Style Guide

Title of the Article

Please provide a title of 50 characters or less for your article that describes its content. The title and subtitles should be in title case, and the title should be bolded. Try to include key words from the article itself in your title.

This Is My Title

This Is My Subtitle


The byline will be italicized and will read as follows:

By [First and Last Name]

If the article is a reblog, it will include this line, also italicized, under the byline:

Reblogged from [Blog Name]

Author Bios

You must provide a brief bio of 100 words or less that describes yourself and any relevant information you wish to share. You may include contact information and the URL to your website or LinkedIn profile, if desired. Check out these descriptions to be sure that your bio accurately represents your qualifications. The author bio will appear as follows, after the content of the blog post:

About the author: Jane Doe is a freelance Esperanto to Klingon translator…


Each blog article (with the exception of reblogs) will be accompanied by one image. Authors who wish to choose their own image may do so and provide it to the TSN team when submitting the article. The TSN team reserves the right to choose a different image if we feel that the one you have chosen is not fitting for the blog or for that particular article, or if there is a risk that it infringes on copyrights. If you do not wish to choose your own blog image, the TSN team will do so for you when posting. Images may be selected from,, etc.


Content should be original, unless the post is a reblog, and it should not aim to advertise a particular product or service. Refer to the TSN Post Guidelines for more information about how to write for TSN. Try to include the most important and most relevant information early in the article.



  • When referring to The Savvy Newcomer, The Chronicle, or The ATA Chronicle, use upper case and italics. Also uppercase the following terms: ATA, American Translators Association, Association (when referring to ATA), ATA Annual Conference, ATA Board, and ATA Board of Directors.
  • Uppercase the words Division, Committee, and Chapter only when used as part of an official title (e.g. “Spanish Language Division”; “the division’s recent activities include…”). Uppercase ATA position titles only when preceding a name (e.g. “President-Elect Corinne McKay”; “the president-elect delivered her speech”).
  • Do not capitalize academic degrees unless referring to the specific name of the degree (e.g. “Master of Science in Underwater Basket Weaving”; “he received his master’s degree from Virginia Tech”).
  • Capitalize job titles only when they precede a person’s name (e.g. “Wizarding Manager Jamie Hartz”; “the wizarding manager instructed the students…”).


  • Place a comma before the conjunction joining the last two items in a series.

Lions, tigers, and bears—oh my!

  • When using a dash in place of commas, parentheses, or colons, use the em dash (ctrl+alt+minus) rather than the en dash (ctrl+minus).

Owls—whose eyes are nearly immobile—must swivel their heads in order to see.

  • Place commas and periods inside the closing quotation mark.

“Don’t eat that crayon.”

  • Place colons and semicolons outside the closing quotation mark.

She had told him, “We can’t play baseball today”; however, this was incorrect.

  • Place exclamation points and question marks inside the closing quotation mark only if they are part of the matter being quoted.

“Don’t go near the bat cave!” he shouted.

But you told me not to “pig out”!


  • Avoid large paragraphs, breaking the text up into smaller paragraphs, bulleted lists, or numbered lists whenever possible. Block quotes, tables, and short paragraphs with specific, clear headings can also help to organize your writing more effectively.
  • Use the "Bottom Line Up Front" method for writing paragraphs; this means that the most important information should be at the start of the paragraph, because readers may skip the rest of your paragraph due to short online attention span.
  • Use bold and italics to emphasize key words and ideas; introduce a bulleted  list; introduce new terms; and give short examples. Be consistent with your use of these font formats. Do not underline text except to indicate a hyperlink.
  • Avoid run-on sentences and sentence fragments (unless the latter is called for by the nature of the article).
  • When using abbreviations, always spell out the full term the first time it is used, followed by the acronym or abbreviation in parentheses (e.g. “The Savvy Newcomer (TSN)”). In subsequent occurrences of the term, use the acronym. Commonly-used acronyms like FBI, ATA, GPS, and so forth do not need to be spelled out.


  • Italicize all blog names.
  • Contractions are acceptable as long as they are not used in excess and suit the style of the article.
  • Hyperlinks are acceptable and even encouraged for some posts in order to build credibility and help your readers learn more. Be sure to include the link in-text with a description of what will be found at the link as the text (e.g. "More information about sloths can also be found in this National Geographic article."
  • Spell out numbers from one to ten; for all other numbers, use the numerical iteration.

He ate four pizzas.

She ate 26 pizzas.

  • Use US English conventions unless the post is a reblog that already uses UK or other English conventions. Guest authors are asked to write new content with US English spelling and grammar (e.g. "socialize" rather than "socialise"); is used for spelling references.
  • Use active voice, rather than passive voice, whenever possible.

Alfonso was loved by all.

Everyone loved Alfonso.

  • Style considerations not discussed here will be at the discretion of the author and ultimately the TSN team; the team’s style decisions will generally be based on the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Please keep in mind the Post Guidelines when writing your article.
  • For more tips, visit this post by Helen Eby on Writing for the Web.