Style Guide for ThinkTWENTY20



1.     Title of the piece should be boldface, 14 pt. Calibri; by line 12 point Calibri, no boldface.

2.     Copy should be in 12 pt. Calibri, with single line spacing for the text. No indents for paragraphs, just leave one line of space before new paragraphs.

3.     Subheads should be Calibri 14 – not bf. Next level of subheads should be Calibri 12, italic.

4.     Use bullets for making points, with caps at the beginning and a period at the end. If the bullets run on from an introductory phrase, the text in the bullets should all be lower case and with a semi-colon at the end, except for the final bullet, which would end with a period.

5.     If you have visuals for the text, put them near where they are referred to or say where to find them, i.e., “Table 1 will be found just before the end notes.”

6.     End notes are tricky. If you put in all the information, we will sort it out. The names of articles would be in quotes, names of books in italics. Be sure to say who published the reference, where and when. Give page numbers, if they add information. 

7.     When citing webpages, there should be a period at the end of the endnote that is not part of the webpage name. For example,

8.     Please do not use formatting macros.


Other Grammatical Suggestions:


1.     When using the name of an organization or a popular acronym, please spell out at first use and then add the acronym in brackets. For example, “ …the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).” You can then use IFAC in sentences following. But don’t overuse it – say “the organization” or “the federation,” etc. to vary your sentences.

2.     Use active, not passive, sentence constructions. For example, “CPA Canada just released new guidelines for auditors.” Instead of “New guidelines for auditors were just released by CPA Canada.”

3.     Use of commas: We don’t use serial commas. For example: Anna liked apples, pears, and blueberries. The second comma after the “and” is a serial comma. We would say: “Ana likes apples, pears and blueberries.”

4.     Punctuation generally goes inside the quotation marks, as in the example above. The only exception is the semicolon. Quotation marks precede a semicolon. For example: Anna likes fruit more than those pesky “carbs”; but, then, carbs aren’t all that healthy anyway.

5.     Foreign words are in italics. For example, “Our ideas are au courant all of a sudden.”

6.     “Impact” is still not recognized as a verb. It is a noun. Say “have an impact on” or “affect” or something similar.

7.     On that same note, never start a sentence with “however” unless you mean “in the manner that….” If you are using it for contrast, put it after the phrase denoting the contrast. For example, “All the children are supposed to come home for lunch. Unfortunately, however, it isn’t always possible.”

8.     Many word combinations are hyphenated but only when used as an adjective. Hence: They closed the year-end figures last Friday. BUT Last Friday was supposed to be the year end.

9.     Capitalize words like Chairman Mao had the last word, when referring to a specific person, but not when used generally. For example, “We just elected a new chairman.”

10.  Numbers: 1 to 9 are written out as in “one to nine.” Ten and up are in numbers, i.e., 10, 11, 12 etc. EXCEPT when they are the first word in a sentence. “Thirty people came to the funeral but only 15 stayed for the wake.”

11.  We use en dashes to make a point – for example, this is what I mean. Don’t use m dashes—I really wish you wouldn’t use these long dashes.