Cultural Weekly Style & Formatting Guide
Because the tone, aesthetic, and style of the content at Cultural Weekly is so diverse and varying, a traditional style guide doesn’t apply in many cases. We leave most questions of style and usage up to you. Still, we do want consistency in many cases, so please use the following as a guide for consistent formatting and styling. There may be cases with exceptions, of course. For basics of style, outside of what are listed below, please refer to Chicago Manual of Style.
UPLOADING FROM ANOTHER DOCUMENT
If you write in a format that embeds style markers (such as Word), then copy and paste, often you will carry those style markers along with your text — which means we have to laboriously take them out. That’s a problem. Instead, please write your draft in a plain-text format (such as Pages, or any other plain text word processor); if you copy and paste from that, all will be well and much easier!
- Capitalize first letter of each word only, unless there is a name or acronym that is all caps (i.e. USA or SETI).
- Use blockquote style for blockquotes, quotes, other emphasis. In general, use block quotes only if the selected quote is longer than 3 lines of text.
- Do not bold unless necessary. Bolding words are meant for adding emphasis. Too much usage makes the non-bolded words disappear.
- An ellipsis ( . . . ) is meant only to signal that something is missing or has been skipped, an omission. Therefore it should be a rare stylistic choice. When using, each period should have a space on either side, except when adjacent to a quotation mark (“), in which case there are no spaces. Keep minimal.
- Images should not be larger than 500KB. (This is not about dimensions — dimensions are below — it’s about the file size.)
- How do I reduce the file size? There are a bunch of instructions available online. You need to search by what you use: Windows, Apple, etc.
- Featured image captions should appear at the top or very bottom of the post [Image Credit: …]. Use … and dark grey color.
- Featured image size should be somewhere in the 600-1200 pixel range in width. If your images are bigger, please resize them before uploading. If smaller, please try to find a bigger version online.
- You must have permission to use the image, or it must be available under Creative Commons license. All images must be credited. You may not use any image that is not permissioned (just because an image is on the internet does not mean you can use it!).
- How do I resize an image? There are a bunch of instructions available online. You need to search by what you use: PC, Mac, Surface, etc.
- For subheadings or titles, use Header 2 (extra emphasis) or Header 3 (preferred).
- Header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc) are NOT meant for body of text, so avoid tagging sentences and paragraphs with them for emphasis.
- For images within the article, max width size should be 600 pixels (it is also the ideal size). If bigger, please resize before uploading. If too much smaller, please find a bigger version of it or see if there is a different image you can use.
- The caption is tied to the image; please put it in the Caption box when you upload the image, not in the body of the article itself.
- You must have permission to use all images, or they must be available under Creative Commons license. All images must be credited. You may not use any image that is not permissioned (just because an image is on the internet does not mean you can use it!).
- Periods, commas and other punctuation should go inside quotation marks, except for semi-colons and question marks.
- All quotations, dialogue, etc. should appear in double quotation marks, not single. (ie. “Hello,” she said. NOT ‘Hello,’ she said.)
- When using blockquote style, quotation marks are NOT necessary.
- Oxford Comma: Yes. Please use. The Oxford comma goes between the last and second-to-last items in a list.
- After a colon, please use a lowercase letter. (Stick to this even if what follows after the colon contains an independent clause.)
- Reviews should have all relevant information (Title / by Author / Publisher, Release Date / Page Numbers, Purchase Links) at top of post. Links should include link to publisher page, record label, or Amazon.
- Disclosure: We lean on the principle that more disclosure and more transparency is generally a good thing. So when relevant, it’s a good practice to acknowledge when reviewers have special/personal relationships with those they are reviewing or other special circumstances that should be acknowledged.
- One space after periods, not two.
- One line break after paragraphs, not two or more.
- For consistency, we use video games, not videogames.
- We use internet, not Internet.
- We use iPhone, not Iphone.
- We use LA, not L.A. (and NY/NYC, not N.Y./N.Y.C.).
- Titles of books, albums, films, TV shows, work of art should be italicized.
- Titles of poems, short stories, songs, individual episodes of TV series, book chapters should appear in quotes. For example, The Recognitions by William Gaddis; “Dinner” by Alissa Nutting.
- Do no use unless necessary. Underlining online is confusing and makes text appear like a link.