General Writing References

Two classic references on writing style and English grammar offer general advice on logical and concise writing. These books are good examples of the prescriptive approach to teaching about writing: both describe style and grammar as a framework of logically-connected rules that must be followed by those who are learning to express their thoughts in writing.

Handbook of Composition
A Compendium of Rules Regarding Good English, Grammar,
Sentence Structure, Paragraphing, Manuscript Arrangement,
Punctuation, Spelling, Essay Writing and Letter Writing

by Edwin Campbell Woolley
D.C. Heath & Co., 1920
Full text on Google Books

The Elements of Style
by William Strunk, Jr.
Ithaca, NY: W.P. Humphrey, 1918; NY:, 1999
Full text on
Full text on Google Books

The following online resources provide additional general advice on writing and English grammar.

Scientific and Technical Writing

Free online guides on scientific and technical writing:

An annual series of articles collected from the web: The Best of Technology Writing.

George Whitesides, who is widely recognized for being an excellent scientific writer, summarized a few of his rules in Whitesides' Group: Writing a Paper (registration required).

Jonathan Wolff of the Guardian pondered "Why is academic writing so boring?" in Literary boredom. An unrelated but coincidental discussion on Slashot similarly inquired Is Good Scientific Journalism Possible?.

Slashdot discussion on Teaching Engineers to Write brought up many interesting points and resources.

Writing for the Web

Writing for electronic media (which includes webpages, blogs, emails, and many emerging formats) imposes unique challenges but not without offering important benefits, such as the speed and scope of dissemination.

The following articles provide valuable, albeit less formal, insight into writing for the web.