Professional Issues in Information Technology

USE ONLY ONE SOURCE: Professional Issues in Information Technology (Second Edition) by Frank Bott. All references must be within this book.
Alignment. Text alignment should be left-hand justified rather than fully justified.

Capital letters. Use capital letters only for the first word in the sentences and for proper names (see below). Avoid the use of block capitals except on acronyms like IPFM or UNESCO. They give the impression that you are shouting at the reader. They are also more difficult to read than upper/lower case words, which is why they are rarely used on motorway signs.

Font The type font should be Times New Roman 12 point. Headings should be 14 point and bold and Chapter Titles 16 point and bold.

How to number within chapters. For headings you should use 1.1, 1.11, 1.12, 1.2 etc – see the numbering sequence on our Specimen Contents Page (see How to write a mini-thesis). For lists other than headings you can use a non-numbering system like a, b, c or use the special symbols available on computers. Or you can use i, ii, iii etc but note that this makes lining up difficult. Generally it is easier and more elegant to use bullet points.
Numbers should be written in full up to nine and then be 10, 11, 12 etc. However, this does not apply to the number of chapters, which should be on the basis of Chapter 1, Chapter 2 etc. It also does not apply tables and figures which should be Table 1, Table 2 etc and Figure 1 and Figure 2 etc.

Million is abbreviated to m eg, £52m when used in currency amounts.
Billion is abbreviated to bn eg, 52bn people.
Write trillion in full.

Margins should be 2.5cm all round.
Personal pronouns Avoid the use of personal pronouns such as ‘You’, ‘We’.

Quotations should be enclosed within double inverted commas and attributed to the author whether from a book, article or the internet.

References. All authors quoted must appear in the References. If you borrow books, you should take a copy of the page of the book containing the ISBN number as we may ask for a copy. Books etc not referred to in the thesis should not be included in the References.

Sentences. The number of sentences in a paragraph should be between two and five.

Underline. Do not use the underline facility. Instead, use the bold facility.

Word Grammar Checker should be set to check for style as well as grammar
Word Grammar Checker
All work should pass through the Word Grammar Checker before submission. This should be set for English(US), as this will optimise your score on the Grammarly Report which automatically assumes English(US). Usually it is necessary to reset the Word Grammar Checker which can be achieved via Tools (Options), Spelling & Grammar, Reset in Word in the Grammar section. Make sure that the drop down menu under writing style is set to check Grammar and Style and not just Grammar. The easiest way to access the Word Grammar Checker is by pressing the F7 key at the top of the keyboard.

All boxes should be ticked in the grammar section of the Spelling and Grammar checker except:
Passive sentences
Use of first person (but not on PhD theses)

Also, we recommend that you go to the Help facility within Word and click on ‘Show the Office Assistant.

If the grammar checker says that the sentence is too long then break it down.

If the grammar checker is not set for English(US) then:
Click on:
Set language

Before submitting a document within Word click on:
Spelling & grammar
Writing style drop down menu
Grammar & style
Recheck document
1. Capital letters
Where the reference is a proper noun or a person’s current job title, then initial capital letters should be used, otherwise use lower case eg:

HM the Queen, Prime Minister David Cameron, the Bank Accounts Directive, the British Government.

When referring to titles in general terms use lower case eg, prime minister, corporate finance partner, special commissioners, financial manager, directive, government.

Don’t use capitals for:
board, council, senior management team

But do use capitals for these exceptions:
Bills and Acts (of Parliament)
Budget (only when referring to the chancellor’s Budget)
International Accounting Standards
International Financial Reporting Standards
Royal Charter

2. Contractions and abbreviations
Refer to all organisations in full when first mentioned, followed by the abbreviation in brackets eg, Institute of Professional Financial Managers (IPFM). Throughout the rest of the document, use the abbreviation. Common acronyms, such as UNESCO and AGM do not need to be written out in full.

Write finance director in full first time and then abbreviate to FD. CFO and CEO do not usually need to be spelt out in full but if in doubt put ‘chief financial officer (CFO) or chief executive officer (CEO)’ to make it absolutely clear.

Ltd, not Limited (unless the specific organisation described uses the word in full in its name).

eg and ie should be followed by a comma ie, … Etc should also be followed with a comma if it is not at the end of a sentence

US not USA/America/American/United States of America.

Contractions do not carry apostrophes in the plural eg, SIGs, RQBs, RSBs, RPBs – but do carry an apostrophe when used in the possessive.

If the last letter of the abbreviation is the last letter of the full word, do not use a full stop eg, Ltd, Dr, Rd, but do use a full stop if it is not eg, Co. and No.

2. Dates and times
Write as 2 July 2007; no comma and no ‘st’, ‘rd’, or ‘th’ after the number.
The month should never precede the number.

Seasons should be lower case eg, the spring Budget.

Use am and pm rather than o’clock. Leave no space after the figure eg, 5pm. For 12, use 12 noon or 12 midnight, with a space between the word and the number.

