Style Guide

The Runner’s Style Guide

All material published by The Runner must adhere to the most recent version of the Canadian Press Stylebook. Some of those and other style choices determined by the supervising editors of the publication are as follows:


  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University on first reference; KPU on all subsequent uses.
  • Avoid using “Kwantlen” unless referring to the Kwantlen First Nation.
  • For referring to groups, write the name of the group out in its entirety first. Then use the acronym through the rest of the article.
    • Write: “The Kwantlen Student Association” the first time that it is written in the article, and “the KSA” for subsequent uses. When referring to the KSA in shorthand, use “the Association” or “it”, rather than “they”.
    • Write: “Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group” the first time that it is written in the article,and “KPIRG” for subsequent uses.
  • Write British Columbia as B.C. with the periods. The same applies to other provinces and geographical regions such as the U.K.
  • Do not use periods after each letter in an acronym unless it represents a geographical region.
  • Use “instructor”, not “professor”, when referring to KPU teaching staff, unless they deliberately refer to themselves as a professor on record.


  • Italicize the following:
    • the names of plays, books, novels, albums, reports, paintings, newspapers, periodicals, sculptures, long poems, symphonies and operas, and pamphlets.
  • Short-form titles, such as articles, songs, television programs, and short stories, are not italicized but put in quotation marks (see Quotations).
  • When referring to publications, italicize the “The” if it is part of the publication’s name.
    • I.e.: The Runner, The Vancouver Sun
  • Do not italicize for emphasis.
    • I.e.: “I’ll go to the party, but I don’t want to go.”
  • Do not italicize the names of companies, television/radio channels, or institutions.
    • I.e.: Kwantlen Polytechnic University, CBC, Shell Gasoline


  • If you are quoting someone that you interviewed, use present tense to refer to them.
    • I.e.: “I love being the president of KPU,” says Alan Davis.
  • If you’re quoting someone who you didn’t directly interview, use past tense to refer to them and state the source of the quote.
    • I.e.: “I love being the president of KPU,” said Alan Davis, in a press conference on June 23.
  • Avoid using “When asked,” when introducing a quote.
  • Punctuation goes inside of the quotation marks, unless the final word in the sentence is a short-form title.
    • I.e.: KPU President Alan Davis says that his favourite song is “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey.
    • I.e.: “My favourite song is ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’,” says KPU President Alan Davis. “I know all the words.”
  • Always capitalize the beginning of a quote unless it is an integrated or partial quote.
    • I.e.: President Alan Davis says, “My favourite song is ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ by Journey. I know all the words.”
    • I.e.: President Alan Davis says that he “know[s] all the words” to the song ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ by Journey.
  • Quotes should add new, insightful, and relevant information to the article rather than paraphrasing what has already been written.
  • If you are introducing an interviewee in the attribution of a quote, be sure to refer to them using their full name and title.
  • Introduce the source of long quotes after the first sentence. Otherwise, readers do not know who is speaking until the end of the paragraph.
  • When exactness is necessary for understanding the quote, quote your interviewee verbatim.
  • Avoid using [sic] to show that a quote is verbatim.
  • To clean up a quote that is unclear, omit unnecessary verbal mannerisms. Show omission by typing an ellipses with a space before and after it.
    • I.e.: “I went to the store to, uh, pick up – to buy some vegetables,” says Doe.
    • I.e.: “I went to the store to … buy some vegetables,” says Doe.
  • To show addition to a sentence for clarity, put your addition in square brackets.
    • I.e.: “This is a good thing for the university,” says Doe.
    • I.e.: “This [report on international student tuition] is a good thing for the university,” says Doe.


  • Spell out numbers one through nine.
  • Write values of 10 or greater numerically.
  • Numbers at the beginning of a sentence are spelled out.
  • Write “per cent”, not “%” or “percent”.


  • Include the first name, last name, and title of a person when referencing them for the first time.
  • When referencing a person after they have already been introduced, refer to them only by their last name.


  • Write months as:
    • Jan., Feb., March, April, May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.
  • Write full dates as:
    • Sept. 27 (if the date occurred in the year of the article’s publication)
    • Sept. 27, 1999 (if the date occurred in any year other than the one taking place at the time of the article’s publication)
  • Avoid listing the year if an event is happening, recently happened, or will happen soon.
  • Do not mention the day of the week unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • Do not add “-th”, “-nd”, and so on to the end of numbers on dates.


  • Write websites as:
  • Unless the sentence begins with a website name, do not capitalize the beginning of the URL.


