If you’ve already decided to dedicate your summer to finishing your dissertation, revising and resubmitting an academic article, or polishing an original manuscript for publication, make the most of your limited time by adopting a trick of the editor’s trade. A style sheet offers a time-saving reference that streamlines the revision process and ensures polished work. …
Style sheets, often created by editors to record the preferences of the publisher and author on spelling, punctuation, special terminology, and other style elements, can also be used to correlate usage in large, complex, and team-written projects. Style sheets help writers adhere to a target publication’s in-house style rules, but they also help writers correlate their own usage.
When we create style sheets here at MWS, we begin with a concise repository of the APA, MLA, Chicago, or target publication’s in-house style rules most pertinent to your manuscript. We follow with an alphabetized list of relevant terminology and usage. Everything from preferred font for headers, to appropriate number usage, to correct deployment of capitalization and acronyms will find a place on the sheet.
The style sheet is not, however, a static reflection of a manuscript; instead, it offers a dynamic template to guide future work. A style sheet is thus especially useful for complex projects, for team-written manuscripts, or for manuscripts affected by a lag between initial drafting and final revision and publication.
Although creating a style sheet necessitates an initial time investment, it saves time when it really matters: rather than tracking down a copy of APA 6 in the hours before submission (only to realize you can only find APA 5), you can simply consult your style sheet and its reference to the heading levels pertinent to your paper.