WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS : MEDICINE : HEALTH : UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: United States Environmental Protection Agency. EPA Communications Stylebook

David P. Dillard
 

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WRITING AND WRITERS: STYLE AND WRITING MANUALS :

MEDICINE :

HEALTH :

UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:

United States Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA Communications Stylebook

http://www2.epa.gov/stylebook

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EPA Communications Stylebook


Last revised 2009

EPA's Office of Public Affairs (OPA) developed this Stylebook in 2008 and published it in early 2009. OPA has no plans to update this Stylebook. All communications products must conform to the guidance included in this edition. For topics or rules not addressed by this Stylebook, consult:

the AP Stylebook first

and

the U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual second.

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Checklist for Product Development
check list graphic

Nine steps to publication

http://www2.epa.gov/stylebook/epa-communications- stylebook-basic-checklist-product-development

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/ppx4r3d

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EPA Communications Stylebook: Basic Checklist for Product Development

Last revised 2009

http://www2.epa.gov/stylebook/
epa-communications-stylebook-basic-checklist-product-development

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http://tinyurl.com/ppx4r3d

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1. Develop Your Concept

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Develop your communications product concept. Consult with your office's communications staff, your Product Review Officer and OPA. Early consultation leads to a better product every time.

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Questions to consider: What are you trying to communicate? What are you trying to get your audience to do? Identify your top messages. Through what means will you communicate your message and get people to take action? The Web? A podcast? A brochure? A promotional item?

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Determine if similar EPA products already exist and can simply be improved upon. For example, if your product is intended for teachers or students, check the Environmental Education Resource Center on the EPA Intranet.

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View suggestions and helpful hints to help you avoid mistakes frequently corrected during product review.

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2. Identify Your Audience

Determine the audience you wish to reach.


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Are you targeting scientists, businesses, mothers, gas station owners or the general public? Your product should suit your target audience.

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How prepared is your audience to use your information? What do they need to learn in order to use the information effectively? What do they already understand?

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Learn more about structuring your communications for your audiences.

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3. Develop a Distribution Plan

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Develop a distribution plan that will best get your product to your target audience.

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Distribution can be more complex and expensive than expected depending on the type of product you selected. For example, a multi-page full color brochure mailed to multiple stakeholders will be more costly than a product intended for the Web.

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Find out more about distributing different types of communication materials

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4. Get a Cost Estimate

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Get approval from your manager and obtain funding for the development of the product, printing or production, and for distribution. Consult with your manager and Contracting Officer/Contracting Officer's Representative if your product needs to be created by a contractor. Develop a cost estimate and get approval from your manager.
5. Concept Product Review

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Continue working with your communications staff and Product Review Officer to enter your concept description into PROTRAC. You must have OPA approval before proceeding further and/or incurring product development costs.

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View a full explanation of the Product Review system

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6. Use the Stylebook

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Design and develop your communications product using the EPA Communications Product Standards Stylebook and related guides.

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View Appendix A: Bibliography and Sources for this Manual

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7. Obtain a Publication Number

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Contact the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) for a product number to identify the originating office, the type of product, such as fact sheet or booklet, the date of publication and other factors.

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Learn more about processes and forms for print publishing

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8. Draft Product Review

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Enter your final product into the PROTRAC for feedback. You must obtain OPA approval prior to moving forward on production or publication.

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View a full explanation of the Product Review system

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9. Publish

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This step will vary depending on your communications medium. For a Web product, consult your Web team member and your Product Review Officer. For audiovisual products, you will likely shoot your video or record your audio file at this time.

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For print products, complete a printing request on EPA Form 2200-9 (available electronically on WebForms) Work with the HQ or regional EPA printing offices where you will receive professional assistance to determine the best printing practices and options for your product.

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Tip: If you are planning a direct distribution from the printer to regional offices or other addresses, include a listing of names and complete addresses and the number of copies going to each location.

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More information on this topic is available in the Graphics Guide part of this Stylebook

http://www2.epa.gov/stylebook/epa-communications-stylebook-graphics-guide

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Graphics Guide

Stacks of Printed Papers

http://www2.epa.gov/stylebook/epa-communications-stylebook-graphics-guide

Color vs. black and white, printing requirements, paper stocks, use of government bankcard, and more!

