Many books are published about writing and writing skills, and the list that follows is not meant to be all-inclusive — but the best writing style guides.
We talked with college professors and professional writers and editors and developed what they think is a list of the best resources for you. These resources provide you with information about general rules of English writing and grammar.
If you are looking for more subject-specific writing style guides, then go to Subject-Specific Writing Style Guides.
You may also want to go to the EnhanceMyWriting.com’s Reference Libraries Page to see about the availability of the books in your area.
Finally, you may also want to see if there is an online version of the style guide by visiting Writing Reference Sites on the Web.
All the books in this section come highly recommended, but if we had to choose a few “must use” from the collection below, we would include Bernstein’s The Careful Writer; Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style; Cook’s Line by Line; Ross-Larson’s Edit Yourself; Miles, Bertonasco, and Karns’ Prose Style; Zinsser’s On Writing Well; and Elbow’s Writing with Power.
Featured General Style Book
- The Elements of Style (2000, 4th edition), by William Strunk Jr. and E.B.White. New York: Macmillan.
The Other Style Guides
- The Art of Writing (1981), by Vincent R. Ruggiero. Sherman Oaks, CA: Alfred Publishing Company.
- The Careful Writer: A Modern Guide to English Usage (1977), by Theodroe M. Bernstein. Artheneum.
- The Chicago Manual of Style (1993, 14th edition). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- The College Writer’s Reference (1996), by Alan R. Hayakawa, Cheryl Kupper, and Toby Fulwiler. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
- College Writing: A Personal Approach to Academic Writing (1991), by Toby Fulwiler. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publishers.
- College Writing Basics: A Progressive Approach (1995, 4th edition), by Thomas E. Tyner. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
- The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources: A Manual for Writers & Librarians (1993), by Diane L. Garner and Diane H. Smith. Bethesda, MD: Congressional Information Service.
- The Curious Researcher: A Guide to Writing Research Papers (1994), by Bruce Ballenger. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
- A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, (1991, 2nd edition), by Henry W. Fowler. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Edit Yourself: A Manual for Everyone Who Works With Words (1982), by Bruce Ross-Larson. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
- The Elements of E-Mail Style: Communicate Effectively Via Electronic Mail(1993), by David Angell. Boston: Addison-Wesley.
- The Elements of Style (2000, 4th edition), by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. New York: Macmillan.
- Essentials of English Grammar: A Practical Guide to the Mastery of English(1993, 2nd edition). Lincolnwood, IL: Passport Books.
- A Guide to Academic Writing (1993), by Jeffrey A. Cantor. Westport, CT: Praeger.
- Handbook for Writers (1983), by Celia Millward. Troy, MO: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
- The Handbook of Good English (1991), by Edward D. Johnson. New York: Pocket Books.
- The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing (1988, 2nd edition), by Casey Miller and Kate Swift. New York: Lippincott & Crowell.
- How to Write a Research Paper (1974), by Mildred G. Taylor. Pacific Book Publishing.
- How to Write Fast (While Writing Well) (1995), by David Fryxell. New York: Writers Digest Books.
- In Short: A Concise Guide to Good Writing (1981), by Louis I. Middleman. St. Martins Press.
- Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing (1985), by Claire Kehrwald Cook. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.
- The Little, Brown Guide to Writing Research Papers (1994, 3rd edition), by Michael Meyer. New York: HarperCollins.
- A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (1996, 6th edition), by Kate L. Turabian. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Mastering Writing Essentials (1996), by Gina MacDOnald and Andrew MacDonald. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
- Merrian-Webster’s Standard American Style Manual (1994). Merriam Webster.
- The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations(1995, 4th edition), by Joseph Gibaldi. New York: Modern Language Association.
- Modern American Usage: A Guide (1979), by Wilson Follett. New York: Hill and Wang.
- Most Common Mistakes in English Usage (1971), by Thomas E. Berry. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage (1982). New York: Times Books.
- On Writing Well (2001), by William Zinsser. New York: Harper & Row.
- The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (1994), by Sylvia Chalker. New York: Oxford University Press.
- A Pocket Style Manual (1993), by Diana Hacker. St. Martins Press.
- Practical English Handbook (1996, 10th edition), by Floyd C. Watkins and William B. Dillington. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
- Practical English Writing Skills: A Complete Guide to Writing in English (1990), by Mona Scheraga. Passport Books.
- Prentice Hall Encyclopedic Dictionary of English Usage (1993), by Nathan H. Mager. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
- Prose Style: A Contemporary Guide (1990, 2nd edition), by Robert Miles, Marc Bertonasco, and William Karns. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (1994, 4th edition). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Research and Writing: A Complete Guide and Handbook (1992), by Shah Mahmoud. Betterway Publications.
- A Short Guide to Writing (1997), by Steven Lynn. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
- Strategies for Academic Writing: A Guide for College Students (1982), by Irvin Y. Hashimoto. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
- The Student Writer: Editor and Critic (1996, 4th edition), by Barbara Fine Clouse. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Student’s Guide for Writing College Papers (1977, 3rd edition), by Kate Turaban. Chciago: University of Chicago Press.
- Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity & Grace (1994), by Joseph M. Williams. New York: HarperCollins.
- Style: Toward Clarity and Grace (1990), by Joseph M. Williams. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
- Styles and Structurs: Alternative Approaches to College Writing (1974), by Charles Kay Smith. Norton.
- 10,000 Ideas for Term Papers, Projects, and Reports (1995, 4th edition), by Kathryn Lamm. New York: Arco Publishing.
- 21st Century Manual of Style (1995), by Princeton Language Institute. Laureleaf.
- Words and Ideas: A Handbook for College Writing (1980, 5th edition), by Hans Guth. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
- The Writer’s Essential Desk Reference (1991). Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s Digest Books.
- Writer’s Guide to Internet Resources (1998), by Vicky Phillips and Cindy Yager.
- Writer’s Guide to Online Resources (1999), by Jennifer M. Dowell. Want Publishing.
- Write to the Pont! (1990), by Kim Henderson. Boston: Addison-Wesley.
- Write to the Point: And Feel Better About Your Writing (1991), by Bill Stott. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Writing for College: A Practical Approach (1996, 3rd edition), by Robert E. Yarber. New York: HarperCollins.
- Writing for College and Career (1990, 4th edition), by Andrew W. Hart and James A. Reinking. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
- Writing, Reading, and Research (1997, 4th edition), by Christopher Gould, John Clifford, and Richard Veit. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
- Writing Research Papers: A Guide to the Process (1994, 4th edition), by Stephen Weidenborner and Domenick Caruso. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
- Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide (1996, 8th edition), by James D. Lester. New York: HarperCollins.
- Writing Research Papers: A Norton Guide (1984), by Melissa Walker. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
- Writing Research Papers: Your Complete Guide to the Process of Writing a Research Paper, from Finding a Topic to Preparing the Final Manuscript (1994), by Robert D. Shepard. McDougall Littell & Company.
- Writing Strategies: Reaching Diverse Audiences (1990), by Laurel Richardson. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
- Writing Term Papers (1988, 3rd edition), by Alan Heineman. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.
- Writing Well (1996, 8th edition), by Sven Birkerts and Donald Hall. New York: HarperCollins.
- Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process (1981), by Peter Elbow. New York: Oxford University Press.