The Elements of Style

Do not join independent clauses with  a  comma.

Avoid using so

Writing to be effective must closely follow the thoughts of the writer

Use active voice

Use definite, specific concrete language

Omit needless words

Express coordinate ideas in simple form

Colloquialism

However

Insightful

Like → As

Nor

That        Which

The truth is...         The fact is…

Very

The real notes

Writing in the Sciences

by Dr. Kristin Sainani

Principles of Effective writing

Write with verbs

Remove unnecessary words

Active vs passive voice

Paragraph

Improve everything You Write in Three minutes or Less

by Danny Rubin  - 9gag

The Elements of Style

Do not join independent clauses with  a  comma.

If two or more clauses, grammatically complete and not joined by a conjunction, are

to form a single compound sentence, the proper mark of punctuation is a semicolon.

Stevenson's romances are entertaining; they are full of

exciting adventures.

It is nearly half past five; we cannot reach town before

dark.

It is of course equally correct to write the above as two sentences each, replacing the

semicolons by periods.

Stevenson's romances are entertaining. They are full of

exciting adventures.

It is nearly half past five. We cannot reach town before

dark.

If a conjunction is inserted, the proper mark is a comma (Rule 4).

Stevenson's romances are entertaining, for they are full of

exciting adventures.

It is nearly half past five, and we cannot reach town before

dark.

Note that if the second clause is preceded by an adverb, such as accordingly,

besides, so, then, therefore, or thus, and not by a conjunction, the semicolon is still

required.

I had never been in the place before; so I had difficulty in

finding my way about.

If the clauses are very short, and are alike in form, a comma is usually permissible:

Man proposes, God disposes.

The gate swung apart, the bridge fell, the portcullis was

drawn up.

Avoid using so

I had never been in the place before; so I had difficulty in

finding my way about.

In general, however, it is best, in writing, to avoid using so in this manner; there is

danger that the writer who uses it at all may use it too often. A simple correction,

usually serviceable, is to omit the word so, and begin the first clause with as:

As I had never been in the place before, I had difficulty in

finding my way about.

Writing to be effective must closely follow the thoughts of the writer

Use active voice

The active voice is usually more direct and vigorous than the the passive.

Use definite, specific concrete language

Prefer the specific to the general, the definite to the vague, the concrete to the abstract.

A period of unfavorable weather set in.

to

It rained every day for a week.

Omit needless words

Vigorous writing  is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.

The question as to whether

whether

he is a man who

he

this is a subject that

this subject

the reason why is that

because

Express coordinate ideas in simple form

A preposition applying to all the members of a series must either be used only before the first term or else be repeated before each term.

the French, the Italians, Spanish and Portuguese

the French, the Italians, the Spanish and the Portuguese

in spring, summer, or in winter

in spring, summer, or winter

Correlative expressions (both, and; not, but; not only, but also; either, or; first, second, third; and the like) should be followed by the same grammatical construction. Many violations of this rule can be corrected by rearranging the sentence.

It was both a long ceremony and a very tedious.

The ceremony was both long and tedious.

Either you must grant his request or incur his ill will.

You must either grant his request or incur his ill will.

Colloquialism

If you use a colloquialism or a slang word or phrase, simply use it; do not draw attention to it by enclosing it in quotation marks.  To do so is to put on airs, as thought you were inviting the reader to join you in a select society of those who know better.

However

Avoid starting a sentence with however when the meaning is “nevertheless”. The word usually serves better when not in first position.

The roads were almost impassable. However, we at last succeeded in reaching camp.

The roads were almost impassable. At last, however, we succeeded in reaching camp.

Insightful

The word is a suspicious overstatement for “perceptive”. If it is to be used at all, it should be used for instances of remarkably penetrating vision. Usually, it crops up merely to inflate the commonplace.

That was an insightful remark you made.

That was a perceptive remark you made.

Like → As

Like. Not to be used for the conjunction as.

We spent the evening like in the old days.

We spent the evening as in the old days.

Chloë smells good, like a baby should.

Chloë smells good, as a baby should.

Nor

Often used wrongly for or after negative expressions.

He cannot eat nor sleep.

He cannot eat or sleep.

He can neither eat nor sleep.

He cannot eat nor can he sleep.

That        Which

That is the defining or restrictive pronoun.        Identifies which one

Which the nondefining or nonrestrictive.         Refers to the subject in question

The lawn mower that is broken is in the garage.

(Tells which one.)

The lawn mower, which is broken, is  in the garage.

(Adds a fact about the only mower in question.)

The truth is...         The fact is…

A bad beginning for a sentence. If you feel you are possessed of the truth, or of the fact, simply state it. Do not give it advance billing.

Very

Use this word sparingly. Where emphasis is necessary, use words strong themselves.

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The real notes

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Writing in the Sciences

by Dr. Kristin Sainani

Principles of Effective writing

The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word, every adverb which carries the same meaning that is already in the verb, every passive construction that leaves the reader unsure of who is doing what-these are the thousand and one adulterants that weaken the strength of a sentence. And they usually occur, ironically, in proportion to education and rank.

--William Zinsser in On Writing Well, 1976

Write with verbs

Reduce the distance between the subject and the main verb. This make the text more readable and easy to follow.

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Avoid turning verbs into nouns

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Choose the right verb

Choosing the right verb helps to eliminate unnecessary adverbs

Remove unnecessary words

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Active vs passive voice

Active voice is more direct. Using active voice requires I or We, assume the responsibility of your work.

Passive voice is acceptable when: what was done is important but, it doesn’t matter who did it.

Paragraph

Try to get 1 idea per paragraph.

Readers remember the first and the last sentence best. Make the last sentence memorable.

Repeating a word is not too bad: It gives consistency, make it easier to read and avoid awkward synonyms.

Elegant Variation 

Improve everything You Write in Three minutes or Less

by Danny Rubin  - 9gag

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