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EPA Communications Stylebook: Graphics Guide

Last revised 2009

On this page:

Overview
Color Printing vs. Black and White
Requirements and Printing Regulations
EPA Policy Regarding Paper Stocks
Paper Savings and Standard Paper Sizes
Use of Government Bankcard for Printing/Photocopying
In-House Copy Center Duplication
Peer Review
Anchor Elements
Types of Communication Materials
Processes and Forms for Print Publishing
Technical Guidelines for Print Publishing
Key Printing Questions
Top 10 Things You Can Do to Create Better Printed Documents

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Content Sample:

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Overview

This section of the EPA Stylebook describes standards for the creation and development of graphic elements of most EPA public information materials. In covering most of the categories of graphic elements, we, in turn cover a broad range of considerations and activities associated with producing those elements. Specifically, this section includes:

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Such basic aspects of graphics work as typography, layout and composition

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More advanced levels of work, such as color scheme, appropriate uses of charts and graphs and effective employment of illustration and photography

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The relationship of design to overall message content and the message content of design, itself

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On many levels, the general category of graphics work involving logos and related symbols, especially the use of official EPA identifiers in our own communications and those done in cooperation with other governmental and private organizations

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Design is, itself, communication and carries a message. While good graphic design is aesthetically pleasing its function is to communicate, not simply decorate or attract attention to verbal content. In typography, graphic considerations literally cannot be separated from text, but in all respects verbal and design elements should work together. Variously they complement or supplement a message that might not be conveyed by either element alone.

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Perhaps least interesting, but most important, is that good graphic design, generally following an appropriate style, is a preeminent factor in the economics of communication. Good graphic design saves money in the direct costs of production and the often much higher costs of time and labor.

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As with most of this stylebook, the information in this section is helpful in itself, but also should be read in connection with the EPA Communication Product Review process.
General Guidelines

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Sometimes applying general principles can be a bit of a balancing act, but there is no real conflict among any of the general guidelines for actual production work in our communications. They are:

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Effective communication the totality of this manual is about that

Efficiency / cost efficiency

Good quality / best professional practices

Ecological soundness including sustainable production practices

EPA Administrative Orders and Policies (detailed all throughout this manual)

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Government Printing Office (GPO) rules and guidelines (NOTE: GPO Stylebook is being revised through 2008-2009. EPA is not obliged to follow it in all cases, but as a matter of policy follows closely because it represents an excellent compendium of good production practices.)

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By federal government standards EPA does not have a large budget, so considerations of cost-efficiency and cost-effectiveness must be relatively high on our scale of priorities.

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In sheer numbers, most EPA communications products tend to be print materials. No medium is better than another in any general way. The best medium and format is the one that is suitable and appropriate to convey its message to its target audience in an effective and efficient way. Print is an important focus for our work.

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Internally, the Office of Public Affairs and the Printing Management Office closely coordinate their work through the Communications Product Review process and the EPA Printing Guidelines. As an EPA communicator, you should know the procedures and processes of those offices before undertaking a public communication print project.

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Other media have fewer broadly established requirements in federal agencies. Largely the requirements for EPA communications are the same as the professional and commercially accepted standards of the various media from promotional products to broadcasting to exhibits and displays.

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Color Printing vs. Black and White

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Many color considerations from a production standpoint are based on the assumption that materials are produced on a printing press. Most large quantity printing jobs are must be done that way. Color considerations from a design standpoint, or for small quantity jobs (e.g., color photocopying) might not apply, at least not as strictly, or in the same way. A tricky element that is involved here is that work which begins in desktop publishing software, perhaps intended as low-volume production, might become more involved, difficult and costly if you decide to take it to large-scale production later.

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Using color is an important consideration for large quantities that are to be run on a press. In those circumstances the cost is usually much higher to produce in color. The simple addition of one or two colors will increase costs noticeably. The use of full color (See glossary: process color, four color) will raise costs even more noticeably.

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A principle that should apply from a design standpoint that can affect production significantly is that the use of color should promote effective communication. Mere cosmetic or decorative qualities are among the very least important reasons to employ color. Where they are the only reasons, to the extent that they increase costs, they are reasons to choose a less colorful design.

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Note that standard black (or blue) ink is a color, so, for example a two color job would be black plus one other color; not two colors in addition to black or blue.

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See Section 18-2 of GPO s Printing and Binding Regulations for categories of multi-color printing as having demonstrable value to the government.

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As a rule of thumb, if an audience is seeking the information contained within, and needs no further motivation to read it all, nor direction to specific parts of the document, then one color probably will suffice. That is a simple principle that applies mainly to instances in which color is used simply to guide the eye of the reader and does not function in terms of content, as such. If color is needed for clarity, identification, or efficiency, or if the audience is likely to want the information but unlikely to seek it out, or read it easily then two or more colors could be appropriate, especially if the document concerns public health or consumer issues.

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This rule-of-thumb guidance is not official policy and should not be relied on without confirmation from EPA s Printing Management Office.

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If more than two colors of ink are required on a page, a written justification is to be submitted to the Agency printing officer citing the applicable GPO criteria described above.

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Requirements and Printing Regulations

Use of Employee Photographs

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Photographs of EPA staff should be reproduced when they:

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Relate entirely to the transaction of public business, and are in the public interest

Relate directly to the subject matter and are necessary to explain the text

Do not serve to aggrandize any individual

Are in good taste and do not offend proper sensibilities

Are restricted to the minimum size necessary to accomplish their purpose

Illustrate employees actually engaged in an act or service related to their official duties

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Unless a publication is specifically designed to highlight employees (such as an awards ceremony program), mug shots of executives, managers or staff should not be included in publication. Employees may be photographed, as appropriate to the message, in performance of their duties. In fact, that can be an excellent message in the right context.

