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Elements of Style

The main focus of this book is to make composition and literature writing easier through a closer review of the common mistakes which are made or commonly violated.

1.      Enclosure of parenthetic expressions between commas.

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Basically this rule has been too hard to be applied; the main reason is that in some instances it is always a hard task to come up with a decision of whether some single words or phrases are considered to be parenthetic or not, for example a word like however. In sentences where some words appear and they seem not to interfere or their interference is slightly small, it is advisable for the writer to do away with the comma. However, in the instance where there are two commas in a sentences and their interruption is very slight the writer is allowed only to omit one coma and leave the other. It should be noted that non-restrictive relative clauses always bound to this rule and are usually set off by the commas.

Clauses which are usually introduced by words where and when are normally punctuated in a similar way. For example; in 2012, when Michael was born, David had but recently been required by the United States of America.  Ideally, in the sentences which are normally introduced by the clause when, where and which are normally non-restrictive; this means that they do not have a limit of the words they depend on though they only add parenthetic statements which give support to the principal clause in the sentence. On the other hand each sentence should comprise of at least two statements which were initially made independent. Commas are not usually used to set off restrictive relative clauses. For example; the student who better meets these conditions will get the place. The relative clause in this sentence restricts the application to the term student to a person.

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2.      Each paragraph should be made the unit of a composition:  a topic per paragraph.

If the topic which you are going to write about is very shallow or you have no intention of making a very detailed then there would be no need of subdividing it into several paragraphs. This implies that very short over view of the topic can be summed up in paragraph although after the paragraph is completely written it should be examined further to identify if subdivision would improve it or not. Basically, each subject should be divided into topics and each topic of the subject should be treated as a subject of a single paragraph. The importance of dealing with a single topic in a different paragraph is to assist the reader to realize that a new idea and step in entire development of the subject has been reached. The length of the composition matters a lot during subdivision of the composition, for instance, a very short poem will be made up of a simple and single paragraph. According to the rules, a single sentence should not be written and considered a paragraph. However, this principle is not applicable in a dialogue because each and every speech is considered to be a paragraph even if it is a single word or sentence.  

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These two suggestions of writing from elements of style are perfectly essential for any writer. They enable the reader to have a deeper understanding of the concept and avoid unnecessary interruptions of several commas while he or she is reading. Topics that are pinned down to a single paragraph help the reader to have an organized and systematic reading. Therefore these suggestions for writing should be endorsed.

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