RE: Style Guides

Subject: RE: Style Guides
From: Jeff Hanvey <jewahe -at- MailAndNews -dot- com>
To: priest -at- sfu -dot- ca, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 11:44:52 -0400

>===== Original Message From priest -at- sfu -dot- ca =====
>Rather than completely reinvent the wheel, I'd be most grateful if someone
>would be generous enough to share a style guide with techwr-l. Doesn't
>even have to be the full thing; just the headings, and let the rest of us
>figure out our own content.

The only problem with sharing a style guide in this manner is that style
guides are almost always "house guides," developed within a particular
organization to meet that's organization's specific needs. These house guides
may or may not be expandable to fit general use. In fact, a company may use
two guides: one for internal documentation and another for external documents
(the things customer see).

Another problem is that corporate style guides are usually based on a specific
base: Chicago, APA, et cetera. Each of these bases are used in particular
"niches" of industry.

What I'm trying to say is that there is no "one-size-fits-all" style guide. We
need to know your industry, what the accepted base in that industry is, who
the general audience for your documents is, et cetera.

I suspect, however, that what you're really wanting isn't a style guide so
much a template. That, of course, has its own problems, but is much more
doable. Of course, you should have only one person "in charge" of the template
so that it stays consistent.

It might be a good idea for Eric to include in the resources section of the
techwr-l homepage some basic templates for both Frame and Word. Anyone with an
interesting design could include the template and provide a short description
of what each part means and what you use that template for.

If Eric isn't willing to put these on his website, feel free to send them to
me. I'll place them on my website. It would be nice to have a resources of
this type.

Jeff Hanvey

"There is fiction in the space between /The lines on your page of memories
Write it down but it doesn't mean / You're not just telling stories"
-Tracy Chapman, Telling Stories

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