Editorial/Style Guide

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TRU-OL Style Guide

This document is especially relevant to instructional development but has been approved for use throughout TRU Open Learning.

Purpose of the Editorial Style Guide

The OLA Editorial Style Guide is part of a series of style guidelines prepared for Open Learning Agency employees and contractors. The purpose of these guidelines is to enhance quality and consistency in OLA documents. The OLA Editorial Style Guide is normally followed in all OLA documents—print, electronic, and broadcast. It is a set of default conventions; i.e., it is followed in all writing and editing functions except where the project leader has specified variations. (Recommendation: Keep the “List of Style Variations” with the project documents, with easy access for ongoing reference.)

Reference Materials


Our editorial style generally follows The Chicago Manual of Style. Refer to Chicago for detailed information, but follow the OLA Editorial Style Guide in the occasional instances in which the styles differ.


For spelling, generally follow the first entry in The Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Refer to Appendix C in this guide for a spelling checklist.

Hyphenation and Usage

For hyphenation and usage, also follow Canadian Oxford.

Metric Usage

For information on metric usage, refer to the Canadian Metric Practice Guide or the Metric Editorial Handbook (Canadian Standards Association).


Headings and Titles

In headings and titles of works such as books, journals, articles, and OLA courses, capitalize:

  • The first and last words
  • Nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and subordinating conjunctions
  • The second word in a hyphenated compound if it has equal force with the first word or is a proper noun or proper adjective
  1. Seventeenth-Century Literature
  2. Make-up Artists

In headings and titles, do not capitalize:

  • Coordinating conjunctions, such as and, but, and or, and prepositions, such as except, toward, and at (unless the conjunction or preposition is the first or last word)
  • The to in infinitives

Course Components

Capitalize in-text references to OLA course components.

  • Unit 1
  • Assignment 1
  • Practice Exercise 1.1
  • Table 1.1
  • Course Guide
  • Figure 1.1
  • Assignments
  • Answer Key
  • Marked Assignment Form (MA Form)


Capitalize the names of companies, ministries, commissions, etc.

  1. the Ministry of Economic Development
  2. the Labour Relations Board
  3. the Chamber of Commerce

Do not capitalize titles following a personal name or used alone in place of it.

  1. the prime minister of Canada
  2. the king of England
  3. the chair of the TRU Department of History


Always spell-out the term in full at the first use, with the abbreviated form following in parentheses.

In Text

Avoid abbreviating in general text unless you have first provided the full term, normally with the shortened form in parentheses. (The names of agencies, unions, associations, etc., are often abbreviated after one spelled-out use.)

  • Donald Smith drove the symbolic “last spike” of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) at Craigellachie, BC. The CPR bound Canada from Nova Scotia to British Columbia.

Periods with

Generally follow the punctuation used with abbreviations in Canadian Oxford. To form the plural of an acronym, just add an s.

  1. NGOs and URLs, not NGO’s and URL’s

Social Titles

Abbreviate social titles, whether with full name or with surname only.

  1. Mr. Mlle Mme

(Note: Also write “Ms.” like an abbreviation, even though it is not a shortened form.)


Use page or pages, rather than p. or pp., in text. (The abbreviations are acceptable in parenthetical references.)

Metric Measure

Never use periods with metric symbols.

  • cm
  • m
  • km
  • L

Imperial Measure

Do not use periods with imperial abbreviations.

  • lb
  • in
  • qt
  • yd

Academic Degrees

Use periods with abbreviations for academic degrees.

  • B.A.
  • M.A.
  • B.Sc.
  • Ph.D.


Abbreviate terms related to time as follows:

  • a.m.
  • p.m.
  • BC
  • AD
  • BCE
  • CE

Provinces, Territories, US States

For the abbreviations of provinces and territories of Canada and US states do not use periods. In any single course or document, follow one style consistently.

  • Alberta AB
  • British Columbia BC
  • Manitoba MB
  • New Brunswick NB
  • # Newfoundland NF Nfld.
  • # Northwest Territories NT N.W.T.
  • # Nova Scotia NS N.S.
  • # Nunavut NT
  • # Ontario ON Ont.
  • # Quebec PQ Que. or P.Q.
  • # Prince Edward Island PE P.E.I.
  • # Saskatchewan SK Sask.
  • # Yukon Territory YT Y.T.



