top of page

Style Guides

Elevation Editing offers five standard style guides. These are the most common styles for academic journal articles (APA, AMA), college papers (APA, MLA), books (Chicago), and journalism (AP). Elevation will also apply any other style guide, which is helpful when your publication or institution requires a specific other style (such as Harvard or Oxford) or template (such as IEEE); you just pay for an extra half-hour of editing to allow the editor to review that style's rules. Most styles can be applied as Light Styled Editing (no formatting and up to 5 reference entries) or Heavy Styled Editing (formatting and/or 6+ references).

American Psychological Association

APA is commonly used for scientific journal articles and for graduate (and even undergraduate) papers. It is well-suited for any paper that requires citations from a moderate number of sources, and it has very specific usage guidelines for terminology, numbers, expressions, and much more. Its formatting guidelines are fairly stringent, so if you do not want APA formatting, please say so—it will save you money and save the editor time. This comes up often, as many publications require APA citations and/or references but have distinct formatting requirements. 

The current APA manual is the 7th Edition, but it just came out (in October 2019), so please consult with your publisher or instructor. You can choose the 6th Edition if you prefer.


American Medical Association

AMA is the most common style for academic work in medicine (and medicine-adjacent) fields. It is meant to be used to present detailed research on complex topics, including studies with extensive statistical analysis. Its numbered citation style works well for papers with a very large number of citations. It does not have many formatting requirements, as each AMA journal tends to have its own formatting. 

The current AMA manual is the 10th edition., but the 11th edition is coming out soon (in March 2020). Once the new version becomes available, you will be able to choose between the 10th and 11th editions.


Modern Language Association

MLA is a very simple style that is targeted for relatively short papers with relatively few citations; however, it is sometimes used for theses and dissertations as well. Because it is so easy to use, it is most common in undergraduate (and, in some cases, high school) work. It works well for papers in the humanities but less well for more complicated scientific work.

The current version of the MLA handbook, the 8th edition, came out in 2016.


University of Chicago Press

Chicago is an excellent all-purpose manual for writing of any kind, and it is one of the few guides that is provides specific guidelines for very long works such as books. It offers the flexibility of two citation styles—an author-date citation style similar to APA's and a citation-number style similar to AMA's—so you can choose the version that best fits with your work. (Please specify which citation style you prefer when you submit a Chicago document.)

Elevation applies Chicago's general language usage rules in the absence of other preferences.

The current version of the Chicago manual, the 17th edition, came out in 2017.


Associated Press

AP is the dominant style for journalism, press releases, and similar public communications. It differs from all of Elevation's other standard styles in that it emphasizes conciseness over precision, so it is best-suited to general communication. (For instance, AP is the only style listed here that prefers omitting the serial comma.) AP has minimal formatting rules and does not have a citation or reference style, so AP documents will always use the Light Style Editing service.

The AP stylebook is updated each spring; the current version is the 2020 edition.


Other Styles
Harvard, Oxford, IEEE, Turabian, CSE, ASA, et al.

If you need to apply a nonstandard style—whether you require Light or Heavy Editing—Elevation can help. Elevation can even place your document into a specific template (such as the one used for IEEE journals). This is particularly helpful when your institution or journal its own style standards.


In addition to paying the style charge (20% or 40% additional time), you simply pay for an additional half-hour of service to allow the editor sufficient time to review the style guide. If Elevation does not already have access to the style guide, then you will also have to provide a link.

Please note that nonstandard styles are often vague; Elevation will do its best, but if an issue is not covered in the style guide, determining the correct style for it is, ultimately, guesswork; in such cases, you are responsible for verifying all style elements. 

bottom of page