- A manual containing
an organization's standardized usage conventions for how to write.
All newspapers and other media have a stylebook, which is sometimes
sold to the public. The stylebook usually includes which dictionary
is to be taken as definitive for spelling.
- I have a copy of the UPI stylebook which I check when I need to know how to write something.
A style guide or style manual is a set of standards for design and writing of documents, either for general use or for a specific publication or organization. Style guides are prevalent for general and specialized use, for the general reading and writing audience, and for students and scholars of the various academic disciplines, medicine, journalism, the law, government, business, and industry. Some style guides focus on graphic design, covering such topics as typography and white space. Web site style guides focus on a publication's visual and technical aspects, prose style, best usage, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and fairness.
Many style guides are revised periodically to accommodate changes in conventions and usage. For example, the stylebook of the Associated Press is updated annually.
For academia and publishingPublishers' style guides establish house rules for language use, such as spelling, italics and punctuation; their major purpose is consistency. They are rulebooks for writers, ensuring consistent language. Authors are asked or required to use a style guide in preparing their work for publication; copy editors are charged with enforcing the publishing house's style.
Academic organization and university style guides are rigorous about documentation formatting style for citations and bibliographies used for preparing term papers for course credit and manuscripts for publication. Professional scholars are advised to follow the style guides of organizations in their disciplines when they submit articles and books to academic journals and academic book publishers in those disciplines for consideration of publication. Once they have accepted work for publication, publishers provide authors with their own guidelines and specifications, which may differ from those required for submissions, and editors may assist authors in preparing their work for press.
Indexing of the published work, which can be a tedious task, can be done by the author or by a professional editorial indexer. If done by the author or close collaborators of the author who are not professional indexers, the work is called "self-indexed".
For general useSome style guides are created for the general public, and may adopt the approaches of publishing houses and newspapers. Others, such as Fowler's Modern English Usage, 3rd ed., report how language is practiced in a given area and outline how phrases, punctuation and grammar are actually used.
About Fowler's Modern English Usage, Robert Burchfield states: "Linguistic correctness is perhaps the dominant theme of this book ... I believe that 'stark preachments' belong to an earlier age of comment on English usage." John Updike comments in The New Yorker: "To Burchfield, the English language is a battlefield upon which he functions as a non-combatant observer."
Specialized guidesSome organizations, other than the aforementioned ones, produce style guides for either internal or external use. For example, communications and public relations departments of business and nonprofit organizations have style guides for their publications (newsletters, news releases, Web sites). Organizations advocating for social minorities sometimes establish what they believe to be fair and correct language treatment of their audiences.
Graphic design guidesMany publications (notably newspapers) use graphic design style guides to demonstrate the preferred layout and formatting of a published page. They often are extremely detailed in specifying, for example, which fonts and colors to use. Such guides allow a large design team to produce visually consistent work for the organization.
InternationalSeveral basic style guides for technical and scientific communication have been defined by international standards organizations. These are often used as elements of and refined in more specialized style guides that are specific to a subject, region or organization. Some examples are:
- ISO 8 — Presentation of periodicals
- ISO 18 — Contents lists of periodicals
- ISO 31 — Quantities & units
- ISO 214 — Abstracts for publication & documentation
- ISO 215 — Presentation of contributions to periodicals & other serials
- ISO 690 — Bibliographic references — Content, form & structure
- ISO 832 — Bibliographic references — Abbreviations of typical words
- ISO 999 — Index of a publication
- ISO 1086 — Title leaves of a book
- ISO 2145 — Numbering of divisions & subdivisions in written documents
- ISO 5966 — Presentation of scientific & technical reports
- ISO 6357 — Spine titles on books & other publications
- ISO 7144 — Presentation of theses & similar documents
- ISO 9241 — Ergonomics of Human System Interaction
- EN-15038:2006 — Draft European Standard for Translation Services Annex D (informative)
- The Canadian Style: A Guide to Writing and Editing: by Dundurn Press in co-operation with Public Works and the Government Services Canada Translation Bureau. ISBN 1550022768.
- CP Stylebook: Guide to newspaper style in Canada maintained by the Canadian Press. ISBN 0920009387.
