The Elements of Style: An Overview

25 12 2012

The Elements of Style, also known as Strunk & White, by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White, is a prescriptive American English writing style guidecomprising eight “elementary rules of usage”, ten “elementary principles of composition”, “a few matters of form”, a list of 49 “words and expressions commonly misused”, and a list of 57 “words often misspelled”.

In 2011, Time magazine listed The Elements of Style as one of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since 1923.

Cornell University English professor William Strunk, Jr., wrote The Elements of Style in 1918, and privately published it in 1919, for in-house use at the university. Later, for publication, he and editor Edward A. Tenney revised it as The Elements and Practice of Composition (1935). In 1957, at The New Yorker, the style guide reached the attention of E. B. White, who had studied writing under Strunk in 1919, but had since forgotten “the little book” that he described as a “forty-three-page summation of the case for cleanliness, accuracy, and brevity in the use of English.” Weeks later, White wrote a feature story about Strunk’s devotion to lucid English prose.

Macmillan and Company publishers subsequently commissioned White to revise the 41-year-old text of The Elements of Style (1918) for a 1959 edition (Strunk had died in 1946). White’s expansion and modernization of Strunk’s 1935 revised edition yielded the writing style manual informally known as Strunk & White, the first edition of which sold approximately two million copies in 1959. In the ensuing four decades, more than ten million copies of three editions have been sold. The history of this writing manual is told in Stylized: A Slightly Obsessive History of Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style(2009), by Mark Garvey.

In The Elements of Style (1918), William Strunk concentrated on specific questions of usage—and the cultivation of good writing—with the recommendation “Make every word tell”; hence, the 17th principle of composition is the simple instruction: “Omit needless words.” The 1959 edition features White’s expansions of those sections, the “Introduction” essay (derived from his magazine feature story about Prof. Strunk), and the concluding chapter, “An Approach to Style”, a broader, prescriptive guide to writing in English. He also produced the second (1972) and third (1979) editions of The Elements of Style, by which time the book’s length had extended to eighty-five pages.

The third edition of The Elements of Style (1979) features 54 points: a list of common word-usage errors; 11 rules of punctuation and grammar; 11 principles of writing; 11 matters of form, and 21 reminders for a better style, in Chapter V. The final reminder, the 21st, “Prefer the standard to the offbeat”, is thematically integral to the subject of The Elements of Style, yet does stand as a discrete essay about writing lucid prose. To write well, White advises writers to have the proper mind-set, that they write to please themselves, and that they aim for “one moment of felicity”, a phrase by Robert Louis Stevenson(1850–94); thus the professor’s 1918 recommendation:

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
—Elementary Principles of Composition, The Elements of Style

The fourth edition of The Elements of Style (2000), published fifty-four years after the death of William Strunk Jr., omits his stylistic advice about masculine pronouns: “unless the antecedent is or must be feminine”; and, in its place, editor E.B. White reports: “Currently, however, many writers find the use of the generic he or his to rename indefinite antecedents limiting or offensive.” In Chapter IV: Misused Words and Expressions, the re-titled entry, “They. He or She” further advises avoiding an “unintentional emphasis on the masculine”. The textual expansions to the fourth edition include a foreword by Roger Angell, stepson of E.B. White, an afterword by the American cultural commentator Charles Osgood, a glossary, and an index. Five years later, the fourth edition was re-published as The Elements of Style Illustrated (2005), by the designer Maira Kalman. The afterword by Charles Osgood in this edition was removed and the chapter about spelling, from the first edition, reintroduced.

In criticizing The Elements of StyleGeoffrey Pullum, professor of linguistics at Edinburgh University, and co-author of The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (2002), said that:

The book’s toxic mix of purism, atavism, and personal eccentricity is not underpinned by a proper grounding in English grammar. It is often so misguided that the authors appear not to notice their own egregious flouting of its own rules . . . It’s sad. Several generations of college students learned their grammar from the uninformed bossiness of Strunk and White, and the result is a nation of educated people who know they feel vaguely anxious and insecure whenever they write however or than me or was or which, but can’t tell you why.

