The Student News Site of Central Hardin High School

“Countless, unseen details are often the only difference between mediocre and magnificence.”

This is your guide to style as a writer for The Central Times. Make sure to double-check all articles that you write. If something is not included in this stylebook, then use the usual rules of mechanics that you learned in English. You can always utilize online sources as well. If still in doubt, ask an editor or Ms. Sherrard. Happy writing!

AVOID

Ø  Expressing your opinion, unless you are writing an editorial or column.

Ø  You, my, our, I, us, we (unless in an editorial or column).

Ø  When asked.

Ø  Using humor if it doesn’t make a point.

Ø  Telling only one side of a story.

Ø  Unnecessary words.

Ø  Expressing an opinion with nothing to back it up.

Capitalization

Ø  Do not capitalize senior, junior, sophomore, freshman

Ø  Do capitalize:

days of the week, months, holidays, proper names for races and nationalities, names of school athletic clubs and main words in titles of books, plays, and movies. Also capitalize names of sections of the country but not directions (The Southwest, but He walked west.)

Ø  Do not capitalize titles of classes except languages or specific course titles.

Capitalize Chemistry I but not chemistry,

Holocaust Studies but not social studies,

Spanish, English, etc.

Figures

Ø  Write out numbers one through nine and use numerals for over 10.

Ø  However, if numbers both below and over 10 are in a list, use numerals for all.

Ø  Write out all numbers (Thirty-nine) that begin a sentence unless it is a year (2002).

Ø  Percent, not %.

Ø  $12,000, NOT $12 thousand dollars or twelve thousand dollars.

Ø  For money under one dollar, use figures and the word cents. Use the dollar sign for money over one dollar. Avoid use of zeroes when needed.

Ø  Always use figures for ages, dimensions, money, percentages, days of the month, degrees, hours of the day, scores, room numbers, page or chapter numbers, and street numbers.

Months

Ø  Abbreviate Jan., Feb., etc. when used with a date (Sept. 5).

Ø  Do not abbreviate the month if used without a date.

Ø  Do not put a th on numbers for dates (Sept. 5, not Sept. 5th).

Names

Ø  Use title and both names for the first reference (Principal Dale Campbell, Chemistry teacher Betty Abraham, etc.)

Ø  Use only the last name for the second reference (teacher, student, anyone).

Paragraphs

Ø  1-2 sentences

Ø  Flush left

Ø  One line between paragraphs.

Photo/Video Credit

Ø If a staff member takes the photo or video, it will be credited with the phrase “By ________________.”

Ø If the photo or video is used with the permission of someone outside the staff, it will be credited with the phrase “Photo/Video courtesy of _______________.”

Ø If the photo or video is taken from the internet, it will be credited with the phrase “Photo/Video obtained by _____________.”

Pronouns

Ø  There at the beginning of sentences can often be omitted.

Two students were arrested for indecent exposure.

NOT

There were two students arrested for indecent exposure.

Ø  This, that, these, or those at the beginning of sentences often indicates that you can combine sentences.

The students were arrested for indecent exposure.

NOT

The students exposed themselves. This led to their arrest.

Punctuation

Ø  In journalism, no comma in a series before and.

Ø  However, do put a comma before and if there is another and in the series: milk, bacon and eggs, and toast.

Ø  If a quotation includes several paragraphs, use quotations marks at the beginning of the first and the end of the last.

Ø  Use single quotation marks for a quotation within a quotation.

Ø  Periods and commas are ALWAYS placed within the quotation marks.

Ø  Use quotation marks for the titles of poems, chapters, songs, or radio and TV programs.

Ø  Use italics for books titles, newspaper names, film titles, magazine names, and CD titles.

Quotations and Attribution

Ø  Do not use any information unless you attributed it to a source (unless the source is obvious): the police said     according to Jones the school manual indicates

Ø  Do not put the attribution first in a sentence:

“The 2016-2017 staff is going to be great,” said Ms. Sherrard

NOT

Ms. Sherrard said, “The 2016-2017 staff is going to be great.”

Ø  DO NOT use when asked. (When asked about the number of smoking infractions last year, Mr. Isaacs declined to answer.)

Ø  Quote will usually be in a paragraph by itself.

Ø  First part of quote can often be used as a transition.

Ø  If a quote is long, separate it with attribution.

“I think that having our own journalism room will provide a less cluttered environment during newspaper class,” said Central Times adviser Susan Sherrard, “but I am a little concerned about the inconvenience.”

Ø  Don’t use stated (implies formality), quoted (awkward), claimed (implies the source is lying).

Ø  Don’t use thinks, believes, or feels for said or says.

Ø  A transition into a quote should have information.

Jones said he wonders where all the coaches are going.

NOT

Jones had this to say about the coaching staffs.

Ø  Transitions and quotes should not say the same thing.

Jones said he wonders where all the coaches are going. “I was surprised to come back to school to see that so many of our coaching staffs have changed,” he said.

NOT

Jones said he wondered where all the coaches are going. “I wonder where all the coaches are going,” he said.

Ø  If a quotation includes several paragraphs, use quotations marks at the beginning of the first and the end of the last.

Ø  Use single quotation marks for a quotation within a quotation.

Ø  Periods and commas are ALWAYS placed within the quotation marks.

Ø  In the attribution, the speaker comes before the verb of attribution. For example:  “I’m only human,” Jones said.

Verbs

Ø  Always strive to use action verbs.

The team drank some water every hour.

NOT

The team had some water every hour.

Voice

Ø  Avoid passive voice as often as possible. (You’ll notice a green “grammar alert” line when you use passive voice.)

Dr. No attacked one of my summer school students.

NOT

One of my summer school students was attacked by Dr. No.

Years

Ø  1980s NOT 1980’s

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