Editing Resources Volume 3
I love my style manuals and guides. Every time a new edition comes in the mail, I can’t help but get excited. They are the most important tool an editor can have because they ensure consistency. Editing is ALL about consistency. What’s your favourite style manual or guide?
Style Guides and Manuals
These are technically books (or documents), but they’re important enough to warrant their own section. If you’re a seasoned editor, academic writer, or have worked with an editor or publisher who provided you with a style guide you know all about the importance of these resources. While the terms guide and manual can be used interchangeably, I like to differentiate them based on size and application.
Style Guides are specific manuals for a particular book, series, or institution (like a publisher) that ensures consistency in punctuation, grammar, spelling, and formatting for a project or organization. They identify decisions when there is ambiguity, ensure branding is maintained, and offer a structure for print and online publication. Editors typically create these documents for their clients or publishers.
Style Manuals are industry standards and are book length. They cover some of the same topics as style guides but focus on a broader vision that can be applied to many different types of works and writing industries. For example, Chicago Manual of Style is a US English Manual used commonly in book publishing and universities for academic works.
If you’re editing without a manual, you’re doing a disservice to yourself and your clients. Standardization and consistency are cornerstones of editing. A list of some of the style manuals to explore are below. If you can only have one, I recommend Chicago Manual of Style. It also has an online option (as do a few other style manuals/books). Don’t forget to pair your style manual with an appropriate dictionary for spelling and word usage consistency as well.
Chicago Manual of Style (US English – general writing, book publishing and academic works) https://bookshop.org/a/10847/9780226287058
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, by the American Psychological Association (APA). (US – academic) https://bookshop.org/a/10847/9781433832734
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) style (US – academic, business) https://journals.ieeeauthorcenter.ieee.org/your-role-in-article-production/ieee-editorial-style-manual/
MLA Handbook (US – academic, book, business) https://bookshop.org/a/10847/9781603292627
The Associated Press Stylebook Basic Books (US – news, business, online media) https://bookshop.org/a/10847/9781541699892
Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (US – scientific publications, also used by some Canadian Universities) https://bookshop.org/a/10847/9780226116495
The Canadian Press Stylebook & Caps and Spelling (CAD – news, business, online media, Canadianization) https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-canadian-press-stylebook-a/9780920009543-item.html
AMA Manual of Style (US – medical, health, science) https://bookshop.org/a/10847/9780190246556
Amanda Greenslade’s Free Online Australian Style Guide (AUS) http://www.editoraustralia.com/styleguide.html
The Business Style Handbook, An A-to-Z Guide for Effective Writing on the Job, by Helen Cunningham and Brenda Greene (US Business) https://bookshop.org/a/10847/9780071800105
Child of Light Style Guide (US) https://www.behance.net/gallery/14637893/Child-of-Light-Logotype-Guideline
Irish Red Cross Style Guide (Irish English) https://cistudio.ie/work/irish-red-cross
This post was originally sent as an email to my Editing Services Newsletter email list in December 2020. If you’d like to receive emails like this, please sign up using the form in the sidebar.