Style Manuals

The Chicago Manual of Style

by University of Chicago Press Staff

From the publisher: While digital technologies have revolutionized the publishing world in the twenty-first century, one thing still remains true: The Chicago Manual of Style is the authoritative, trusted source that writers, editors, and publishers turn to for guidance on style and process. For the sixteenth edition, every aspect of coverage has been reconsidered to reflect how publishing professionals work today. Though processes may change, the Manual continues to offer the clear, well-considered style and usage advice it has for more than a century.

The sixteenth edition offers expanded information on 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, and a revised glossary includes a host of terms associated with electronic as well as print publishing. The Chicago system of documentation has been streamlined and adapted for a variety of online and digital sources. Figures and tables are updated throughout the book—including a return to the Manual’s popular hyphenation table and new, comprehensive listings of Unicode numbers for special characters.

With the wisdom of a hundred years of editorial practice and a wealth of industry expertise from both Chicago’s staff and an advisory board of publishing professionals, The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, is an invaluable resource in this rapidly changing world. If you work with words—no matter what the delivery medium—this is the one reference you simply must have.

Length: 1 026 pages
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Average customer review: 4.7 out of 5 stars (558 reviews)
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Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

by the American Psychological Association

From the publisher: Presents a style manual that covers manuscript structure and content, writing style, grammar, quotations, tables, footnotes, results display, and source citation for psychological and social sciences literature.

The Publication Manual is the style manual of choice for writers, editors, students, and educators. Although it is specifically designed to help writers in the behavioral sciences and social sciences, anyone who writes non-fiction prose can benefit from its guidance. The newly revised Sixth Edition has not only been rewritten. It has also been thoroughly rethought and reorganized, making it the most user-friendly Publication Manual the APA has ever produced. You will be able to find answers to your questions faster than ever before. When you need advice on how to present information, including text, data, and graphics, for publication in any type of format—such as college and university papers, professional journals, presentations for colleagues, and online publication—you will find the advice you’re looking for in the Publication Manual.

It provides invaluable guidance on all aspects of the writing process, from the ethics of authorship to the word choice that best reduces bias in language.

Length: 272 pages
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Average customer review: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4 499 reviews)
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MLA Handbook

by the Modern Language Association

From the publisher: The Modern Language Association, the authority on research and writing, takes a fresh look at documenting sources in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. Works are published today in a dizzying range of formats. A book, for example, may be read in print, online, or as an e-book–or perhaps listened to in an audio version. On the Web, modes of publication are regularly invented, combined, and modified. Previous editions of the MLA Handbook provided separate instructions for each format, and additional instructions were required for new formats. In this groundbreaking new edition of its best-selling handbook, the MLA recommends instead one universal set of guidelines, which writers can apply to any type of source.

Shorter and redesigned for easy use, the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook guides writers through the principles behind evaluating sources for their research. It then shows them how to cite sources in their writing and create useful entries for the works-cited list.

More than just a new edition, this is a new MLA style.

Length: 160 pages
Publisher: The Modern Language Association of America
Average customer review: 3.9 out of 5 stars (275 reviews)
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A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations

by Kate L. Turabian

From the publisher: When Kate L. Turabian first put her famous guidelines to paper, she could hardly have imagined the world in which today’s students would be conducting research. Yet while the ways in which we research and compose papers may have changed, the fundamentals remain the same: writers need to have a strong research question, construct an evidence-based argument, cite their sources, and structure their work in a logical way. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations—also known as “Turabian”—remains one of the most popular books for writers because of its timeless focus on achieving these goals.

This new edition filters decades of expertise into modern standards. While previous editions incorporated digital forms of research and writing, this edition goes even further to build information literacy, recognizing that most students will be doing their work largely or entirely online and on screens. Chapters include updated advice on finding, evaluating, and citing a wide range of digital sources and also recognize the evolving use of software for citation management, graphics, and paper format and submission. The ninth edition is fully aligned with the recently released Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, as well as with the latest edition of The Craft of Research.

Teachers and users of the previous editions will recognize the familiar three-part structure. Part 1 covers every step of the research and writing process, including drafting and revising. Part 2 offers a comprehensive guide to Chicago’s two methods of source citation: notes-bibliography and author-date. Part 3 gets into matters of editorial style and the correct way to present quotations and visual material. A Manual for Writers also covers an issue familiar to writers of all levels: how to conquer the fear of tackling a major writing project.

