The Writer's Style
176 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
12 figures
Release Date:21 Dec 2018

The Writer's Style

A Rhetorical Field Guide

Utah State University Press
Designed to help all writers learn to use style as a rhetorical tool, taking into account audience, purpose, context, and occasion, The Writer’s Style is not only a style guide for a new generation but a new generation of style guide. The book helps writers learn new strategies inductively, by looking at firsthand examples of how they operate rhetorically, as well as deductively, through careful explanations in the text. The work focuses on invention, allowing writers to develop their own style as they analyze writing from varied genres.
In a departure from the deficiency model associated with other commonly used style guides, author Paul Butler encourages writers to see style as a malleable device to use for their own purposes rather than a domain of rules or privilege. He encourages writing instructors to present style as a practical, accessible, and rhetorical tool, working with models that connect to a broad range of writing situations—including traditional texts like essays, newspaper articles, and creative nonfiction as well as digital texts in the form of tweets, Facebook postings, texts, email, visual rhetoric, YouTube videos, and others.
Though designed for use in first-year composition courses in which students are learning to write for various audiences, purposes, and contexts, The Writer’s Style is a richly layered work that will serve anyone considering how style applies to their professional, personal, creative, or academic writing.
Easy to read, rigorous, provocative, well-informed, elegant, and even fun. . . . I know of no other work that offers such a fine pedagogy for instructors who want to lead their students to become fluent in ways of reflecting on style and conscious of their own stylistic choices. Not since Joseph Williams’s classic work from 1980, Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, has anyone produced a book that seems so powerfully well-suited to the writing classroom.’
T. R. Johnson, Tulane University
'A much-needed and long-awaited addition to the writing instructor’s toolkit, The Writer’s Style encourages students to think critically about the choices they make when composing. Guided by examples, analyses, heuristics, and reflective prompts, students learn the rhetorical significance of style in a variety of genres and gain confidence in their own writing styles as they move through the book. Butler’s inventive approach brings style out of the margins and into the forefront of the writing classroom while making the study and practice of style accessible to writers at all levels.'
—Star Medzerian Vanguri, Nova Southeastern University
'Anyone with an interest in rhetoric and style will find it useful for understanding, appreciating, and making deliberate choices that generate vivid, compelling, and powerful prose.'
Technical Communication

‘Students have responded incredibly well to the freedom this field guide offers them to explore and experiment in their language practices with style. . . In effect, Butler has taken the canon most often treated as an afterthought and re-presented style as a way of discovering routes through the rhetorical geographies always before us and a way of venturing into them.’
—Composition Forum
Paul Butler is associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Houston and is recognized as an expert on the study of style in rhetoric and composition. He is the author of Out of Style and Style in Rhetoric and Composition. His recent scholarship focuses on the intersection of style, the public sphere, multimodal composition, and the digital humanities.
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