dictionary Submission style guide

When you submit an article, we'll help edit for grammar, spelling, and style.

Technically We Write is all about all things technical communication. We share stories and "how-to" articles that help others learn new skills in technical writing, technical editing, writing tools and technologies, usability, UX, and web content.

We're a community of technical writers and technical editing. And we wouldn't be a very professional community if we didn't edit article submissions. When you submit your article to run on Technically We Write, we'll edit your submissions for grammar, spelling, and style. We will avoid major changes to your submission; we don't want to alter the meaning of your content. However, you may expect certain changes according to our Submission Style Guide.

Overall style

In general, we follow the APA Style and Grammar Guidelines for articles on Technically We Write. Highlights of these guidelines include:


We avoid most abbreviations, except for broadly used technologies such as HTML, XML, EPUB, and PDF.

Where writing out a phrase repeatedly is an issue, consider writing out the full definition when it is first used and providing the abbreviation in parentheses. For example, "Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA)." You can use the abbreviation after that. 

Do not use periods in abbreviations. For example, please write "PhD" instead of "Ph.D." and "MS" instead of "M.S." to indicate an advanced degree.


Technically We Write is a US-based publication. We use US spelling throughout.


When expressing quantities, we prefer to write out the numbers zero through ten as words, but numbers for values above ten. However, this is a "bendable" rule. If you have only one number above ten, you might write it out as words instead.

  • "You should see zero results"
  • "Define a two-column, one-row table"
  • "Do this for every five, ten, and fifteen rows"

Measurements should be written as numbers, because these are exact values. Write "1.44 MB" or "2 GB" as numbers. Use a space between the number and the unit.

Do not start sentences with a number; either rewrite the sentence or write out the number.

Numbers that are part of a title should be written out, such as "Twenty-first Century."

Fractions should be written out as words, except for very small units. For example, write "one-third" or "three-quarters" as words, but "1/128" as a number.


Use one space after a period or other punctuation. 

We prefer the serial or "Oxford" comma when defining lists of three or more items. This makes each list item more clear.

Punctuation like commas and periods go inside quotes unless there is a good reason to do otherwise.

Where list items include commas within them, use semicolons instead of commas to separate items in the list.


Avoid passive voice. We like the guidance suggested by the Linux Journal Author's Guide, that "passive voice should never be used by you."

Article process

When you submit an article for Technically We Write, we'll review the article to ensure it is a good fit for our readers. We are very open to submissions; we will gladly run articles that are about some area of technical communication, including "how-to" articles, stories, and interviews. What you write about is up to you.

If we like the article, we'll edit the article for spelling, grammar, and style. When the article is entered into our system, we'll send you a "preview link" so you can review the article before publication. At the same time, we'll indicate any changes we may have made to the article; these are usually small, such as fixing typos, repairing grammar, writing out numbers, or changing UK/US spelling.

Please review the article and let us know if we need to make any changes. You always have final say over your article. If you don't like an edit we made, let us know and we'll either change it back or work with you to make a new edit.

We'd love to share your story! Your article can be about anything related to technical communication, such as tools, tips, how you got started, what you've learned, or other topics in technical communication. Contact our editors to share your article idea.