Strunk JR. & White The Elements Of Style, Fourth Edition

Last updated date: September 13, 2021

DWYM Score

9.3

Strunk JR. & White The Elements Of Style, Fourth Edition

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We looked at the top Reading & Literacy Textbooks and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Reading & Literacy Textbook you should buy.

Update as September 13, 2021:
Checkout The Best Reading & Literacy Textbook for a detailed review of all the top reading & literacy textbooks.

Overall Take

This reading and literacy textbook is a leading voice in American English writing, grammar and usage. It is required reading in many high schools and university composition classes. This is the fourth edition of the book.


In our analysis of 14 expert reviews, the Strunk JR. & White The Elements Of Style, Fourth Edition placed 1st when we looked at the top 5 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

The Elements of Style' (1918), by William Strunk, Jr., is an American English writing style guide. It is the best-known, most influential prescriptive treatment of English grammar and usage, and often is required reading and usage in U.S. high school and university composition classes. This edition of 'The Elements of Style' details eight elementary rules of usage, ten elementary principles of composition, "a few matters of form", and a list of commonly misused words and expressions.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

8.3
4 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.4
7,431 user reviews

What experts liked

This is a wonderful book for beginning writers to use as a guide. It cleary spells out the rules of English grammar, and provides examples to explain each guideline. I highly recommend this little gem!
- Good Reads
Beyond its sage advice on matters of style, it is filled with the Solomonic rules and injunctions -- "Make every word tell"; "Use the active voice"; "Be obscure clearly" -- that have served as a lifeboat to both professional and amateur writers adrift on the perilous seas of split infinitives, dangling participles and weak or flabby prose.
- The New York Times
Many Americans, who believe that writing can be taught, will turn to The Elements of Style as the indispensable road map through a trackless desert of whirling words.
- The Guardian
One of those ‘essential reading’ books for writers. It lays out many of the rookie mistakes you should avoid if you want to be taken seriously. We all make them – I still do. Erudite and necessary reading and to have for reference right next to you.
- Edward Terry

What experts didn't like

Dry at times (it’s a manual after all), but witty and humorous too.
- Good Reads
It is dry but makes perfect sense if you want to write good fiction and not just words on a page.
- Edward Terry

An Overview On Reading & Literacy Textbooks

When it comes to reading and literacy, learning is a lifelong endeavor. From young children to highly educated adults, there is always something new to explore around language, grammar, syntax, writing and storytelling.

If you’re looking for reading and literacy textbooks for your kids, start by searching for books that are level-appropriate. You don’t necessarily have to buy a textbook that is specific to the age of your child or their grade. Instead, look at your child’s reading and literacy level and buy a book that will help them learn, provide them with confidence and challenge their minds.

Another important factor to consider — especially for reading and literacy textbooks that are for high school or college — is that you have the right edition of the book. Many reading and literacy textbooks are updated and reprinted every few years. For the classics, there may be several different editions.

One of the main reasons for getting the edition that is recommended by your educator is so that you or your child can follow along with the page numbers and material that is on the syllabus. Often, as the material changes from edition to edition, page numbers also change, meaning that what is on page 100 in one edition may be on a different page in another edition.

The Reading & Literacy Textbook Buying Guide

  • If your reading and literacy textbook isn’t required or recommended for your education and you are getting it as an extra resource to help with learning, you can use any recent edition of the book instead of having to get a specific edition.
  • In order to improve reading comprehension for kids of any age, be sure to make reading an interactive activity. For example, instead of just reading to them or having them read the book, ask them questions about what they are reading after every chapter or section. Ask about which characters the book is focusing on, what those characters are doing and feeling, or where the book is taking place. This is also a good exercise to do for yourself if you want to improve reading comprehension.
  • Textbooks on reading and literacy are great resources to have at your fingertips. Be sure to keep them handy at your workspace so you can easily access them whenever you have a question.