8: Writing, Style and Documentation,
Section 3 of 5, STYLE AND DOCUMENTATION, page 1 of 4.
STYLE AND DOCUMENTATION
If you feel that you sometimes receive conflicting information on how to write your papers, and don't know why that conflict exists, here is the answer.
Style, a major part of which is documentation, means Which official publication manual are you following? For virtually all TROY classes, that means one of these books/styles:
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. This book presents APA style. Note: The newest edition was published in July, 2009.
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed. This is the book for MLA style. Note: The newest edition was published in June, 2009.
A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th ed. This is the book for Turabian style (named after the author of the book, Kate L. Turabian). It is, for the most part, Chicago style, tailored for students. The book Manual… presents, for college writers, the style of the more extensive book The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. (a book aimed at professional writers, editors, publishers, etc.).
College papers should be written in accordance with a specific style—a style that specifies the format for documentation (e.g., citations and references), document layout (e.g., page margins and heading formats), and many aspects of spelling and punctuation. The following three points should, hopefully, clarify why you may be confused on issues of style:
1. Rules for writing college papers often differ from those of other written formats, e.g., published books, magazines, or newspapers.
2. Most writing guides, grammar books, etc., are targeted to a general audience—they are not the official, prescribed sources of information on a specific writing and documentation style. Even those books designed specifically for college composition classes, present only general (widely accepted) rules of writing, rules that may vary from style to style.
3. Only the handbook or manual designated as the official source of the style you are using as the basis for your writing (e.g., the APA, MLA, or Turabian books), accurately presents that style.
While the implications of the full meaning of style may initially be a little overwhelming, the next few screens of this tutorial will attempt to flesh out a few of the issues.
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