Great Online Style Guides

Cover of "The Yahoo! Style Guide: The Ult...

Cover via Amazon

When writing any project, you may find yourself wondering about a specific word, phrase or punctuation mark. Where do you turn to answer these questions?

Most businesses and corporations don’t ascribe to a specific style code, such as The Associated Press. If this is true for your organization, consider adopting an online style guide; they offer consistent and practical information. Best of all, they’re free and easy to search to find exactly what you need.

Here are my three favorite online guides:

Purdue Owl: Purdue University’s online writing lab offers a wealth of information and guidelines. The general writing section will answer many of your questions on grammar, punctuation and mechanics. The professional and technical writing section is a great source for research and extensive information to improve professional writing.

National Geographic Style Manual: This guide to “preferred National Geographic Society style and usage” is perfect for quickly looking up a specific issue. For example, is it life-size or life-sized? When you visit this online guide, just click on “L” to find the answer in seconds.

The Yahoo! Style Guide: This is one of the best guides for web writing. Based on Chris Barr’s sourcebook, the site offers best practices for online copy as well as a word list of terms relating to communications, technology and branding.

Do you use an online style guide? Please pass along any others you find useful!

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3 thoughts on “Great Online Style Guides

  1. If Yahoo’s style guide is so good, why doesn’t Yahoo use it? Every day the writers and editors make the most outrageous mistakes. And they can’t agree among themselves how to spell, punctuate, or capitalize common words. Is it website, web site, Website, or Web site? You’ll find the Yahoo writers use all of those variations.

    • You raise a good point. I like Yahoo’s online style guide for its ease of use and word list, but that doesn’t mean it’s used consistently by Yahoo writers themselves.

      Bad writing is all around us, but that shouldn’t stop us from keeping our personal standard high.

  2. Pingback: Issues of Style « Briggs Blogs

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