Through eight decades and millions of copies, A Manual for Writers has helped generations shape their ideas into compelling research papers. This new edition will continue to be the gold standard for college and graduate students in virtually all academic disciplines.

Length: 464 pages
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Average customer review: 4.5 out of 5 stars (26 reviews)
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The Gregg Reference Manual

by William A. Sabin

From the publisher: The Gregg Reference Manual, 10/e by Sabin is intended for anyone who writes, edits, or prepares material for distribution or publication. For nearly fifty years, this manual has been recognized as the best style manual for business professionals and for students who want to master the on-the-job standards of business professionals. GRM provides answers that can’t be found in comparable manuals. That probably explains why GRM has received so many unsolicited 5-star reviews on the Amazon Web site. Those 5-star reviews offer a clear indication of the reputation GRM enjoys in the marketplace.

Length: 688 pages
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
Average customer review: 4.6 out of 5 stars (457 reviews)
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AMA Manual of Style

by JAMA & Archives Journals

From the publisher: For decades indispensable, the AMA Manual of Style continues to provide editorial support to the medical and scientific publishing community. Since the 1998 publication of the 9th edition, however, the world of medical publishing has rapidly modernized, and the intersection of research and publishing has become ever more complex. The 10th edition of the AMA Manual of Style brings this definitive manual into the 21st century with a broadened international perspective.

In doing so, the 10th edition has expanded its electronic guidelines, with the understanding that authors now routinely submit articles through online systems and often cite Web-only content. Ethical and legal issues receive increased attention, with detailed guidelines on authorship, conflicts of interest, scientific misconduct, intellectual property, and the protection of individuals’ rights in scientific research and publication. The new edition examines research ethics and editorial independence and features new material on indexing and searching as well as medical nomenclature.

The JAMA Network, one of the most respected groups of medical publications in the world, have lent members of their expert staff of professional journal editors to the committee that has produced this edition. Extensively peer-reviewed, the 10th edition provides a welcome and improved standard for the growing international medical community. More than a style manual, this 10th edition offers invaluable guidance on how to navigate the dilemmas that authors and researchers and their institutions, medical editors and publishers, and members of the news media who cover scientific research confront in a society that has thrust these issues center stage. Also available in an online version!

Length: 1 032 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Average customer review: 4.1 out of 5 stars (51 reviews)
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New Oxford Style Manual

by Oxford University Press

From the publisher: The New Oxford Style Manual brings together the new editions of two essential reference works in a single volume. Combining New Hart’s Rules with the New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors, this is the definitive guide to the written word.

New Hart’s Rules, Oxford’s definite guide to style, gives authoritative and expert advice on how to prepare copy for publication in print and electronically. Topics covered include how to punctuate and hyphenate accurately, capitalization guidelines, structuring text coherently, how to use quotations and citations clearly, how to provide accurate references, UK and US usage, and much more. Recent developments in the publishing industry, such as scientific publishing conventions have been included in the up-to-date edition.

These guidelines are complemented by the New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors which features 25,000 A to Z entries giving authoritative advice on those words and names which raise questions time and time again because of spelling, capitalization, hyphenation, or cultural and historical context. Entries give full coverage of recommended spellings, variant forms, confusable words, hyphenation, capitalization, foreign and specialist terms, proper names, and abbreviations. The New Oxford Style Manual also includes superb appendices for quick reference including proofreading marks, countries and currencies, and alphabets.

Combining these two updated works and drawing on the unrivalled research and expertise of the Oxford Reference and Dictionaries departments, this volume is an essential part of every editor’s and writer’s toolkit.

Length: 928 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Average customer review: 3.9 out of 5 stars (5 reviews)
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3 thoughts on “Style Manuals

  1. Avatar
    Michael B. says:

    I’ve been using the Chicago Manual of Style for years now as a copy editor. It’s pretty hard to beat as a reference, even when working with other house styles.

  2. Avatar
    Emma Clarke says:

    The CMoS is really handy, even if the focus is on American usages (I work predominantly with UK English). It answers just about everything.

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