5 Handy Writing References

Do you use colour or color? Affect vs effect? Capitalize your president and CEO’s title?

(Answers: colour; depends whether you’re hoping to affect an outcome or create an effect; and, despite what presidents and CEOs want, no.)

Do you need to check on the correct punctuation, capitalization, title or other style questions? Here are five helpful reference guides you should bookmark.

  1. Canadian Press Style Guide – It’s what the media uses, so work in their style and you’ll make them happy.
  2. Government of Canada Style Guide – If the government deems this the correct usage, why fight it?
  3. The federal government’s Collection of Canadian Language Resources isn’t as scary as it sounds and has links to many university style guides, French and Indigenous language resources and other useful writing tips and tools.
  4. Take your pick of online dictionaries. I’ve always been partial to Oxford.
  5. While this article is written with fiction writers in mind, the discussion about audience, context and geography is valid for business writing as well. Basically, who’s your audience?

Let me know in the comments if you’ve found other helpful writing references online.