Pullum noted, for example, that the authors misunderstood what constitutes the passive voice, and he criticized their proscription of established and unproblematic English usages, such as the split infinitive and the use of which in a restrictive relative clause. He further criticized The Elements of Style in Language Log, a blog about language written by linguists, for promoting linguistic prescriptivism and hypercorrection among Anglophones, and called it “the book that ate America’s brain”.

The Boston Globe‘s review described The Elements of Style Illustrated (2005), by Maira Kalman, as an “aging zombie of a book . . . a hodgepodge, its now-antiquated pet peeves jostling for space with 1970s taboos and 1990s computer advice”.


AP Stylebook: An Overview

24 12 2012

The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, usually called the AP Stylebook, is a style and usage guide used by newspapers and in the news industry in the United States. The book is updated annually by Associated Press editors, usually in June.

Reporters, editors and others use the AP Stylebook as a guide for grammar, punctuation and principles and practices of reporting. Although some publications use a different style guide, the AP Stylebook is considered a newspaper industry standard and is also used by broadcasters, magazines and public relations firms. It includes an A-to-Z listing of guides to capitalization, abbreviation, spelling, numerals and usage.

Example: If the title of governor is used before a name, it should be capitalized and abbreviated e.g. Gov. Janet Napolitano, but when it’s used generically by itself or after the name it should be lowercase and not abbreviated.

The stylebook is organized into sections:

Business Guidelines

A reference section for reporters covering business and financial news including general knowledge of accounting, bankruptcy, mergers and international bureaus. For instance, it includes explanations of five different chapters of bankruptcy.

Sports Guidelines and Style

Includes terminology, statistics, organization rules and guidelines commonly referenced by sports reporters. Example: The correct way to spell and use basketball terminology e.g. half-court pass, field goal and goaltending.

Guide to Punctuation

A specific guide on how to use punctuation in journalistic materials, this section includes rules regarding hyphens, commas, parentheses and quotations.Example: In a series use commas to separate items but no comma before a conjunction. e.g. We bought eggs, milk and cheese at the store.

Briefing on Media Law

An overview of legal issues and ethical expectations for those working in the journalism industry. Example: The difference between slander and libel. Slander is spoken; libel is written, to start with.

Photo Captions

The simple formula of what to include when writing a photo cutline.

Editing Marks

A key with editing symbols to assist the journalist with the proofreading process. Example: When a word is circled it means that the word should be abbreviated, or that an abbreviation should be unabbreviated.


This provides second reference materials for information not included in the book. Example: Use Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Wiley, Hoboken, N.J. as first reference after the AP Stylebook for spelling, style, usage and foreign geographic names.

For many years the AP Stylebook was titled The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual.  In 2000, the guide was renamed The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law. In recent years, the title used on the cover has been simplified to The Associated Press Stylebook.

Associated Press also offers subscription-based electronic versions of the stylebook, which are updated with style changes as they are made and support the addition of local style entries. An individual online subscription is available for $25 to general customers and through college bookstores. Subscriptions for existing AP members are available for $15. The online subscription contains additional features, including the option to create notes on an AP listing and several ways to search for an AP entry. There are also site license discounts available to AP members when buying online subscriptions in bulk from 10 to 50,000 copies. A specific guide on how to use punctuation in journalistic materials, this section includes rules regarding hyphens, commas, parentheses and quotations. The AP Stylebook is also available as an iPhone app costing $28.99 annually per individual subscribers. When purchased from the AP website the book costs $11.75 for AP members or customers with a college bookstore code. For general customers the book costs $18.95.

The AP Stylebook in its modern form started in 1953. The 1953 publication focused on “where the wire set a specific style”; for nearly a quarter century it assumed its reader had a “solid grounding in language and a good reference library” and thus omitted any guidelines in those broader areas. In 1977, prompted by AP Executive News Editor Louis Boccardi‘s request for “more of a reference work,” the organization started expanding the book. That year’s book was produced jointly with competitor United Press International. In 1989, Norm Goldstein became the AP Stylebook editor, a job he held until the 2007 edition. After the publication of the final edition under his editorship, Goldstein commented on changes:

I think the difference…now is that there is more information available on the Internet, and I’m not sure, and at least our executive editor is not sure, how much of a reference book we ought to be anymore. I think some of our historical background material like on previous hurricanes and earthquakes, that kind of encyclopedic material that’s so easily available on the Internet now, might be cut back.

