Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Recipe for a Style Guide > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Recipe for a Style Guide

Wired Online has recently announced its plans to drop capitalization in internet, web, and net, but Wired Magazine continues to capitalize these words. Which should you do? For the most part, it's up to you. To ensure consistency on such tricky words, most editors will have a style guide.

This kind of style is the way you present yourself in words as well as the mechanics of words. Style addresses physical and editorial conventions.

If you don't have the luxury of creating one, there are a few excellent resources for your use. The AP Style Guide and Chicago Manual of Style are the bibles for many editors. When you need to cite another source, use the MLA Handbook or Columbia Guide to Online Style for the rules. Just want a simple, small book you can carry with you? Strunk & White's Elements of Style is a winner.

Be warned that none of the cookbooks has a reference to words like "e-mail" and don't resolve all the issues you may encounter. In this case, you could refer to Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications. Here's what it says about E- words:

"In general, avoid forming new words with 'e-' (for electronic) unless you know your audience will understand. Some words that may be appropriate in certain circumstances are 'e-commerce' and 'e-money.' 'E-mail' and 'e-form' are acceptable. Use lowercase and always hyphenate for clarity."

Here's where creating your own recipe comes in. You can use a few other recipes and throw in your own modifications to come up with what best fits your tastes. Of course, we want to keep our readers in mind when creating the guide.

Start by thinking about the topics you write about. If it is high tech, then it helps to explore all the terms along with the spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. Check out the Jargon File, the online version of The New Hacker's Dictionary or Writing for Multimedia's Terminology. If you're in another field, then you'll want to explorer for a similar resource. BBC News has a radio style guide and the GuardianUnlimited Style Guide is for writers and editors. Example of style guides for building Web sites include Lynch and Horton's Web Style Guide and New York Public Library's NYPL:Style Guide. For those in medicine, University of Washington presents the most frequently used entries from the AMA Style Guide.

The next ingredient to tackle is physical conventions. For instance, when starting a new paragraph, do you indent or use a double hard return? What font size, face, and style will you use for titles? Will the titles be capitalized or in sentence case? This is similar to a cookbook. All the recipes are formatted the same way. Even CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a recipe since it ensures formatting consistency.

Once you make the tough decisions, the easy part comes next. You throw all the selected ingredients into one pan, or in this case, one document. The style guide should be organized to make it easy for your writers can find what they need.

Finally, put it where everyone can access it. It doesn't have to be a book. It can be a one or two page document. It's a living document that you can continuously revise. Heck, use a blogging tool to easily manage it.

Now back to the hard part, getting everyone to follow the new guide.

Meryl K. Evans, Content Maven, is the writer and editor of many articles and publications including eNewsletter Journal, Shavlik's The Remediator, and Web Design @ InformIT. To get your feed on things geeky, webby, and wordy or to subscribe to free newsletters, visit her site at http://www.meryl.net/blog/.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

TechCrunch

Scrivener writing app gets a huge update | TechCrunch
TechCrunch
As ancient as the art of writing is, there is a bit of a shortage when it comes to truly excellent writing applications. Scrivener is one of the few, and today, the app ...
Popular writing app gets major update with Scrivener 3 | 9to5Mac9to5Mac

all 2 news articles »

CBS News

Esperanza Spalding on writing, arranging and recording an album ...
CBS News
Jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 2011, becoming the first jazz musician to win the award. The 33-year-old ...

and more »

Students' writing skills diminishing, according to my classroom observations
Los Angeles Times
Over the years that I have been an English teacher, there has been a steady decline in students' writing skills. Every time I assign a major piece of writing, one that is multiple pages in length, I brace myself for the avalanche of papers about to be ...


TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press

'Zombie apocalypse' writing assignment leads to controversy at ...
TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press
PARKERS PRAIRIE, Minn. — A hypothetical zombie apocalypse is to blame for recent controversy at Parkers Prairie High School in west-central Minnesota.

and more »

New York Times

Teaching Close Reading and Compelling Writing With the 'New Sentences' Column
New York Times
The writers who choose and explore the sentences each week show how to identify, analyze and critique compelling writing by making personal connections to a text, luxuriating in the perfection of a word, or dissecting literary devices. In this lesson ...


