This page provides a list of resources available for the web designer or developer who needs to create an editorial style guide for writing web site copy.
Definition of Style Guide
"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. A set of standards for a specific organization is known as "house style". 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. The strict implementation of style guide regulations provides uniformity in style and formatting of a document."
Basic Editorial Guides
- Elements of Style - Full text of the William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White American English writing style guide is available via Bartelby.
- The Web Style Guide - Web publication and writing style by Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton is available with complete text and illustration online, and also sold in print. The book provides a comprehensive guide to the issues of importance to web site designers, including the complete chapter on Editoral Style.
- Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications, Third Edition - Reference for technical writers, editors, journalists, and everyone else who writes about computer technology. Developed by Microsoft’s senior editors and content managers, this manual of style captures the up-to-date standards and best practices for delivering clear and consistent technical communications.
- Yahoo Style Guide - The Yahoo! Style Guide is a print and ebook publication that covers the basics of grammar and punctuation plus a multitude of topics with a Web-specific focus. Yahoo! editors discuss effective writing and editing for an online audience, techniques for streamlining copy, basic Web codes, Internet law, search engine optimization, and more. Before-and-after examples of how to clean up problem copy abound. The companion website features content excerpted from the book but also offers more help and resources from Yahoo! editors.
Example House Style Guides
- The Economist Style Guide - This guide is based on the style book which is given to all journalists at The Economist. Also available in print.
- Guardian Style - Online edition of style guide used by writers at The Guardian, Observer, and guardian.co.uk. Also available in print.
- Editorial Style Guide, Dartmouth Office of Publications
- Web Editorial Style Guide, Princeton Office of Communications
Online Citation Guides
Subscription and Printed Style Guides
- Associated Press Style Guide - Excerpts and full text available online by subscription, and printed.
- Chicago Manual of Style - Excerpts and full text available online by subscription, and printed.
- The Economist Style Guide - Excerpts available online and expanded version available in print.
- Guardian Style - Expanded and updated edition of the Guardian stylebook, available in print.
- New York Times Manual of Style (Amazon) - Available in print.
- The Thomson Handbook (Amazon) - Available in print.