Top 5 Editorial Style Guides and Manuals for Beginner Editors.


In a previous blog post, I had outlined 5 Easy Steps to Becoming an Editor. Step three underscored the importance of professional development, which included reading, what can be termed, the classics of editing.

Looking through my bookshelves, it was with great difficulty that I managed to narrow down my extensive list into a top 5 list of editorial style guides and manuals for newer editors. Please note that these books have been particularly helpful during my personal editing journey. These have also remained my go-tos throughout my editing journey. You may need to tailor these to your particular needs, but they offer a great start.


The Elements of Style: Classic Edition by William Strunk Jr

  • The Elements of Style is well known and well regarded over the years in the editing world. A must-have for all beginner editors, as well as a go-to reference guide for editors of all experience levels.


The Copy Editor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications by Amy Einsohn

  • The Copy Editor’s Handbook remains one of my top recommendations for copy editors.


The Subversive Copy Editor by Carol Fisher Saller

  • Similarly, The Subversive Copy Editor is one of my personal recommendations for copy editors.


Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing by and about Indigenous Peoples by Gregory Younging

  • Elements of Indigenous Style is a must-have for editors who are interested in learning about best practices and suggestions for working with Indigenous authors.


Dictionaries and Style Guides

  • Dictionaries and Style Guides are a bit more difficult to narrow down. This is because editors and authors may have preferences, or this may depend on geographical region. I enjoy working with The Chicago Manual of Style, as well as the Associated Press Stylebook. In terms of dictionaries, as I often work with Canadian authors, I prefer The Canadian Oxford Dictionary.


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