What Is Your Writing Style?
It is important to know which style guide you follow, so you can be more consistent in your writing. Or you can just tell your editor which style you prefer, and they will make sure your work is aligned with it properly. Either way, you produce stronger writing for your audience!
How would you punctuate this sentence?
I had eggs, bacon, and coffee for breakfast.
I had eggs, bacon and coffee for breakfast.
1 / 7
Which dictionary would you prefer to use when you need to check spelling or hyphenation?
Um, the online one
2 / 7
How do you like your dots and dashes?
I have always thought — known, really — that I was meant to be ... well, I should be a mermaid!
I have always thought—known, really—that I was meant to be . . . well, I should be a mermaid!
I have always thought – known, really – that I was meant to be...well, I should be a mermaid!
Not a fan of any of those, actually.
3 / 7
Which way would you write the author's name for this book?
J. L. Adams
J L Adams
I've never thought about it...
4 / 7
How do you prefer to deal with numbers?
We had 23 meatballs at 8 a.m.
We had twenty-three meatballs at 8 a.m.
We had 23 meatballs at 8am.
I'd probably mix those up a bit.
5 / 7
How would you caption this picture?
6 / 7
Which of these is spelled "correctly" (for you)?
I specialize in colors.
I specialise in colours.
I specialize in colours.
I specialise in colors.
7 / 7
The Associated Press Stylebook
You probably write shorter masterpieces, like articles, blogs or news stories. You don't have room (or time) for extra space and punctuation. Keep it simple!
Be sure to tell any editors or proofreaders that you work with that you follow the AP Stylebook!
Chicago Manual of Style
You probably write books, fiction stories, or academic papers. CMoS is all about making sure your work is readable. If you want to make sure your work is consistent across your entire career, you can't find a more comprehensive style guide.
Be sure to tell any editors or proofreaders that you work with that you follow the Chicago Manual of Style.
The Canadian Style
Are you Canadian? If so, you must get frustrated when people tell you that your spelling is inconsistent. At least you don't add an extra syllable to aluminum!
Be sure to tell any editors or proofreaders that you work with that you follow the Canadian Style.
If you're not Canadian, be sure to set your language in any word processors to the version of English you use. This way you can be sure your grammar and spelling are being checked appropriately (not that you should rely on spellcheck!)
New Hart's Rules (Oxford Style)
Are you British? Or maybe Australian (imagine I've zoomed in on the flag...)? If so, then you probably get annoyed when Americans tell you that you use too many letters. You want your quote marks single and don't ever call it a period – full stop.
Be sure to tell any editors or proofreaders that you work with that you follow the New Hart's Rules.
Your Own Personal Style
You don't want to have to follow someone else's rules. When you are writing, you want to focus on writing. That is fine! Create a style guide for yourself. A document you can share with any editors or proofreaders (or subcontracted writers, because you are building an empire!), so they know how to keep your work consistent from one piece to the next. And so you can spend more time writing and less time worrying about where to put that comma.