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Style Manuals
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Other style manuals

If you're writing for specialized audiences or media, one of these manuals may be of interest:

The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual
Addison-Wesley, 1998
Paperback, 336 pages
List price: US $15
ISBN 0201339854

This manual is used mostly by journalists and public-relations writers. It's based on the AP's official style rules, which often differ from the standards used by book and magazine publishers, and the emphasis tends to be on brevity at the expense of good writing. (One example: In AP style, you'd write "Tom, Dick and Harry" instead of the more correct and logical "Tom, Dick, and Harry.")

MLA Style Manual & Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2nd Edition)
Modern Language Association of America, 1998
Hardcover, 350 pages
List price: US $17.50
ISBN 0873526996

The MLA Style Manual is an essential tool for academics who must publish or perish. Undergraduates may prefer The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (list price US $13.50), ISBN 0873525655.

The Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications
Microsoft Press, 1995
Paperback, 292 pages
List price: US $24.95
ISBN 1556159390

Microsoft's stylebook is intended for writers of computer documentation (both printed and online). It includes a disk with the manual's full text in a Windows help file.

Wired Style
Hardwired, 1997
Spiral binding, 197 pages
List price: $17.95
ISBN 1888869011

Constance Hale's book is subtitled "Principles of English Usage in the Digital Age," and--like Wired Magazine--it's heavier on attitude and arrogance than it is on substance. Buy it as a supplement to Words Into Type or the Chicago Manual of Style, but only if you need the glossary of digispeak.

- Durant Imboden

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