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Despite the restrictions cited above, the use of illustrations to enhance the communication of information in publications is encouraged. The following guidance should prove beneficial.

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When using one or two colors, photographs especially photographs of people look best if printed in black ink

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When using multi-color printing, all colors must be specified as proportions of process inks (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key or black) and not using numerous Pantone ink colors; specifying with Pantone ink numbers could result in using more than four colors of ink

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Keep illustrations as simple and uncluttered as possible

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Electronic-Design Print Publishing

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The goal of this section is to provide best practice guidance to originators who create publishing products via desktop computers. No specific instructions are given for creating the perfect electronic file, but suggestions are provided to simplify the process and minimize potential problems. The art and science of producing printed publications using commercial offset lithography or the digital method requires different structured files. As an example, the colors produced by these reproduction means are very different and often limited compared to desktop printing. Understanding the requirements and limitations of commercial reproduction will definitely affect the final cost.

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Platform: Electronic files should be created using either the Macintosh OS 10.2 system or later or Microsoft s Windows OS 2000 or XP. The Macintosh is the primary platform used by the print publishing industry and thus using this process often results in fewer problems and typically with lower overall costs. Either platform is acceptable, however.

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File Submission: Files can be submitted on any commercially-established media, such as a CD or DVD. If submitting a DVD, make sure that the format of the DVD drive used by the end user is the same format as the DVD drive used for recording. Note: DVD-RW drives only record on R and RW discs, and DVD+RW drives only record on +R and +RW discs. Make sure your blank DVD disks are compatible with your drive. The minus format is the most popular format for Windows users and is almost universally accepted by Mac users as their standard DVD recordable format.

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Commonly-Accepted Publishing Software: The following programs are the preferred programs of the commercial printing industry. Files created using the following software output with fewer problems than files created in programs not designed for print publishing (such as word-processing software, i.e., Microsoft Word ). Other programs could be used, but unless they support prepress functions (e.g., CMYK and Pantone color, trapping, bleeds, crop marks and color separation), problems will likely occur. Originators who use programs other than those listed below should supply high-resolution, press optimized PDF files (press quality, CMYK, and embed all fonts when saving the files as a PDF) and also include the native files on the CD.

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Macintosh Platform

Page Layout: Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, Adobe FrameMaker

Drawing/Illustration: Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia FreeHand

Image Manipulation: Adobe Photoshop


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Windows Platform

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Page Layout: Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe FrameMaker

Drawing/Illustration: Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Macromedia Free Hand

Image Manipulation: Adobe Photoshop


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File Formats for Print: Furnish files in native format. For example, using a Windows version of InDesign, the file will be saved with an .indd extension. Using the save feature of most publishing software creates a native application file.

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If the Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) file format is used, the submitted file must be created properly. The PDF must contain embedded fonts, graphics, color data and layout structure. Also, design elements must contain appropriate information, e.g., color space, fonts, resolution, in order to be output properly. PDF files created specifically for web use might not output well for print publishing due to resolution, color and other issues. PDF files for press output must be created using the appropriate settings in Acrobat Distiller, not through the PDFWriter. PDF files created using the PDFWriter are not acceptable for print publishing. Information for instructions on creating high quality PDF files can be found at many Web site, including Adobe, PDFZone and PlanetPDF. Information is also available from GPO s Institute for Federal Printing and Electronic Publishing. Also, please note that bleeds cannot be obtained from a PDF file.

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PostScript files, commonly referred to as print-to-file or print-to-disk, are similar to PDF files in that they are designed as self-contained, platform independent, print-driver files, e.g., contain fonts, graphics and layout structure. The majority of GPO s vendors prefer not to receive PostScript files because they often contain output limitations specific to the print driver used to create the file. Also, if PostScript files are submitted, EPA will be responsible for any PostScript errors encountered during output.

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File Formats for Deliverables: Whenever a document has been printed through GPO, EPA can request that a digital deliverable be furnished to the Agency. This deliverable can be formatted for online use or for future reprinting. It is up to the originator to determine the desired format for the digital deliverable. Sample formats are listed below.

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Hypertext Markup Language (HTML): This is the most common format for creating web pages. HTML can be exported from most programs used for layout. HTML files are readily searchable and are best use for publications that do not require a high degree of document structure (e.g., formatting, graphic fidelity and page structure) and are not required to visually match the printed version. If links, formatting, graphics/animation, hand coding, etc., are required, these features can be time consuming and costly.

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Acrobat PDF: This is the most common format for presenting documents online or subsequent reprinting. PDF files are relatively easy to create and when printed to an office printer, product design and page formatting are maintained. However, the type of digital deliverable PDF that is requested is determined by the desired use press or online.

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Press PDF: A press-optimized PDF should be requested for subsequent printing. These PDF s contain embedded fonts, graphics, color data, and layout structure.

