Introduction

 

 

This website introduces you to a range of stylistic features commonly found in technical documents that affect readability and rhetorical effectiveness. It addresses these issues of style by focusing on the order of ideas within sentences and on clear, concise expression of thoughts. It also directs your attention to readers -- to how people typically read and the problems your style may pose for them.

The goal of this website is to help you recognize various stylistic patterns that may exist in your writing so that you can revise for them most effectively. This website offers you guidelines, not rules, because you must always judge stylistic choices within a rhetorical context; no advice applies equally in all situations. You will improve your style only through practice. How much and how quickly your style improves depends on the time and effort you expend revising for style.

Should you have any questions regarding stylistic strategies or any comments about this website, please contact Steve Whitmore at whitmore@cs.sfu.ca.

 

"Never offend people with style
when you can offend them with substance."
~ Sam Brown ~