A Pocket Style Manual
Eighth Edition   ©2018

A Pocket Style Manual

Diana Hacker (late of Prince George's Community College) , Nancy Sommers (Harvard University)  

  • ISBN-10: 1-319-05740-3; ISBN-13: 978-1-319-05740-4; Format: Spiral Bound


1 Tighten wordy sentences.
1a Redundancies
1b Empty or inflated phrases
1c Needlessly complex structures

2 Prefer active verbs.
2a When to replace be verbs
2b When to replace passive verbs

3 Balance parallel ideas.
3a Items in a series
3b Paired ideas

4 Add needed words.
4a Words in compound structures
4b The word that
4c Words in comparisons

5 Eliminate confusing shifts.
5a Shifts in point of view
5b Shifts in tense

6 Untangle mixed constructions.
6a Mixed grammar
6b Illogical connections
6c is when, is where, and reason . . . is because constructions

7 Repair misplaced and dangling modifiers.
7a Misplaced words
7b Misplaced phrases and clauses
7c Dangling modifiers
7d Split infinitives

8 Provide sentence variety.
8a Combining choppy sentences
8b Varying sentence openings

9 Find an appropriate voice.
9a Jargon
9b Clichés
9c Slang
9d Sexist language
9e Offensive language


10 Make subjects and verbs agree.
10a Words between subject and verb
10b Subjects joined with and
10c Subjects joined with or or nor
10d Indefinite pronouns such as someone
10e Collective nouns such as jury
10f Subject after verb
10g who, which, and that
10h Plural form, singular meaning
10i Titles, company names, and words mentioned as words

11 Be alert to other problems with verbs.
11a Irregular verbs
11b Tense
11c Mood

12 Use pronouns with care.
12a Pronoun-antecedent agreement
12b Pronoun reference
12c Case of personal pronouns (I vs. me etc.)
12d who or whom

13 Use adjectives and adverbs appropriately.
13a Adjectives
13b Adverbs
13c Comparatives and superlatives
14 Repair sentence fragments.
14a Fragmented clauses
14b Fragmented phrases
14c Acceptable fragments

15 Revise run-on sentences.
15a Revision with a comma and a coordinating conjunction
15b Revision with a semicolon (or a colon or a dash)
15c Revision by separating sentences
15d Revision by restructuring the sentence

16 Consider grammar topics for multilingual writers.
16a Verbs
16b Articles (a, an, the)
16c Sentence structure
16d Prepositions showing time and place


17 The comma
17a Before a coordinating conjunction joining independent clauses
17b After an introductory word group
17c Between items in a series
17d Between coordinate adjectives
17e To set off a nonrestrictive element, but not a restrictive element
17f To set off transitional and parenthetical expressions, absolute phrases, and word groups expressing contrast
17g To set off nouns of direct address, the words yes and no, interrogative tags, and mild interjections
17h To set off direct quotations introduced with expressions such as he said
17i With dates, addresses, and titles
17j Misuses of the comma

18 The semicolon and the colon
18a The semicolon
18b The colon

19 The apostrophe
19a To indicate possession
19b To mark contractions
19c Conventional uses
19d Misuses of the apostrophe

20 Quotation marks
20a To enclose direct quotations
20b Around titles of short works
20c To set off words used as words
20d Other punctuation with quotation marks
20e Misuses of quotation marks

21 Other marks
21a The period
21b The question mark
21c The exclamation point
21d The dash
21e Parentheses
21f Brackets
21g The ellipsis mark
21h The slash


22 Capitalization
22a Proper vs. common nouns
22b Titles with proper names
22c Titles of works
22d First word of a sentence or quoted sentence
22e First word following a colon
22f Abbreviations

23 Abbreviations, numbers, and italics
23a Abbreviations
23b Numbers
23c Italics

24 Spelling and the hyphen
24a Spelling
24b The hyphen


25 Posing a research question
25a Choosing a focused question
25b Choosing a challenging question
25c Choosing a grounded question
25d Testing a research question

26 Finding appropriate sources
26a Using the library
26b Using the Web
26c Using bibliographies and citations

27 Evaluating sources
27a Selecting sources
27b Reading with an open mind and a critical eye
27c Assessing Web sources with special care
27d Constructing an annotated bibliography

28 Managing information; avoiding plagiarism
28a Keeping track of source materials
28b Taking notes responsibly: avoiding unintentional plagiarism
28c Maintaining a working bibliography

MLA Papers

29 Supporting a thesis
29a Forming a working thesis
29b Organizing your ideas
29c Using sources to inform and support your argument
29d Getting feedback

30 Avoiding plagiarism
30a Citing quotations and borrowed ideas
30b Using the MLA citation system to lead readers to your sources
30c Enclosing borrowed language in quotation marks
30d Putting summaries and paraphrases in your own words

31 Integrating sources
31a Summarizing and paraphrasing effectively
31b Using quotations effectively
31c Using signal phrases to integrate sources
31d Synthesizing sources

32 Integrating literary quotations
32a Introducing quotations from literary works
32b Avoiding shifts in tense
32c Formatting and citing literary passages

33 MLA documentation style
33a MLA in-text citations
33b MLA list of works cited
33c MLA information notes (optional)

34 MLA manuscript format; sample pages
34a MLA manuscript format
34b Sample pages from MLA papers


APA Papers

35 Supporting a thesis
35a Forming a working thesis
35b Organizing your ideas
35c Using sources to inform and support your argument
35d Getting feedback

36 Avoiding plagiarism
36a Citing quotations and borrowed ideas
36b Understanding how the APA system works
36c Enclosing borrowed language in quotation marks
36d Putting summaries and paraphrases in your own words

37 Integrating sources
37a Summarizing and paraphrasing effectively
37b Using quotations effectively
37c Using signal phrases to integrate sources

38 APA documentation style
38a APA in-text citations
38b APA list of references

39 APA manuscript format; sample pages
39a APA manuscript format
39b Sample APA pages

Chicago Papers

40 Supporting a thesis
40a Forming a working thesis
40b Organizing your ideas
40c Using sources to inform and support your argument
40d Getting feedback

41 Avoiding plagiarism
41a Citing quotations and borrowed ideas
41b Understanding how the Chicago system works
41c Enclosing borrowed language in quotation marks
41d Putting summaries and paraphrases in your own words

42 Integrating sources
42a Summarizing and paraphrasing effectively
42b Using quotations effectively
42c Using signal phrases to integrate sources

43 Chicago documentation style
43a First and later notes for a source
43b Chicago-style bibliography
43c Model notes and bibliography entries

44 Chicago manuscript format; sample pages
44a Chicago manuscript format
44b Sample pages from a Chicago research paper

CSE Papers

45 CSE documentation style
45a CSE documentation systems
45b CSE in-text citations
45c CSE reference list

46 CSE manuscript format
46a Formatting the paper
46b Formatting the reference list


Glossary of usage

Glossary of grammatical terms


Revision symbols