Creating and Using a Department Style Guide - September 2024


Kelly Schrank
Technical Editor, Bookworm Editing Services, LLC


Online Courses

Creating and Using a Department Style Guide

Wednesdays, 11 September to 30 October 2024; 6:00 to 7:00 PM ET

Registration closes on 10 September 2024

Whether building a new department, working as a department of one, or joining a new or existing department, many technical communicators have found themselves working on documents without the benefit of a style guide. In this course, as a group we will create a new style guide from scratch, incorporate common elements, and decide together what’s needed and what might be better relegated to other documents or resources. From grammar and punctuation to style and formatting, we’ll go through the process together. We’ll tackle this as the big project it is, by planning its scope and schedule, including tracking status, training others, and gathering feedback. After the course, everyone will be emailed the finished document in Microsoft Word to use as is or as a template for their own style guide.


During this course, attendees will learn how

  • Define a style guide
  • Analyze and plan the project
  • Establish the project scope, process, and schedule
  • Learn how to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote to implement this project
  • Develop and edit/improve the style guide together
  • Prepare training to implement the style guide
  • Prepare infographic elements to promote the launch of the style guide
  • Discuss feedback mechanisms, maintenance, and tracking of updates


Attendee Takeaways:

  • Understanding of the process to create a style guide and best practices
  • Philosophy behind what should be included and what should not
  • Actual style guide (Word document)

For current CPTC certificants: This course provides 6 CEUs for recertification, in any area.

Session titles

We'll discuss the course objectives and activities and define style guides.

We'll establish the audience (reader profile), format, scope, who is responsible (you or committee), schedule, design, style, and outline.

We'll learn how to optimize Word for the style guide (headers, sections, links), Excel to track status (task list and timeline), PowerPoint to train others, OneNote for ideas and meeting minutes.

We'll assign and begin to draft needed sections in class and as homework.

We'll edit the compiled style guide as a group.

We'll prepare training on different sections in class and as homework.

We'll present different sections of the style guide to the class.

We'll discuss how to deliver to audience, gather feedback, and maintain the style guide over time.

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