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Online PDF: A screen/web optimized PDF is used for online viewing or printing from an office printer, NOT FOR PRESS.

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Fonts: PostScript Type 1 fonts is the printing industry standard. The entire font set (Macintosh printer and screen fonts; Windows .pfm and pfb files) should be provided. Only include the font sets used in the job and not your entire font collection. Font files that contain features such as kerning and tracking MUST be provided. Fonts such as True Type and OpenType fonts may be used, but most commercial print vendors prefer files using PostScript fonts. Do not mix font types.

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One way to avoid font problems with graphic files is to convert all type matter in the graphic to either outlines, paths or curves, depending on the software. Keep in mind, however, that once converted to outline/path/curve, text is very difficult to edit.

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Printing in Color: Any file requiring four-color process separations must be submitted in CMYK only. Do not submit color files in RGB. Any file requiring spot-color separations should be defined by the proper spot-color Pantone number and identified as spot colors for output. When printing in grayscale black ink, any color information should be removed.

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Note: When RGB (red, green, and blue pixels) is converted to CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) for process printing, a color shift will occur. RGB colors are used for electronic display (computer monitor, TV, projector screen, etc.), NOT FOR COMMERCIAL PRINTING. Word processing software such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Corel WordPerfect use RGB and are not designed for CMYK output.

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Note: When specifying Pantone spot colors, be aware that coated Pantone colors are not the same as uncoated Pantone colors. Since EPA only uses uncoated paper, be sure that all specified Pantone numbers are uncoated, i.e., Pantone 462U and not Pantone 462C.

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Color visuals that are furnished with the electronic files which have been output from office printers are not a good representation of the final printed product due to the physical differences between ink in traditional printing; inks, toners, and dyes in digital printing; and the colorants used in desktop color printers and their calibration. Also, printing proof colors might not be a good representation of the actual colors on the printed product due to the final product being printed on recycled paper.

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Scanning Images for Digital Printing: Scan all images (color and grayscale photographs) at a resolution of 300 pixels per inch at an input-to-output size ratio of 1 to 1. For example, a 3 x 5 inch original photograph that is to be printed at 3 x 5 inches should be scanned at 300 pixels per inch, where the same photograph to be printed at 6 x 10 inches should be scanned at 600 pixels per inch. All other enlargements and reductions are similarly proportional. Scan all line art as bitmap images with a resolution between 800 and 1200 pixels per inch, based on the same 1 to 1 ratio. Scanned images should be saved as uncompressed TIFF or EPS files. Images should be cropped, rotated, and scaled prior to placement into the page layout file, which is best accomplished in the image manipulation program, not in the page layout program. Also, working in layers whenever possible with raster images makes corrections much easier to achieve.

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If using a digital camera to capture images for print publishing, avoid using the compression schemes built into digital cameras. If compression is necessary, use the lowest possible (highest quality) compression option available. Always save images from digital cameras as TIFF files before editing and submitting for printing. Also be aware of color shifts with images from digital cameras. The RGB color data (JPEG) could cause the on-screen view and color printer appearance to differ from the printed output. Requesting contract color proofs should show any color shift problems.

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Linking Files: All files must be linked properly. If using Adobe InDesign, use Place to establish external links. Using the Edit menu to cut and paste graphic files between programs could yield unacceptable results cutting and pasting color images from Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, can cause output problems such as color shift and system crashes. If graphic files have been modified in an originating program after placement in the page layout file, they MUST be updated (relinked).

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Proofing: The furnished visual (output from desktop/office printer) is used as a general guide, not as a proof. It is not a suitable proofing medium due to the physical differences between: (1) ink in traditional printing; (2) inks, toners, and dyes used in digital printing; (3) colorants used in desktop color printers; and (4) calibration of the color printer. If the furnished files contain any errors, print vendors are not obligated to verify that their output will match the supplied visual. For this reason, it is wise to get proofs for all jobs supplied on electronic media.

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Extraneous Images: Do not include non-imaging files or files that are for position only on the production disk. If they have been included, be sure to indicate that they DO NOT PRINT. Non-printing images can cause confusion and might cause the file to fail.

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Gradients: To avoid problems with banding, gradients should be properly created. Gradients should generally range from 3 to 97 percent for offset printing (avoid using 0 and 100 percent), where digital printing requires a higher percentage in the highlight.

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Tint Screens: Never use fine-detail tint screens (under 5 percent). Fine-detail screens appear acceptable when imaged to desktop printers (300-600 dpi) but virtually disappear when imaged at higher resolutions. As a general rule, start with 10 percent and increase in increments of 10 percent. If possible, avoid any screen higher than 90 percent.

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Rules: Never use rules that are less than .5 point. Hairline rules appear acceptable when imaged to desktop printers (300-600 dpi) but virtually disappear when imaged at greater resolutions.

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Bleeds: Bleeds are to be provided by the originator and must be included in all files that image off the final printed page. As a general rule, allow 1/8 inch minimum for any bleed.

