10 Style Guides for Writers, Authors and Editors

Style Guides for Writers, Authors and Editors

Style guides provide writers and non-writers with a manual of rules for writing, formatting and creating documents. They govern consistency and uniformity. Many of us have used a style guide in school, such as APA Style, MLA Style or Chicago Manual of Style, to format and cite sources for a thesis, dissertation or research paper. You may have used a style guide when you composed an article for a journal, magazine or website. Some of us who copy edit or proofread for publishers use either a common style guide or the publisher's in-house style to ensure all written materials are consistent in substance and structure.

Every style guide conforms to different sets of rules, based on the field of study, trade profession, academic organization, or type of document. A few common rules that you will find in a style guide are how to use punctuation, quotations, capitalization, abbreviations, and spelling. A style guide will also have rules for citing and referencing sources, using numbers, adding tables and charts, setting up headers, and laying out the page.

Here is a nearly complete list of popular style guides used in different professions and industries. How do you know if you need a style guide? It depends on what you are writing and for whom you're writing. If you are writing a paper for school, your teacher will tell you which style to use. If you are writing an article or news piece, your publisher or editor will tell you which style to follow. If you are writing an online article and not a print article, then ask the editor as to style preference. If you are writing and publishing your own content, you can decide if you want to follow a style guide or not.

The Associated Press Stylebook
Style Guide for News Writing and Reporting

The Associated Press Stylebook
Journalists, reporters, PR writers and others who write for public media follow the style rules set forth in the Associated Press Stylebook. The Associated Press Style, known simply as AP style, governs congruity, clarity and conciseness in writing. Renamed in 2012 to The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, it's still referred to as the AP Stylebook.

First published in 1953, AP Style was revised and updated into a more useful reference guide in 1977. Since that time the Associated Press has sold more than two million copies, making it one of the most widely-used style guides. Embracing 21st century technology, you can now find the AP Stylebook in digital versions (including an iPad app) which offer style guidelines for the new media.To remain current and relevant, AP style regularly incorporates new styles to handle words and phrases related to social media, such as "texting" and "podcast."

Who uses AP Style? The simple answer is anyone working in or writing for the news industry. Newspaper journalists, reporters, editors, broadcasters, magazine publishers, public relations firms, and other media outlets have adopted AP Style as the industry standard. AP Style provides strict rules for handling grammar, punctuation, and the basics of news reporting. You can also find rules on capitalizing, spelling, numbering, and abbreviating.

The book, packed with over 400 pages of information, is divided into several sections. Each section covers an area of style such as punctuation or editing.

 Author: Associated Press
 Publisher: Associated Press
 ISBN-10: 0917360567
 ISBN-13: 978-0917360565
 Formats: Spiral-bound | Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]

The Yahoo! Style Guide
Style Guide for Online Writing/SEO Writing

The Yahoo! Style Guide
The Yahoo! Style Guide is a style guide for the "digital world," establishing rules for writing online content aimed at an international audience. It addresses the fundamentals of writing style, English grammar, punctuation, and writing and publishing online content.

Yahoo! executive editors explore: 1) the ins and outs of basic writing and editing for web-based readers; 2) approaches for improving copy; 3) understanding basic Web/HTML codes; 4) complying with Internet copyright law; 5) optimizing SEO-friendly content; 6) improving audience accessibility; and lots more. The Guide offers plenty of before-and-after examples on how to rid copy of embarrassing errors. The editors have arranged the chapters chronologically from less technical (basic English/SEO writing) to more technical styles (understanding HTML codes and characters).

 Author: Chris Barr
 Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
 Formats: Paperback | eBook | Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]

The New York Times Manual of Style
Style Guide for Journalism and Newspaper Writing

The New York Times Manual of Style
The New York Times Manual of Style is the official style guide of The New York Times newspaper and news organization. Originally published in 1950, the editors last revised it in 1999 to include guidelines for writing online content. Although this Guide is intended for NY Times journalists, it is widely used by writers in other fields, particularly writers in news media. A substantial amount of the information is not specific to The NY Times nor the state of New York.

