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Embracing Style: Which Style Guide to Use, How to Use it (and When to Ditch it)

About This Course

Whether you use the Associated Press Stylebook or a short Word doc of dos and don'ts, your style guide helps you help your readers, ensuring consistency and comfort while letting you focus on the narrative. We all dislike something about our publication’s preferred style guide, but freelance copy editor Mark Allen reminds us that style rules make us better communicators. He offers a comparison of the big style books, advice on creating local style guides, and tips on becoming a style guru.


What Will I Learn:

  • Why your style guide is a friend to your readers
  • Why your local style guide is the most important guide you use
  • That grammar is just style that everybody agrees on
  • How a dozen or so topics cover most of your style-guide questions
  • How to decide which style guide to use
  • How to determine when to close your style guide and make a different decision

Who Should Take this Course:

Editors, writers, reporters and anyone who wants to learn more about style.

Course Instructor

Mark Allen

Mark Allen purchased his first AP Stylebook 25 years ago this month and read it from beginning to end. He now juggles AP, the Chicago Manual of Style, APA style, a bit of MLA style, and several local style guides as a freelance copy editor. His personal style often involves a bow tie and sometimes includes a fedora. He is a member of the American Copy Editors Society executive board and teaches advanced copy editing through UC San Diego Extension. He is the owner of Follow him on twitter @editormark.

Training Partner:

ACES: The Society for Editing

ACES: The Society for Editing is a nonprofit education and membership organization working toward the advancement of copy editors. Its aim is to provide solutions to editing problems, training and a place to discuss common issues.

The organization is an international members' alliance of editors working at newspapers, magazines, websites, traditional media outlets and Fortune 500 companies, as well as freelance editors, students and professors. It is an organization built on the advocacy of editing as a craft vital to clear writing and reader advocacy.