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EPA Policy Regarding Paper Stocks

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All printing paper products used by EPA are to meet the standards of the New Environmental Standards for EPA Paper and Publications, which was set forth by the Deputy Administrator in his memorandum of January 2001. This standard for paper requires the use of 100 percent recycled paper with a minimum 50 percent post consumer fiber content. Printing will be done using vegetable-based inks and process chlorine free paper. The Deputy Administrator also directed that all EPA internal and external publications prominently display the recycled logo with a statement indicating the recycled paper content, processed chlorine free, and using vegetable-based ink. EPA documents and publications must be printed on paper stocks that can easily be recycled. Therefore, litho-coated, matte-coated, and dull-coated paper stocks are not acceptable for use in EPA documents.

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Paper Savings and Standard Paper Sizes

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Because of the costs of paper, shipping, mailing and printing, in most cases copy should be single-spaced. All publications should be printed front and back. Consider appropriate paper-saving techniques, such as combining tables and figures with text on one page and reduce and crop figures and photographs to a smaller size consistent with clarity. The Joint Committee on Printing established standard paper sizes for government printing. A few sample sizes mandatory for EPA publications include: 17 by 11 inches, 8-1/2 by 11 inches, 5-1/2 by 8-1/2 inches, and 8 by 3-5/8 inches. These sizes can be cut from larger sheets with a minimum of waste resulting in cost-savings publications.


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Writing Guide

Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, Vocabulary, Syntax and Usage

http://www2.epa.gov/stylebook/epa-communications-stylebook-writing-guide

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On this page:

Introduction - Writing Style in General

What is the EPA Writing Style?

Abbreviations, acronyms, ampersands, bylines, credits, capitalization, disclaimers, numbers, spelling - one word or two, and more.

Punctuation Pointers

Grammar Guides

Structure and Style Recommendations

How to Structure Communications

More Elements of Style

Process Suggestions

The Substance of Style

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Content Sample

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Introduction - Writing Style in General

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This section of the stylebook outlines EPA's writing style. Generally, writing style comprises grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, syntax and usage. Stylebooks can go beyond that, into narrative style, even identifying organizational and human values to be reflected in communication.

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In our basic style, EPA employs the significant work that has been done for us and for millions of other readers and writers by the Associated Press (AP), one of the largest communication services in the world. In the great majority of cases regarding grammar and usage, EPA follows the AP Stylebook, which you can view online in HTML or PDF format.

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Our rights agreement with AP strictly prohibits EPA staff from downloading hard copies or individual pages of our on-line AP Stylebook. It is a large volume with over 700 pages, and you can purchase hard copies from the AP on-line shop or at a local bookstore. Since it is a relatively low-cost item, the AP Stylebook can be obtained through the small purchase authority of most EPA offices. You are of course free to peruse the manual online; you simply cannot download or print the book. We hope that this much shorter and free EPA stylebook can act as a "cheat sheet" for you.

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In our academic courses, many of us learned writing styles from such widely used manuals as Strunk and White, Turabian and the Modern Language Association. These are the manuals that taught us the style commonly called standard English.

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Others of us were guided in academic and professional careers by respected styles such as those of the American Psychological Association, American Bar Association, American Nurses' Association and a number of others. Those styles convey useful ideas and are employed well beyond the immediate membership of their groups, but are not broadly oriented to the wide variety of public interests and audiences that EPA must reach.

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A final point about style in general: It is not a restriction on creativity. The most creative organizations in the world have style manuals. Many of them run hundreds or thousands of pages. The most successful book publishers in New York, animation studios in California, and package designers in Chicago have style manuals. They are designed to help organizations communicate in a clear and consistent way. Staying on the road, after all, does not keep you from arriving at the destination.

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What is the EPA Writing Style?

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Short answer: Associated Press (AP)

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Longer answer: Keep reading

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This section of the EPA Stylebook will help you uphold the general and distinctive qualities that define EPA's writing style. At its core, EPA style is simply the AP Stylebook.

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AP style is what the general public is accustomed to seeing because it is the official stylebook of the newspaper industry. As noted earlier, EPA has an online subscription to the AP book on our Intranet. AP updates its stylebook to accommodate changes in conventions and usage.

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View the AP Stylebook online.

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View a guide to frequently asked questions about AP style Exit

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This section of the EPA stylebook covers basic issues of grammar, punctuation and usage. This is the core of our style and mostly dictates requirements and rules. Think of this section as the bricks and lumber to build your house. This might not be the actual house, but without good materials and the proper structure, your house will fall apart.