The New York Times Manual of Style, arranged in the same way as a dictionary, includes rules for using proper English mechanics (such as hyphenations, punctuation, abbreviations, and capitalization). It also includes an extensive collection of common style and usage rules, including: 1) city names, 2) compound sentences, 3) numbers, and 4) using correct language alternatives. It also features distinct style changes and exemptions for headline writers.

Anyone who desires to write for a news organization, news website or newspaper will want this book, as its style is purposeful and multinational.

 Authors: Allan M. Siegal & William G. Connolly
 Publisher: Three Rivers Press
 ISBN-10: 081296389X
 ISBN-13: 978-0812963892
 Formats: Hardcover | Paperback | Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]

Chicago Manual of Style
Style Guide for Writers, Editors and Publishers

Chicago Manual of Style
The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) is one of the most popular and widely-respected style guides for writing and citing sources used in publishing. CMOS tackles the elements of writing and editing, from English grammar and style usage, to creating and publishing print and digital documents.

CMOS is published both in hardcover and online. The web-based version lets you search the Guide's text in the newest and previous editions. The new edition offers tools for editors, a citation overview, and an invaluable searchable Q&A section, where editors of the Univ. of Chicago Press respond to readers' style concerns. The online edition requires a paid subscription; however, you can access the Q&A section for free. CMOS is commonly used by academic publishers, high school and university professors, as well as industry trade editors and writers.

Many social science periodicals and historical journals use Chicago Style. The American Anthropological Association and the Organization of American Historians have adopted Chicago style as their main style of choice. Chicago Style provides a handful of formats specific for citing sources and formatting papers. For example, CMOS allows both in-text citations or footnotes/endnotes.

Recent additions and updates include guidelines for handling electronic publications, proofreading digital content, and referencing online materials.

 Author: University of Chicago Press Staff
 Publisher: University Of Chicago Press
 ISBN-10: 0226104206
 ISBN-13: 978-0226104201
 Formats: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook | Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]

APA Style Manual
Style Guide for Social Sciences and Psychology

APA Style Manual
Most college students who are enrolled in a psychology class use APA Style for writing academic papers such as a thesis paper, dissertation or research paper. APA Style is maintained by the American Psychological Association (APA), the biggest and most-respected scientific and professional association of psychologists in the U.S.

APA Style is a collection of style and usage rules to improve readability and clarity in all areas of social sciences and psychology. The APA Style Publication Manual includes rules for researching and writing, such as: 1) specifying source materials; 2) creating tables or figures of illustration; 3) avoiding plagiarism, and 4) citing sources (like journals, newspapers, websites, and video). The Manual helps you to create a paper that communicates your information strongly and concisely.

 Author: American Psychological Association
 Publisher: American Psychological Association
 ISBN-10: 1433805618
 ISBN-13: 978-1433805615
 Formats: Hardcover | Paperback | Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
Style Guide for Writers, Editors and Publishers

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
MLA Style sets the standard for citing sources in both printed and digital works. The Modern Language Association is composed of language and literature scholars who provide a consistent method for quoting and referencing text from authors and creators of original works. In contrast to other styles for citing sources, such as APA style, MLA style allows for parenthetical citations in the text, followed by an alphabetical list of cited works at the end of the text.

The MLA Style Guide is an excellent resource for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as professional writers and journalists who need a better way to avoid plagiarism and give proper credit to the originator of the work. MLA style shows you how to cite sources for all types of print and digital periodicals, as well as many types of multimedia such as film, TV, radio, and videos. The Guide also recommends typeface, font size, spacing, page numbering, and margin sizes.

Colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, and international countries expect literature and research papers to adhere to MLA style when acknowledging sources. Many scholarly publications in humanities and literature also require authors to use MLA style when citing sources.

