An OWL for all
by: Gwen Bloomsburg
It has been many years since I learned how to follow my first style guide, that of the Modern Language Association. As a literature and history major, I used MLA style throughout university. In my years as a copy editor and online editor, it was The Chicago Manual of Style. About three inches thick and bound in bright orange, Chicago was hard to miss around the editorial offices of Microsoft and Amazon in the early days of the internet. After switching to Education, I made my first forays into American Psychological Association style, which is the style for citation in all academic work at UDLA.
Perhaps because it was first, MLA style sticks in my brain better than all the rest. Nevertheless, a handful of rules from each remain etched in my memory. But not all, which brings us to the OWL, or the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/.
This web site is a goldmine for writers with all of the aforementioned style guides included and their rules for research, writing, and citation explained in detail. No need for a hefty orange tome nor shelling out cash for a new edition. Besides style guidelines, users will find other useful resources for good writing. Have a hoot!
The Writing Lab, The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. (2013). Purdue online writing lab. West Lafayette, Indiana, USA: Purdue University.