A brief note on style manualsStyle manuals are guides that establish standards for writing and for the physical appearance of finished papers, manuscripts, and other written materials. For careful...

A brief note on style manuals

Style manuals are guides that establish standards for writing and for the physical appearance of finished papers, manuscripts, and other written materials. For careful writers, they are indispensable tools.

The three major style manuals in the United States are:

  1. The Chicago Manual of Style: Published by the University of Chicago Press, “Chicago” is used by most book publishers, many magazine publishers and Web sites (including enotes.com), and many other types of users. It is the most comprehensive style manual.
  2. The MLA Style Manual: Published by the Modern Language Association of America, “MLA” is used widely by scholars and graduate students in the humanities. Many college undergraduates and high school students use its spin-off, The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.
  3. The Associated Press Stylebook: Published by the Associated Press, the “AP Stylebook” is used by newspapers, some magazines, and various other users. It provides minimal grammar guidance. It mostly consists of an alphabetical listing of words, with their preferred spelling(s) and usage.

There are also many specialized style manuals, such as The American Medical Association Manual of Style (doctors, medical students, pharmaceutical companies), The Blue Book (legal scholars, law students, and lawyers), and Scientific Style and Format (science scholars and students).

Asked on by urthona

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lmetcalf's profile pic

lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

We use a workbook called Basic English Review for our basic grammar instruction.  It is very assessible and has enough practice exerices to give students something to work on.  A good part of the book is indentifying the basic parts of speech, but there are also clear chapters devoted to usage issues such as subject/verb agreement and pronoun usage. 

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

Warriner's is back in print--at least a revised version of it, thanks to Holt Publishers and an independent school initiative that pushed for a revival of this text. We will use two levels of Warriner's this year for our eighth and ninth graders, primarily because we had problems locating grammar texts that met our needs.

See this website for ordering information:

http://hrw.cuesta.com/c/product.web?nocache@1869+s@lkLVO0UH2IPJ6+record@2324 

Thanks cybil. I know that when I was going through school in the dark ages, Warriner's made some pretty dry reading, but it accomplished its task with great functionality. Hopefully, the new version will be a bit more colorful and engaging for today's techno-savvy students.

cybil's profile pic

cybil | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

Warriner's is back in print--at least a revised version of it, thanks to Holt Publishers and an independent school initiative that pushed for a revival of this text. We will use two levels of Warriner's this year for our eighth and ninth graders, primarily because we had problems locating grammar texts that met our needs.

See this website for ordering information:

http://hrw.cuesta.com/c/product.web?nocache@1869+s@lkLVO0UH2IPJ6+record@2324 

engtchr5's profile pic

engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

Back in "the day," teachers loved using the Warriner's Composition texts because they included things like MLA and APA style tidbits. Today, the equivalent would probably be Simon and Schuster's Handbook for Writers, edited by Lynn Quitman Troyka. It also includes various style notes without expounding dramatically on any particular one.

Unless kids are learning journalism, the Associated Press stylebook is good only for confusing them further about punctuation, capitalization, and grammar. For example, one AP rule that contradicts regular "English class" standards states that writers should eliminate the final comma in a sequence like "Tom, Dick, and Harry went to the mall." Using AP, you'd have "Tom, Dick and Harry...." instead. I guess it all depends upon one's methodology, but I'd rather keep kids as clear and focused as possible.

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

The Chicago Manual was the official stylebook for the publisher I used to work for; most publishers use either it or the APA style manual. I really haven't found a grammar book that I like for teaching. Suggestions would be helpful.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I really like Betty Azar's grammar books for writing correctly and for UNDERSTANDING why it is we do what we do in English.  They are designed for ESL (English as a Second Language Learners) students, but I use portions of the chapters in my native speakers' classes.  They are well written and easy to understand...kids GET IT.  There's not anything here for MLA and citations, but that will come more easily when students understand the way their language works.  Check out the link:

http://www.esl.net/azar_grammar.html

kwoo1213's profile pic

kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

Another great handbook is the Harbrace Handbook, which has everything in it, from grammar/punctuation/mechanics rules and exercise, to MLA and APA style instructions.  Love it!

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