Formatting Your Articles The Voice Handbook
The Voice Stylebook
Morgue (2008-2011)
Morgue (2003-2008)
Indices: Author | Subject

   Every profession uses certain formats for documenting actions. In the communication profession, this often takes the form of a news article, seen below. Different publications may use differing formats, but you will use this format for The Voice and class purposes. Documents not following this format will receive a zero.






MONTICELLO, Ark. -- If you've never taken Sitton's classes, this guide provides instruction.

   Under format in your word processor, select paragraph. Choose align left, set indent to three and both margins to one, then choose double-space. Use normal fonts, not script or fancy type faces. A copy editor - not the writer - typically decides on special typographical effects such as indenting (other than for new paragraphs), bold face, all caps, etc.

   Newswriting calls for things different than many of the composition courses you've taken, e.g. leave one space between sentences (compared to two in academic papers). Use a three-space indent rather than five spaces. Instead of underlining or italicizing titles, AP Style calls for quotes around most composition titles.

   Although different media outlets choose divergent identifying forms, most forms contain three items: name, slug, date. Sitton's classes align that information to the right.

  • On the first page of the copy, about an inch from the top of the page, at the right-hand margin, type Your Name.

  • Return twice, type in a Slug Line, i.e. a one- or two-word identification of your article.

  • Return twice, type in Today's Date, e.g. August 20, 2012.

  • Return twice, align left, i.e. your article begins almost quarter-way down the first page, while subsequent pages will continue from the top of the page. Type a DATELINE -- consulting stylebook if necessary -- and then type a dash.

  • Post-dash, begin typing your article.

   Strive for clean copy, i.e. copy typed neatly and cleanly. Do not divide words at the end of a line, i.e. do not hyphenate words at the end of a line. Do not divide a hyphenated word at the end of a line. When copy exceeds one page in length, write and center -more- at the bottom of the page. On the second and succeeding pages, align right and type in your name, slug line and page number on one line, about an inch from the top of the page. For example:



     Drop down an inch, no more, and continue typing the article.


  • Use inverted pyramid style

  • Lede should contain no more than 35 words

  • Use quote by third paragraph

  • Each page of your copy must be complete. Do not split a sentence or paragraph between pages. Start a new paragraph at the top of each succeeding page. Keep each page separate, complete and fully identified.

  • The first paragraph of your article should start just above the center line of the page on the first page. After that, on succeeding pages, start about four spaces below the slug line.

  • At the bottom of each page, type in the word more if additional copy follows on another page.

  • When you reach the last paragraph of your article, follow it with an end mark, i.e. ### or -30-, which you center on the page


  • After the end mark, list the sources used for your article

  • You must use at least two human sources, providing both a contact number and e-mail for editors to check

  • When using non-human sources, adequately document, e.g. provide page numbers from books, urls for Web sites, etc.


  • After printing your copy, edit with a soft lead pencil. NEVER edit with a pen.

  • Make no unnecessary remarks on the page.

  • If your copy isn't correct, redo it. Penciled apologies are not acceptable.

   Always save your document in Rich Text Format (RTF), which allows it to be read in multiple machines should you have a problem printing.


Comm-Stop (Last accessed: 08/20/2012)

Luther W. "Sonny" Sanders -- University of Arkansas at Little Rock; 501-569-3250;

Jerry Morrow -- University of Tennessee, Knoxville; 865-974-1000;

Donna Edsall -- Muskingum College, New Concord, Ohio; 740-826-8270;

If you don't understand something in this Web note, please e-mail Dr. Sitton.

©UAM Student Publications 2005-2012
Revised 082012