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Style Guide

Style Guide

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Our target audience is both academic and non-academic individuals worldwide with an interest in corporate governance and stewardship issues. For the sake of consistency and universality, authors should follow the blog's style guidelines as closely as possible.



We recommend taking advantage of the informal format of a blog article to explore your opinions and insight as much as possible. Unlike academic writing which is written for journal referees and carefully crafted to avoid reaching too far with particular research findings, a blog essay should be more nuanced, exploring your views and including informed judgements. Please feel free to be as measured or provocative as necessary while expressing your insight and expertise, using supporting references as usual (a small number of hyperlinks). Responses to your article will be encouraged and collected for possible future inclusion on the Blog. The rest of this page contains more practical guidance, if needed.

Content should be succinct and easily comprehensible for a range of audiences. The tone of the blog is professional and serious. With the exception of concluding comments, repetition should be avoided. Content should be punctuated with short, clear sentences, making it possible to read in under five minutes. Please ensure that the article is well structured and has a clear message. Originality is also considered favourably. Submissions written with a salacious, promotional, commercial, rambling or baseless tone will not be accepted.



The content of the ECGI blog is published in English. The use of both UK and US spelling is permitted as long as the choice is consistent throughout the article. Please proof-read and spell-check your article before submitting it. Articles with multiple spelling or grammatical errors might be automatically declined.


Avoid abbreviations to the extent that it is possible. If used, they should be commonly recognised by all audiences. It is possible to label an abbreviated term or acronym in your article by spelling it in full once, with the short version in parentheses. Some additional guidelines:

  • 'Example' may be abbreviated to e.g. 'Et cetera' may be abbreviated to etc.
  • Currencies should be abbreviated to the three-letter international standard (ISO 4217) (e.g. EUR / GBP / USD)
  • Units of measurement and time are acceptable abbreviations (e.g. kg, kph, mph, lb, km, mm, am, pm).
  • Dates should be easily discernible to all audiences. We therefore recommend the format DD MONTH YYYY.
  • Countries should be consistently named throughout the article. In the case of the United Kingdom, we recommend spelling it in full the first time it appears and abbreviating it to 'the UK' thereafter. Similarly, for the European Union (EU), the United States (US), and others.
  • In the case of political roles, in a UK context, MP should be used only after spelling out 'Member of Parliament' in full. Members of the European Parliament are MEPS and never Euro-MPs.
  • The word 'Professor' is preferred to 'Prof.' although both are acceptable as long as the selection is consistent. Doctor, in the case of an academic prefix, should always be abbreviated (Dr.).
  • In all cases (regardless of marital status or seniority), the prefix Ms. should be used in place of Mrs. or Miss.

If used, acronyms should be commonly recognised by all audiences. It is possible to label an abbreviated term or acronym in your article by spelling it in full once, with the short version in parentheses. Some exceptions are made for widely known organisations that are universally, perhaps better recognised by their acronym (e.g. NATO, BBC, UNESCO, OECD, NGO, IMF).


The ampersand symbol should only be used if it is part of a name or labelled grouping, for example, 'Ernst & Young', 'Faculty of Arts & Design'.


Please pay close attention to your punctuation. Commas are encouraged to break long sentences, but sentences should be short enough to only require one. The 'Oxford comma', which precedes the word 'and' is acceptable as long as it is used consistently throughout the article.

The use of ‘it is’ is preferred to ‘it’s’. Similarly, ‘it will be’ (not 'it won’t be'), ‘was not’ (not 'wasn’t'), ‘is not’ (not 'isn’t'), and so on. Please note that "its" is a possessive pronoun and should be used accordingly (example: ‘ECGI has a blog and its style guide is very lenient’).


Please pay attention to the capitalisation of proper names (people, organisations, goods, etc.), positions/job titles, subtitles, headlines, and some scientific names. Example: The world is not capitalised, but World War II is capitalised. Days of the week and months should be capitalised. Seasons are not capitalised unless they are in a title (e.g. The Winter Olympics). Only proper nouns and titles should be capitalised.


Bold: The use of bold text is not encouraged and should be used primarily for sub-headings.

Italics: Italics should be used for names of books, journals, and newspapers, such as 'The New Yorker'. Foreign words should not be italicized except for Latin expressions and acronyms (ad hoc, bona fide). It is not necessary to italicise the abbreviations: e.g. and etc.

Underlined text: As users might confuse it with hyperlinks, underline text is not permitted.

Hyphens: Hyphens should be used to join two words when they appear before a noun (to make a compound adjective) and qualify the next, for example, 'mid-summer ceremony'.

Headlines: Headlines should be kept as short as possible (max. 80 characters).

Footnotes: The use of hyperlink references is encouraged instead of footnotes.

Colour: Articles are published in black font. Highlighted text is not permitted.

Hyperlinks: Hyperlinks are used to guide readers to online sources (references). It is recommended that no more than five links be included. Links to commercial content will be removed.

Numbers: With some exceptions, such as for lists or titles, words should be used for the numbers one to ten, and numerals used for 11 upwards, plus percentages and money of any amount.

Spacing: Only one space between sentences is required. The use of paragraphs to break large blocks of text is encouraged, with one line space between paragraphs.

Quotation marks: Both US and UK rules are acceptable as long as the selection is consistent throughout the article. In general, single quotation marks are always preferred except for directly quoting what someone said. Example: The event's theme was 'Corporate Governance', and the first speaker said, "I'm thrilled to be here."


In general, articles should be written in the third person, with minimal use of the words ‘I, we, my, our and you’ (example: ‘the evidence shows’, rather than ‘our evidence shows’). This is a preference and will not be enforced. Some articles, especially in the case of opinion pieces may read more naturally in the first person.

Referring to others, the use of 'they', 'their' and 'them' is preferred instead of 'he, she, his, her, him, her). If in doubt the person’s name or role could be referenced (example: ‘The CEO received…’, ‘Professor Becht stated…’).

Please use inclusive terms such as ‘Chair’ (not Chairman) and be alert for others. Authors should use language that acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Content should make no assumptions about any reader's beliefs or commitments; contain phrases or statements on the grounds of age, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability, or health condition. The use of socio-economic terminology to define, explain or analyse a particular class should also be considered. Examples: Homelessness, people experiencing homelessness (not ‘the homeless’), people living below the poverty line (not ‘the poor’).

Swear words and profanities are not permitted.


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