  • Ledes should be attention-grabbing, relevant, and informative.
    • I.e.: “The only diamonds these women love are made of gravel and have three bases, a home plate, and a pitching rubber.”
  • Ledes should not be overly descriptive or include dates or inane details about an event.


  • Writers for The Runner become contributors after they have contributed to three different issues of the publication.
  • Staff are referred to using the title outlined in their contract with Polytechnic Ink Publishing Society.


  • Cutlines, also known as photo captions, must include:
    • The date that the photo was taken
    • The first names, last names, and titles of any individuals that are featured prominently in the photo
    • The location in which the photo was taken
    • Who took the photo
  • If a photo was submitted to you by an external source, include:
    • Who submitted the photo to you
    • When the photo was submitted to you
    • The date that the photo was taken
    • The first names, last names, and titles of any individuals that are featured prominently in the photo
    • The location in which the photo was taken
    • Who took the photo

Headlines and Deklines (HEDs and DEKs)

  • Headlines should be attention-grabbing and informative.
  • Deklines expand on the information provided in the headline. They are often more colourful and detailed than the headline.
  • Both headlines and deklines must include a subject and a verb.
  • At the top of the article, the format is:
    • HED: Headline
    • DEK: Dekline
    • BY: Author
  • Capitalize every noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, and adverb in a headline, as well as prepositions and conjunctions that are four letters or longer.
  • Only capitalize the first word and any proper nouns written in a dekline.


  • The Runner provides coverage but does not promote events or agendas. Avoid bias and coercing readers into any action in all writing except for opinion pieces.
  • Avoid using complicated language that the average reader will not understand.
  • Strive for a clear but compelling voice in your writing.

Additional Detail

  • Any important details, notes, or updates that would be disruptive in the body of the piece should be at the bottom of the article and prefaced with “Note” in italics.
    • I.e.: “Note: One of the people interviewed for this story, Jane Shmane, occasionally contributes to The Runner.”
    • I.e.: “Note: Although The Runner reached out to Joe Shmoe for an interview, he could not be reached in time for the publication of this article.
  • Calls to action for visiting a website, attending an event, or otherwise finding more information about a person or organization mentioned in the article must always be written in the final paragraph of the piece.


  • The Runner uses the Oxford comma. The Oxford comma is a comma which is placed immediately before the coordinating conjunction (usually and, or, or nor) in a series of three or more terms.
    • I.e.: “I like to eat chocolate bars, marshmallows, and graham crackers together.”
  • Avoid using exclamation marks.
  • When writing an article, questions should be used sparingly.
  • Use an em dash (—) rather than semicolons (;) or hypen(s) (-).


  • When referring to hypothetical people or organizations, or when referring to those who request to be addressed using non-gendered pronouns, use the singular form of “they”.
    • I.e.: “When new KPU students arrive on campus in September, they will be both nervous and excited.”
    • I.e.: “When Alex Jones arrived on campus in September, they were both nervous and excited.”


  • Capitalize all proper nouns.
  • Capitalize each word in a specific and official job title⸺particularly preceding a full name⸺such as Vice President Finances & Operations Rawan Ramini.
  • Capitalize the names of companies, institutions, organizations, individuals, and so on.


  • Use Canadian spelling of all English words that you use.

Accuracy & Avoiding Libel

  • Libel is defined by as “a statement or representation published without just cause and tending to expose another to public contempt (2) : defamation of a person by written or representational means (3) : the publication of blasphemous, treasonable, seditious, or obscene writings or pictures (4) : the act, tort, or crime of publishing such a libel.”
  • Libel can be avoided by maintaining accuracy in your writing. If possible, always do the following before you submit an article to The Runner:
    • Attribute any assertions you are paraphrasing back to the person who made them.
    • Ensure that you have access to at least two verified and reliable sources behind every allegation, assertion of fact, or statistic that is written in an article.
    • Include the date when making direct reference to an event.
    • Do not make any defamatory claims in an article unless they can be indisputably proven by verified and reliable sources that you have available to you.
    • Do not write news articles, culture articles, or feature articles with bias. In other words, do not insert your opinions into any writing that you submit except for in opinion articles.
    • Do not omit information that is crucial to understanding both sides of any issue that you explore in your writing. If you are dealing with a sensitive, controversial, or developing issue, always reach out to both sides of the conflict to the best of your ability.
    • If any of your interviewees make an allegation against another person, group, or organization, you must reach out to that person, group, or organization about said allegation and give them a reasonable opportunity to respond.
    • Do not provide more of a platform to, under-represent, or over-represent either side.