The Style Guide is periodically updated to provide formatting rules for new mediums, including Tweets, multimedia, videos and eBooks. Current editions are available online or in print.

 Author: Modern Language Association
 Publisher: Modern Language Association of America
 ISBN-10: 1603290249
 ISBN-13: 978-1603290241
 Formats: Paperback | Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]

The Christian Writer's Manual of Style
Style Guide for Christian and Religion Writers

The Christian Writer's Manual of Style
The Christian Writer's Manual of Style is a style guide for writers of religious materials, but writers in different genres can use it to find questions about common style and usage. Professional writers and editors from different faiths will find the Manual useful. The Manual is written by Robert Hudson, a senior editor-at-large at Zondervan, a well-known Christian book publisher.

The new version is expanded and updated. It includes sections on punctuation and spelling, grammar, syntax, writing style, and so forth. Importantly, the Manual explains how to cite biblical verses, using proper abbreviations. For example, the verse "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," (Gen. 1:1) is written in parentheses with the book of Genesis abbreviated correctly. A colon always separates the chapter from the verse number. The Manual also has an excellent section on using proper capitalization and hyphenating religious terms.

The Manual has a section on British English, which is different from standard American English. It provides definitions of many biblical and religious terms from the world's major religions, including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. Since people come from different countries and cultures, the Manual includes a section on ethnic sensitivities.

The Christian Writer's Manual of Style covers specific stylistic rules for writing religious articles, blogs, essays, papers, and books. It is a helpful resource that will answer almost any question about English usage and style. The book is recommended for college students and young professionals who are just beginning their careers in journalism.

 Author: Robert Hudson
 Publisher: Zondervan
 ISBN-10: 0310487714
 ISBN-13: 978-0310487715
 Formats: Paperback | eBook
 Website: [ Click Here ]

The Economist Style Guide
Style Guide for Finance and Business Writing

The Economist Style Guide
The Economist Style Guide is based on the house style used by the writers and staff of The Economist newspaper and website. It was developed by John Grimond, a long-time foreign editor of the newspaper. The Guide is designed to teach both writers and readers how to write clearly and succinctly, in a style called plain English.

The latest edition is divided into three parts. The first part explores common errors that writers make as it relates to cliche usage, punctuation, and grammar. This section creates a solid foundation for understanding basic grammar and writing.

The second part of the Guide explores some of the differences between British and American English. The third section has valuable reference information, addressing many things from business equations and stock market symbols to chemical elements, United States presidents and British chancellors. New supplements include the Greek alphabet, numerical symbols, the winter Olympic games, and the planetary system. The Economist Style Guide is an indispensable book for anyone who writes articles, reports, books, and research papers.

 Author: Economist
 Publisher: Economist Books
 ISBN-10: 1846686067
 ISBN-13: 978-1846686061
 Formats: Hardcover | Paperback | Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]

The Canadian Press Stylebook
Style Guide for News Writers and Journalists

The Canadian Press Stylebook
The Canadian Press Stylebook is the official style manual used by reporters and news journalists at Canada's national news organization to ensure that all stories conform to the same style of writing. The Stylebook is also widely used by corporate communicators, freelance writers, college students and graduates, and publishers and editors.

Since its first edition in 1940, The Canadian Press Stylebook has emerged as the handbook for many Canadians who work with written communications to guarantee correctness and congruity in their writing. The newest edition has been completely revised. It includes: 1) in-depth principles of capitalization, reference marks, acronyms and other phrasing and editing issues; 2) writing and creating content online; 3) a collection of correct spellings of cities and countries worldwide; 4) current facts on revisions to Canada's laws on political elections; and 5) writing and editing for broadcast media.

The Canadian Press Stylebook is the most current and comprehensive style and writing guide provided for journalists in Canada.

