Book Review: The Chicago Manual of Style

Chicago Manual of StyleAvailable in print and versions, this resource is a practical guide to editorial style for writers. It’s hard to overestimate the influence this writing tool has had on wordsmiths everywhere. Although it was created to establish editorial standards for writers of academic works, the scope of its recommendations now cover the world of cyberspace.

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) book and Web site are divided into logical categories, which cover all aspects of writing and grammar, from punctuation to split infinitives to how to capitalize the president of the United State’s title. (And no, you don’t get to decide that based on your opinion of him.)

Some examples of the questions the CMOS answers:

  • Which is correct: Web site, web site, website or Website?
  • Should there be a comma after website in the question above?
  • Which is correct, Boston Tea Party or Boston tea party?
  • What is the proper format for citing an information source?

Although the online version offers quick answers to a lot of questions that can pop up while writing, it doesn’t address all of them. You need the print version for that.

The Chicago Manual of Style online version is based on an annual subscription, but there is a 30-day free trial. Also, they offer a free FAQ that answers common grammar questions and doesn’t require registration to access.

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2 Responses to “Book Review: The Chicago Manual of Style”

  1. I use CMOS every day, and I can’t recommend highly enough the online version. WELL worth the $30 per year simply for the ease of searching for terms and phrases. It can be hard to find an obscure rule in the book, but you can type in any keyword online and BINGO! Instant answers.

  2. I agree; the online version speeds thing up quite a bit. The only problem for me is that it sucks me in and I just click around and read all the cool stuff. By the time I’m done, I’ve forgotten why I went there in the first place.