2 classic must-reads of any writer: “Elements of Style” and “On writing well” (PDF downloads!)

There are so many books on writing today, that it becomes hard sometimes to imagine that there were actually the pioneers of writer style guides in the early 20th. However, the books that showed to decades of writers how and what to write, are still used in many colleges as the examples of the best studying material on writing possible. Maybe those teachers are just lazy to change the book list, or these books can be still useful and full of essential materials on writing.

We are talking, of course, about William Strunk and William Zinsser, who in different type created the unbreakable duo that is still considered to be perfect.

“The elements of style”

Download pdf: feedbooks_book_3697


The book so thin that  you can finish it in an hour. However, don’t rush to do it: what you opened is a classic guide for decades of writers and the style guide that covers basics of the basics. Unfortunately, I didn’t found the edition with the cute dog and illustration (I’m curious what they illustrated there? The many wonders of comma?), and my edition looks pretty sad, but it’s a must-read after all. Yeap, a little bit outdated and without funny jokes and captivating narrative we are used to see in the modern grammar/style books, but it’s classic! And it’s totally impossible to ignore the granddad of the modern shelves of the references books.

“On writing well” 

Download pdf:  on-writing-well


This book was created as the addition to the first one. Since “The elements of style” are so small and thin that you can’t even kill a bug with it, it was a smart move after all to write “an expanded version”. However, you are going to feel that the writers were totally different and had different goals in mind: while Strunk just listed the grammar rules, Zinsser wrote a too-many-pages book on writing life. This makes the two books work only together: the first one is too short and boring (just grammar rules are not my idea of fun), the second one is too watery. Moreover, it’s divided into sections: how to write a memoir, about traveling, etc. What if I don’t want a memoir? So here is my advice – ignore the headlines and just read. In each section you will find a priceless piece of useful information. Everything else is just fun to read for its pure language and great, simple yet effective style.