 Author: Patti Tasko
 Publisher: The Canadian Press
 ISBN-10: 0920009468
 ISBN-13: 978-0920009468
 Formats: Paperback | Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]

Wikipedia:Manual of Style
Style Giude for Writing Wiki-Articles

Wikipedia:Manual of Style
Wikipedia:Manual of Style (often shortened as MoS or MOS) is a style guide created by the Wikipedia community to help writers and editors compose and publish articles with consistency and uniformity in writing. The objective is to improve the readability of digital reference materials and to make them more user-friendly.

MOS is a comprehensive Wiki-style document (contained on one webpage), offering an impressive collection of information about composing Wiki-style encyclopedia articles. You can access MOS for free at Wikipedia.org. This page addresses specific topics on style usage (such as article titles, abbreviations and punctuation), and offers rules for mathematical symbols, units of measurement, and abbreviating months and seasons.

A valuable and convenient feature of Wikipedia is the many links added to the main text of each article. Each link underscores relevant terms which link to other Wiki-pages to help readers discover additional information. Wikipedia writers construct these links manually based on Wikipedia's Manual of Style, which governs how to format text and links, and how to link text to related materials.

CSE Style Guide: The Manual of Scientific Style
Style Guide for Scientists and Researchers

CSE Style Guide: The Manual of Scientific Style
Originally known as the CBE (Council of Biology Editors), the CSE Style Guide (published by the Council of Science Editors) is a style guide for citing and referencing documentation in scientific research for publishing. The CSE Manual lists citation referencing for both British and American scholarly work, which makes the CSE relevant to work published in the United States and abroad. However, this does not mean every scientific discipline uses the CSE Manual. The general consensus is that the Manual is not the most user-friendly.

The CSE Manual is divided into four separate sections, which are presented in thirty-two chapters. Sections one and four address publishing issues, including components of policy, preparation and style. Section two addresses issues of writing style such as writing complete sentences and paragraphing.

The CSE citation format is useful to writers working in the fields of zoology, plant, physics, microbial, medicine, genetics and chemistry science. Although professionals disagree about which source is better to use for citing and referencing sources--the AMA Manual of Style or the CSE Manual--most medical professionals prefer the AMA Manual.

 Author: Council of Science Editors
 Publisher: Council of Science Editors
 ISBN-10: 097796650X
 ISBN-13: 978-0920009468
 Formats: 978-0977966509
 Website: [ Click Here ]

AMA Manual of Style
Style Guide for Writers, Authors and Editors

AMA Manual of Style
The AMA Manual of Style provides a standard style for citing sources within scholarly publishing of medicine. Similar to other popular style guides (e.g., the Chicago Manual of Style, the AP Style Guide), the AMA Style provides a standardized but flexible set of principles about formats, constructs, and the presentation of scholarly medical articles.

Created by the editors of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) and the editors of Archives Journal, the AMA Manual is published by Oxford University Press. Print versions are available at most major booksellers. An online version is available, replete with frequent updates on definitions, methods of citation, word usage, and numbers.

The AMA Manual of Style conveys the same benefits of using other similar style guides in that it helps individuals present vast quantities of objective/subjective information and data. The AMA Manual of Style provides writers of scholarly medical texts with a uniform system of preparing articles for publication. It covers style, terminology, and technical information.

Using the AMA Manual of Style ensures that citing and formatting sources are consistent, and that presenting data is clear, congruent, and concise. Such rules on format prevent one scholarly work from presenting statistical findings in one format while another scholarly work presents similar findings in a different format. Uniformity of data allows for a more empirical and systematic comparison of separate collections of data occurring in different works, as the outlines of these collections will adhere to these style standards.

The AMA Manual will help health and medical sciences students with compiling and publishing scholarly works on medicine.

