Contributor Style Guide
Thanks for contributing to the History Hit community. If you’re planning on publishing an article on our website, this style guide helps to keep things consistent. We look forward to reading your article.
General article formatting
Titles of events – we should always use the long version of an event, never its shorthand. Thus: WW1 and WW2 or WWI or WWII aren’t to be used:
By the time it had finished, World War Two was the most destructive war in history and much of Europe lay in ruins.
Dates – No th or st or commas – and in day, month year order:
The German invasion of Polan began on 1 September 1939.
Acronyms – Capitalise and avoid periods: USSR not U.S.S.R or Ussr.
Article submissions should not be less than 500 words.
British English – we’re primarily a UK publication, which should be reflected in spelling.
Paragraphs – generally should not be longer than 5 lines on the standard template. Please split up paragraphs to be less than this on any submissions.
Numbers are written with a thousand separator: 1,000 or 1,000,000.
Subheadings should use the menu box on the left of the text editor (where it says Paragraph with a dropdown). Subheadings should use Heading 2, and any nested points within that should be Heading 3. They should also be written in sentence case.
Linking – try to put links to other articles where relevant. There only really needs to be one link every 200 words.
Using web browser based text editors – avoid directly copying and pasting text from a browser window or the online version Microsoft Word into Visual text editor on WordPress. If this happens, you will add custom code and styling to the site, usually breaking site style conventions. Always copy text into Notepad, which strips out code, then into WordPress.
Past tense – we’re a history website, telling things as they once happened, not as they are happening now – so everything should be written in past tense.
Capitalisation – don’t capitalise unproper nouns. e.g ‘king’ or ’emperor’ generically are not proper nouns, so don’t write it as King. When it refers to a specific person or title, then it should be capitalised:
King John was King of England, but was one of the least successful English kings.
All of our headlines are written in title case. All words apart from stop words are capitalised.
If you are unclear on how to use title case, run your title through: titlecase.com. You must make it clear what the article is about through your headline, stating specific people or events in full. The following rule applies:
The headline text has to stand on its own and make sense when the rest of the content is not available. (Jakob Nielsen)
Thus you must consider your headline appearing in isolation on search engines and social media. Think about:
- How would people search to find this content?
- Why would someone want to read what’s behind this headline over another?
We will always edit headlines to this effect anyway. But if you want to keep a headline, these rules need to be followed.