A Military Writer's Handbook
Index Page


A Military Writer’s Handbook, supplemented with interactive exercises, has been designed specifically for writers in a military context. Examples of writing in this guide are derived from articles published in the Canadian Military Journal or from writing that addresses military subjects. The illustrative material highlights familiar aspects of military history, doctrine, and culture, and reflects issues and interests of all Canadian Forces personnel.

Please note that this resource is not intended to replace the manual entitled Staff and Writing Procedures for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. Rather, A Military Writer's Handbook offers guidance and advice on matters of grammar, punctuation, and writing style. Those requiring information about conventions and formats of military writing should consult the Staff and Writing Procedures document.

Here’s how to use the electronic handbook you have just opened on your computer:

  • Click on the labelled tabs above to access the Home page for each section.
  • Coloured links on the right of each Home page take you to specific pages.
  • Use the Next and Back arrows to move within a section.
  • Links to Practice Exercises are located at the bottom of a number of screens.
  • Terms are defined when first used and hyperlinked when used subsequently.
  • The hyperlinked Glossary enables you to locate definitions and instructional material quickly.

Use the Handbook as both a reference guide and an instructional aid. The Handbook will assist you at any stage in the writing process, from brainstorming about a topic to understanding good writing style and proper documentation format. The Practice Exercises, included throughout the Handbook, will help you to remedy common grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation errors.

Designed as an instructional aid, the Handbook can save you time and effort with students who have difficulty writing correctly and coherently. Your students will also benefit from the electronic Practice Exercises, which effectively reinforce fundamental principles.

Classroom instructors can use the Handbook as a teaching aid: individual pages can be displayed as is, with a data projector, or content can be pased into PowerPoint. For instructors of Distance Learning courses, the Handbook can be an aid for online marking. Simply link the student to relevant sections, thus saving the time it takes to type a detailed comment.

A Military Writer’s Handbook stands ready to serve you. We hope you will find it helpful.