Style encompasses rules of grammar and formatting conventions for text, headings, and references, with the aim of precisely conveying meaning. Many fields and publications follow a particular style manual; below we’ve listed the most commonly used manuals as well as some specialized ones.
- AMA (American Medical Association): AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors, 10th ed. (2009).
- AP: Associated Press Stylebook. Updated annually. Online subscription available.
- APA: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. (2010). For scholarly work in the social sciences.
- The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed. (2017). For books and academic theses in humanistic and scientific fields. The 16th edition (2010) is still in use by some publishers. Online subscription available; Guild members can subscribe at a discount (members-only link).
- CSE (Council of Science Editors): Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 8th ed. (2014).
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 8th ed. (2016). For scholarly textbooks, journals, high school and college research papers in the humanities.
- The Yahoo! Style Guide: The Ultimate Sourcebook for Writing, Editing, and Creating Content for the Digital World (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2010).
Copyeditors generally work to ensure that a text follows a particular style consistently, but may break the rules to honor the client’s preferences or for another good reason. Some clients have a house style guide that takes precedence over any of these manuals.