 Author: JAMA and Archives Journals
 Publisher: Oxford University Press
 ISBN-10: 0195392035
 ISBN-13: 978-0195392036
 Formats: Hardcover | Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]

The ACS Style Guide
Style Guide for Chemists and Scientists

The ACS Style Guide
The ACS Style Guide, created and published by the American Chemical Society, is the standard style used by scientists, engineers, and medical specialists who research and write scientific papers in the chemistry field. It offers examples on how to cite the most commonly used sources, and provides advice on referencing illustrations, statistics, tables, and units of measure used in chemistry. The ACS Style Guide has topics on grammar, sentence structure, writing style, word usage.

The newest edition fully reviews digital and online tools and resources that STM writers use to create and publish documents. The ACS Style Guide now covers how to handle Internet markup languages, how to cite and format online sources, how to submit documents online to publishers, and how to prepare figures, tables, and visuals.
 Authors: Anne M. Coghill & Lorrin R. Garson
 Publisher: American Chemical Society
 ISBN-10: 0841239991
 ISBN-13: 978-0841239999
 Formats: Hardcover
 Website: [ Click Here ]

MHRA Style Guide
Style Guide for Students, Writers and Authors

MHRA Style Guide
The MHRA Style Guide (Modern Humanities Research Association) contains referencing and style rules for writers, editors, and publishers. In 1971, the first book edition was written and the first print edition was released in 2002. Many college students use this Guide for essays, research papers, and written assignments. This Style Guide is largely used for MHRA's own publications, both books and periodicals. However, many writers, authors and publishers now also use this Guide for other writing projects.

The Modern Humanities Research Association is a global organization based in London whose purpose is to encourage the advanced study and research in humanities, especially modern European languages and creative writing.

The newest edition contains chapters on quoting sources and using quotation marks; adding footnotes and endnotes; referencing and formatting sources; and publishing a thesis or dissertation. It also teaches the popular "author-date system," devised in the United States. You can download The MHRA Style Book for free at http://www.mhra.org.uk/Publications/Books/StyleGuide/index.html

 Authors: Glanville Price & Brian Richardson
 Publisher: Modern Humanities Research Association
 ISBN-10: 0947623760
 ISBN-13: 978-0947623760
 Formats: Paperback | Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]

FranklinCovey Style Guide
Style Guide for Business Communications and Formal Writing

FranklinCovey Style Guide
The FranklinCovey Style Guide is a handbook for writers and non-writers who need help in writing and producing professional business and technical correspondence. Developed by FranklinCovey, the global pioneer in helping to improve individual performance in large organizations, this latest edition of this Guide addresses today's challenges in communicating through online media and corresponding with international businesses. The Style Guide addresses topics on document layout and visuals, sentence style and word selection, writing for web-based media, and using global business English.

Lots of examples and mock-up documents help writers conquer "writer's block" and quickly produce documents from beginning to end. Writers learn how to produce effective results from every type of correspondence, such as: 1) writing concise emails; 2) adding simplicity and strength to any online presence; 3) writing useful and readable business proposals, documents, reports, and resumes; and 4) reinforcing all types of documents with proper editing and proofing.

The authors also disclose how to create visuals that interact meaningfully with your readers, and use diagrams, color schemes, images, tables, charts, pictures, and appendices to enhance any presentation.

 Authors: Stephen R. Covey
 Publisher: FT Press
 ISBN-10: 0133090396
 ISBN-13: 978-0133090390
 Formats: Paperback | eBook | Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]

The Elements of Style
Style Guide for English Writing

The Elements of Style
The Elements of Style is a time-honored reference book used by all types of writers to improve their writing skills and to understand the inner-workings of the English language. Also referred to as Strunk & White (penned by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White), The Elements of Style has become the authoritative guide on writing American English. Running less than 100 pages, it consists of eight rudimentary rules of style usage, ten general fundamentals of writing, a few formalities on form (such as using titles, numbers, and quotations), and a brief compendium of misspelled words and misused phrases.

Originally created in 1918 by William Strunk, Jr., it was reworked extensively by Strunk and Edward A. Tenny in 1935. In 1959 E. B. White broadened and improved upon it. This third edition has emerged as the official text of the book. A fourth edition was released in 2000 with a prologue by White's stepson, Roger Angell. In 2011, Time magazine classified The Elements of Style as one of the most significant books written in English since 1923.