Associated Press editors Darrell Christian, Sally Jacobsen and David Minthorn edited the 2009 edition, which features an updated listing of U.S. and international company names. This edition also included separate entries for U.S. financial institutions and major oil companies and a quick reference guide that lists the most popular entries and subject matter. Currently the most recent print editions are 2011 and 2012.

While nearly two million copies of the AP Stylebook have been distributed since 1977, today the AP Stylebook is developing an online presence with profiles on social media platforms like Twitter(@APStylebook)  and Facebook.

The stylebook is updated annually by Associated Press editors, usually in June, and at this time edits and new entries may be added. In 2008, 200 new entries were added, including words and phrases like “podcast”, “text messaging”, “social networking” and “high-definition”. The 2009 edition added the entries “Twitter” and “texting”. This is done to keep the stylebook up to date with technological and cultural changes.

Style Guides and Style Manuals: An Overview

16 12 2012

style guide or style manual is a set of standards for the writing and design of documents, either for general use or for a specific publication, organization or field. The implementation of a style guide provides uniformity in style and formatting within a document and across multiple documents.

A set of standards for a specific organization is often known as “house style”. Style guides are common for general and specialized use, for the general reading and writing audience, and for students and scholars of various academic disciplines, medicine, journalism, the law, government, business, and industry.

Organizations advocating for social minorities sometimes establish what they believe to be fair and correct language treatment of their audiences.

Some style guides focus on graphic design, focusing on such topics as typography and white space. Web site style guides cover a publication’s visual and technical aspects, along with text.

Many style guides are revised periodically to accommodate changes in conventions and usage. The Associated Press Stylebook, for example, is revised annually.

Publishers’ style guides establish house rules for language use, such as spellingitalics and punctuation; their major purpose is consistency. They are rulebooks for writers, ensuring consistent language. Authors are asked or required to use a style guide in preparing their work for publication; copy editors are charged with enforcing the publishing house’s style.

Academic organization and university style guides are rigorous about documentation formatting style for citations and bibliographies used for preparing term papers for course credit and manuscripts for publication.[citation needed] Professional scholars are advised to follow the style guides of organizations in their disciplines when they submit articles and books to academic journals and academic book publishers in those disciplines for consideration of publication. Once they have accepted work for publication, publishers provide authors with their own guidelines and specifications, which may differ from those required for submission, and editors may assist authors in preparing their work for press.

A page from an “identity standards manual”—so named for the field of graphic design that focuses on corporate identity design and branding—that identifies color standards to be used.

Some organizations, other than those previously mentioned, produce style guides for either internal or external use. For example, communications and public relations departments of business and nonprofit organizations have style guides for their publications (newslettersnews releasesweb sites). Organizations advocating for social minorities sometimes establish what they believe to be fair and correct language treatment of their audiences.

Many publications (notably newspapers) use graphic design style guides to demonstrate the preferred layout and formatting of a published page. They often are extremely detailed in specifying, for example, which fonts and colors to use. Such guides allow a large design team to produce visually consistent work for the organization.[citation needed]

Several basic style guides for technical and scientific communication have been defined by international standards organizations. These are often used as elements of and refined in more specialized style guides that are specific to a subject, region or organization. One example is ISO 215 Documentation — Presentation of contributions to periodicals and other serials.

The European Union publishes an Interinstitutional Style Guide—encompassing 23 languages across the European Union. This manual is “obligatory” for all those employed by the institutions of the EU who are involved in preparing EU documents and works.

The Directorate-General for Translation of the European Commission publishes its own English Style Guide, intended primarily for English-language authors and translators, but aiming to serve a wider readership as well.


Style Manual: For Authors, Editors and Printers by Snooks & Co for the Department of Finance and Administration. 6th ed. ISBN 0-7016-3648-3.

Australian Guide to Legal Citation


The Canadian Style: A Guide to Writing and Editing: by Dundurn Press in co-operation with Public Works and the Government Services Canada Translation Bureau. ISBN 1-55002-276-8.

CP Stylebook: Guide to newspaper style in Canada maintained by the Canadian PressISBN 0-920009-38-7.

