Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2023

Degree Type

Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW)

Department

English

Co-Chair

Dr. Lara Smith-Sitton

Co-Chair

Dr. Chris Palmer

Abstract

This capstone explores the creation of a resource that helps professional writers keep up with ever-changing style practices and understand the implications of different stylistic and mechanical choices. Examining the history of style guides, analyzing the content of existing style references through the lens of prescriptivism and descriptivism, and assessing the gaps of current online style resources demonstrate how a new online style resource hosted on Instagram, EnsleyEdits, can meet this need for professional writers. Research on current social media, accessibility, and design practices demonstrate how content on the EnsleyEdits account can succeed on Instagram, and the results of an IRB-approved usability study highlight insights from the resource’s target audience. Collectively, these research components reveal how the EnsleyEdits style resource can help writers produce effective, conscious, intentional writing.

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