3. Full stops
Ensure that there is only one space after a full stop, rather than two. Also ensure that the Word Grammar Checker is set to check for one space only.

Do not use full stops in these cases:
Within or following the initials of people, firms or companies unless specifically used by the firm in its official logo eg, S G Warburg, W H Smith, Mr A B C Smith.

In acronyms eg, AGM, AIPFM, MBA.

4. Hyphens
Hyphenate compound adjectives eg, non-cash items, year-end figures, up-to-date information, mid-tier firms (but ‘the mid tier’), 25-year-old women, part-time worker.

Use hyphens where the same vowels join eg, re-educate, re-elect, pre-eminent, pre-empt, re-emerge except cooperation and coordination.

Hyphenate to avoid ambiguity eg, 300-odd members, fresh-fish merchant, high-risk elements, last-minute decision, re-cover, re-form, used-car market.

Hyphens are needed in many triple word combinations eg, high-interest-bearing bond, high-net-worth investor, multi-billion-dollar project, non-profit-making organisation.

Do not use hyphens where the term is familiar enough to be one word (compound noun) eg, cardholder, midday, policyholder, steelworker, withhold, shareholder, misstatements.

5. Italics
Use italics for the titles of all publications, books, films, conferences etc, with initial caps where used by the organisation eg, IPFM Journal, Enterprise Survey, UK Business Confidence Monitor.

Italicise titles of accounting standards following the comma (but not the number) eg, IAS 39, Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement.

Do not use italics for foreign words that have passed into regular English usage, and familiar terms used in a legal or financial context eg, bona fide, carte blanche, ex officio, per se, prima facie etc.

Do not use italics as a substitute for bold within body text.

6. Lists
The sentence introducing a list should end with a colon (:)but it is optional because the Grammarly Report does not like this use of the colon.

If the points in the list are part of a longer sentence or paragraph, start each one with a lower case letter. Do not punctuate the end of each point; just add a full stop at the end of the last one.

If your bullets are just a list and not part of your main text, start each point with a capital letter (as in this document).

Use either numbered lists or bulleted lists.

Don’t start a list with eg and end with etc – use one or the other, not both.

7. Measurements
Do not leave a gap between unit and measurement except where the measurement is written in full.

Million is abbreviated to m eg, £52m when used in currency amounts.

Billion is abbreviated to bn eg, 52bn people.

Kilometres to km eg, 10km.

Miles per hour to mph eg, 100mph.

Centimetres to cm eg, 10cm.

Kilograms to kg eg, 25kg.

Write trillion in full.

Don’t abbreviate metres or miles to m, to avoid confusion with million eg, 10 metres, 10 miles.

8. Numbers
Write one to nine in full. Use figures from 10 upwards. (NB use figures for degree qualifications, eg 2:1)

If using a series of numbers within the same paragraph, which are above and below 10, use numerical format for both eg, ‘aged between 7 and 14’.

Never start sentences with numbers in figures, such as percentages. Find a way round it or, if unavoidable, write the number out in full.

Percentages should be written in figures with the percentage sign eg, 8%, never eight per cent.

Write numbers in a consistent ‘language’ of units ie, 1.15, 1.20, 1.32 all to two decimal points and do not shorten any single number ie, not 1.2 in the above list.

Always use a comma in thousands eg, 2,000, 20,000. If using lots of figures in a list/table, align by the comma or the decimal point, not the edge of the numbers.

Million is abbreviated to m eg, £52m when used in currency amounts.
Billion is abbreviated to bn eg, 52bn people.
Write trillion in full.

9. Quoted material
Use double quotation marks (“…”) for quotations.

When using a quotation within the run of a paragraph, lead into it with a comma eg, Mr Smith said, “Blah blah…” but use a colon to introduce when starting a new paragraph with a quotation, eg, Mr Smith said:

“Blah blah…”

When a sentence starts and ends inside a quotation, the full stop precedes the closing quotation mark. For partial quotes within a sentence, place the full stop outside the closing quotation mark.

In continuous quoted material making more than one paragraph, use quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph and at the end of the last paragraph only.

10. Singulars, plurals and apostrophes
Companies, organisations and committees are always singular, eg, the Institute is reviewing… PwC is recruiting…management is hosting… They are also inanimate so should be referred to as ‘which’ not ‘who’.

When using the possessive, singular words ending in an ‘s’ should have another ‘s’ following the apostrophe, eg, James’s book (not James’ book).

11. Tenses
Always be consistent within a single report or story.

Use the subjunctive correctly eg, if Vice-President Peter Jenkins were to advocate…not was to advocate…

12. Web terms
Email/email – one word, not hyphenated, capital E only when at the beginning of a sentence.

Online – one word, no hyphen.

E-filing, e-services, e-business, e-learning – these do have hyphens.

No http:// before website addresses (unless it is a hyperlink or the address begins with something other than http://, eg https://).

Never capitalise to Http or Www and try to avoid putting a full stop at the end of an address


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