Style Guide

This section covers the basics of what you need to know about writing style, categorised broadly as under format, grammar, interchangeable words, spellings and punctuation, and citations.

Once you have gathered all the information you need, spend some time on the style of writing. Pay attention to the basics – grammar and punctuation among other things.Different journals have different styles of presentation. Do go through their instructions to authors.

Format

  • Keep the format simple and minimal.
  • Break the monotony of the text by giving short subheadings.
  • When you use reference numbers, ensure that the numbers correspond with the right references and appear in the same sequence as in the text.
  • Use a single column layout.
  • Use a font that is available in all computers. Times New Roman and Arial are widely accepted fonts.
  • Keep alignment to the left. Let the text on the right be ragged, not justified.
  • Insert a page break when you want to start on a new page; do not press the enter key multiple times.
  • While formatting, use a defined tab rather than a string of tabs or spaces.
  • Be consistent in formatting for tables, titles, sub-headings.
  • Send images as separate attachments.
  • Provide a reference list at the end of the text.
  • When preparing the Word document, turn on the ‘always create backup copy’ option and ‘save autorecover option’ to prevent loss of data.1 You can do this by clicking on 'Tools - options - save' and select the two options.