JS Tip 276: Reference Books on Writing

Tips from Jefferson Smith Training and Consulting

** From the Writing Workshops: Reference Books on Writing

In several recent writing workshops, participants have asked how to continue the learning. How to learn more.

We suggest three books on writing: The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. The classic reference. You probably have a copy in a cardboard box in your basement. William Strunk, Jr., was an English professor at Cornell. He wrote mimeographed suggestions to help his students write more concisely. E. B. White (Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little) was one of Professor Strunk’s students. He crafted the suggestions into a book. In 2011, Time magazine named Elements as one of the most influential books written since 1923. The Chicago Manual of Style by the University of Chicago Press. The grandmommy of all business writing guidance. It’s not easy to use, and it’s expensive, but it is the absolute answer for writing questions. English 3200 by Joseph Blumenthal. A lifesaver. The text addresses grammar and punctuation. It begins with simple sentences and continues through dangling modifiers and “variations of the adjective clause” (wow).

These are great references. They’ll help you with your writing.

A question for you: What books work for you? Do you have suggestions for reference books on writing?

We love this stuff. We do.

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