Lexicographical Centre for Canadian English A Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles: Dictionary of Canadian English Walter Spencer Avis (ed.) Toronto: W.J. Gage (1967)OCLC 301088035[4]

United Kingdom


Copy-editing: The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Authors and Publishers Judith Butcher. 3rd ed. 1992 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press ISBN 0-521-40074-0

Fowler’s Modern English Usage. Ed. R. W. Burchfield. Rev. 3rd ed. London: Clarendon Press, 2004. ISBN 0-19-861021-1 (hardcover). Based on Fowler’s Modern English Usage, by Henry Watson Fowler.

The King’s English, by Henry Watson Fowler and Francis George Fowler.

New Hart’s Rules (2005 ed.).

The Complete Plain Words, by Sir Ernest Gowers.

Usage and Abusage, by Eric Partridge.


The BBC News Style Guide: by theBritish Broadcasting Corporation]

The Economist Style Guide: by The Economist (UK]

The Guardian Style Guide: by The Guardian (United Kingdom)

The Times Style and Usage Guide, by The Times.

The Associated Press Stylebook, by The Associated Press

United States

In the United States, most non-journalistic professional writing follows The Chicago Manual of Style“one of the most widely used and respected style guides in the United States”. Scholarly writing may follow the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. A classic style guide for the general public is The Elements of Style.

Journalism generally follows the Associated Press Stylebook.


The Careful Writer, by Theodore Bernstein.

The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White. (Commonly called “Strunk and White”)

Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, by Joseph M. Williams

The Well-Spoken Thesaurus, by Tom Heehler

Academic papers

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Seventh Edition: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, by Kate L. Turabian. (Commonly called “Turabian style“.)

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers by Joseph Gibaldi. (Commonly called “MLA style“.)

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association by the American Psychological Association. Primarily used in social sciences. (Commonly called “APA style“.)

AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors by the American Medical Association. Primarily used in medicine. (Commonly called “AMA style“.)

Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers by the Council of Science Editors. Used widely in the natural sciences, especially the life sciences. (Commonly called “CSE style“.)

The printed versions of the manual produced by the American Chemical Society (ACS) are entitled ACS Style Guide: Effective Communication of Scientific Information, 3rd ed. (2006), edited by Anne M. Coghill and Lorrin R. Garson, and ACS Style Guide: A Manual for Authors and Editors (1997). Primarily used for the physical sciences, such as physical chemistryphysics, and related disciplines. (Commonly called “ACS style“.)


The Gregg Reference Manual, by William A. Sabin.


Legal writers in most law schools in the United States are trained using the Bluebook Uniform System for Citation, which was developed jointly by the faculty at Harvard and Columbia Universities’ Schools of Law. Despite this near uniform training, nearly every state has appellate court rules that specify citation methods and writing styles specific to that state and the Supreme Court of the United States has its own citation method. Most states’ methods and the Supreme Court method are derived from the Bluebook. There are also several other citation manuals available to legal writers in wide usage in the United States. Virtually all large law firms maintain their own citation manual and several major publishers of legal texts (West, Lexis-Nexis, Hein, et al.) maintain their own systems.


The Associated Press Stylebook. By the Associated Press (AP).

General publishing

The Chicago Manual of Style, by University of Chicago Press staff.

Words into Type, by Marjorie E. Skillin, Robert M. Gay, et al.

Web publishing

The Yahoo! Style Guide: The Ultimate Sourcebook for Writing, Editing and Creating Content for the Web, by Chris Barr and the Yahoo! Editorial Staff.

The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers

13 12 2012

The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (1977; 7th ed., 2009) is a publication of the Modern Language Association of America, based on The MLA Style Manual (3rd ed., 2008). According to the MLA, since its first publication in 1985, the MLA Style Manual has been “the standard guide for graduate students, scholars, and professional writers” (“What Is MLA Style?”).

Like the MLA Style Manual, the MLA Handbook is an academic style guide widely used in the United StatesCanada, and other countries, providing guidelines for writing and documentation of research in the humanities, such as English studies (including the English languagewriting, and literaturewritten in English); the study of other modern languages and literatures, including comparative literatureliterary criticismmedia studiescultural studies; and related disciplines (“What Is MLA Style?”). Released in March 2009, the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook (like its previous editions) is addressed primarily to secondary-school and undergraduate college and university teachers and students (“What Is MLA Style?”). According to the MLA, “For over half a century, the MLA Handbook is the guide millions of writers have relied on,” and “It provides an authoritative presentation of MLA documentation style for use in student writing.”

