Do It in Style!

Should I capitalize this?

Does a comma go here?

What part of the book goes where?

How do I format these end notes?

The questions are endless. That’s why every writer needs a style guide. In fact, several style guides are even better. Sometimes the answers vary according to which guide you use, but the key is to decide which style to use and stick with it through the manuscript or article or paper.

Then the key is to remember which style you chose for each situation. That’s where a style sheet comes in. You can design your own. Set categories or list the points alphabetically–whatever works for you. Consistency in your writing is imperative–and the style guide can help you with that consistency. Here’s a helpful post about style sheets on The Editor’s Blog.

Back to style guides. If you are writing for a client or organization, they may want you to use an in-house style guide. Every Christian writer should have The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style, Updated and Expanded Edition, by Robert Hudson.

3686EB: The Christian Writer"s Manual of Style - eBook The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style – eBook
By Edited by Robert Hudson & Shelley Townsend / ZondervanFocusing on the unique demands of religious publications, The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style is the most detailed and comprehensive guide of its kind. This second edition has been thoroughly revised, updated, and expanded to include more than twice the information of the original. It includes points of grammar, punctuation, usage, book production and design, and written style that are often overlooked in other manuals. It also includes hard-to-come-by information, such as an author’s guide for obtaining permissions, guidelines for using American, British, and mid-Atlantic styles, discussions of Internet and computer-related language styles and much more.

The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style Print Version.

This is our primary style guide at Christian Editing Services. We highly recommend it. It is especially helpful for capitalization of biblical and church terms and ways to format biblical sources.

Another must-have is The Chicago Manual of Style. Prefer the online version? It’s available here. Another one I find helpful is the Associated Press Stylebook.

Remember . . . if you are going to write, do it in style!

 

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