Consider Your Audience When Writing*

These are not the official formal writing rules although I think some, or most, of these rules are. The content principles have been listed for the website design purpose, so-called style guide for GOV.UK website.

However, they seem to be practical and some can be adapted in our real life situation. Below are examples ;)

2.1 Abbreviations and acronyms

Spell out acronyms at first mention unless they’re well known, eg UK, DVLA, US, EU, VAT, MP etc. This includes government departments or schemes. Unless the acronym is widely known, spell it out in full. For example, most people will probably know what DVLA is but there are several interpretations for ECO.

I don’t even know what DVLA stands for LOL :p

2.5 Bullet points and steps

How to use bullet points to make text easier to read:

  • always use a lead-in sentence
  • bullets should always make sense running on from the lead-in sentence
  • use lower case at the start of the bullet
  • don’t use full stops within bullet points – where possible start another bullet point or use commas, dashes or semicolons to expand on an item
  • don’t put ‘or’, ‘and’ after the bullets
  • there should be no full stop after a bullet point
  • don’t use numbered bullets unless it is process – there is a steps format for you to use
  • use links in bullets (including downloads) if necessary

I found the bullet point rules are useful. Not sure they can be applied in a formal writing, but the explanations make sense.

2.12 Hyphenation


  • ‘re-‘ words starting with ‘e’, eg re-evaluate
  • co-ordinate

Don’t hyphenate:

  • reuse
  • reinvent
  • reorder
  • reopen
  • email

I tend to always use hyphen in all of these cases. Now, I shall try this way.

Addresses: use ‘to’ in address ranges, for example: 49 to 53 Cherry Street.

How about addresses with slash or stroke, ‘/’? Don’t they have them in the UK?

Use only 1 space after a full stop, not 2.

So true! Don’t understand why someone use 2.


Should this go on a notice board so people could choose which and how they want to write?


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