Italicize the titles of books, journals, plays, separately published poems, long musical compositions, paintings, and films.

Course Titles

Italicize complete course titles referred to in text.

  • The course prerequisite is GEOG 2301, Introduction to Human Geography I.

Note: OLA course codes, such as GEOG 2301, do not usually appear prominently (if at all) in documents that will be used by other institutions.

Key Terms

On first use, italicize key terms, technical terms, philosophical terms, and words that are referred to as words unless the team agrees on an alternative approach. For example, boldface type is often selected for Web use (because italic/oblique type is less legible online) and for new terms, especially ones that are defined in the course glossary.

  1. The word creed comes from Latin.
  2. Begin using the philosophy of caring that is characteristic of the caring curriculum.

Foreign Terms

Italicize foreign-language words that you think would be unfamiliar to your intended audience.

  1. Several English words related to belief are derived from credo, which is Latin for “I believe.”


Italicize the sic in [sic]. However, note that we do not italicize certain Latin abbreviations.

  1. ibid. et al. etc.

Genus, Species Names

Italicize the scientific (Latin) name of a plant or animal. Note that the genus name is capitalized, whereas the species name is lowercased.

  • # The genus Smilodan
  • # The species hartiee
  • # Homo sapiens


Italicize letters (including Greek letters) used as mathematical variables. Use boldface for vectors. Do not italicize abbreviations such as log, tan, cos, cot, sec, csc, and sin.

  1. y = –2a cos
  2. p(λ) = det(λI – A)

Note: It is the responsibility of subject matter experts to follow the standard usage in their field. In science and math, for example, subject matter experts are expected to adhere to standard usage for variables and vectors, using a notation system accepted by the development team.



When a period appears at the end of a quotation, place it before the closing quotation marks (except after a single word enclosed by quotation marks).

  • The instructor said, “Please read the next section.”
  • A flaw in this multiple-choice quiz is that the correct answer is usually “c”.


Place a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series of items.

  • The curtains are available in red, green, and yellow.

Normally set off the abbreviations etc., i.e., and e.g. by commas. However, begin with a semicolon if the i.e. or e.g. introduces a main clause. (Never begin a sentence with E.g. or I.e.)

  • She used many figures of speech, e.g., similes and metaphors.
  • She used many figures of speech; e.g., she included similes in almost every stanza.

When a comma appears at the end of a quotation, place it before the closing quotation marks.

Semicolon and Colon

When a semicolon or colon appears at the end of a quotation or parenthetical comment, place the semicolon after the closing quotation marks, parenthesis, or bracket.

  • He said, “Read the next two major tragedies for tomorrow”; i.e., we had to read Hamlet and Othello that night.
  • Study Hamlet and Othello (the next two major tragedies); for example, be prepared to analyze the protagonists’ tragic flaws.

Normally use an initial lowercase letter for the element introduced by a colon. Use a capital only if the element is a formal statement, a quotation, more than one sentence, or an item in a displayed list.

Exclamation Point, Question Mark

Place the closing quotation marks, parenthesis, or bracket before an exclamation point or question mark unless it is part of the quoted material.

  • Did she say, “I want to come too”?
  • “Can I come too?” she asked.


Ellipsis points of three dots indicate an omission of a word or words within a sentence. (Use non-breaking spaces between the dots so that the ellipsis will not be broken at the end of a line.) Also leave a space before and after the ellipsis.

  • “Small communities such as Granville . . . and Cedar Cottage grew into the city of Vancouver,” she wrote.

Ellipsis points of four dots (a period, followed by three spaced dots) indicate the omission of at least one of the following:

  • The remainder of the quoted sentence
Indented line “There comes a tide. . . .”
  • The beginning of the next sentence
  • One or more sentences
  • One or more paragraphs

If the sentence followed by an ellipsis ends in an exclamation point or question mark, that punctuation is followed by the ellipsis points.

  • “What’s become of man’s great extent and proportion, when himself shrinks . . . to a handful of dust? . . . What’s become of his soaring thoughts, when himself brings himself . . . to the grave?”

Quotation Marks

Always use double quotation marks except for quotations within quotations (single marks enclosed by double marks).

