Style Guide over Free Style


Although I was excited at the thought of being an intern, I had heard a lot of internships can involve endless tea-making and lowly admin jobs. Thankfully, being at ISR isn’t like that. Sure, sometimes I will make some tea, and sometimes I will open the post, but these aren’t bad things. First of all, opening the post is pretty much a key job at the journal, as without new books being posted to us, we could never send them off again for review. Secondly, I just really like tea – but I’d rather take a flat white, if you’re asking!

One of the jobs I actually found to be the most daunting and overwhelming when I first started, was applying the ISR style guide. I’ve worked with style guides before for various projects and live briefs, but the ISR style guide just really threw everything out of the water. Of course, it is just a style guide, and although it takes time to apply, it’s pretty straight forward. The only big difference with the ISR style guide, is the instructions for footnotes. Most of my style guide projects had focused on articles or chapters which didn’t include bibliographies or footnotes, so this was definitely a new one to learn.

As with all things editorial, the key to figuring out the style guide is to have a keen eye for detail. After familiarising yourself with the guide, you soon notice when a long quotation should be an extract or when an unpublished work has been cited incorrectly. I found that by asking to work more with the style guide, I was able to highlight my own areas of weakness and concentrate on improving it.

‘More than ten authors – List the first seven authors followed by et al.’

The above guide always makes me smile. As of yet, I have not come across any book with more than ten authors, but I certainly don’t doubt that they exist!


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