Style guide

This guide is intended to maintain consistency in the presentation of content published by Olbrycht-Palmer Media Group.


  • Quotations should be incorporated within double quotation marks.
  • Punctuation is not necessary to introduce a quotation if it is incorporated into a sentence, but otherwise a colon may be used.
  • Nested quotations (“quotations within quotations”) should be incorporated within alternating double and single quotation marks.
  • Punctuation marks at the end of quotations should not be included within the quotation marks unless they form part of the original quotation.
  • The first letter of a quotation should be capitalised only if it begins a sentence. This may require modifying the quote.
  • Omissions from a quotation should be indicated by an ellipsis with a space on either side.
  • Modifications to a quotation other than omissions should be indicated by square brackets.
  • Significant errors, errors that would cause ambiguity, and discriminatory or offensive expressions in a quotation should be followed by “[sic]”.


  • A full stop should be used to mark the end of a sentence, and not be used in abbreviations.
  • A full stop or other punctuation mark used to end a sentence should be placed inside a closing parenthesis only if the entire sentence is within the parentheses.
  • An Oxford comma should be used in lists where necessary to avoid ambiguity.
  • An em-dash should be used where a sentence is interrupted or in place of a colon.
  • An en-dash should be used in spans of numbers.
  • Spans of dates should be indicated by an en-dash, repeating as little information as necessary.
  • An apostrophe should not be placed between the year and the following ‘s’ when referring to a decade.
  • A hyphen should be used for compound words.

Formatting and language

  • In general, words should only be capitalised if they are at the beginning of a sentence or are proper nouns.
  • Headlines should use sentence case.
  • Italic text may be used for emphasis.
  • Gender-inclusive and gender-neutral language should be used to the extent appropriate.
  • Numbers under 10 should be written as words, unless they are describing an amount of currency.
  • Numbers over nine should be written as numerals unless beginning or sentence or forming part of a proper noun, in which case words should be used.
  • For numbers of four digits or more, a comma should separate each group of three digits, counting from the right-hand side.
  • Currency amounts should be written as numerals and preceded by an appropriate symbol or code indicating denomination.
  • Dates should be written in Day Month Year format, the day and year being numerals, and the month being written in full.
  • If the name of the day is included, it should precede the numerals of the day and not be followed by a comma.
  • When referring to a person, their name should be written in full the first time it appears in an article, and every following time by their surname only (preceded by an appropriate convention or professional title) unless this would result in ambiguity.


  • Where possible, links to sources should be included inline and anchored to the relevant text.
  • Links should be as specific as possible. Link to the specific page of the source, or relevant section of that page.
  • Where a link is not possible, include reference information inline as neatly as possible.
  • References and links should be to a primary or authoritative source.
  • Links to Wikipedia are permissible for general or background information, but should not be used to support specific statements or arguments.


  • Non-original images should, where possible, be sourced from a public domain image site such as Pixabay, or be published under a permissive licence such as a Creative Commons Attribution licence.
  • Unless an image is directly illustrating current news, it should feature an appropriate attribution and link to the source.

Words and phrases

  • When referring to the government of a specific country, capitalise “government”, for example: “the Australian Government” or “the British Government”. When used as an adjective, it should not be capitalised, for example: “government sources” or “pro-government forces”. This also applies for variations such as “the Trump Administration”.
  • The terrorist organisation known as Islamic State, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, etc, should be called “Islamic State” the first time it is used, and abbreviated to “IS” if necessary.
  • When referring to a terrorist organisation, it should be preceded by an appropriate adjective unless obvious from the name, for example:
    • “the attack has been claimed by fundamentalist terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS)”, because it is obvious that it is Islamic, but should be clarified as being a fundamentalist organisation; and
    • “the attack has been blamed on the terrorist organisation that calls itself the Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)”, because it is obvious from the name that it is an Irish republican group.