Follow the Rules of Writing: Tip #10

Make certain that each sentence conforms to current rules of grammar and style. Use Chicago Book of Style or another appropriate stylebook  for reference. Rules change over time, and your credibility as a writer depends on your remaining current.

A classic example is the ongoing battle of the commas, which is all about when and where to use them and when and where to not. Other such conflicts have been raging for some time, while new ones are constantly erupting. To illustrate: We have always been taught that a properly constructed sentence must have a subject and an object. Not anymore.

Writing right is not as clearly defined as it once seemed to be. The general trend seems to favor the loosening up of certain old constraints, while refusing to budge on others.

The kind of writing you do will dictate the type of authority you choose for reference. In general, while journalism generally adheres to one particular style, creative writing refers to another.

Determine the type of manuscript you are writing and the category of outlet you are targeting for submission. This will help you choose the best stylebook for your needs.

You can also access publishers’ guidelines by visiting them online. To be taken seriously, it is essential you comply with their requirements.

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