Elements of style!

Principles 17-22

Principle #17: Omit Needless words

In writing, there should be no unnecessary words or sentences. This doesn’t mean that writers should write short sentences, and exclude detail. Try not to describe things step by step in a series of sentences.

Common violations:

1) Used for baking purposes

Correction: used for baking

2) She is a girl who

Correction: She

3) The reason why is that

Correction: because

4) The pizza is a spicy one

Correction: The pizza is spicy.

Used the expression the fact that very sparingly. It has a debilitating expression and could usually be taken out of every sentence used in.


1) In spite of the fact that she cooks well...

Correction: Although she cooks well...

2) she is aware of the fact that the pizza is hot.

Correction: She is aware that the pizza is hot.

Also, be careful with the use of case, character, nature type of words: who is and which was.

Violations :

1) Pepperoni, which was her favorite to cook...

Correction: Pepperoni, her favorite to cook

2) Zucchini, which is a vegetable...

Correction: Zucchini, a vegetable

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Principle #18: Avoid a succession of loose sentences

However, don’t over compensate by making sentences too compact and periodic. One loose sentence can help restrain the writing from becoming too formal. You can replace them with simple sentences, 2 clauses joined by a semicolon, periodic sentences of 2 clauses, or sentences containing 3 clauses.


1) Lucy went to the store, bought ingredients, and left. She went home to make a pizza, which she is very good at. She turned on the oven, which is very old. She then started to make the dough, kneading and pounding it.


Lucy went to the store to buy ingredients for a pizza. Once she went home, she started to make the dough. She turned on the old oven.

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Principle #19: Express coordinate ideas in similar form

This is similar to parallel structure. This principle helps readers to recognize the similarities of the content.

-Do not vary forms of an expression

1) Pizza Hut used to make their crusts thin, now they only make thick crusts.
Correction: Pizza Hut used to make their crusts thin, now they only make crusts thick.

2) The dough is very white. Black is the olive. Purple is the onion

Correction: White is the dough. Black is the olive. Purple is the onion.

-A preposition must be applied to all parts of a series. Therefore, a preposition must be placed before the first term or in front of each term.
1) The Mozzarella, The Swiss, The American cheese.


1) The onions, the sauces, green peppers.

Correction: The onions, the sauces, the green peppers.

2) In the house, store, or in the gym.

Correction: In the house, store or gym.

-When using correlative expressions, it must be followed by a similar grammatical structure. If it is not, it can be fixed by rearranging words.

-Correlative expressions include: both, and; not, but; not only, but also; either, or; first, second, third


1) Either you choose cheese pizza or eat a cal zone.

Correction: You will choose either a cheese pizza or a cal zone.

2) Not only is she good at making cal zones, but she can also make Strombolis.

Correction: She is not only good with calzones, but also with Strombolis.

Principle #20: Keep related words together

By doing this, it helps to show their relationship. When words are badly arranged; it can lead to confusion.

-A subject and a verb should not be separated by a phrase or clause. To fix this, simply move the phrase or clause to the beginning.


1) Bridget, a pizza enthusiast, participates in pizza eating competitions every year.

Correction: A pizza enthusiast, Bridget participates in pizza eating competitions every year.

2) Chef Alberto, an award winning chef, will be serving us his notoriously known pizza.

Correction: An award winning chef, Chef Alberto will be serving us his notoriously known pizza.


-A relative pronoun can be used after its antecedent. When the antecedent is composed of a group of words, then the relative pronoun goes at the end of the group. This is used to create suspense.


The pineapple and jalapeno pizza that mom made was delicious.

The pronoun is that and the antecedent is pizza.

-Nouns of apposition can come between an antecedent and a relative pronoun.

-Modifiers should be next to words they modify.

1) She only put 2 slices of pepperoni.

Correction: She put only 2 slices of pepperoni.

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Principle #21: In summaries, keep to one tense

Shifting tenses in summaries gives a sense of uncertainty.


1) Jeff was making a pizza. He put onions on the pizza. He wanted to put olives too, but his sister doesn't like olives. He ended up putting olives on half of the pizza.

Correction: Jeff was making a pizza. He put onions on the pizza. He wanted to put olives too, but his sister did not like olives. He ended up putting olives on half of the pizza.

-Actions in dramas should be summarized in the present tense. Poems, stories, or novels should also be summarized in the present. The past tense can be used as well.

Principle #22: Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end

The proper place for emphasis is the end, however you can also place words in the beginning of a sentence. Any other element other than the subject of the sentence is emphasized once placed in the beginning. This also applies to sentences at the end of a paragraph and a paragraph at the end of a writing.

1) Tomato sauce is used on pizzas, because of its sweetness.

it can also be: Because of its sweetness, tomato sauce is used on pizzas.

2) The pizza dough rises in the oven, as a result of the heat.

it can also be: As a result of the heat, the pizza dough rises.

Watch out: subjects receive less emphasis when it stands by itself. So place it in position of its predicate.


Are there any violations in these sentences? If so, correct the violation.
1. Linda is a girl who consumes large amounts of pizza everyday.
2. The cheese, green peppers, and the onions pulled the pizza together.
3. Mom used to make small pizzas, now she make the pizzas large.
4. Lucy will either cook the meat or make the pizza.


"The Church Cook: Pizza Making Party with the Girl Scouts and Recipes." The Church Cook: Pizza Making Party with the Girl Scouts and Recipes. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.

"Darden Sustainability - To Our Stakeholders." Darden Sustainability - To Our Stakeholders. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.

"Lighthouse Deli, Grill and Pizza |." Lighthouse Deli, Grill and Pizza | Serving Apex, Holly Spring, Cary with Fine Pizza and Sandwiches |. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.

"The Last Word On Nothing." The Last Word On Nothing. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.