Style Tool Box

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  1. Punctuation: Previous to taking this course, I believe punctuation to be a grammatical nuisance in my life. However, after taking this course, I have learned the power and strength that can come from sharp, powerful, and purposeful punctuation.
  2. Further vs Farther: As silly and simple as this may seem, I have loved studying the difference between similar words such as further and farther, whom and who, etc., I think that a proper understanding of
  3. Minimalism: Instead of viewing clear concise writing as “cutting the fluff,” minimalism has a nice ring to it. I think that it is important to make every word count. However, it is important to note that this doesn’t mean leaving out big and flowery words, those are completely acceptable as long as their is a meaning and purposed behind them.
  4. Imitation: I have loved the assignments from class where we were to imitate a famous author. Not only did this have a powerful impact on my own personal style, but it added plenty of new stylistic tools to my belt. They are famous authors for a reason and I loved connecting the dots by studying them with further detail. Imitation can teach us and is a great tool for learning different styles.
  5. Colons: Do not only introduce a list in writing, but can be used to introduce an importance topic. It can be used as a warning light, or a separation of independent clauses. They are powerful when used properly and a wonderful tool to have.
  6. Discourse Communities: One of the biggest takeaways from studying style has been learning that it is completely subjective. However, as subjective as it may be, understanding your specific discourse community can aid you throughout your writing career. Understanding who your audience is, and then targeting your work to cater to the specific discourse community you are in is key. To me, this allows you to make a larger impact without a group than jargon.
  7. Ambiguity: “Unclear,” “word choice,” “Confusing,” are all comments professors have left on my papers from time to time. However, after studying Jonson’s views on ambiguity, I have learned that (when used correctly), ambiguity can add to a paper. Sometimes ambiguity can lead to reader’s thoughts and interpretations, allowing their own deeper connections. However, ambiguity can also go terribly wrong, so we must be careful when using it!
  8. Active Voice: This one goes along with minimalistic writing. Not only does clear and concise writing give your writing more authority, but it also makes it much more enjoyable to read. Active voice allows readers to fully dive into your writing in a way that doesn’t stand above them, but guides them along.
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