What Is A Style Guide And Why Do I Need One?

What Is A Style Guide And Why Do I Need One?

In this post, ‘What Is A Style Guide?’, we explain what a style guide is and why you need one when you write.

What Is A Style Guide? 

A style guide is a document that is created by editors, managers, or producers to define how they want writers to write. It prescribes how employees should use grammar, tone, punctuation, spelling, and formatting. All of these define your company’s writing style, which, in turn influences the way customers perceive you.

It usually covers things like:

  1. Grammar
  2. Formatting
  3. Spelling
  4. General recommendations

A grammar concern could be whether or not you use the Oxford comma. Formatting guidelines would include fonts, bullet points, and margins. Do you use American or British spelling? General writing recommendations could include rules for the usage of acronyms and jargon.

[Recommended reading: 10 Things You Should Not Exclude From Your Company’s Style Guide]

Why do I need one? 

Style guides are vital if you want to present a polished and professional image. They also help staff members who may struggle to understand your company’s writing rules. Read this post to see what I mean: 4 Ways A Style Guide Will Revolutionise Your Organisation’s Communication

Seven examples of online style guides 

These companies and institutions use their own style guides for their employees and writers to follow. The rules change depending on the guide.

Online UK Style Guides:
Online US Style Guides:

Compiling a style guide can be hard work, but it can be made easier if you choose the correct person to do it for you. You also need to consider how you will share it with your employees and how you will update it.

If you want suggestions on how to do this, you could follow these steps: Create a Style Guide for your Company in 10 Steps

If you need practical help with your grammar and style, buy The Complete Grammar Workbook.

 by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this article, read these posts:

  1. 27 Blogging Tips To Grow Your Business
  2. 5 Fool Proof Ways To Write Better Emails
  3. The Amazingly Simple Anatomy Of A Meaningful Marketing Story
  4. Punctuation For Beginners: What Is Punctuation?
  5. All About Parts Of Speech

Top Tip: Find out more about our workbooks and online courses in our shop.

Posted on: 13th June 2016