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Style Notes to Remember

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The following are requirements of basic punctuation, grammar and usage of EPA writing which modify, supplement, or in some cases reiterate AP style. They are important points that we want you to remember. These areas include:


Abbreviations
Acronyms
Ampersands
Bylines/credits
Capitalization
Disclaimers
Diversity
Gender bias
Numbers
Passive/active voice
Plain language
Regional designations
Spelling - one word or two?
Titles
Words and structure - fixing some common mistakes
Writing for kids

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Abbreviations - Always spell out "United States" when it appears as a noun. "Southwest" is one word; it is abbreviated "SW" like all other compass points. As an adjective, "U.S." is acceptable. State abbreviations: Abbreviation is only appropriate in long lists, addresses, and when used in conjunction with the name of a city, town, village or military base in that state. Per the AP Stylebook, use non-Postal Service abbreviations like "Ala.," "Ariz.," "Ga." and "N.M." in conjunction with the name of a city, town, village or military base. Eight states are not abbreviated in text: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah. Use the two-letter Postal Service abbreviations only with full addresses, including the ZIP code.

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Acronyms - Acronyms are acceptable as long as they were spelled out the first time they appeared.

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In addition, the acronym "EPA" is a proper noun; it should be used by itself without "the" in front. For example, a sentence should begin "EPA will ..." instead of "The EPA will ..."

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Ampersands (&) - Use ampersands only when they are part of a formal name (e.g., C & O Railroad) or when space is at a premium.

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Bylines and Staff Credits (see also later section: Self-aggrandizement ) - GPO printing and binding regulations state: "The printing of government employee bylines in government publications shall be confined to the authors of articles appearing therein, and to the photographers who have originated the pictures contained therein."

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In this connection:

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Byline refers to any name listed for credits as opposed to employee names integral to the text itself.

Author applies to an individual who has conceived of, created, or is responsible for a text or section thereof.

Author cannot be extended to cover supervisors, managers, advisors, staff committee or workgroup members and other such contributors, who may, however, be listed under "acknowledgments."

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You can acknowledge other non-contractor organizations or individuals representing them, although acknowledging an organization alone typically suffices. Contract numbers can be listed, but not the names of contractor staff members. Using the name of the contractor firm is discouraged and should only be used for a specific reason. EPA is solely and entirely responsible for the work of its contractors. Once published, all contractor work is officially ours.

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A page for acknowledgements is permitted; as appropriate encouraged, but only acknowledgements - not thanks, not dedications, gratitude, nor congratulations. The work belongs to EPA and EPA does not use the resources of American taxpayers to publish thanks or congratulations to our employees for doing their work. Acknowledgements can and in some cases should indicate which EPA staff offices or staff members produced the work. Acknowledgements are especially helpful in indicating particular reliability of authors and their credentials and providing resources the audience may contact for supplemental information.

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Capitalization - Do not capitalize terms such as waste management, disposal, pollution prevention, non-governmental organization, legislation, project, offices, endnote, and sector, and do not capitalize chemical names like lead, mercury, or dioxins. In titles and lists, capitalize only the first word, proper nouns, and other words that would normally be capitalized. Do not capitalize the first letter of each word or all letters.

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Agency/agency - capitalized when the Agency refers specifically to EPA, as opposed to a generic organization.

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Federal, local, native, natives, state, states, tribal, tribes - lowercase unless they begin a sentence or form part of an official title: Cherokee Indian Tribe. Lowercase when used alone and in plural form: U.S. states, the Sioux and Navajo tribes. Lowercase the adjectives tribal and native unless they are parts of a proper name: tribal art, Hopi tribal leaders, Ojibway Tribal Council, Virginia native. Note that Native Americans, American Indians, Indian Country and Alaskan Native Villages should be capitalized.

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Internet - a proper noun; capitalize it.

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Region, regional - capitalize it when referring to a specific EPA regional office: "EPA Region 10 is responsible for..." or "EPA Regions are responsible for...". Do not capitalize it if you are referring to a geographic region: "The New England region was hit with heavy snow..."

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Section, article - not capitalized, even when referring to one part of a law or regulation: "OGC interprets section 1502(b) to mean..."

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Title - capitalized when referring to a part of a law or regulation; not capitalized otherwise: "OGC interprets Title 41 to include..." but "The brochure's title should be revised."

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Web - according to the AP Stylebook, capitalize web when it refers to the World Wide Web, as in "the Web" or "Web page." Note, however, that per the AP Stylebook website, webcam, webcast, and webmaster are single, lowercase words.

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Disclaimers - Documents that include articles by non-EPA employees expressing their own opinions require the following disclaimer: The material in this document has been subject to Agency technical and policy review, and approved for publication as an EPA report. The views expressed by individual authors, however, are their own, and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Draft documents require the following disclaimer: This text is a draft that has not been reviewed for technical accuracy or adherence to EPA policy; do not quote or cite

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Documents that refer to particular companies, trade or service names, product names, or other commercial references require the following disclaimer: Mention of trade names, products, or services does not convey official EPA approval, endorsement, or recommendation.

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Diversity - Diversity is an important issue that should be considered in the development of every communication.

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Gender Bias - Use gender-neutral words. Consult sources like the U.S. Department of Labor's Dictionary of Occupational Titles or Rosalie Maggio's book The Nonsexist Word Finder. View Web-based guidance on plain language writing .

