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“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne
There are numerous writing style guides, which writers must follow for specific writing assignments.
What type of writing assignment are you working on?
- Term Paper
These are only a few assignments freelance writer might be working on. Each has their own unique writing style.
Most journalists use the Associated Press and Briefing on Media Law (AP) style guide, but some newspapers have their own in-house style.
Book authors lean toward The Chicago Manual of Style.
Business and speechwriters would follow the American Management Association (AMA) style guide.
Most magazines have a style that can be determined by reading the specific magazine.
Style guides also have a preferred dictionary.
- Associated Press Style Guide uses the Webster’s New World College Dictionary as its reference.
- Council of Science Editors in Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers for sciences.
- The Chicago Manual of Style uses the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as its reference.
- Academic style uses the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers and does not specify a reference dictionary.
- Science style uses the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as its reference, also use the CSE.
- Technical writing would also use the APA style guide.
Today, there are almost as many style guides as there are disciplines:
- English and the Humanities (MLA)
- Government Documents
- History (Chicago)
- In-House Style
- Journalism (AP)
- Political Science
- Psychology and other Social Sciences (APA)
- Science and Technical Writing
- Social Work
- Web Writing (Google has a style it prefers.)
Can you think of others?
As you can see, depending on the writing assignment, a trip to the local library or bookstore might be in your future to obtain the proper style guide, or some search engine time finding style guides to assist you with your assignment.
If you are working with a client, what do they want could be something completely different.
If you have the bookcase shelf space, how many style guides do you need to write?
For most of what I do as a freelance writer, I use the Chicago style because it is the one I trained with. All writers are welcome to use any style guide, but will your writing work for specific purposes.
If you would like help making your copy better, a review of your copy, or have any questions about working with a freelancer, please use the contact form.
Saving your posts on your hard drive is good, but what happens if your computer crashes?
What do you do when you finally upgrade to a new computer, or upgrade because of a crashed and destroyed hard drive with unrecoverable data?
There are many ways to keep copies of your work off the computer. You can use a USB Flash Drive, and online cloud based host, a removable or external hard drive, burn it to a CD is you have the capability, and there are probably more ways to backup your work.
The point is that your work needs to be backed up on a regular basis so eliminate your work being lost and available to you from anywhere at any time including when you upgrade to a new computer or if you have a home computer and a laptop, tablet, or something else that you use for mobile connectivity.
Your work should be available to you for editing, a presentation to a client, or for any business purpose that may arise.
How often you choose to backup your work is up to you, but at a minimum of once a week is a good recommendation to avoid cataclysms from data loss.
Imagine you have a new computer, you tell it to restart, and from that point forward it will not boot at all, your data is gone. With no backup your data is gone forever if you cannot get the computer to boot correctly.
Think this is farfetched; think again, this has happened.
Without backup copies of your work, you may have to start from scratch to rebuild all of your work. Save your work often, and back it up to somewhere other than your computer for safety of the work you’ve completed, and working on.
- The absurdly simple guide to backing up your PC (computermechanics.wordpress.com)
- Back up your computer data to stay safe: (titantechnews.wordpress.com)
- Back up your computer data to stay safe: Roseman (thestar.com)
- My PC Backup: Review Exposes Automatic Online Hard Drive Backup System (virtual-strategy.com)
- Copying Data to an External Hard Drive (backup4data.wordpress.com)
- Protecting your computer from Data Loss (backup4data.wordpress.com)