pre-college preparation
You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.
American Literature and History
Mass Media, Communication
Issues of American Culture
Contemporary U.S. Issues
Contemporary World Issues
Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.
Additional requirements at some schools include:
Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General
Letters of recommendation
Typical course work
This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:
Elements of Writing
Survey of Writers
Writing Short Fiction
Things to know
You can begin developing your writing portfolio in high school with school assignments and journal pieces. As your skills develop, your portfolio improves. Graduate students are expected to publish their work and often read their work at public gatherings.
Similar areas of study
English Composition and Writing
Marketing, Merchandising, and Sales
Playwriting and Screenwriting
Careers you may qualify for
Agents and Business Managers
University and College Teachers
Academy of American Poets
National Writers Union
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The Writer's Garret
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The mission of The Writer's Garret is to foster the education and development of readers, writers, and audiences by putting them in touch with quality literature, each other, and the communities in which they live and write.
The Writer's Garret is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) literary center whose activities are wholly supported by gifts, grants, memberships, & class fees.
More at the pageAlazon:
A deceiving or self-deceived character in fiction, normally an object of ridicule in comedy or satire, but often the hero of a tragedy. In comedy he most frequently takes the form of a miles gloriosus or a pedant.
Relating to literature as a total order of words.
A form of prose fiction, traditionally known as the Menippean or Varronian satire and represented by Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, characterized by a great variety of subject-matter and a strong interest in ideas. In shorter forms it often has a cena or symposium setting and verse interludes.
The thematic term corresponding to "myth" in fictional literature: metaphor as pure and potentially total identification, without regard to plausibility or ordinary experience.
A symbol, usually an image, which recurs often enough in literature to be recognizable as an element of one's literary experience as a whole.
A form of drama in which the main subject is sacred or sacrosanct legend, such as miracle plays, solemn and processional in form but not strictly tragic. Name taken from Calderon's Autos sacramentales..