According to the MLA book catalogue description and other information accessible from its website:

Widely adopted by universities, colleges, and secondary schools, the MLA Handbook gives step-by-step advice on every aspect of writing research papers, from selecting a topic to submitting the completed paper.
The seventh edition is a comprehensive, up-to-date guide to research and writing in the online environment. It provides an authoritative update of MLA documentation style for use in student writing, including simplified guidelines for citing works published on the Web and new recommendations for citing several kinds of works, such as digital files and graphic narratives.
Every copy of the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook comes with a code for accessing the accompanying Web site (

In addition to “Works Cited”, MLA style also provides other possible options for bibliographies, such as more-selective lists headed “Selected Bibliography” or “Works Consulted”.

In-text citations can vary depending on how many sources were used in the body of text. For example, if multiple sources are used in the paragraph, brief “Author-title” parenthetical citations, including the name or names of author(s) and/or short titles (as needed) and numbers of pages (as applicable), are used within the text. These are keyed to and direct readers to a work or works by author(s) or editor(s) and sometimes titles (if the works are anonymous), as they are presented on the list of works cited (in alphabetical order), and the page(s) of the item where the information is located (e.g. (Smith 107)refers the reader to page 107 of the cited work by an author whose surname is Smith). If there are more than one author of the same name and/or more than one title of works by that author or authors being cited, then a first name or initial and/or titles or short titles are also used within the text’s parenthetical references to avoid ambiguity. (No “p.” or “pp.” prefaces the page numbers and main words in titles appear in capital letters, following MLA style guidelines.). However, if the entire paragraph is using only one source, the full citation of the source may be listed at the conclusion of the paragraph. There is no need for a complete bibliography at the end if this method is used. If multiple sources are cited within the paragraph, the full citations must be included in the list of “Works Cited.”

To cite a work within an article, paper, or book, one inserts the author’s name in an introductory phrase and then within parentheses inserts the page number of the work in which the information appears. For example:

In his final study, Lopez said that the response “far exceeded our expectations” (253).

Complete information about the publication by Lopez is listed alphabetically in the “Works Cited.”

If the author is not mentioned in an introductory phrase, the author’s name, followed by the page number, must appear in parentheses. Example:

The habits of England’s workers changed dramatically during the Industrial Revolution (Hodgkinson 81).

When citing an entire work, or one without page numbers (or only one page), one writes only the author’s name in parentheses.

If the whole paragraph references only one source, write the full citation on the next line.

The “Works Cited” (bibliography) may contain more than one work by an author. If the text preceding the citation does not specify the title of the work, there is a comma after the author’s name followed by a shortened version of the title in question (or the entire title if it is short) and the page number. Such a short title may include the first significant word or words of the title:

Securing its communications through the Suez Canal was Britain’s overriding aim (Smith, Islam 71).

with the title italicized for a book or within quotation marks for an essay, a poem, or a speech, as appropriate.

In the “Works Cited” or bibliography, three short dashes (––– if word processed; hyphens [—] when typed) are used when the author or authors’ name is the same in subsequent works being listed.

These in-text parenthetical citations guide the reader to the pertinent entries in the attached list of “Works Cited”:

Hodgkinson, Tom. How to Be Idle. New York: Harper, 2005. Print.

Smith, Charles D. “The ‘Crisis of Orientation’: The Shift of Egyptian Intellectuals to Islamic Subjects in the 1930’s.” International Jour. of Middle East Studies 4.4 (1973): 382–410. Print.

–––. Islam and the Search for Social Order in Modern Egypt: A Biography of Muhammad Husayn Haykal. Albany: State U of New York P, 1983. Print.

In composing “content notes” (formatted as either footnotes or endnotes), one is directed to “avoid lengthy discussions that divert the reader’s attention from the primary text” and advised: “In general, comments that [one] cannot fit into the text should be omitted unless they provide essential justification or clarification of what [one has] written” (MLA Style Manual 259). “[One] may use a note, for example, to give full publication facts for an original source for which [one cites] an indirect source” (MLA Style Manual 259). MLA style “content notes” use the same method of “Parenthetical Documentation and the List of Works Cited,” with sources keyed to the list of “Works Cited”, discussed in Section 7: “Documentation: Citing Sources in the Text” (MLA Style Manual 240–60).

