Style Guide for Modern Writers
World Wide Web Writing
The Yahoo! Style Guide
An Essential Reference Book for Your Writing Desk
This is my "go to" reference when proofreading or writing web copy. I received a free copy of this book when it was published, thanks to my membership in the Yahoo! Contributor Network. The Yahoo! Style Guide is almost as good as having an English teacher or editor next to my desk--a ready reference for all my little questions.
I don't know about you, but sometimes I forget when to use that and when to use which. (1) I also struggle at times with when to spell out a number and when to use the numeral. This book helps me. There is also a handy guide to frequently confused words, e.g. continuously and continually, but that is not something with which I personally struggle.
What sets this guide apart from older guides is the special emphasis on creating and presenting digital content. Best practices for print are not always best practices for a blog or a business website. Correct grammar and punctuation are always important, of course, but there are additional considerations for digital media.
This book begins with finding your audience and finding your voice/brand. It then covers in detail the issues unique to the digital age: user interfaces, email, SEO, and so forth. There is a chapter covering copyright issues as well as defamation--very important, for example, if you have a page that allows user comments.
One chapter I plan to study in more depth concerns user accessibility. I was educated about the ways people with vision problems use computers, for example, and how a web page can make it easier for them to "see" content. This is something I want to know more about. As a college student I served as a reader for several students with limited vision. Today I have friends who are Deaf and make use of technology (e.g. Relay and texting) to communicate with them. There is so much to know!
If you want to improve your writing, begin with the basics of flawless grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Then move on, learning something new every time you write. I recommend this book to high school and college students and teachers as well as professional writers.
(1) That introduces a restrictive clause, while which begins a nonrestrictive clause. You are welcome.
Learn how to reach those who use the computer differently than you do: