• Written for someone with no or basic knowledge of the topic.
  • Reflects perspectives from around the globe.
  • Fact-based
  • Objective
  • Older events reviewed for relevance.
  • Overview gives context to events and not just an ongoing list.
  • Provides comprehensive historical context to the topic and events.
  • Provides comprehensive contemporary context to the topic and events.
  • Issue was explained.
  • Most important groups and individuals involved in the issue were mentioned.
  • The most important groups and individuals’ position on the issue was clarified.
  • Discusses the most recent events about the issue.
  • Defines frequent terms (technical, scientific, country- or region-specific).
  • Neutral in tone: presents different views on the issue without favoring one side or the other.
  • Does not reflect a Western or personal bias on the global topic.
  • Does not use editorializing terms such as “Interestingly,” “clearly,” “for better or worse,” “it seems indisputable that,” “political blunder,” etc.
  • Does not use of terms like “so-called” on items not in dispute.


  • Uses quotes sparingly (significantly less than 25%).
  • Only uses quotes when they provide added authority because they present the viewpoint of an expert or someone whose words are uniquely valuable.
  • Quotes include the name of the writer, title of the work, publisher, and date (at the minimum).
  • Quotes are not more than 500 words long.
  • Quotes consist 5% or less of the original material.
  • Quotes are not the central part of the source.

Foreign Words and Transliteration

  • Foreign words and names use Latin alphabet characters with accents (if necessary). Non-Latin characters should only be used when there is no alternative.
  • Uses pinyin spelling for Chinese names.

Names of People

  • Names of individuals given in full on first appearance; shortened in subsequent mention.
  • Names are spelled correctly.
  • Names are spelled consistently.

Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Initialisms

  • Abbreviations are spelled the first time.
  • Abbreviations are used in subsequent occurrences.
  • Organization names used as adjective do not retain the “the”.
  • Abbreviations have no periods.


  • U.S. (when used as an adjective)
  • Country names are not abbreviated when used as nouns (except USSR).
  • Country names are abbreviated when used as adjective.
  • Uses the CIA World Fact Book as standard for country names.
  • Most popular international versions of well-known places and geographic features are used.
  • Countries, cities, or other locations are provided some context unless well-known.


  • Numbers one through one hundred are spelled out.
  • Large round numbers are spelled out.
  • Numbers at the beginning of the sentence are spelled out.


  • Dates: European style (5 March 2007)
  • Avoids abbreviated, purely numerical version of a date.
  • Decades in numerals (1990s)
  • Does not use numerical abbreviations for the first two decades of a century.
  • Centuries: Spelled out, lower case
  • Eras: BCE and CE


  • Uses metric units, with imperial units in parentheses immediately afterward.


  • Uses specific years and dates.
  • Avoids phrases like “recently,” “currently,” or “is expected next year.”


  • Uses serial comma.
  • Comma after short introductory clauses.


  • One space between sentences.

Colonial Language

  • Presents countries as regions and cultures with deep history and positive and negative aspects like other countries. Does not present countries as “victims.”
  • Does not present indigenous peoples as inferior or victimized.
  • Does not present colonizing countries as intellectually or culturally superior.
  • Avoids “settled,” “discovered,” “conquered,” and “developed” when discussing colonizers. Use invaded,” “seized,” and “forcefully colonized.”
  • When appropriate, include information on resistance efforts.
  • Acknowledges, when necessary, that the border of many colonized countries were established by colonizers.