Re: creating a department style guide

Subject: Re: creating a department style guide
From: Iggy <iggy_1996dp -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 05:43:44 -0700 (PDT)

> In what format should I create the style guide?

In one that best makes sense for those needing to use

> How much material and how many areas should I
> include? Could it be a
> template with defined styles and formatting with
> verbiage under each style
> defining what it should be used for?

It could. It can be anything you want it to be. Some
use another pre-existing style guide (Chicago Manual
of Style and MS Manual of Style for Tech Pubs seem to
be the most common) and then develop an exceptions
guide to go with it.

> Should I just list reference books we should consult
> on matters of usage
> while including examples of usage that I want to
> ensure we follow?

You could do that too.

> Should I include details such as numbering schemes
> for different types of technical material?

Might be helpful if that's an issue where you work.

> I do want to provide guidelines for writing
> procedures.

If your writers need them to be consistent, then yes.

> Should I suggest techniques we might adhere to; for
> example, Information Mapping?

Do yo adhere to them now? If so, everyone should have
their manuals from the training.

> Many of you, I am sure, have been tasked with this
> responsibility. How does
> one go about it - in 7 easy steps?

7 easy steps? I'll try.

1. Determine where the writing is now.
2. Determine where the writing should be.
3. Determine how much time you have to get from 1 to
4. Determine what existing reference covers the most
of what you need for 2.
5. Document exceptions, as well as processes and so
forth that your writers will need to follow.
6. Make sure everyone is using the new/identified
7. Realize how much work you now have to do because
you spent x hours/days/weeks/months(?) doing 1-6.

For more info, do check the TECHWR-L archives. There's
a ton of info in there on this subject, as it pops up
a lot.

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creating a department style guide: From: Nancy Mignone

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