HuffPost

Trinity 8th-graders taking National Novel Writing Month quite seriously
Longview News-Journal
Getting her novel off the ground was hard, Trinity School of Texas eighth-grader Lauren Lenhart admits. She's working on a story about a 15-year-old girl living ...
Grant Faulkner on National Novel Writing Month, Pep Talks for ...HuffPost
Novel Writing Month in full swing | Local | muscatinejournal.comMuscatine Journal

all 4 news articles »

STLtoday.com

Student admits to writing racist message in high school bathroom ...
fox2now.com
CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Officials at Parkway Central High School said a student has confessed to writing a racial slur and the phrase 'White Lives Matter' on a ...
A student of color confesses to writing racial slur on Parkway ...STLtoday.com
Student Admits to Writing Racist Message on Parkway Central Mirror ...CBS St. Louis

all 5 news articles »

PEN America (press release) (blog)

Prison Writing Award Winners: 2017
PEN America (press release) (blog)
Every year, hundreds of inmates from around the country submit poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and dramatic works to PEN America's Prison Writing Contest, one of the few outlets of free expression for the country's incarcerated population. Manuscripts ...


IGN

Rashida Jones and Writing Partner Dropped Out of Toy Story 4 Over "Philosophical Differences" With Pixar
IGN
By Joe Skrebels Rashida Jones and writing partner Will McCormack dropped out of their positions as co-writers of Toy Story 4, citing a culture at Pixar that marginalises women and people of colour. As reported by EW, the co-writers released a statement ...
Rashida Jones Reveals Why She Left Toy Story 4 as Pixar Boss John Lasseter Takes Leave of AbsencePEOPLE.com
Original Toy Story 4 Writers No Longer Involved With Film [Updated]Screen Rant
Rashida Jones explains why she isn't writing Toy Story 4 anymoreLooper

all 279 news articles »

Green Valley News

Officers: New report-writing protocols hurt policing efforts
Green Valley News
In January, Sahuarita Police Chief John Noland held a 20-hour mandatory report writing and advanced investigation class. He said officers need to write chronologically, consistently and use the correct terminology. He also created another layer of ...

Google News

When I Grow Up

I've just come back to work after nine glorious, sun-drenched... Read More

Write For Yourself First

It would be very selfless or noble of me to... Read More

Five Tips to Find More Time for Your Writing Life

When I asked new ezine subscribers, "What is your Number... Read More

How To Break Into Print Publishing

The big question. Do you submit directly to the publishers,... Read More

Turbo Charge Your Career! Write And Produce Your Own Stage Play!

Have you ever wondered how you can adapt your screenplay... Read More

Writing is a Discipline

If a writer considers writing to be a task, he/she... Read More

Pairs/Groups Of Words Often Confused - Part 2 of 6

BAITED, BATEDBaited usually refers to traps or snares. When the... Read More

Fight The Fluff!

The first and final rule of quality writing is this:... Read More

Keeping a Love Journal

Do you love someone very deeply? A spouse, son, daughter,... Read More

What you Dont Know About Book Publishing Can Cost You

Dream that your book can be a number one best... Read More

Writing For Free: When & When Not to Do It!

Right off the bat, I want to say that there... Read More

Character Motivation - Always Ask WHY

For many years, I've been a tutor for students undertaking... Read More

The Author Within

Just about every marketer on the Internet claims to be... Read More

The Writer and the Web

If your dream is to get published, the chance is... Read More

6 Tricks To Squeeze Your Letters Onto One Page

Anyone who has read any of my articles on the... Read More

Five Keys To A Successful Query Letter

Do you know what a query letter is? If so,... Read More

Alternative View Points and the Lamp of Creativity

Pictures they say are worth a thousand words, but many... Read More

Writing and Self-examination

Good writing requires self-examination. Why is one writing? What part... Read More

Turbo-Charging Your Writing Career - 6 High-Yield Strategies

Hands up all those who'd like to have a successful... Read More

Top Seven Ways to Select a Book Topic That Sells

Authors need to write their book according to their target... Read More

Aesop, Abraham Lincoln, and You

May I tell you about a writing technique shared by... Read More

Tell the World About You

You have a new website, or a new business, or... Read More

How You Can Become a Certified and Profitable Proofreader

A certified proofreader is one that has taken a few... Read More

Essay Types and Modes Youll Need to Write for College

~TYPES~You Want Us to Write What? Understanding the Task AssignedWhich... Read More

Become the Writer You Always Dreamed of Being

So you want to be a writer, except you don't... Read More