Note: In website content, minimal punctuation is recommended. Site users will find content easier to read on screen without unnessary punctuation (eg delete commas and semicolons at the end of bullet point text and delete colons at the end of headings and sub-headings).
Generally, apostrophes are:
The two styles of bullet point lists (i.e. incomplete sentences and complete sentences) have different punctuation styles.
Text within a dot point that is not a complete sentence:
For example: Before sending in your application:
Text within a dot point that is a complete sentence has:
For example: Your application must include two parts:
Use a colon (:) to indicate the start of a list.
There are two main types of dashes, or rules: an 'em' (—) dash and an 'en' (–) dash. An em dash is the width the width of the letter 'm' in a given font and the en dash is half that length.
Use an en (dash (not a hyphen or em dash) to indicate sequences of years, time, distance or page numbers, e.g. 1994–96, pp 477–83.
Use an em dash, or rule, with no spaces either side, to introduce an explanation, e.g. You need to apply—on the correct form—by the deadline.
Note: On websites, the en and em rules are often not displayed correctly. For this reason it may be preferable to use a hyphen for en and em rules in web copy.
Also refer to Hyphens.
Use exclamation marks (!) sparingly.
Hyphens are usually omitted, except when:
Frequently used hyphenated words include:
The following are typically not hyphenated:
Use single quotation marks. Double quotation marks should be used only for quotations within quotations.
Place quotation marks round the names of articles or other short documents, but use italics for titles of booklets or books (as shown in the following examples):
Use semicolons (;) to separate parts of a sentence or items in a list, if commas could cause confusion. Semicolons are often misused in bullet lists. A colon (:) is the correct punctuation for use in lists.
In general, use only one space after full stops, semicolons, and colons.
Authorised by the Associate Director, Service Delivery & Support
5 October, 2011