 Authors: William Strunk & E. B. White
 Publisher: Longman
 ISBN-10: 0205632645
 ISBN-13: 978-0205632640
 Formats: Paperback | eBook | Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]

The Oxford Style Manual
The University of Oxford Style Guide

The Oxford Style Manual
The Oxford Style Manual is a style guide for writing and structuring documents composed by staff members and students of Oxford University, enabling a uniform and consistent style throughout all written and published material. This Guide is for anyone who writes and edits: authors, copy editors, proofreaders, students who are writing academic papers, and professors writing peer-to-peer articles.

The first section includes 16 subject-based chapters covering English punctuation, abbreviations, capitalization, sentence syntax and grammar. The editors offer guidance on how to handle quotations, images, tables, figures and sources, and foreign dialects. An additional chapter includes citing and referencing digital media, how to submit documents online to publishers, and current copyright laws for print and online media.

The second section includes advice on specific writing problems, such as common spelling problems; using hyphens and punctuation in multi-syllable words; differences between British and American English; and handling troublesome or unconventional terms.

 Author: R. M. Ritter
 Publisher: Oxford University Press
 ISBN-10: 0198605641
 ISBN-13: 978-0198605645
 Formats: Hardcover | Paperback | Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation
Style Guide for Legal Writing

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation
The Bluebook is a style guide published by The Harvard Law Review Association and other notable legal publishers to help legal experts and scholars format and cite sources for legal publication. The Bluebook is the most popular legal referencing system in the United States. Lawyers, judges, law students, and paralegals use The Bluebook at most U.S. law universities and U.S. federal courts.

The Bluebook (named for its blue color) consists of three primary sections. The first section is called the "Bluepages," which teaches how to cite basic legal sources. The second section teaches the fundamentals of citing complex sources and how to format them. This section is separated into two principal parts. Part 1 explains the basics for citing and formatting sources in all areas of legal writing. Part 2 explains the basics for citing specific types of legal matters, such as legal cases, laws, publications, journals, and international materials. The third section includes a set of tables that correspond to section two and illustrates how to cite sources.

The latest edition is 500-plus pages and is considerably more complex than other citation guides like APA style and MLA style.

 Authors: Columbia Law Review, Harvard Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law    Review & Yale Law Journal
 Publisher: Harvard Law Review Association
 ISBN-10: 0615361161
 ISBN-13: 978-0615361161
 Formats: Paperback | Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]

The Religion Stylebook (Free)

The Religion Stylebook
The Religion Newswriters Association offers a free online stylebook on religion called The Religion Stylebook. It is a searchable, user friendly, reliable style guide to assist journalists and reporters in writing on religious topics for the mass media.

The Stylebook lets you browse entries by letter (A-Z), or by categories according to religions and different faiths. If you know what you are looking for, you can use the Search tool to find specific entries.

The Style book provides stylistic rules on:

1) The dominant religions, sects and churchly associations that writers frequently come across.
2) Recommended spellings, punctuation, capitalizations, explanations and handling guidelines for religious words and phrases.
3) Correct titles for religious dignitaries in different faiths.
4) Pronunciation of words and terms.
5) Explanations on common terms that news and timely stories use on current events, such as abortion, religious freedom, homosexuality, and marriage.
6) Religion terms that The Associated Press Stylebook excludes.

The Religion Stylebook focuses on the most typical style-related issues that seasoned journalists face. Even though it is not a dictionary or a thesaurus, the editors do define many terms and how to use them properly in writing a story.

The Religion Newswriters Association was established in 1949 to uphold quality in covering religion in traditional media.

 Authors: Religion Newswriters Association
 Publisher: Religion Newswriters Association
 ISBN-10: none
 ISBN-13: none
 Formats: Online
 Website: [ Click Here ]
- Brian Scott