Style Guide

(Last updated August 2016 .)


The Euroculturer style guide outlines the set of standards for writing articles to be submitted for publication in our magazine. Through the rules set out on these pages, we hope to provide uniformity of formatting, grammar and language across the magazine.



  • Font: Arial, size 12, justified
  • Spacing: 1.5 line spacing, paragraphs don’t indent, rather make use space between paragraphs
  • Language: Choose British or American English, and be consistent.
  • Emphasis: avoid stressing too many words in an article. If a word or a couple of words is/are to be emphasised, choose one method (i.e. italicising, bolding, or underlining) and stick to it.
  • Italics: used for books and publications, e.g. The Guardian, Die Zeit and War and Peace. Also italicise things like cd’s, films and names of art exhibitions – but not names of conferences or summits. Use double inverted commas when referring to titles of short stories, songs and the like, e.g. “Born in the USA” and “In the Penal Colony” (by Franz Kafka).
  • Capital letters: used in a number of occasions: (1) at the beginning of any sentence; (2) to denote the titles of talks and events within the text as well as the actual titles of articles; (3) for the first letter of a proper name, e.g. Angela Merkel, and official names, e.g. the Labour Party; (4) for the first letter of countries, regions and cities, e.g. Dublin, located in the Pale, is the capital of Ireland.
  • Full stops: are followed by a single space.
  • Commas: uses:
    • With direct quotations, e.g. Amy said, “It was good to see you.”
    • After a conjunctive adverb at the beginning of a sentence, e.g. However, the experiment failed.
    • To separate clauses, e.g. I first saw it in Edinburgh, where I lived for eight years.
    • To mark off parts of the sentence, e.g. The experiment, which took place in Edinburgh, was successful in proving the theory. Note you can remove the bit about it taking place in Edinburgh and the sentence still makes sense. If you can’t remove the text in between the commas without the sentence losing its meaning, then there shouldn’t be any commas there in the first place.
  • Exclamation marks: try not to over-use these. Save them for special circumstances.
  • Inverted commas: use double commas when referring to for example song titles (see above). Use a single comma when an example of sorts is given or a word should not be understood literally, e.g. ‘designer babies’ are a controversial issue.
    • If the last word between inverted commas is followed by a full stop or a comma, place the inverted comma after it, e.g. Even though our programme is not ‘excellent,’ it still attracts many students. (This does not apply to colons and semi-colons!)
  • Quotation marks: direct quotations must be in double inverted commas, e.g. She said, “It looks good.” Sentences with two sets of quotations marks need commas as follows: “Yes,” he said, “I always keep my promises.”
    • If a question or exclamation mark applies to the whole sentence, not just the quote, it goes outside the quotation marks, e.g. Weren’t you the one who asked, “Can we do it”? or I won’t stand for people who say “I quit”!
  • Apostrophe: used for contractions and possession, e.g. it’s and Bob’s dog. Note that when the possessive noun is plural and ends with ‘s’, the apostrophe goes after this ‘s’, e.g. the Romans’ games or the boys’ club.
  • Colons: between two clauses in cases where the second clause explains or follows from the first, e.g. There were two things he could do: get rich or die trying. (Note that the word after the colon doesn’t have a capital.)
  • Semi-colons: mostly used to separate two clauses that are too close to be separated by a full stop but not close enough to use a comma, e.g. The easy part was coming up with the experiment; the hard part was finishing it on time. Another usage is when compiling lengthy lists, where commas are needed to describe individual items, e.g. I needed a couple of things: an orange, but not one with green spots; two bananas, as yellow as can be; and three apples.
  • Hyphen:. When used for emphasis in a sentence, put a single space on either side, e.g. The cow jumped over the moon – can you believe it? Used with no spaces for a number range, e.g. 1970–75.
  • Ellipses: use only three dots (…). Always use a single space between the dots and the next word, e.g. This is a waste of time… let’s go somewhere else.
  • Abbreviations: any term that is abbreviated must be defined at the first usage, e.g. European Union (EU).
  • Numbers: write out the number in words if it is 20 or less; use digits from 21-999,999; if above 999,999, use ‘2 million,’ ‘45.6 million,’ etc. Use commas to separate thousands. Hyphenate when used as an adjective, e.g. a two-hour lecture.
  • Dates: day, month, year, e.g. 11 November 1989.Language