refer to The Oxford Writers’ Dictionary or
the Oxford English Dictionary. We prefer to
use UK English spellings.
Dates are written 1 March 2004, 3
December 1975. Do not use 1st, 3rd, 5th,
nor March 1 2004, December 3, 1975.
range of dates is written 1899-1962, but
1963-65 is also acceptable.
Use 19th century, not nineteenth, and
3rd century not third century.
1990s not 1990’s.
Please write out numbers one to nine in
Numbers 10 and onwards go into figures.
Use 3,000 not 3000, ie with a comma
Use numbers in figures only when
followed by % eg 7%.
One to three months but 10-14 years,
nine to 13 ft.
Abbreviations and acronyms are used
without full points eg UK, USA, BBC, AG,
Mr, HM, EC, Dr. Only use & in trade
names: otherwise use and.
Note: eg, ie, para, p, pp and etc. None
of these take any punctuation but all
should be followed by a single space. A
comma should separate ‘eg’ and ‘ie’ from
the preceding clause.
not begin a fresh sentence with these
abbreviations: write them out in full.
Where terms, bodies, etc are
abbreviated, it must be clear to the
reader. Our usual convention is to refer
to the term in full the first time it is
mentioned in a chapter, followed by the
abbreviation in brackets. You may then
use the abbreviation throughout the rest
of the chapter.
Please use abbreviations after figures, eg 7
m, 9 km, 6 lbs, with a space before.
Avoid using capitals too much, but please
note that we do use them for eg European
Community, State, Parliament.
Use italics for foreign words eg ibid,
op cit, per se.
Use italics sparingly in the text for
emphasis, and do not use bold type.
Use single quotation marks only, except
for a quotation within a quotation,
where double quotation marks should be
material of more than three or four
lines is quoted, it should be indented,
with a line space above and below to set
it off from the surrounding text.
Note: No quotation marks are needed for
Avoid too many short paragraphs of only
two or three sentences: these look
abrupt and confusing on the page. Also
avoid overly long paragraphs.
Keep sentences short, clear and concise.
Avoid too many of these except where
Code them with bullet points, (1), (2),
(3) or (a), (b), (c).
Keep small Roman numerals eg (i), (ii),
(iii) to an absolute minimum.
Use a tab between the bullet and the
use three dots only, with a space at either
side ie ‘ ... ‘.
Introduce hyphenation only to avoid
ambiguity, and be consistent.
en-rule (ie, an extended hyphen) should be
used to split sentences (when it is used
with a space either side - as shown here)
and figures, eg pp 59-60.
References to the world wide web
When referring to an internet address
beginning ‘www.’ do not include
Where the address does not begin ‘www.’,
do include ‘http://’