Style Guide for Academic Technology

[Kim’s Note: As I do the everyday tasks of managing at.blogs.wm.edu, I am compiling style guidelines for Academic Technology to use as we create content for the Web.  This guide is geared specifically for at.blogs.wm.edu, but may be applicable to writing published elsewhere.  This guide is a work-in-progress and if you have any questions, changes, or additions, let me know.  This guide is based on the Yahoo! Style Guide, the go-to guide for online content, but with additions/changes specific to our blog’s content.]

General Academic Technology Word List (and Punctuation)

  • Blackboard: not Black Board, black board, or BlackBoard
  • e-learning: not eLearning or e-Learning — if it needs to be capitalized, as for a title, “E-Learning” is correct
  • Web: not web (it’s short for World Wide Web, a proper noun)
  • website: not web site or Web site or Website
  • webpage: not web page or Web page or Webpage
  • an ellipsis: put a space before and after the ellipsis, but not between the periods: like … this — not…this, or. . . this, etc.
  • for notating time: “8 p.m.” is correct – not “8pm” or “8 pm” or “8 p. m.”

At.blogs.wm.edu Specific Conventions

  • Use a “featured image” that is 100 pixels by 460 pixels — if you use a large banner-style image at the top of your post, you can easily resize it to be a featured image, but it’s also quite easy for me to do that, so you don’t have to do this.
  • The optimal size for a large banner-style image at the top of your post is 230 pixels by 940 pixels, or just 940 pixels wide and any height within reason. If you use an image like this, set the alignment to “centered” and on its own line so that no text is on the same line as the image.
  • When possible, please use a caption with your images. Image size is dependent on how it looks next to your text, but I tend towards images between 400 to 600 pixels in width.  If it has text and/or is a screen shot, I use a wider image so that the text is legible.
  • Be sure to use images that do not violate copyright — you can create your own image, find one with a CC license (with proper attribution), or one without restrictions (the Library of Congress is a good source).
  • Headings
    • Headings in the post body should be h3
    • Capitalize headings as you would a title (i.e. all words capitalized except conjunctions of four or fewer letters — this means you DO capitalize the word “is” in a title)
  • For longer quotations, use the quotation tag in WordPress — it’s the button up by the text alignment buttons in the visual editor.
  • For lists, use bullets or numbers, also found up in the WP toolbar.
  • To add a YouTube video, you can just copy and paste the URL into the place you want it in the visual editor.  WordPress has code that automatically inserts the video.
  • Make use of the Preview button if you want to see what your images and formatting will look like.  You can also leave all formatting decisions up to me — I am happy to do that kind of editing for your post.

Specific William & Mary Rules

From the W&M Style Guide:

  • The following are acceptable:
    • College of William & Mary
    • College of William and Mary
    • William & Mary
  • The following are not used:
    • WM
    • William and Mary
  • The following may be used for more informal Web content:
    • W&M

Resources