Style is defined by Merriam Webster’s dictionary as the manner in which things are done, or the mode in which things are arranged. It is used to identify a particular way of doing something. The word “style” has other meanings and can also mean “doing according to a pattern” or “doing in an orderly manner”. In technical use, it means the quality of being orderly, systematic or proper.
The first component of style identifies the actual physical structure of an object. Style depends on the actual construction, on the proportion, on the lines, on the texture and finish of the thing. Example style in furniture relates to how a chair is constructed, to the shape of the legs and to how well each part fits into the rest of the furniture. Another example is the mode by which you learn to speak, where style corresponds to the conventions you follow in grammar, sentence structure, pronunciation and vocabulary. An example of style in literature is how a writer decides how to develop a plot.
Style sheets for authors define four stylistic attributes. These are consistency, uniqueness, imitation and innovation. Consistency refers to how authors construct and follow structures. Uniqueness refers to how authors express themselves creatively. Imitation is related to quality and innovation.
Based on these criteria, style sheets for authors make it possible to assign a rating to each author according to their style. Authors are assigned a rating from one to five, where five is exceptionally creative and original. However, authors can only achieve a perfect score of three. The other attributes are explained in terms of how the style sheets evaluate them. For example, a manuscript evaluation might look at the use of all senses, the importance of character development, the place of the dialogue within the text and the various structures and units of language.
In some cases, other than style sheets for authors, there may also be other items needed to evaluate an author’s manuscripts. One such item is called a CSS or cascading style sheet language. A CSS is a language that enable authors to style their documents, and it is different from HTML, a language that enables authors to style their HTML documents. Some authors work more on their creativity than on their style sheets, and in that case they may prefer to learn CSS from style sheets themselves.
It is interesting to note that stylistic analysis has its roots in art history. There, the idea that artistic impressions were determined by psychological factors was developed. It came to be known as the discipline of art history. This discipline has influenced style art history throughout the ages, and in fact it is a field of study that has made itself very important to writers, critics and other readers.