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Numbers - Per the AP Stylebook, spell whole numbers below the number 10, but use figures for numbers 10 and above. Common exceptions to this rule include a 5-year-old girl, 3 percent, 6 cents; another common exception is that a number at the beginning of a sentence should be spelled: Twelve program offices and all 10 regional offices think OPA is a pain in the wazoo.

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Passive/Active Voice - Use active voice as much as possible. Writing is much more lively and interesting to read in active voice. Passive sentences are often, although not always, written in past tense, and the actors are obscured. For example, "mistakes were made." By whom? Active sentences are strong, clear, simple and credible.


Passive: "A cleanup plan will be issued this summer."

Active: "EPA will issue a proposed cleanup plan this summer."


Plain Language - Along with all federal agencies and departments, EPA must use plain language in our communications with the general public and those specialized groups to which Agency communications are often directed. Plain language is communication your audience can understand the first time they read or hear it. Plain language is defined by results-it is easy to read, understand, and use. Additional guidance is available from the General Services Administration's Language Network on the Internet at


http://www.plainlanguage.gov


(See also below in Key Elements of Structure.)

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EPA logo usage and policies

http://www2.epa.gov/stylebook/epa-communications-stylebook-logo-guide

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Using the EPA seal and logo

http://www2.epa.gov/stylebook/using-epa-seal-and-logo

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View the entire Stylebook

http://www2.epa.gov/stylebook/communication-product-standards-stylebook

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Stylebook Index

http://www2.epa.gov/stylebook/index-print-version-epa-stylebook

http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/ index_to_PDF_version_of_stylebook.pdf


