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New York Public Library Writer's Guide to Style and Usage

 
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The purpose of this guide is to help new and experienced writers and editors navigate today's world of electronic publishing, beginning with the writing of first drafts and ending with the delivery of computer disks or camera-ready copy.
In five parts, the guide covers (1) current English usage, with special attention given to bias-free language and commonly misused or confused words; (2) grammar, with an emphasis on controversial issues and with many illustrated examples; (3) style, including lists of common abbreviations and a chapter on special characters in 19 different languages; (4) assembling and checking the manuscript, including a discussion of copyright and instructions for indexing; and (5) physical preparation of the manuscript. Information regarding computer-aided writing and production is provided in all relevant sections. A topically arranged, annotated bibliography of style manuals and dictionaries (many of which are referred to in appropriate sections of the book) and an index conclude the volume.
Written by the staff of an editorial and production services company and aided by writers, indexers, librarians, copyright attorneys, printers, and bookstore owners, this guide's nonprescriptive approach is unpretentious. Unlike The Chicago Manual of Style, which is geared toward professional and academic writers, the Writer's Guide is aimed at a wide audience, including students and business and technical writers. Through numerous sidebars and illustrative examples, it provides an entertaining context that has universal appeal (e.g., baseball and physics comprise the context for explaining levels of usage, a quote from Norman Mailer illustrates dangling participles).
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