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Style

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"Style is an increment in writing. When we speak of Fitzgerald's style, we don't mean his command of the relative pronoun, we mean the sound his words make on paper. Every writer, by the way he uses the language, reveals something of his spirit, his habits, his capacities, his bias. This is inevitable as well as enjoyable." (William Strunk Jr. The Elements of Style)

This part of the tutorial focuses on strategies for a clear and more effective writing style as well as on the essentials of research paper and written assignment documentation. Examples are provided in two different documentation styles: MLA and APA. MLA, developed by the Modern Language Association, is the documentation system used in the humanities and fine arts. This tutorial uses guidelines detailed in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th ed. (New York: MLA, 2003) by Joseph Gribaldi. APA is most often used in the social sciences. The documentation style was developed by the American Psychological Association, and the quidelines used in this tutorial are outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th ed. (Washington DC: APA, 2001).

Take the Quick Self-Test to identify the common style mistakes you may encounter in your writing. Follow the links included in the answers to the quiz questions to learn more about how to correct or avoid each mistake. If you prefer, you may review the entire style section.

Quick Self-Test