Topics for Further Study

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What do you think Professor Strunk would have to say about the writing that appears in today’s newspapers, magazines, and books? Write a short essay, as if you were Strunk, critiquing the general state of written English in the United States today. As Strunk did, be sure to give examples to support your criticisms.

Choose one of Strunk and White’s rules or principles with which you disagree. Write a letter to the book’s publisher in which you make a case for changing or deleting that rule or principle from the book.

Research the history of The New Yorker from its founding to the present. Make a timeline showing the highlights of the magazine’s history and the important writers who have worked there or contributed to the magazine.

Read all or part of one of White’s books for children. Consider to what extent the style White extols in The Elements of Style is reflected in his own work and how this style affects the quality of the work.

Now that you have read The Elements of Style, reread a piece of your own writing. Revise the piece according to the dictates of Strunk and White, and then decide whether you think the revision has improved your writing.

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