I remember when I started learning how to use the software platform that creates and maintains my website. One of the first things I had to do was go through what they called building blocks—the basic elements and functions of the software platform. In order to learn the more complex features of my site and how I could utilize them, I had to understand the building blocks. They were vital to the development, creation, and function of my website.
The English language works the same way. There are several programs, courses, methods, and formulas to learn the English language. However, if you do not understand the building blocks, the basic elements and functions of the English language, you will have a difficult time USING the language, both in spoken and written form.
The Story of English is the title of an Emmy Award-winning nine-part television series, and companion book, both produced in 1986, detailing the development of the English language. The book and the television series were written by Robert MacNeil, Canadian-American novelist and retired television news anchor and journalist who partnered with Jim Lehrer to create The MacNeil/Lehrer Report in 1975 (later becoming the PBS News Hour), Robert McCrum, and William Cran. The book and series have been used in university courses.
The Elements of Style is considered THE classic style manual for the development of personal writing style. Written by William Strunk Jr., a professor of English at Cornell University. It was later finished by his student, Elwyn Brooks White. If you want to polish and develop your own writing style, this book is a must-have in your writing arsenal.
The Essentials of English fills a dual purpose as both a useful classroom text and a practical style manual for writers. It reviews English grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and correct word usage, and advises on adapting writing style to different formats, including both classroom assignments, business documents, and electronic communication.
The Essentials of Writing is an accompanying workbook to The Essentials of English and designed for classroom use that can also serve as a self-teacher. It contains hundreds of questions and exercises that help students put the rules of English grammar and writing style into practice.
Adding these books to your library will enhance your experience as you continue to hone and craft your personal writing style.