The Importance of Style


Style is the distinctive way that a writer presents their ideas, giving it a unique voice and tone. Writing styles can include word choice, sentence structure and figurative language among other things. While a writer’s style may go unnoticed when reading, it can greatly impact the overall interpretation of a work and the effect that it has on readers.

Defining your personal style can be an effective communication tool, providing a powerful first impression and establishing a voice that speaks without words. However, many people underestimate the power of fashion, assuming it to be frivolous or unimportant. Developing and maintaining a strong, personal style can help you stand out in a crowd, both on the job hunt and in the classroom.

The concept of style can be viewed from multiple angles, and its definition is often debated. The term “style” is used in a wide variety of fields, ranging from art to business to literature. In some cases, it refers to a specific manner or approach, such as the gypsy style of music or the French style of cooking. In other cases, it describes a set of principles or conventions that govern a group or period of time, such as the realism of Renaissance painting or the neoclassical style of the eighteenth century.

Literary style is one of the most important aspects of a piece of fiction, influencing the character’s voice and creating an emotional connection with readers. It is based on the author’s beliefs, experiences and background and can encompass elements such as the use of punctuation to portray emotion or create atmosphere.

For example, Emily Dickinson’s frequent use of dashes at the end of each line in her poems can indicate a style of poetics that emphasizes the subject’s emotional isolation or sense of mortality. It can also indicate her stance on social or political issues. The tone of a piece can also be influenced by an author’s style, which may be objective or subjective, serious or humorous, formal or informal.

A common question in a job interview is, “What makes you unique?” The answer should highlight the key skills or personality traits that set you apart from other candidates. Employers are looking for a compelling explanation of what makes you different so that they can see how your individual talents will add value to the company.

The idea of style has been a part of art criticism for centuries. For instance, Giorgio Vasari discussed the various manners of artistic production in his book, “The Lives of the Painters,” published in 1564. In this view, the best art is characterized by the perfect balance between means and ends. Artistic techniques that fail to achieve the desired effect are deemed primitive or archaic. Conversely, those that achieve too much technical virtuosity are corrupted by artificiality or vulgarity.

A similar philosophy was embraced by the Roman rhetoricians, who stressed the appropriateness of the grand manner for trivial subjects and of colloquialisms for solemn occasions. This idea of a proper balance between manner and content forms the basis of modern criticism.