Editing Resources Volume 3

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.

Style Manuals:

Chicago Manual of Style (US English – general writing, book publishing and academic works) https://bookshop.org/a/10847/9780226287058

The New Oxford Style Manual (UK/British – general writing and book publishing) https://bookshop.org/a/10847/9780198767251 and New Hart’s Rules https://bookshop.org/a/10847/9780199570027

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

Style Guides:

The BBC News Styleguide (British) https://web.archive.org/web/20120227003642/http://www2.media.uoa.gr/lectures/linguistic_archives/academic_papers0506/notes/stylesheets_3.pdf

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


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