  • The instructor said, “Please read the section titled ‘Punctuation.’ ”

In in-text references, use quotation marks for TRU-OL unit titles, section headings in OLA units, journal articles, short stories, short poems, and unpublished theses.


To form the possessive of singular nouns, normally include an s after the apostrophe, even with a name ending in a sibilant. Exceptions include Jesus’, Moses’, and other instances where tradition and euphony favour the omission of the final s.

  • Burns’s poems, but Ulysses’ wife


Underline URLs (uniform resource locators, i.e.,Web addresses).

Avoid breaking a URL at the end of a line. However, if you must break a URL, do not use a hyphen; instead, break the URL after a slash.

  • For further information on citing electronic sources in Turabian, MLA, and APA styles, consult TRU Library website, http://www.tru.ca/library/ .



The general rule for numbers in text that is not scientific or statistical is to spell out numbers up to and including one hundred and use figures for those over one hundred. The major exceptions are year numbers and numbers referring to parts of a book.

  • 56 BC, AD 1988
  • Figure 34 on page 12

However, it may be less awkward to use figures if there are many numbers together:

  • The winning numbers in the lottery were 92, 79, 61, 53, 37, 20, and 12.

Note: Your usage may be different if your course is consistently following a style such as Canadian Press style (for journalism) or APA style (for social sciences and health).

Triad Separator

Except for monetary numbers, use a non-breaking space as the triad separator in numbers of at least five digits. (When possible, a “thin space” is preferable for appearance reasons.) The triads—groups of three figures—are counted on each side of the decimal.

  • 10 000 km, but 3000 km
  • 39 601.341 186 25

Note: The exception is that a space is used in four-digit numbers when they appear in a column with numbers of at least five digits.


Use a comma as the triad separator in monetary numbers of at least four digits.

  • £3,000 $10,000

Note: In French, the usage is different. For example, the dollar sign appears last, and a comma is used to separate dollars and cents.


Place a zero to the left of a decimal if there is no other digit there.

  • 700 g = 0.7 kg

No Apostrophe

Do not use apostrophes when referring to years and other numerals in the plural.

  • ten 5s
  • the 1980s


Use metric measures (rather than imperial measures) wherever possible.



Insert a space between the initials of a proper name.

  • H. R. MacMillan Planetarium

Degree Signs

In references to temperature, do not use a space between the degree sign and C or F.

  • 100°C
  • 212°F

Metric Symbols

Insert a non-breaking space between numerals and metric symbols.

  • 2.5 cm
  • 54 g
  • 50 km/h

Displayed Lists


The preferred form for a list includes an introductory colon, a capital letter at the beginning of each listed item, and no punctuation at the end unless the items in the list are complete sentences or they complete the sentence.

  • Write a brief explanation for each of the terms or names below:
• Natural history
• Plato
• Natural selection
• Homeostasis
  • By the time you finish your work on this unit, you will be able to:
• Take a two-minute timing.
• Spread-centre a word or words.
• Apply the proofreading mark for “delete.”



Ensure that quotations correspond exactly to their originals in wording, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.

Quotation Marks

Within the body of the material, enclose “run-in quotations” within double quotation marks. Use single quotation marks only to indicate a quotation that falls within a quotation.

Block Quotations

Generally use block quotation format for quoted matter of about eight lines or more. Indent the block quotation, and do not place it within quotation marks.


Treat poetry of at least two lines as a block quotation.

When lines of poetry are too long for the column width, indent run-over lines a further two spaces.

Citing Sources

Cite sources in the following ways unless a particular course development team is consistently using a specific style that the students are required to use in their papers. For example, some courses follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA); APA style is outlined in OLA’s Social Sciences Style Guide. Similarly, other courses follow Modern Languages Association (MLA) style, as outlined in OLA’s Writer’s Style Guide.


Avoid using footnotes for citations in courses.

Course Textbooks

Provide full publication information for assigned textbooks for a course (in the Course Guide or equivalent document).

Subsequent references to the textbook may be abbreviated. Use one of the following shortened forms of citation consistently throughout any one course.

  • (Torres & Ehrlich, p. 121)
  • (Modern Dental Assisting, p. 121)

In Running Text

If a course does not have a bibliography: Where few citations are required, full publication information may be placed in parentheses.

