- Avoid sales pitches.
- Avoid introductory clauses. This is a blog post, not a novel. If it helps you to write, do and edit it out later.
- Include only one space between the punctuation at the end of one sentence and the start of a new sentence.
- Spell out words vs. use contractions; e.g., cannot vs. can’t.
- Use acronyms for phrases that are used more than once in an article or chapter.
- Spell out the full phrase followed by the acronym in parentheses the first time it appears in the text; thereafter refer only to acronym.
- You may use acronyms in titles and subheads, unless the words need to be spelled out for clarity.
- Italicize the names of publications. Put titles of articles in quotations.
- Use hyphens to connect compound modifiers.
- An ellipsis is used to denote missing text from a quotation or quoted passage. Use a space, three dots (periods), and a space to create the ellipsis
- The abbreviation “e.g.” means “for example.” The abbreviation “i.e.” means “that is.”
- “Under way” should be two words unless you are referring to a shipping vessel. This gets abused frequently, so we are spreading the word. An FDA investigation may be “under way,” but it is unlikely to ever be “underway.”
- References and footnotes: cite your sources, usually by including a link to the site you have referenced. If you need to write out a reference, use a standard format (MLA is fine).
- Give your post a spell check and grammar review before submitting to GPP.
Resource: We like FDA’s best writing guidelines for patient guides. It articulates how to clearly, succinctly convey your key points. Check out Appendices B, C and D.