http://tinyurl.com/o7fdpfu

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Abbreviations 18, 65
Abstract 65
Accuracy 21,32-33
Acrobat PDF 60
Acronyms 18 65
Action Orientation 22, 33
Active Voice 20,29
Agency Printing Officer 82
Ampersands 18
Anchor Elements 63-64
Appendices 67
Articles Published in Referenced Journals
Notices 99
Assistance Agreement 95
Associated Press (AP) Stylebook 17, 32
Audience 31
Audiovisuals 73, 74
Authorities and Legal Information Guide 89, 100
Authors Under Contract 94
Available Colors 84
Back Matter 67
Bankcard Usage 63, 84
Bibliography 67
Bitmapped Graphics 85
Black & White Printing 58
Bleeds 62
Body of Report 66
Book Chapters 70
Borrowed Ideas 30
Bullets 25
Business Cards 71, 72
Bylines and Staff Credits 18
Camera Backdrops 74, 75
Camera Copy Printing 80
Capitalization 19
Cataloging 80
CD Duplication 70
Checklist for Product Development 10-11
Children's Documents/Sites 21
Chronological Structure 28-29
Clarity 27
Clear Space for Logo 41
Clich 30
Color Film Separation 86
Color Ink Approval 84
Color of Logo 42
Color Page Charge 83
Color Printing 58, 61
Color Requirements 84
Color Splits 86
Comma 24
Commercial Products 98
Communication 28-29
Communication Materials 68
Communications 105, 106, 111
Comptroller General Opinion 82
Computer Software and Data Copyright 97
Conference Proceedings 98
Conjunctions 26
Consistency 27
Contents 65
Contractors Works 94
Cooperative Agreements 94
Coordination 33
Copy Center Job 84
Copyright Announcement 99
Copyright Contractor 95
Copyright Materials 95
Copyright Notices 99
Copyright Protection 93
Copyright Trademark Laws 93, 95
Copyrights of Grantees 94
Cost Estimates for Print Jobs 82
Depth for Children 21
Disclaimer 19,97
Disclaimer of Endorsement 19, 100
Disclaimer of Liability 100
Diversity 20
Document Preparation for Printing 81
Document Typing 85
Draft Product 97
Dramatic Structure 29
Electronic Design and Prepress (EDPP) files 81
Electronic Document Making 81
Electronic File Printing 80
Electronic-Design Print Publishing 59
Elliptical Sentences 26
Emphasis on Skills Building 22
Employee Photographs 59
Endorsements 19, 39
Energy Star 93
Envelopes 72
EPA Assistance Agreements 94
EPA Contracts 94
EPA Form 1900-8 82
EPA Form 2200-9 82
EPA Graphic Standards System 40
EPA Printing Manual 82
EPA Publication Number 64
EPA Publication Numbering System 77-80
EPA Writing Style 17
Ethical Conduct 39
Exclamation Marks 24
Exhibits and Displays 75
Extraneous Images 61
Fact Sheets 69
Factors of Fair Use 96
Fair Use Doctrine 96
Federal Acquisition Regulation 94
Figures 66
File Formats for Deliverables 60
File Formats for Print 60
File Submission 59
Finance and Operations law office 97
Fonts 60, 61
Foreign Government Copyright Notices 99
Forward 65
Four-Color Process 84
Front Matter of a Book 65
Gender Bias 20
Glossary 67
Government Printing Office (GPO) 81
Government Works 94
Governmental Sanction 39
GPO Form 82
Gradients 62
Grantees Works 94
Grants 94
Graphic Elements 57
Graphic Standards System 40, 45
Handbooks 69
Headlines 27-28
Hierarchy of Interest 28
Hip Language 30
Honesty 32
HTML 60
Hyphens 25
In House Printing 63, 81
Inclusiveness 33
Incomplete Sentences 26
Incorrect Logo Usage 43
Index 67
Individual Authors 94
Ink Color Guide 84
Instructional Soundness 22
Jargon 30
JCP 100
Jewel Case Inserts 70, 71
Joint Committee on Printing 82
Journal Articles 70, 82, 98
Journal Copyright 82
Key Points 28
Key Selling Point 28
Lead 28
Letterhead 72
Linking Files 61
Lists 65
Logical Structure 29
Logo Policies 39-45, 84
Logo Usage 41-43, 84
Logos for Partnerships 48-50
Macintosh Platform 60
Main Theme 28
Manuals 69
National Technical Information Service 95
Networking 111
Non-EPA Related Logos 84
Notice 97, 99
Novelty Items/Giveaways 71, see web page
http://www.epa.gov/stylebook (Section on Novelty Items)
Numbers 20
Office Identification Codes 78
Office of Public Affairs 84, 111
OPA 84
Page Charges 82
Pantone Matching System 84
Paper Savings 62
Paper Sizes 62
Paper Stock 62
Parallel Construction 27
Passive Voice 20
Paying for Journal Article Page Reprints 84
PDF Files 81
Peer Review 63, 76
Periods 25
Permission Letter 95
Personal Graphics Logos 84
Photographs 85
Photographs of Employees 59
Pictures of Children 97
Plain Language 20,28
Platform 59
Podium Signage 74, 75
Positive Statements 29
Post Doctoral Program Employees Notices 99
Poster Presentations 72, 73
PostScript 85
Preface 65
Prepositions 26
Price Estimates for Printing 84
Print and Web Publishing 100
Print Collateral Materials 70
Print Examples for Partnerships and Programs 50
Print Promotional Materials 70
Printing and Binding Regulations 82
Printing Control Officer 82
Printing Electronic Files 84
Printing Job Guidelines 80-86
Printing Management Office 82
Printing Q & As 84
Printing through outside Printing Company 84
Printing Top Tips 85
Proceedings 70
Process Suggestions 31-32
Processes and Forms for Print Publishing, 76
Procurement Request form 84
Procurement Request/Order 82
Product Review 76, 84
Product Review Checklist 10-11
Production 106-107
Professional Page Layout 85
Project Reports 69
Promotional Products/Giveaways 71, see webpage
http://www.epa.gov/stylebook (Section on
Novelty Items)
Proofing 61
Proofs 84
Public Communication Documents 93
Publication Numbering 11, 77-80
Published Papers 70
Publishing Software 59
Punctuation Pointers 24-25
Purchasing Reprints from Journal 83
Questions and Answers for Printing 84-85
Quotation Marks 25
Recycling 64
Redundancy 30
References 67
Regional Offices 19,20
Repetition 30
Reports 31, 69
Reports Notices 99
Reprints 82,83
Reproducing Colors 84
Required forms for Camera Copy Printing 82
Research Reports 68
Resources 31
Rhetorical Structure 29
Samples of Publications with EPA Logo 51
Scanning Images 61
Seal Usage 44
Second Person 29
Self-Aggrandizement 30, 59
Selling Point 28
Semicolons 25
Sentence Length 28
Service Mark (SM) 93
Simplicity 31
Smart Way 93
Spelling 20-21
Split Infinitives 27
Standard Paper Sizes 62
Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the
Executive Branch 39
Stationary 72
Structure 27-29
Structure of the Publication Number 77
Style 29
Style Notes 18
Subjunctive 31
Submit Document for Printing 81
Summary of Communications Structure 28
Tables 66
Text 66
Themes 40
Tint Screens 62
Title 19, 21-22, 27-29
Title Page 65
TM 93
Tone 29
Top Ten Printing Tips 85
Touchpoints 45
Trade Names 98
Trademarks (TM) 93, 95
Training 105-107
TrueType 85
Two-color Printing 82
Type Codes 79
Usability 22
Use of Copyright Materials 95
User's Guides 69
USGPO 100
Vector Graphics 85
Verification 33
WaterSense 93
Web 19, 21
Web Forms 82
Web Server and Multimedia Copyright 100
Windows Platform 60
Words and Structure 22-24
Works for Hire 94
Writing Basics 105
Writing for Kids 21
Writing Style 17-20


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..



Other Sections of the Stylebook

http://www2.epa.gov/stylebook

Introduction
Authorities and Legal Information
Training and Education
Who's Who and Networking Through EPA Communications
Appendix A - Bibliography and Sources for this Manual
Appendix B - Glossary



..

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