Many people get confused by this – what the hell do they mean by a ʻstyle guide’? There is a very simple answer to this question.
A style guide is an indication of how the layout of a document should be, in terms of spacing, indentation, presentation of quotations, referencing, layout of any bibliography and so on.
These are most often indicated by universities, colleges, etc. The most commonly used style guides are Harvard, MLA, Chicago, APA, AMA and Oxford. You can look these up online to get all the indications you need for your piece of work.
Style sheets, on the other hand, are style guides used by particuar publications or publishers. So you may get a job as a copy editor at a publication, you’re then given a style sheet to follow for the copy they want in their publications. This will incude things like whether you use English or American English, whether to use double or single quotation marks when opening a quote, what words to hyphenate and so on.
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