These guidelines assist people writing articles for Startup News to ensure consistency and clarity.
Our Guiding Light: why’s it of interest for WA startups?
If you’re going to write anything on (or send story idea to) Startup News, then we really have one question for you – why would a WA startup be interested?
What’s in it for them? What will they learn? Will it add some value, some advice, a tip, case study of success, or what not to do? What’s ‘newsy‘?
No doubt you’d like to feature yourself and your startup on the site, but it’s not about you, it’s about the reader. If you keep this in mind, you’ll be going in the right direction.
- all articles should be the author’s own work;
- all articles should be submitted with a couple of high resolution images if possible (preferred size 1460 x 896 pixels, landscape format);
- no links to any affiliate schemes or affiliate links, EVER;
- any perceived bias or conflict of interest should be addressed with a disclaimer within (or at the end of ) the article itself.
- we use //SN to refer to Startup News;
- startup, not start-up or Start up;
- full name first, then first name;
- all introductory paragraphs should be in ‘Heading 2’ style, and all further sub-headings should be in Heading 3, or within one heading 3, a heading 4.
- always use Australian spelling, unless the word is part of a publication or organisation name;
- use ‘re’ in ‘centre’, etc (not ‘er’), ‘s’ over ‘z’ (organisation), program (not ‘programme’) unless it is the name of a particular institution.
- do not use ppl, lol or any other internet abbreviations.
- acronyms (eg AWIA, FI, UWA) should be spelled out with the acronym in parentheses in the first instance and all caps thereafter. First reference: “He is with the University of Western Australia (UWA)”. Second reference: “At UWA he does x”. Also applies to states e.g. Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales (NSW) etc.
- use an active voice, not passive;
- in an active sentence, the subject is doing the action. A straightforward example is the sentence “Steve loves Amy.” Steve is the subject, and he is doing the action: he loves Amy, the object of the sentence;
- in passive voice, the target of the action gets promoted to the subject position. Instead of saying, “Steve loves Amy,” you should say, “Amy is loved by Steve.” The subject of the sentence becomes Amy, but she isn’t doing anything. Rather, she is just the recipient of Steve’s love. The focus of the sentence has changed from Steve to Amy.
- ampersands are used in headings and table formats, otherwise use ‘and’.
At symbol (@)
- use only within email addresses and Twitter handles or within scientific measurements. Do not use in titles, headings or regular text as an abbreviation for the word ‘at’.
- where the list is part of sentence (preceded by a colon), begin each point in lower case with no commas or semi-colons, putting a full-stop at the end of the last bullet point;
- if the list is not part of a sentence, begin each point in upper case and use full stops at the end of each complete sentence;
- only number points when you will be referring back to them or if the order of the points is important.
- our style is for minimal capitalisation; that is, only the first letter of the heading or title is capitalised, along with any proper nouns;
- only people’s names, position titles, names of workgroups, organisational units, degree titles (e.g. Bachelor of Art) and publications should be capitalised;
- almost everything else should be in sentence case.
- Thursday 17 March 1917 (no commas). Use 12 May, unless directly quoting someone saying “May 12″. Do not say 12th of May.
- to separate a range of dates or numbers. In this use the dash should NOT have spaces either side e.g. 7–8 pm;
- a single dash can be used to introduce an explanation or expansion of what comes before it e.g. But when the firestorm of January 2003 ravaged the nation’s capital, much of the two-storey brick home was destroyed – seemingly beyond repair;
- a pair of dashes can be used to indicate asides and parentheses, forming a more distinct break than commas would e.g. Helen has only seen her father once in her adult life and – and until her flight from Sydney – had never met her brother.
- with full stops.
- not inquiry, unless it is an official investigation into something.
Email not e-mail.
- an exclamation point (which should be used sparingly to be effective) marks an outcry or an emphatic or ironic comment. If in doubt, don’t use it. And don’t ever use it more than once in a single communication.
- the word government should be capitalised as part of a formal title or abbreviated specific title, but lower case is generally appropriate elsewhere. E.g. The Australian Government is responsible for… and The government proposes to….
- avoid gender-specific references where possible i.e. ‘chair’, not ‘chairman/woman/person’.
- use full stops.
- capital ‘I’
- always use the Australian form ‘-ise’.
- e.g. maximise, capitalise, etc. Never use ‘-ize’.
- use the dollar symbol followed by the figure ($1,000). Use a comma when referring to thousands or bigger numbers;
- use country abbreviation followed by currency symbol to denote currencies (A$1,000, US$1,000, NZ$1,000);
- note that country abbreviation/symbol to use with Australian dollars is ‘A’ not ‘AUD’;
- in headings, abbreviated forms of large numbers are acceptable, for example: $1B or $1M.
- within regular prose, numbers one to nine should be spelt out and 10 and above should be numerals;
- commas should be used to mark thousands rather than spaces, for example: 1,000;
- if starting a sentence with a number cannot be avoided, write the numbers as words, for example: use “Twenty-nine people attended the launch” instead of “29 people attended the launch”;
- numeral form is acceptable when used together with a unit of measurement (weight, distance, date, time etc), in tables, in a series of numbers provided for comparison (e.g. 5 of 500 people), and in mathematical and scientific contexts.
- one word, no hyphen, no space.
- two words spelt out. Only use symbol (%) in tables etc.
- double quotation marks are only used for quoting speech or words from published work (i.e. newspapers, journals, books etc) e.g. “The University is world class,” said Mr Blah;
- single quote marks are used for:
- emphasising in text e.g. The ‘real’ story behind the fire was…
- quoting something inside a quote e.g. “Annabel said ‘The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain’ but she didn’t say why,” explained Mr Blah;
- where the quote-within-a-quote ends the quote, put single quotes before full stop and double quotes after e.g. “When I asked him about the rain in Spain, Mr Blah said, ‘It falls mainly on the plain’.”;
- quotation marks always come after the punctuation e.g. “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain,” Mr Blah said. Unless the quote is not a full sentence e.g. Mr Blah said the rain in Spain “falls mainly on the plain”.
- preferred style for listing time. 10am and 2pm, not 10.00am and 2.00pm. Use a dash to show duration, not “to” (that is, 2–4pm not 2 to 4pm).
- publications, plays, movies, conferences, album titles all in italics. Band names in ordinary type. Do not italicise awards.
- when including links on a webpage or in an email always hyperlink text that represents the meaningful action/name of the link destination instead of writing out the URL. An exception to this rule is when you have a short promotional URL you would like people to remember;
- http:// should not be included in front of URLs in print. URLs without them take you to the same place, and so they are extraneous characters;
- ensure the link opens a new tab like this, and does not replace the StartupNews.com.au website.
‘website’, ‘webpage’ or ‘worldwide’
- one word, no hyphen, no space, no capital.