  • The em space, as F. Howard Collins describes it, is “the square of the body of any size of type” Authors and Printers Dictionary, 11th ed., London: Oxford University Press, 1979, p. 128).
  • In his Authors and Printers Dictionary, F. Howard Collins gives useful definitions of the em space (11th ed., London: Oxford University Press, 1979, p. 128) and other typographical terms.

If the course has a bibliography: Under the following conditions, list the cited works in full in a bibliography or reference list at the end of the unit.

  • When the name of the author cited is used in the sentence:
In his summary of research findings, Blake (1980) concluded that much research produces only “folk knowledge”; that is, the results are no more than common sense.
  • When the author’s name is not used in the sentence
One study (Blake 1980) found that much of what passes for research actually produces only “folk knowledge.”
  • When a specific page or other division of the cited work follows the date:
One study (Blake 1980, p. 89) found that much of what passes for research actually produces only “folk knowledge.”

Following Block Quotations

Without bibliography: The citation should include author, title, place of publication, publisher, date, and page number.

  • Nothing happened. Nothing! Nothing! as she leant her head against Mrs. Ramsay’s knee. And yet, she knew knowledge and wisdom were stored up in Mrs. Ramsay’s heart. How then, she had asked herself, did one know one thing or another thing

about people, sealed as they were? (Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse, New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1955, p. 79)

With bibliography: If there is a bibliography or reference list at the end of the unit, the following form of citation is adequate:

  • Nothing happened. Nothing! Nothing! as she leant her head against Mrs. Ramsay’s knee. And yet, she knew knowledge and wisdom were stored up in Mrs. Ramsay’s heart. How then, she had asked herself, did one know one thing or another thing

about people, sealed as they were? (Woolf, 1955, p. 79)

Citing Electronic Sources

Works on the World Wide Web are cited in much the same way as printed works. They are included as parenthetical references, and section numbers (such as paragraph numbers) are included if available. For more information, visit the relevant Web pages (provided below—along with examples of MLA and APA style):

(1999, November 19). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Retrieved February 10, 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://www.apa.org/journals/webref.html

Bibliographies/Reference Lists

If it is necessary to use a bibliography or reference list, do so in the following ways unless your course development team is consistently using another style throughout the course materials, e.g., because students are required to use it in their papers.

Citations should follow the academic style chosen for the course. Use only one style of citation throughout the course. Refer to the style guides when creating the citation. TRU Library provides a helpful resource on academic citation at http://www.tru.ca/distance/library/guides/citation_styles.html


For a book, provide the following facts:

  • The names of the author(s), editor(s), or institution(s) responsible for the writing of the book
  • The full title of the book, including the subtitle (if any)
  • The series title (if any) and the volume or number in the series
  • The total number of volumes (of a multi-volume work)
  • Edition (if not the first edition)
  • City of publication
  • Publisher’s name
  • Date of publication
Hodges, John C., and Mary E. Whitten. Harbrace College Handbook. 8th ed. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977.


For an article in a periodical, provide the following facts:

  • Author
  • Article title
  • Periodical name
  • Volume number (sometimes issue number)
  • Date
  • Pages on which the article appears
Morris, Cathy. “Universities of the Third Age.” Adult Education 57 (September 1984): 135–39.

Style Checklist

Please ensure that you are following the Editorial Style Guide. If you need to make changes in response to this style checklist, you will generally be able to use your computer program’s “Replace” function.

