Re: Style Guide Help

Subject: Re: Style Guide Help
From: skwpt <skwpt -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: chasity mcwilliams <chas -at- fcs -dot- uga -dot- edu>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 10:48:11 -0700 (PDT)

Chasity:

I recently wrote a style guide for my company. I
included topics such as style, company proprietary
information, abbreviations, capitalization, compound
words, constructing text, documenting sources,
grammar, numbers, punctuation, and an appendix that
included word choice, commonly misspelled words,
hyphenated words, and proofreader symbols and
abbreviations.

As far determining your format and what should be
standard vs. personal preference... you'll need to
analyze your audience. Who's going to be reading this?
Are there any corporate conventions already in place
(use of logos, colors, company name, etc.) If not,
then you're pretty much in virgin territory here.


I used many resources to pull this together. (My
favorites were Brusaw, Sun, and Hackos). They
included:

Brusaw, Charles T., Gerald J. Aldred and Walter E.
Oliu. Handbook of Technical Writing, Fifth Edition.
St. Martin?s Press, 1997.
Hackos, JoAnn T. and Dawn M. Stevens. Standards for
Online Communication. Wiley, 1997.
Hargis, Gretchen. Developing Quality Technical
Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors.
Prentice Hall, 1998.
Pearsall, Thomas. The Elements of Technical Writing.
Allyn & Bacon, 1997.
Price, Jonathan and Henry Korman. How to Communicate
Technical Information. Addison-Wesley, 1993.
Strunk, William Jr., and E.B. White. The Elements of
Style. MacMillan, 1979.
Sun Technical Publications. Read Me First: A Style
Guide for the Computer Industry. SunSoft Press,
1996.
The America Heritage Dictionary of the English
Language, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin, 1992.
The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed. U Chicago
Press, 1993.
Urdang, Laurence. The Dictionary of Confusable Words.
Ballantine, 1989.
Williams, Joseph M. Style: Ten Lessons in Claity and
Grace. Addison-Wesley Longman, 1997.
Woolever, Kristin R. and Helen M. Loeb. Writing for
the Computer Industry. Prentice Hall, 1994.

You say you're not a "trained" tech writer (or did I
assume incorrectly). Some of these online resources
may be helpful to you:

Technical Writer Glossary
http://members.iinet.net.au/~mbuckler/glossary.shtml

The Elements of a Style Guide (Sun's as an example)
http://techwriting.about.com/careers/techwriting/library/weekly/aa090299.htm

Yale Style Guide
http://info.med.yale.edu/caim/manual/contents.html

How to write "dot.com"
http://www.sun.com/smrc/writing/dictionary.html#dot-com

Dictionary of plain language
http://www.techcommunicators.com/diction.html

Technical communication-related books
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/books.htm

Guide to Grammar and Writing
http://cctc.commnet.edu/HP/pages/darling/original.htm

List of Grammar Lists
http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/grlists.htm

Proofreading Symbols and Abbreviataions
http://webster.commnet.edu/writing/symbols.htm

I hope this helps
Kelly

--- chasity mcwilliams <chas -at- fcs -dot- uga -dot- edu> wrote:
> I have been asked to create a style guide for our
> department.

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