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Blogcritics Style Guide

SPACING

– Sentences should have a single space between them.
– Paragraphs should NOT be indented, and SHOULD have two line breaks between them.

NUMBERS AND CURRENCY

– Write out numbers up through nine. Starting with 10, use the digits. (Exception: in number-heavy contexts such as sports scores and statistics, use digits. Example: The Mets called on three relief pitchers in their 6-4 win over the Reds.)
– Exception: ALWAYS write out a number when it begins a sentence, no matter how high the number is. Example: Three thousand people attended the concert at a venue that holds over 5,000.
– Thousands: use the comma. 5,000 not 5000
– Money: signify currency amounts simply by using the currency sign: $70 million (not 70 million dollars or $70 million dollars)

TIME AND DATE

Times: 8 p.m. 11:30 a.m.
Dates: June 9, 2001 or 9 June 2001 (no “th” or nd”)
Decades: 1970s (no apostrophe) or ’70s

PERCENT

40% or 40 percent

QUOTES

– Maintain consistency within an article. All else being equal, use double quotes, but a British or Canadian writer can use single quotes; editors should leave them, as long as they are consistent throughout.
– The same goes for punctuation within quotes. Closing punctuation belongs INSIDE the close-quote in American usage, but British writers put it outside. Editors should leave it, if it’s consistent throughout the article.
– Avoid using very long quotes. The bulk of every article should be original writing by the writer. The main exception is in book reviews. Long quotes should be placed within

tags, with no quotation marks.

LISTS

Introduce a list with a colon (not a semicolon as writers often do erroneously). Separate short/simple items with commas, long/complex items with semicolons. Use the serial comma. (“red, white, and blue” not “red, white and blue”)

SPELLING

There is no need to Americanize British spelling – again, as long as it is consistent throughout the article. E.g. do not change “colour” to “color.”

ITALICS AND QUOTATIONS MARKS

Put the following in ITALICS in the body text, but in SINGLE QUOTES in the article title and the Excerpt and Review Summary boxes:
Book titles
Novella titles
Movie/DVD/Blu-ray titles
Album/CD/EP titles
Names of newspapers and magazines
TV show titles
Play/Musical titles
Game titles
Titles of works of art
Names of ships

Put the following in DOUBLE QUOTES in the body text, but in SINGLE QUOTES in the article title and the Excerpt and Review Summary boxes:
Article, essay, and scholarly paper titles
Short story titles
TV and videogame episode titles
Song titles
Poem titles
Titles of single discs of multi-disc sets

CAPITALIZATION AND MUSIC GENRES

Music genres are not capitalized – jazz (not Jazz), rock and roll (not Rock and Roll or rock ‘n’ roll). Exception: the abbreviation R&B (not r&b)

PUNCTUATION

– Dashes: use an em dash with no spaces around it. An acceptable alternative is an en dash with a space on either side. Whichever way, it should be consistent throughout an article. If an editor sees hyphens used where dashes should be, the editor should change them to dashes. Windows and Mac both have em dash and en dash shortcuts, or you can always type in the code — or – when in Text mode.
– Ellipsis: an ellipsis (…) without spaces on either side is fine, or with a space on either side is fine, but this should be consistent throughout an article. Use the ellipsis ONLY to signify deleted content in a quote (or in dialogue to indicate the speaker trailing off).
– Use the serial comma. (“red, white, and blue” not “red, white and blue”)
– Colons: If the first word after a colon begins a new complete sentence, it should be capitalized (as in this sentence). If the text after the colon is not a complete sentence, do not capitalize.

COMMON WORDS AND ABBREVIATIONS

– website: one word, not capitalized.
– Internet: capitalized
– email: lower case, no hyphen
– TV (not t.v. or tv)
– U.S. and U.K. (not US and UK). But UN and EU.

INTERVIEWS

Questions in boldface, answers in plain text, separated by two line breaks, and not indented (just like normal website paragraphs). Do not indicate who is speaking, as the above formatting indicates what is the question and what is the answer – unless there are two or more interview subjects.

QUOTATIONS

When inserting a word or phrase not part of the direct quotation, put it in [square brackets]. When leaving out a portion of the quotation, use an ellipsis (…) to indicate where something was removed.

TITLES

In the article title, capitalize all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, subordinate conjunctions (“as”, “because”, “although”). Put in lowercase all articles (“a,” “the”), coordinate conjunctions (“and”, “or”, “nor”), prepositions, and “to” in an infinitive. Exception: The first and last word of an article should always be capitalized.

IMAGES

Do not upload hi-res images (e.g. files taken directly off a camera). On your computer using an image utility, reduce their size to 600 pixels wide before uploading to Blogcritics. In any case size should be no more than 600 pixels in either dimension. Upload to Blogcritics via the “Add Media” link.

If the full size of the image is more than approx. 450 pixels wide (but no more than 600), select “Center” alignment when you are uploading the image. If it’s about 450, or less, select “Left” or “Right” alignment.

Alternately, you can select size “Medium” instead of “Full Size” and a large image will be automatically resized. Select “Left” or “Right” alignment if you use this option.

Include attribution/photo credit information for the image in the Caption field as you upload the image.

VIDEOS

Videos should be embedded using the embed code provided by the site where the video is hosted (e.g. YouTube). The video should be no more than 600 pixels wide and should be centered.