Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace
J M Williams, U Chicago Press, 1997
What is written without effort is in general read without
pleasure. --Samuel Johnson
- Clear: Put your important characters in subjects, then join
them those subjects with verbs that name their specific actions.
- Cohesive: Arrange the flow of information in each sentence so
that you move readers from information that is familiar to them
to information that is new.
- Coherent: Begin series of sentences in a unified passage in a
consistent way, with words that your readers will think constitute a
reasonable unified set of ideas. Do not begin sentences randomly.
- Emphatic: End your sentences on your rhetorically most
salient, most powerful words. (Translation: emphasis at end of
- Pointed: Cut, cut again, then cut once more.
- Flowing: Preserve the connections between major grammatical
- Avoid long subjects;
- Avoid interrupting the connections between subject-verb and
- If you must interrupt, interrupt with only a single work or short
- Keep introductory clauses and phrases short.
Keep subjects short.
- Create coordinated structures after short subjects.