MLA Style Manual: An Overview

12 12 2012

The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2008) is the third edition of The MLA Style Manual, first published by the Modern Language Association of America in 1985. It is an academic style guide widely used in the United States, Canada, and other countries, providing guidelines for writing and documentation of research in the humanities, especially in English studies; the study of other modern languages and literature, including comparative literatureliterary criticismmedia studiescultural studies; and related disciplines (but not history, which follows The Chicago Manual of Style).

According to the MLA book catalogue description, since first being published in 1985, the MLA Style Manual has been “the standard guide for graduate students, scholars, and professional writers.” MLA style “has been widely adopted by schools, academic departments, and instructors for over half a century”; the MLA’s “guidelines are also used by over 1,100 scholarly and literary journals, newsletters, and magazines and by many university and commercial presses,” and they are “followed throughout North America and in BrazilChinaIndiaJapanTaiwan, and other countries around the world” (“What Is MLA Style?”).

The MLA Style Manual is one of two official publications of the MLA presenting MLA documentation style written by Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Director of Book Acquisitions and Development (“Book Publications Program: General Information”), co-author with Walter S. Achtert of the first edition. The audience is primarily graduate students, academic scholars, professors, professional writers, and editors.

The other publication is The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, whose primary audience is secondary-school and undergraduate students and their teachers.

The most recently published editions of both works have been updated and adapted to accommodate advancements in computer-generated word processing, electronic publishing, and related digital-publishing papers.

The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd ed. (2008), by the Modern Language Association of America (based on the work of Joseph Gibaldi with co-author Walter S. Achtert for The MLA Style Manual [1985], revised in the 2nd ed. in 1998), is addressed primarily to academic scholars, professors, graduate students, and other advanced-level writers of scholarly books and articles in humanities disciplines such as English and other modern languages and literatures. Many journals and presses in these disciplines require that manuscripts be submitted following MLA style.

Turabian Style Guide: An Overview

11 12 2012

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (published by the University of Chicago Press and often referred to simply asTurabian), is a style guide for writing and formatting research papers (such as the arrangement and punctuation of footnotes and bibliographies). The style described in this book is commonly known as Turabian style, after the book’s original author, Kate L. Turabian.

The 7th edition, published on April 15, 2007 (U.S.) and May 10, 2007 (UK), “has undergone its most extensive revision to reflect the recommendations of the fifteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style and to present an expanded array of source types and updated examples, including guidance on citing electronic sources”.

According to the publisher, prior to this edition, Turabian’s Manual “sold more than seven million copies since it was first published in 1937.

The seventh edition of Turabian’s Manual was revised by Wayne C. BoothGregory Colomb and Joseph M. Williams—authors of The Craft of Research—and the University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff. The contributors “preserve Turabian’s clear and practical advice while fully embracing the new modes of research, writing, and source citation brought about by the age of the Internet.

Except for a few minor differences, Turabian style is the same as The Chicago Manual of Style. However, while The Chicago Manual of Style focuses on providing guidelines for publishing in general, Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations focuses on providing guidelines for student papers, theses and dissertations.

In some aspects (sometimes only minor punctuation details), however, Turabian differs from the styles that are developed and published in style guides by professional scholarly organizations, such as MLA style and APA style.

The most recent version of Turabian (7th ed.), like MLA style and APA style, and also like the most recent edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago style), enables use of footnotes and/or endnotes in combination with parenthetical referencing; for comparison, see, for example, MLA style “content notes”. According to the description of the 7th edition, Turabian’s Manual “presents two basic documentation systems, notes-bibliography style (or simply bibliography style) and parenthetical citations–reference list style (or reference list style). These styles are essentially the same as those presented in The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, with slight modifications for the needs of student writers.

Turban’s key contrast with the APA style is that it was developed specifically for the purpose of being used in papers written for a class and not for publication, whereas APA was originally developed by the American Psychological Association for use in writing intended for publication in professional journals, although college writing course textbooks (e.g., those published by Bedford-St. Martin’s) present APA style as the documentation style to use for student research papers in the social sciences and related fields.

