A style guide (or style manual) is a set of standards for writing and designing documents, either for general use or for a specific publication, organization, or field.
Using a style guide provides uniformity in style and formatting of a document. Good practice dictates that the style guide be easily accessible and used by all members of a writing team.
A style guide commonly covers:
- Spelling (where several spellings are acceptable)
- Punctuation (for example the use of the serial comma or periods in bulleted lists)
- Word choice (terminology, or for example whether a controlled language or semi-controlled language is used)
- Writing style (for example restrictions on the use of contractions, past tense, or passive voice)
- Formatting and typography
Since rules of spelling and grammar (among other things) are subject to change over time, style guides should be reviewed and updated regularly.