Creating a Style Guide for Your Team or Organization Workshop

Length and Cost

 

Virtual Workshops

Duration: One 2-hour session
Instructor and Materials Fee: $650
Registration Fee Per Participant: $275

 

On-Site Workshops

Duration: One 2.5-hour session
Instructor and Materials Fee: $700
Registration Fee Per Participant: $300

 


Virtual Workshops During COVID-19

Currently, we are only offering virtual workshops due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To check on the status of on-site workshop options, or for any other questions, please email program director Jessica McCaughey at [email protected].

 


Description

Do we include “http” when we write out a web address? And is it “Web” or “web”? What about “Native American” vs. “American Indian” vs. “Indigenous”? What are our thoughts on the Oxford comma?

These are the kinds of questions that often spark the writing of an organizational or team style guide. When multiple options are “right,” consistency in writing throughout an organization — whether in brochures or on the website, on business cards or in white papers — is key to maintaining a level of professionalism and branding. Writing the style guide, however, can be a daunting task.

Many organizations rely, first, on broader style guides, like APA, MLA, AP, and Chicago — and they should. However, as many professional and technical writers find early in their careers, these general guides don’t cover every word or phrase we use. Therefore, many companies develop their own style guides to supplement — or in some cases, replace — one of the more commonly used guides noted above. These corporate, nonprofit or governmental style guides are often housed in marketing, communications or PR departments, as they tend to produce most of the public materials, but any team creating documents can (and might want to) develop a style guide.

This workshop is particularly tailored toward the client organization, and alongside their facilitator, participants will develop a working style guide. The team will work in the session to identify, analyze and create guidelines around writing issues specific to their work and the work of the larger organization. They will work, first, through typical questions that style guides tend to answer. (For instance, how, precisely, do we label figures or diagrams? In terms of punctuation and symbols, do we have preferences for or against semicolons? Hyphens? Is it % or “percent”? How do we handle gendered pronouns?)

The facilitator will guide the group through a set of more complex analyses specific to their work and goals. At the end of the session, the group will leave with a draft for their style guide and a working plan to complete it, circulate it, use it and keep it updated as a “living” document.

 

To schedule a workshop or for more information, please contact [email protected] or complete the GW Workplace Writing Inquiry Form.