Writers’ Guide and Stylesheets

Below are the Writers’ Guide and Stylesheets. These complement the official Editorial Policy:

Writers’ Expectations (Note: Exceptions to these expectations are perfectly normal.)

  • Posts can be any length, ranging from brief photo/video/chart posts to long discourses of 3000+ words. Let your topic guide you on length.
  • There should be a meaningful photo, uploaded to the ‘featured’ box on the bottom right of the WordPress post editor page. If you can’t find a photo, email the writers list (, or take one from the Flickr pool (located on the sidebar of the home page).
  • At this time, does not heavily edit posts. However, if you want someone to look at your writing or if you have a question, email our editorial team (
  • Add an author biography and photo to appear at the bottom of your posts. Feel free to embed links into your author biography.


  • “” is title-cased.
  • Key Words in Titles are Capitalized.
  • Generally, follow AP Style Book guidelines
  • Titles should be descriptive and precise, and typically no more than eight words. Titles are used as the major links on Facebook and Twitter shares.
  • All acronyms should be written out in full the first time you use them; e.g. level of service (LOS).
  • Add links to references when possible.
  • If possible, include subheadings every few paragraphs
  • Avoid or explain jargon.
  • Please aim your post at a non-technical audience. (Caveat: Some posts are just fine aimed at a technical audience.) Ideally, most posts on should be interesting to people who aren’t already working in the land use or transportation fields. We want the site to appeal to a broad cross-section of Minnesotans.
  • Please remember has non-Metro audiences (avoid too much “inside baseball”). (Caveat: Some posts are just fine aimed at a Metro Area audience.) Try not to assume that everyone knows what a particular street or neighborhood looks like. We want the site to appeal to a broad cross-section of Minnesotans.
  • Reference other topical posts when possible (e.g. skyways).
  • Numbers less than ten (10) should be spelled out.
  • No Oxford commas.
  • Photos should have descriptive captions and alt-text
  • Photos should not be copyright protected, though this is up to the individual author. (All posts are licensed to with a Creative Commons license)
  • Photos should be at least 300px wide, and usually placed either centered (with no text wrap) or on the right hand side of the post (with text wrap). Note: for photo heavy posts, other options might be better.
  • For images, it’s usually a good idea to select “link to image file” when you are placing the image in your post.  That way, people can click on the image to get an expanded view.
  • Multi-part posts are rarely completed; avoid posting them until you have written all the parts.
  • Long posts could be separated into multi-part posts
  • Posts should only be titled with questions if the post is actually asking a question.
  • The text: “This was cross/also posted on/from” should be a footer at the end of a post, not at the beginning.


  • Announcements  – site-specific announcements
  • Best of – a best of vote or result
  • Chart – a chart, or map, with or without discussion
  • Events – an event (speech, activity, etc.) with a particular time and place
  • Then and Now – A comparison of some location today with some location at a previous point in time.
  • Maps – a map, with or without discussion.
  • Photos  –  (Friday Photo) post featuring a photo or photos from the Flickr pool
  • Polls – a poll using the poll plugin
  • Sketches {Sunday} – (Sunday Sketch) drawings
  • Summary {Sunday} – (Sunday Summary) the weekly summary of on-site posts (Title = Sunday Summary – Month Day, Year)