  • Spelling checked—without changes to spelling within quotations.
  • Double spaces replaced with single spaces.
  • In print documents (but not Web documents), straight quotation marks (") changed to smart quotation marks (“ ”); straight apostrophes (') changed to smart apostrophes (’). Note: Inch (") and foot (') symbols remain straight.
  • Periods and commas placed inside (before) end quotation marks.
  • Comma placed before the conjunction (e.g., and, or, but) in any series of at least three items (e.g., apples, oranges, and pears).
  • Any variation of the em dash (space hyphen space, space hyphen hyphen space, and hyphen hyphen) changed to an em dash—the long dash—except where an em dash has to be simulated on Web pages.
  • Any hyphen intended to mean “to” changed to an en dash, which is longer than a hyphen but shorter than an em dash (e.g., pp. 54–65, not pp. 54-65 or pp. 54—65).
  • No spaces around en dashes and em dashes.
  • Period or other closing punctuation at the end of every complete sentence, including sentences in graphics and tables.
  • Bullets (• or an alternative that the team is using consistently throughout a course) before items in a list except when numbers are needed to show sequence or priority. (Note: Capitalize the first word after the bullet or number.)
  • Numbers and metric symbols separated by a non-breaking space (e.g., 2.5 cm, 50 km/h).
  • Triad separators consisting of non-breaking spaces in non-monetary numbers of at least five digits (e.g., 10 000 km) unless the project team has agreed to use the comma.
  • Triad separators consisting of commas in monetary numbers of at least four digits (e.g., $10,000).
  • In text, initial capitals used only for proper nouns, names of parts of courses (e.g., Assignment File, Unit 4), and the first word in a sentence or listed item.
  • In graphics, initial capital for the first word of each label.
  • ! OLA course codes capitalized and course titles italicized when used within text (e.g. GEOG 230, Introduction to Human Geography).
  • SOLID CAPITALS changed to upper and lower case except when required (e.g., NASA, IBM).
  • In print documents, italics preferred to bolding for emphasis—and used sparingly. In Web documents, bolding generally preferred to italics.

Spelling Checklist

  • acknowledgement
  • aging
  • anaesthetic
  • analyze
  • appendices
  • archaeology
  • axe
  • behaviour
  • benefited
  • biased
  • cacti
  • café
  • catalogue
  • CD-ROM
  • centimetre
  • centre
  • cheque
  • chlorophyll
  • clamour
  • colour
  • co-operate
  • coordinate
  • coordinator
  • counselled
  • counsellor
  • database
  • defence
  • demeanour
  • dialogue
  • disk (computer)
  • draft
  • e-mail*
  • endeavour
  • enrol, enrolment
  • equalled
  • favour
  • fetus
  • fibre
  • focused
  • focuses (n. & v.)
  • formulas
  • fulfill
  • fulfillment
  • grey
  • home page
  • honour
  • humour
  • icon
  • imperilled
  • indexes
  • instalment
  • instill
  • Internet
  • jewellery
  • judgment
  • kilometre
  • labelled
  • levelled
  • licence (n.)
  • license (v.)
  • lifestyle
  • likeable
  • livable
  • lustre
  • manoeuvre
  • marvellous
  • meagre
  • medieval
  • meter (instrument)
  • Metis
  • metre (measurement)
  • modelling
  • mould
  • naive, naïveté
  • neighbour
  • Net (Internet)
  • odour
  • offence
  • on-line* (adj. & adv.)
  • organize
  • paralleled
  • paralyze
  • per cent
  • plow (n. & v.)
  • practice (n.)
  • practise (v.)
  • pretense
  • program
  • prophecy (n.)
  • prophesy (v.)
  • realize
  • recognize
  • savour
  • signalled
  • sizable
  • skilful
  • smoulder
  • sombre
  • spectre
  • storey (building)
  • sulphur
  • theatre
  • tranquilize
  • tranquilizer
  • travelled
  • traveller
  • tumour
  • usable
  • vigour
  • Web (Internet)
  • Web browser
  • Web page
  • Web site*
  • World Wide Web

This list conforms to The Canadian Oxford Dictionary, which we follow unless the project team decides on alternatives, e.g., to be consistent with the main textbook for a course. Note that spelling of Internet-related words is evolving rapidly, and variant spellings such as email, online, and Website have been selected by some OLA project teamsa

Potential Sections for In-House Editorial Style Guide (TRU-OL)

The Editing Team

[dump from Dropbox]The TRU-OL Editing Team is committed to providing consistent, high-quality service by helping to develop innovative and interculturally appropriate educational materials that meet the needs of students and educators.

The TRU-OL Editing Team provides quality assurance of TRU-OL course documents. The Course Editor checks for clarity, organization, consistency, structure, content, and appropriateness for the learner in language and style.

Editors make corrections and recommend organizational or other modifications in course documents to meet the learner's needs. In this work, they apply TRU-OL academic and legal standards.

