Guidelines for Advocate Authors

Thank you for agreeing to write an article for the WLUFA Advocate. Please review the following guidelines about the publishing process and style, and get in touch with us if you have any questions.


  • The Advocate attempts to vary the articles’ lengths but to keep them relatively short (400 – 600 words, with the occasional longer article). Authors will receive a word count from the handling editor.
  • Please use subheadings to break up longer texts where appropriate.
  • Please strive to keep sentences simple and the tone conversational.
  • Do not reference sources in the usual academic format (see style guidelines below for more on this).
  • Please insert URLs that can be embedded as hyperlinks in your article in square brackets after the relevant passage.
    • g., Senators agreed to review the University mission statement []
  • Please follow the style guidelines listed below.


  • Please suggest images, or if you can, submit an original photo or drawing to accompany text.
  • Please provide the name of the image’s creator; if this is not available, please provide the name of the organization or publication from which you sourced the image, and relevant reference information (e.g., URL or publisher name).

Editing Process

  • Authors are assigned a handling editor, with whom they discuss the planned focus and content of the piece they agree to submit.
  • Authors receive (or negotiate) a submission deadline. If you are unable to make that deadline, please inform the handling editor as soon as possible so we can arrange for a substitute piece.
  • The editing process generally takes a week to 10 days. Please be prepared to respond promptly to editorial queries during that time.
  • Your article will first be edited for:
    • Accuracy (please submit and/or have readily available all factual resource material)
    • Fairness (the Advocate does not strive for balance in the sense of ensuring equal representation of views within a particular article, but does strive to ensure there are reasonable grounds for comment, and no hateful or libelous statements – see our guidelines on Avoiding Libel below
    • Structure, accessibility and length
  • The handling editor contacts the author with questions about any of the above and suggested revisions.
  • The author’s response is taken into account, and agreed-upon changes are made (at any point the author can withdraw a piece they feel no longer reflects their voice and concerns, and the editor can refuse a piece that they feel doesn’t fulfill the agreed-upon focus and content, or is otherwise inappropriate for publication in the Advocate).
  • The revised article is forwarded to a top editor who reviews it again for
    • Accuracy, fairness and structure
    • Conformity to style
    • Consistency with other articles in the issue.
  • The issue is designed, and articles are laid out, with further tweaks to length and headlines.

Style Guidelines for Authors

It is helpful if authors follow format guidelines to minimize errors and reduce work involved in preparing the article for publication. While there is more than one correct way for many stylistic details, standardization allows for a more polished and professional product. Please refer to the style guide in the table below.

Rule Detail/Examples
Headlines and subheads in sentence case (only capitalize the first letter and proper nouns). Faculty salaries in Ontario predicted to increase by 2020
Bylines: Name, Department in italics. Joanna Blow, Urban Design and Landscaping
References to specific institutional bodies of WLU are capitalized. The Administration announced a pay raise for Faculty.


Across Canada administrations are cutting funds to faculty.

Dates: Month (abbreviated if longer than 5 letters), numeric day, year. Nov. 3, 1989


March 12, 2020

Single space between sentences.
Single line spacing, with a space between each paragraph.
No indent at the beginning of each paragraph.
Long em dash—a and no spaces (as opposed to short hyphen or en dash).  The president—a staunch unfriendly person—rode her horse into town.


The president – a staunch unfriendly person – rode his horse into town.

No comma before (or after) the “and” in a simple list. Neil, Tony and David are editors


Neil, Tony, and David are editors.

Titles of periodicals, books, magazine and other standalone documents are italicized. Oxford English Dictionary

Student Code of Conduct

WLUFA Advocate

Words from languages other than English (except for words commonly used in Canadian English) are italicized. Italicize: bien sur

don’t italicize: déjà vu

Titles of articles in books or periodicals in double quotes. “Embodied Contradictions”
Years are presented in numerical form. No apostrophes for decades. 1984, NOT: nineteen eighty-four

19th century, NOT: nineteenth century

1960s, NOT: 1960’s

Numbers higher than ten are not spelled out, unless they begin a sentence. 100, NOT: one hundred

two, NOT: 2.

Twelve dogs fought in the park.


12 dogs fought in the park.

Abbreviate lengthy names of organizations, documents, etc., in parentheses immediately following first mention, unless the name does not recur in the remaining text. The Gendered Violence Taskforce (GVTF) met to discuss the Student Code of Conduct and Discipline. Most GVTF members thought that the code should be revised.
Abbreviations are written in upper case, no periods. CAUT, NOT: C.A.U.T.
Periods and commas within quotation marks; colons and semi-colons outside quotation marks. “end.” NOT “end”.


“end”; NOT “end;”


Double quotes, not single quotes, for words and phrases. According to Dr. Blouw, Laurier “inspires lives of leadership and purpose.”
Single quotes for scare quotes and for quotes within quotes. Is this truly ‘leadership’?

“The President hasn’t explained what ‘leadership and purpose’ really means,” said the student leader.

Common contractions can be used in moderation. The students would have attended graduation ceremonies if they didn’t first eat so much that they fell asleep.


The students would’ve attended graduation ceremonies if they didn’t first eat so much that they fell asleep.

No footnotes are included. Please use references sparingly by incorporating them into the body of the text; or a short section can be included at the end of the article as “Suggested Readings.” Reference to K. Marx The Communist Manifesto could read “as Marx wrote in The Communist Manifesto, . . . “
Capitalize references to Faculty, University, Administration, Association and Member when referring to the specific body affiliated with WLU. The Administration worked with the Faculty to sponsor three Syrian families.


Across Canada, university administrations are working with their faculties to sponsor refugee families.

Three periods separated by single spaces “Academic misconduct is an act by a student . . . which represents an attempt to unfairly gain an academic advantage . . . ”

Common Words*

  • Use percent instead of per cent or %.
  • Use WLU or Laurier instead of Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Use enrolment instead of enrollment.

* to be updated as required