Documentation:CTLT Writing Style Guide
The CTLT Writing Style Guide standardizes the formatting of documentation produced by the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. Examples of documentation formatting include punctuation use, proper abbreviations, and capitalization of nouns.
The UBC Writing & Style Guide provides information on consistency with numbers and dates, titles, etc. Canada Press and the Chicago Manual of Style are UBC’s next official style guides if the UBC Style Guide doesn’t have the information you’re looking for.
The Chicago Manual of Style is a great resource and it’s online and searchable. It’s incredibly comprehensive and has sections on how to write out bulleted lists, when to abbreviate country names, and many other topics.
- When writing for websites or publication, it’s helpful to keep in mind consistency in voice and style when there are multiple people contributing to an editorial product. That’s not to say that you should make everything sound uniform. ☺ Use individual style where appropriate, for example in certain articles. Aim to make the writing interesting and have a voice.
- Have fun with research! Research can help illuminate a topic or put it in context. You might also be able to get good ideas for a lead or information to include in an article by doing research.
- Think about interesting ways to approach an article. Here are some examples of writing on similar topics to what you might write at CTLT:
- New Yorker piece: Laptop U: Has the future of college moved online? http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/05/20/130520fa_fact_heller
- Other prize-winning pieces?***
- The Chronicle of Higher Education is a good publication for high quality writing about educational topics.
- Double check spelling of names. It’s easy to make mistakes. Also fact check when necessary.
- Proofread your work and have someone else check it if possible. Use spelling and grammar check to check any mistakes you may not have caught. Also, reading what you’ve written out loud is very effective in catching mistakes.
- Feel free to ask Michael, Dianne, or Heather for help if you can’t find the answer to something in these resources or if you have a question. Let us know if you think there’s anything helpful that we can add to this guide.
- Bullet Points)
- Noun Usage
- Academic Subjects
- Departments and Administrative Units
- Job Titles
- Dates and Times
- Brackets (Parentheses)
- Commas, Semi-Colons, Colons