Editing may include the following:

● Editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics of style

● Identifying and reporting copyright and legal issues

● Fact checking to confirm the accuracy of content

● Checking validity of URLs and availability of resources

● Rewriting to make the text clearer or more appropriate for the readers and educational purpose

● Researching source materials and style guides

● Identifying and reporting problems to various stakeholders, and suggesting solutions

● Querying and consulting with writers, SMEs, or IDs about errors or inconsistencies, structural concerns, clarity, meaning, and so on

● Problem solving, reporting, coordinating

● Applying citation styles (MLA, APA, Turabian, and so on)

● Checking for consistency of presentation

● Applying a head schedule and formatting (for Production); ensuring consistency of both

● Highlighting and noting design and Production requirements; writing instructions to Production, if needed

● Cross-checking across multiple documents to ensure consistency (e.g., same titles)

● Coordinating various components into proper relations to ensure harmony

Levels of Editing

Copy Editing

Copy editing enhances the consistency and accuracy of the course, which aids the readability and educational benefit for students and educators. Copy editing ensures correct spelling, grammar, formatting, and adherence to house style [link to TRU-OL style sheet?].

Substantive Editing

Substantive editing focuses on the content and structure of a course, and on the suitability of the text for the target readership. Editors consider the appropriateness of course materials on many levels, which may include the clarity of the writing and organization, academic tone, gender neutrality (non-sexist language), cultural and ethnic diversity,[1] and so on.

Stylistic Editing

[adapted from EAC] Stylistic editing involves clarifying meaning, eliminating jargon, smoothing language, and other non-grammatical and non-mechanical line-by-line editing. It may also include checking or correcting the reading or language level to meet readers' needs; editing or recasting tables and/or figures; and negotiating changes with other stakeholders.


[adapted from EAC info]

Proofreading is a close reading of edited manuscripts and/or checking the final version of a print or online document.

Proofreading a print document may include flagging errors in the text; checking the appearance, positioning, and colour of art; and verifying page references, page breaks, and running heads.

Proofreading of online documents may include verifying the appearance and usability of the online document. This can include verifying the computer code and the accuracy of hyperlinks.

TRU-OL Course Development Process

[check list? info graphic? perhaps sourced from JIRA workflow screen?]

1) Pre-Editing Development Process “Where do courses come from” Courses are conceived by … then designed by … then developed by... and then sent to editing team... and then assigned to an editor...

Upon being assigned to a course, the editor’s job is to:

1) Confirm we have the complete set of files, materials, access to publisher’s resources, software …

2) Consult with the Course Lead) to confirm purpose, audience, context, scope, process (how to handle the files, how to report, … For Maintenance courses, this information is generally available from the the Course Maintenance Proposal (CMP) form, which should accompany the files to be edited (or is available from CurriculumServices).

3) Edit to TRU-OL Editorial standards. Please see editing checklist, style conventions, …

4) Confirm IP status, report third-party materials to Intellectual Property Office, resolve, ??

5) Track work and report status through D4P2 (OL wide) and JIRA (internal to editing team)

6) Query problems and exchange feedback on the initial edit with writers, subject matter expert (SME), Course Lead

7) Implement changes as a result of feedback in Step 6; query or exchange feedback as needed

8) Send completed course to the Editing Supervisor for review

9) The Editing Supervisor sends the course to Course Lead for final pre-Production review.

10) Proofread print proof or review in Blackboard (not always done by the editor) Post-Editing “Where do courses go to?” Course Lead sends to Production

To request editing services, please complete the Course Editing Request Form. [link] Send your editing request form and documents to csrequests@tru.ca. [link]

What Is a Style Guide? (Purpose Statement)

[What is a Style Guide? How to use a style guide? Who should use this style guide? Benefits of using a style guide? How does this support the TRU Academic Plan?  ]

The TRU-OL Editorial Style Guide comprises style guidelines for TRU-OL employees and contractors. The purpose of these guidelines is to enhance quality and consistency in TRU-OL courses and documents.

The TRU-OL Editorial Style Guide is normally followed in all TRU-OL courses—print, online, and web.

It is a set of default conventions; that is, it is followed in all writing and editing functions, except where the Course Lead has specified variations, or if a licensed course agreement prohibits such changes.

A style sheet of variations and terms particular to the course is created by either the Course Editor or the Copy Editor and is kept with each editorial project’s documents.

