- Written for someone with no or basic knowledge of the topic.
- Reflects perspectives from around the globe.
- 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.
- 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.