Writing Tip of the Day: Know your style guides

I love my AP Stylebook. It’s worn and scribbled up with notes and stains and Post Its with changes from the latest editions, etc. It makes me feel like a real writer and I browse through its pages just for fun. On the other hand, my Chicago Manual of Style guide is less than loved. I don’t have to use it often, but in an effort to be all the writer I can be, I’ve been trying to cuddle up to it and you should do the same.

Get to know your style guides. Writers faithfully follow the “don’t guess, know” mantra and will turn to their guides to fill in any uncertain areas of writing style or grammar, but just think of the time you’ll save if you begin to become one with your guides, slipping back and forth easily from each style.

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3 responses
  1. Phil Avatar

    The sad thing is the definite differences between the two. For 25 years, I never came across anyone that used anything but AP, but then came up with a couple that used Chicago guide. differences are minor, but a real pain when one is so used to one style.

  2. Claudia Peel Avatar
    Claudia Peel

    I would add to that a copy of Strunk and White, a good dictionary, and whatever else is needed to bring out the best writing we can produce at any given moment in time. Readers deserve nothing less than our best.

  3. Terreece Avatar

    Phil – It’s like trying to reprogram your brain :0)

    Claudia – You’re right!

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