A style is set for each TRU-OL course. To set an example for students and reinforce the use of a particular style, it is recommended that editorial staff use that same style throughout the course materials. TRU-OL courses normally follow either APA or MLA style; however, editors should check with the Course Lead to confirm if a discipline-specific academic style was used in place of APA or MLA.


TRU-OL uses the Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2nd ed., 2004), unless the project team decides on alternatives—for example, to be consistent with the main textbook for a course.

Structure of TRU-OL Courses

TRU-OL courses come in many shapes and varieties, which we call methods of delivery.

  • Distinction between modalities and delivery modes

Reference Style Guides

  • OLA Fairness to All Guide: Communicating with Respect is a set of standards used by IDs and editors in TRU-OL to help identify and avoid bias and stereotype in our communications. Here is the link to the current version:
  • www.tru.ca/library/pdf/tru-ol_fairness_to_all.pdf

  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) (6th ed.): Consult this guide if you encounter a problem not addressed in the TRU-OL Style Guide: http://www.apastyle.org/

  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.): Consult this handbook if you encounter a problem not addressed in the house style guide: http://www.mlahandbook.org/

Style Guides for TRU-OL Students

TRU-OL has designed a set of three academic style guides that are based on and extend or modify some version of MLA or APA Style. Students are directed to use one of these three styles in their course assignments. The guides are described next and are available through TRU Library at: http://www.tru.ca/library/guides/citation_styles.html#bcou.

Other Resources

  • Standardized Course Guide

Writing Conventions

The original plan had file naming conventions under writing conventions, but I suggest we make a new section for file naming (below).

File Naming Conventions

We use file naming conventions in Curriculum Services for syntactical consistency, which in turn supports file management and helps Production to identify how files should be organized. [Could we express this more clearly using plain English?]

How to name TRU-OL files

Guidelines for Typography/Page Design/PowerPoint

  • Sample hierarchy of headings
  • Sample title page

Copyright Guidelines

New policy 02/04/2013: New online copyright clearing form: http://kamino.tru.ca/ipo/register.html The results come directly to IPO team care of the copyright@tru.ca e-mail. This should eliminate the need for filling out other forms.

Editing Best Practices and Style Checklists

  • Media
  • Math type and eq. editor
  • Styles in MS Word
  • Templates
  • Show changes: How to do it? What to keep in show changes & what to accept?
  • Deep links & URLs: link from anchor text and/or provide written URL?
  • Publisher's online materials: computer requirements, open access mandate, log-in instructions, privacy concerns (if any)



To ensure consistency, accuracy, and clarity, the following spelling and standardized terminology lists have been developed.


Include, on the “Web Links” page, a link to TRU-OL Examinations (so students can plan) Include, on the “Web Links” page, a link to Submission Guidelines, as it is referred to constantly in some courses Include, on the “Web Links” page, a link to Grading Systems and Procedures Fix language in grading scale: for example, Grading Systems and Policies is called Grading Systems and Procedures on the TRU web page

Appendix A: TRU-OL Course Formats Information

  • Note: Please see the discussion topic on presenting the appendix info in a wiki or web context.

Appendix B: Editorial Projects Information

Appendix C: Forms

Links to:

  • IP form
  • Media web site
  • CIS (?)

Appendix D: Overview of TRU Open Learning

Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning (TRU-OL) is the Division of Thompson Rivers University (TRU) that specializes in providing learners with flexible learning options, open access to education wherever possible, and a wide variety of course and program choices, meeting the needs of its own students and helping other institutions and organizations meet the open and online learning needs of their communities.

TRU is a public institution mandated by the provincial government to provide the province's open learning programming and an open learning educational credit bank, TRU-OL opens the door to accessible, recognized and quality post-secondary education, providing learning opportunities in print, online, web-based or blended formats, with programs tailored to each student's personal needs and support offered by over 160 highly respected and qualified Open Learning Faculty Members from all over BC.

For a comprehensive description of TRU, Open Learning Division (TRU-OL), see About TRU Open Learning

Appendix E: Work in Progress

TRU Editing Style Checklist

Purpose Statement

Reference Style Guides and Other Resources

Writing Conventions

Copyright Forms and Guidelines

Media Forms and Files


Interculturalizing the Curriculum Resources

Standardized Course Guide Resources

Best Practices

File Naming Conventions

Blurb Cemetary