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Comparing Strunk and White with Williams

October 19, 2011

I enjoyed reading these — I enjoyed the length of Strunk and White better, but that’s beside the point.

Both of these were helpful in their own ways. Strunk and White was a fantastic at-a-glance book, full of useful tips that a writer can slip through  in a short amount of time. Williams offered great info, too, but it was with a LOT more detail and wasn’t quite as “pick up and read”.

I thought that the information offered in Williams was a little more timely than that of Strunk and White — it didn’t include things like using “to-day” which is completely irrelevant. It did, however, discuss with great detail on things more relevant like keeping writing concise, ensuring writing has cohesion, and discussing a system of clarity. For things like our writing projects, I feel like this was very beneficial reading.

Overall, I don’t think one is more valuable than the other. I think they both offer great information, and while one is more of an at-a-glance and the other is more detail-oriented and could use a little more “mental marinating”. But if I had to pick one, I’d probably pick Williams because it discusses more about writing, and, I thought, was more timely. It discusses things like drafting. When I write a draft, I think of it as just a shell of my real paper. But after reading that section, I realized there’s a lot more to it.

If I had one major complaint is that they’re boring! But that’s to be expected. I’ve been writing for a long time, and while a lot of this stuff seems like I’m going through the motions. But if I were to pull a couple useful things out of the reading, it couldn’t have been more worth it.


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