AMUST Style Guide for Writers

Version 2 updated Thursday 18 July 2019

 

style guide or style manual is a set of standards for writing, formatting and designing a specific document, a book or set of regular publications.

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AMUST Style Guide and AMUST Style Checklist

AMUST has developed a comprehensive style manual AMUST Style Guide (ASG) and a summarised version, AMUST Style Checklist (ASC), to be used for writers for their online submissions on AMUST multimedia platform.

AMUST Style Guide (ASG) for writers, contributors, columnists as well as advertisers establishes standard style requirements to ensure best practice in communication and consistency on AMUST multimedia platform including monthly print/digital newspaper, weekly Email Newsletter, Website and Social Media.

ASG/ASC provides help to AMUST writers to upload their articles with images using consistent and precise language, abbreviations, layout and formatting for minimum editing and acceptance by the editors resulting in the prompt publication of their submissions.

Typical structure of a media article

AMUST is a positive news platform and general media articles for submissions need to use a writing style different from the structure used in essay writings in schools or universities or writings for publication in journals.

Conventional writing structure use introduction, starting with the premise, working through the methods and discussion and coming to a conclusion while media articles usually start with the conclusion and the main message that needs to be conveyed.

The general structure of an AMUST media article should be as follows:

  • Hook/Headlines: Something interesting to grab the reader to make them want to keep reading.
  • The First Para/ Main point of the news story: What (main news), When (date), Where (venue), Who (main characters) and possibly How.
  • Timeliness: what is happening to make this a story now, relevance.
  • History: Background of the news story.
  • Future: Impact of the story on the community.

Tips for writing for AMUST

  • Keep in mind that AMUST articles are published promptly on AMUST website, promoted via the weekly eMail Newsletter every Friday and printed in the monthly paper/digital edition usually on the first Friday of each month.
  • Since AMUST is a news platform, write and submit news items promptly for publication so that the news does not get stale.
  • Give facts, figures and quotes accurately expressing people’s opinions and not your opinion as a journalist/reporter.
  • Think of what is already known and what’s new you want to add and explain.
  • Keep in mind the difference between a news article reporting on what’s happening and an opinion piece, your views on the news.

Combined writing for the web as well as for print/digital newspaper

  • Be aware that your articles will be published on-line on AMUST website, promoted through Email Newsletter and published in the printed newspaper as well as transmitted as a digital version of the printed newspaper.
  • Use clear, coherent language, be brief and to the point, polish your first draft and proofread it before uploading and submission
  • Ensure that your articles follow AMUST Style Guidelines and check against AMUST Style Checklist re convention for dates, punctuations, abbreviations and Islamic terminologies.
  • A typical news story should be around 350 words while an opinion piece should be around 500 words max.
  • Always submit articles with images, photos, graphics of which limited numbers will be selected for the print edition while as many as possible for the on-line version.
  • Headline and subheadline should be short with keywords and the most important information should be in the first paragraph, pyramid style writing.
  • It is best to break your article into short paragraphs, most of the time one para with one sentence only creating white space between columns and paragraphs for easy scanning/reading.

Specific writing conventions used in AMUST 

Headlines/ section headings

Sentence case not title case: Trump’s provocations are a threat to world peace not Trump’s Provocations are a Threat to World Peace.

First Para

In bold: With most important information; main item with facts, date, place.

Use of Bold/Italics

Avoid bold in the text of the article: Use italics only when necessary like for foreign words.

Date

Use the sequence day–month–year: Wednesday 28 January 2013 [no commas].

Gregorian Calendar: CE or BCE not AD or BC; Islamic Calendar AH and not H or Hijrah.

Century: 21st century     15th century.

Time

Not capitalised: 8 am or 8.30 pm [not AM or PM; no stops in am or pm]

Use numbers and not words: 10 seconds; 5 minutes; 24 hours; 14 days;1 week 2h40min

Australian time zones

Jurisdiction Australian standard time  Daylight saving time
Zone Time (UTC+) Zone Time (UTC+)
ACT AEST         10 AEDT        11 

Spellings

As much as possible Australian English: Avoid American English spellings.

Title of People

Use Mr for males and Ms for females avoiding Br, Sr, His Excellency, The Honourable etc.

Do not use full stops: Mr not Mr. ; Z I Ahmad not Z. I. Ahmad; MBBS not M.B.B.S.

Quotations

Quotes should be with within quotation marks: He said, “…….” or “……..,” Mr Ahmad said.

Copyright text must be within quotation marks. Plagiarism is not acceptable.

Islamic Terminologies

Use English script only: Avoid Arabic/other script especially for the print version of the paper.

Use italics for Islamic words not commonly used in the English language.

Keep simple spellings for transliterated words without apostrophe or dashes.

For Allah don’t add any additional words.

For Prophet’s name, Mohammad use (s) for Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam: Mohammad (s).

For names of other prophets use (a) Alaihissalam Musa (s).

For Sahaba use (r), Radiallah anh: Ali (r).