Personal Style Guide

Below are a list of rules I follow when writing, and the rationale for doing so. The list is growing.

▪ Oxford Commas - Use them

Example:
I would like to thank my parents, Nelson Mandela, and Marie Curie.

Rationale: I would like to thank my parents, Nelson Mandela and Marie Curie.

▪ In-text Citations in Parentheses - Put a comma between name and year

Example: The earth revolves around the sun (Galilei, 1610).

Rationale: Suppose the author of a 2000 paper is an organization named "Save Earth 2020". Then your parenthetical cite without the comma would be "(Save Earth 2020 2000)". That just looks ugly. Furthermore, the following example illustrates the potential for confusion: "The goal of the organization (Save Earth 2020) is to save the earth by the year 2020."


▪ Punctuation and Quotation Marks - Leave them outside

Example: The notion that the earth revolves around the sun is known as "heliocentrism".

Rationale: Quotation marks bracket a word or group of words. Highlighting the word or group of words has meaning (e.g. something said or a newly defined term). As in the previous sentence, you would never put the period within the parentheses. That is: "
Highlighting the word or group of words has meaning (e.g. something said or a newly defined term.)" So why would you do it for quotation marks?

Exception: The punctuation is part of the quote. For example, in the last paragraph, Yan asked, "Why would you do it for quotation marks?"

▪ Ending Sentences with Prepositions - Something I am in favor of

Example: See above.

Rationale: "This is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put."
(This is a quote often mistakenly attributed to Winston Churchill—the exception which proves the rule.)