Whereas the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers is directed to high-school and college and university undergraduate students (and their teachers), and the MLA Style Manual is directed to more advanced graduate students, scholars and professional writers, Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations is directed to both levels of students who are writing graduate-level (M.A. and Ph.D.) theses and dissertations as well as undergraduate research papers.

Some academic journals in musicologyhistoryart historywomen’s studies and theology require use of Chicago style or the Turabian style for published articles in them. After articles are submitted for consideration (which may require another set of style guidelines at that time, usually the prevailing format of the discipline [MLA or APA]), the journals generally send their specific publishing house style sheets for authors to follow in preparing the accepted articles for final publication, indicating what published style guide is to be followed.

Chicago Manual of Style: An Overview

10 12 2012

The Chicago Manual of Style (abbreviated in writing as CMS or CMOS (the version used on its website), or verbally as Chicago) is a style guide for American English published since 1906 by the University of Chicago Press. Its sixteen editions have prescribed writing and citation styles widely used in publishing. It is “one of the most widely used and respected style guides in the United States. The CMS deals with aspects of editorial practice, from American English grammar and usage to document preparation.

What is now known as The Chicago Manual of Style was first published in 1906 under the title Manual of Style: Being a compilation of the typographical rules in force at the University of Chicago Press, to which are appended specimens of type in use (image right). From its first 203-page edition, the CMOS evolved into a comprehensive reference style guide of 1,026 pages in its 16th edition.[1] It was one of the first editorial style guides published in the United States, and it is largely responsible for research methodology standardization, notably citation style.

The most significant revision to the manual was made for the 12th edition, published in 1969. Its first printing of 20,000 copies sold out before it was printed.[2] In 1982, with the publication of the 13th edition, it was officially retitled The Chicago Manual of Style, adopting the informal name already in widespread use.

More recently, the publishers have released a new edition about every ten years. The 15th edition was revised to reflect the emergence of computer technology and the Internet in publishing, offering guidance for citing electronic works. Other changes included a chapter by Bryan A. Garner on American English grammar and usage and a revised treatment of mathematical copy.

In August 2010, the 16th edition was published simultaneously in the hardcover and online editions for the first time in the Manual’s history. In a departure from the trademark red-orange cover, the sixteenth edition featured a robin’s-egg blue dust jacket (image lower right). The latest edition features “music, foreign languages, and computer topics (such as Unicode characters and URLs)”. It also offers expanded recommendations for producing electronic publications, including web-based content and e-books. An updated appendix on production and digital technology demystifies the process of electronic workflow and offers a primer on the use of XML markup; it also included a revised glossary includes a host of terms associated with electronic and print publishing. The Chicago system of documentation is streamlined to achieve greater consistency between the author-date and notes-bibliography systems of citation, making both systems easier to use. In addition, updated and expanded examples address the many questions that arise when documenting online and digital sources, from the use of DOIs to citing social networking sites. Figures and tables are updated throughout the book, including a return to the Manual‘s popular hyphenation table and new, selective listings of Unicode numbers for special characters.

The Chicago Manual of Style is published in hardcover and online. The online edition includes the searchable text of both the 15th and 16th—its most recent—editions with features such as tools for editors, a citation guide summary, and searchable access to a Q&A, where University of Chicago Press editors answer readers’ style questions. An annual subscription is required for access to the content of the Manual. (Access to the Q&A, however, is free.)

The Chicago Manual of Style is used in some social science publications and most historical journals. It remains the basis for the Style Guide of the American Anthropological Association and the Style Sheet for the Organization of American Historians.

The Chicago Manual of Style includes chapters relevant to publishers of books and journals. It is used widely by academic and some trade publishers, as well as editors and authors who are required by those publishers to follow it.

Chicago style offers writers a choice of several different formats. It invites the mixing of formats, provided that the result is clear and consistent. For instance, the 15th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style permits the use of both in-text citation systems and/or footnotes or endnotes, including use of “content notes”; it gives information about in-text citation by page number (like MLA style) or by year of publication (like APA style); it even provides for variations in styles of footnotes and endnotes, depending on whether the paper includes a full bibliography at the end.

The Chicago Manual of Style also discusses the parts of a book and the editing process.

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations is based on the Chicago Manual of Style.

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