Style Guides: Books to Improve and Set Guidelines for Written English

Posted On: April 18, 2017

Ensuring the language we use for business communication is presented in a standardized way in an organization requires guidelines. These style guides and reference books are widely available to everyone who writes to ensure a standard is followed for consistency and readability. Let’s take a look at some types of reference books that you can use to standardize and formalize your English.


General Books for Standardizing English

Always keep a dictionary or thesaurus handy. Some may prefer a hard copy, while others may prefer online websites or mobile apps.

A few sites or apps to try:


Specific Books

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Eats, Shoots, and Leaves is a light read. I feel it is a great way to engage an adult learner with English grammar. There is a healthy mix of anecdotes and grammar lessons in the book. The author has a couple of other grammar books too, but this is my favorite. Nothing beats a humor-filled learning session, in my opinion.

Eat, Shoots, & Leaves

Other specific books we recommend will help you with American English Grammar, American English Idioms, English as Second Language (ESL) teaching methods, and American English Accent & Pronunciation. See the video below for more information on these books. Click the links in this paragraph to see the books on Amazon.




Style Guides

What is a style guide? A style guide is a go-to guide for writers and designers to use to build communications along a specific company branding strategy. Style guides help employees to understand how to create all kinds of communications from emails to reports to brochures and PowerPoints (among others). Our coaches recommend the following general writing style guides.
The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition


The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage


Microsoft Manual of Style


Do also check out the Purdue Owl, which is a Purdue University online style guide based on the Chicago Style guide.


Example Corporate Style Guides

While large multinationals (MNCs) have their own branded style guide that can run into 50 to 100 or more pages, start ups often do not have style guides. Style guides can be important to help those in startups to frame and create communication that will not only brand your company in its best light, but help employees to create good [first and ongoing] impressions with their communications on an ongoing basis (including many topics such as email branding, which may not come to many minds, initially). While it is important for employees to use a style guide, Authentic Journeys always recommends a top down approach when referring any guide or resource- managers need to role model the importance for referring and using these materials to help set and maintain best practices.



We hope these resources will help you find your company’s communication style. We are happy to consult with your company to create a style guide or provide communication consulting or coaching. Get in touch with us to help you get started.


Our Email Writing course, The Ultimate Guide to Email Writing for Ease and Professionalism, is designed to teach effective Email Communication, covering aspects like structure, tone, grammar, and etiquette. It helps participants write clear and concise emails tailored to different audiences and purposes. The course includes practical exercises and feedback to improve writing skills and build confidence in professional communication through email.


Find your Program!

Find your ideal program in just a few clicks.
Select Industry > Learning Level > Skill, to see 1-3 suggested programs.