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Library - Information Literacy Module: Tutorial 7: Writing format

Information literacy for UJ students. Start with "1 Why Information Literacy" and end with "9 Writing & Referencing"

STEP 1: Writing format

Knowing how to apply academic writing rules will help Neo become a better academic writer and is all part of being a skilled information literate.


  • Use “ ” for direct quotations, and ‘ ’ for highlighting words in the text.
  • When a date is mentioned, like ‘the seventies” for instance, one may write the date in numerical form and add a ‘s’ without an apostrophe (1970s).
  • All numbers up to ten should be written out as words. Numbers from 11 onwards can be written in numerical form.
  • Never abbreviate words like et cetera (etc.), Ltd. or 20th Century but write them out in FULL.
  • All titles (of books, artworks: poems, names of record albums, magazines, films et cetera) and words from other languages et cetera (like vice versa) should be typed in italics. Example:  William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a combination of traditional and freestyle writing. 
  • When referring to a time-period, a well-known person’s nickname, for instance, the “roaring twenties”, always use double inverted commas when it is used for the first time. After that one can omit the inverted commas.

Academic Writing Centre

For additional support, Neo can consult the ADC (Academic Development Centre)