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Writing Advice

Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation

It may seem odd to think about spelling and grammar when you are at such an advanced level of the education system, but publishing is in large part about standardization. 'It is better to be consistently wrong than inconsistently right,' is a well-known phrase in the publishing profession. For those writers and editors looking to become consistently right, the following books will assist you. Hart's Rules will tell you whether it is Jones' book or Jones's book, and if you are not sure whether to italicize sine qua non or capitalize UNICEF then the New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors is your book. For preferred spellings, e.g. '-ize' or '-ise', turn to the New Oxford Spelling Dictionary. If it is your grammar and punctuation that needs brushing up, then it might be worth taking a look at the Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar, it will let you know when to pair neither and nor, and when to use that rather than which. But if you struggle with knowing where a semicolon should be placed in preference to a comma then the Penguin Guide to Punctuation is a good book to read.

Referencing Style

Adherence to the Chicago Manual of Style or Harvard system is prefered. A quick guide to Chicago-Style Citation can be found online here. Print copies are available from (Chicago Manual of Style) and elsewhere.

Copyright Laws

CopyrightFor a quick guide to copyright and 'fair dealing' see The Society of Authors outline, which can be found here. Note the advice on the 70 year EU rule and also US authors. Be aware as well that 'fair dealing' does not apply to pictures and electronic images. If either of the latter are in copyright, or owned by a gallery or museum, rights to reproduce need to be obtained in all media across the world and additional payment may be necessary for an electronic version (which needs to be at least 300 dpi and saved as a TIFF file). It is the author's responsibility to obtain this.