Choosing a style guide is not an arbitrary matter. Style guides respond to specific writing contexts influenced by academic discipline, publication type, submission guidelines, and as students well know, professor preference. In your syllabus I offer a list of considerations you should consult when choosing your style.
Below is an overview of the main styles with Amazon pricing. Clicking on the prices will link to each particular book’s Amazon page for ease of ordering, with the exception of the AP Stylebook, which goes directly to their site. At the bottom of this page I will also offer links to information about each style on the supporting organization’s website.
The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition ($36-$40)
“The Chicago Manual of Style is the authoritative, trusted source that writers, editors, and publishers turn to for guidance on style and process . . . If you work with words—no matter what the delivery medium—this is the one reference you simply must have.”–Amazon.com
MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd Edition ($12-$30)
“MLA style for documentation is widely used in the humanities, especially in writing on language and literature. Generally simpler and more concise than other styles, MLA style features brief parenthetical citations in the text keyed to an alphabetical list of works cited that appears at the end of the work.”–MLA website
The Associated Press Stylebook 2014 ($35)
“Updated regularly since its initial publication in 1953, the AP Stylebook is a must-have reference for writers, editors, students and professionals. It provides fundamental guidelines for spelling, language, punctuation, usage and journalistic style. It is the definitive resource for journalists.”–AP Stylebook Press Release
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition ($10-$28)
“The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is the style manual of choice for writers, editors, students, and educators in the social and behavioral sciences. It provides invaluable guidance on all aspects of the writing process, from the ethics of authorship to the word choice that best reduces bias in language. Well-known for its authoritative and easy-to-use reference and citation system, the Publication Manual also offers guidance on choosing the headings, tables, figures, and tone that will result in strong, simple, and elegant scientific communication.”–APA style.org