This article is about guides for writing. For fashion guides, see List of fashion magazines
. (the usual publishers of such guides).
A style guide
or manual of style
is a set of standards for the writing, formatting and design of documents. It is often called a style sheet
, although that term also has other meanings
. The standards can be applied either for general use, or be required usage for an individual publication, a particular organization, or a specific field.
A style guide establishes standard style
requirements to improve communication
by ensuring consistency
both within a document, and across multiple documents. Because practices vary, a style guide may set out standards to be used in areas such as punctuation
, citing sources
, formatting of numbers and dates, table appearance and other areas. The style guide may require certain best practices
, language composition
, visual composition
. For academic
documents, a guide may also enforce the best practice in ethics
(such as authorship
, research ethics
, and disclosure
(such as exposition
and clarity), and compliance (technical
Style guides are specialized in a variety of ways, from the general use of a broad public audience, to a wide variety of specialized uses, such as for students and scholars of various academic
disciplines, medicine, journalism, the law, government, business in general, and specific industries. The term house style
refers to the individual style manual of a particular publisher or organization.
Style guides vary widely in scope and size.
This variety in scope and length is enabled by the cascading of one style over another, in a way analogous to how styles cascade in web development
and in desktop
cascade over CSS
A short style guide is often called a style sheet
. A comprehensive guide tends to be long and is often called a style manual
or manual of style
). In many cases, a project such as one book
, or monograph
series typically has a short style sheet that cascades over the somewhat larger style guide of an organization such as a publishing
company, whose content is usually called house style
. Most house styles, in turn, cascade over an industry-wide or profession-wide style manual
that is even more comprehensive. Some examples of these industry style guides include the following:
Some style guides focus on specific topic areas such as graphic design
, including typography
. Website style guides cover a publication's visual and technical aspects along with text.
Most style guides are revised from time to time to accommodate changes in conventions and usage
. The frequency of updating and the revision control
are determined by the subject matter. For style manuals in reference work
format, new editions
typically appear every 1 to 20 years. For example, the AP Stylebook
is revised annually, and the Chicago, APA, and ASA manuals are in their 17th, 7th, and 4th editions, respectively. Many house styles and individual project styles change more frequently, especially for new projects.
Last edited on 9 May 2021, at 22:10
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