- The Globe and Mail Style Book: Originally created to help writers and editors at the Globe and Mail present clear, accurate and concise stories. ISBN 0771056850
- Copy-editing: The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Authors and Publishers Judith Butcher. 3rd ed. 1992 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press ISBN 0 521 40074 0
- Fowler's Modern English Usage. Ed. R. W. Burchfield. Rev. 3rd ed. London: Clarendon Press, 2004. ISBN 0-19-861021-1 (hardcover). Based on Fowler's Modern English Usage, by Henry Watson Fowler.
- The King's English, by Henry Watson Fowler and Francis George Fowler.
- The Oxford Style Manual (2003 ed.). Combines The Oxford Guide to Style and The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors, which concentrates on common problems.
- Plain Words, by Sir Ernest Gowers.
- Usage and Abusage, by Eric Partridge.
United StatesIn the United States, most books found in bookstores and libraries follow the Chicago Manual of Style, while most newspapers base their styles upon the Associated Press Stylebook. A classic style guide for the general public is The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White.
For general writing
- Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer's Guide to Getting It Right, by Bill Bryson.
- The Classics of Style — presents writing guidance from William Strunk, Jr., Emerson, Whitman, Poe, and other writers.
- The Elements of Style. By William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White. (Often referred to as "Strunk and White".)
For academic papers
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. By Joseph Gibaldi. (Often referred to as "MLA.")
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, by American Psychological Association (APA)
- A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Seventh Edition: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, by Kate L. Turabian. Often referred to as "Turabian."
For technical writingStyle guides are particularly important in technical writing projects. Where technical writing is undertaken in a large team or project, it is important that the finished documentation is devoid of any one individual's discernible personal style. A style guide is just one of the tools that can be used to help achieve this along with the use of specific standards, e.g. ATA100 or AECMA S1000D in the aerospace and defense industries.
For electronic publishing
For the computer industry (software and hardware)
- Read Me First! A Style Guide for the Computer Industry, by Sun Technical Publications.
- Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications, by Microsoft Corporation. Provides a style standard for technical documentation including use of terminology, conventions, procedure, design treatments, and punctuation and grammar usage.
Editorial style guides on preparing a manuscript for publication
- The Chicago Manual of Style — required by some academic publishers for books and journal publications.
- Modern Humanities Research Association Style Guide — for the arts and humanities; published by the Modern Humanities Research Association. Available as a free download (see article).
- Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 7th ed. — for scientific papers published by the Council of Science Editors (CSE), a group formerly known as the Council of Biology Editors (CBE).
- A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (frequently called "Turabian style") - Published by Kate L. Turabian, the graduate school dissertation secretary at the University of Chicago from 1930 to 1958. The school required her approval for every master's thesis and doctoral dissertation. Her stylistic rules closely follow those in The Chicago Manual of Style, although there are some differences.
- English writing style
- Disputed usage
- Prescription and description
- What is a Style Guide and Why Would I Need One?.* Style Manuals & Guides listed by The University of Memphis libraries.
- Bartleby Searchable Usage Guides.* U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual.* The BBC News Styleguide.
- Economist.com Style Guide.
- The Guardian Stylebook.
- The Times Style and Usage Guide (online version; available as printed book as well).
- English Style Guide ("A handbook for authors and translators in the European Commission" – executive branch of the European Union.)* York University Style Guide – Adapts CP Stylebook'' for university student use.
- WHO English Style Guide (PDF format)
- EU Interinstitutional Style Guide.* "Style Manuals and Writing Guides" from the California State University, Los Angeles Library.
- "Citing sources" Online research tutorial to documentation style guides from Cornell University Libraries.* International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICJME) Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (Updated Feb. 2006).
- ICJME Uniform Requirements: Sample References.* Advances in Physics - Style Guide for Physics journal published by Taylor & Francis Group (Taylor & Francis journals).
- The Lancet: Formatting Guidelines for Authors: Formatting Guidelines for Electronic Submission of Revised Manuscripts.
- Nature Formatting Guide for Nature. (MS Word document file.)* OSNews Style Guide: Rules and Guidelines for Publishing and Participating on OSNews, by T. Holwerda. OSNews, 2007.
- Web Style Guide, 2nd ed., by Patrick Lynch and Sarah Horton.
stylebook in German: Styleguide
stylebook in Hebrew: מדריך כתיבה
stylebook in Malay (macrolanguage): Panduan gaya penulisan
stylebook in Dutch: Stijlgids
stylebook in Japanese: スタイルガイド
stylebook in Norwegian: Stilmanual
stylebook in Portuguese: Manual de redação
stylebook in Simple English: Style guide
stylebook in Swedish: Grafisk profil