Style, Spelling and Grammar

We’re a platform for you, and so are ecumenical about the style of writing you use in your discussions, including those you publish. Similarly, while we recommend internal consistency, we have no opinion between American English and those spellings more standard around the rest of the world. However, there are some stylistic features that we find generally lead to a better debate:

  • If using abbreviations that are not common parlance, it’s generally good practice to spell them out each time, or, if they’re central to the discussion, in the background information box (see: Adding Background Info). Kialo debates don’t have a tidy start, middle and end, so it’s not enough to simply define an abbreviation the first time you use it.
  • Generally, whatever style you adopt for a particular discussion – be that tonal (e.g. a formal, professional tone), a particular approach to spelling (e.g. Australian English), or a particular set of grammar rules (e.g. using Oxford commas) – it’s a good idea to keep that style consistent throughout the debate. Rapid shifts between style throughout a debate can be jarring for readers.

Beyond style and grammar, there are some features and approaches that make claims more effective than they otherwise would be – see Writing Good Claims for some advice about this.

If writing a discussion you plan to publish on Kialo and hope to see reach a large audience – or even be featured on the site – we recommend a style and tone analogous to what you’d expect to see in a serious newspaper or magazine. It can be worth familiarizing yourself with a style guide from a media company – like the AP Stylebook.

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