• A Suitable Design: Analyzing The English Style Guide Genre

    Nathan Nicolau (see profile)
    Writing, Linguistics, Grammar
    Item Type:
    Meeting Title:
    English Graduate Student Conference
    Meeting Org.:
    University of North Carolina Charlotte - English Graduate Student Assocation
    Meeting Loc.:
    Charlotte, NC
    Meeting Date:
    April 9th 2020
    genre analysis, style guides
    Permanent URL:
    This was a presentation of my conference paper "A Suitable Design: Analyzing The English Style Guide Genre." Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all presentations were to be previously filmed then screened on Zoom. Paper Abstract: This paper will examine how the genre conventions of English style guides contribute to their public success to this day. My argument is that the genre conventions of English style guides have sociological and psychological effects on readers. To support my argument, I will be doing a genre analysis on one text that has been considered a staple of the genre: The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White. This paper will comprise three sections: first, a literature review will present what has been previously written on the genre and its history. Second, I will be using Stephen Bax’s model of genre analysis to answer the three main questions of “what,” “why,” and “how” in relation to The Elements of Style. For the “what” question, I will utilize personal interviews from two people who write, teach writing, and use English style guides daily—one a copyeditor, one a school teacher. These interviews will help contextualize how English style guides like The Elements of Style are applied in the real world. For the “why” question, I will explore the sociological implications of teaching writing and the reasons why The Elements of Style even needs to exist. For the final section of this paper, I will analyze the following key linguistic features found in The Elements of Style as per the “how” question in Bax’s model: authoritative tone, contextual examples, and interlinked content. Ultimately, I will reach a conclusion on why English style guides have remained a popular and reliable way to learn writing style and grammar.
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago


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