Submit your article in a Microsoft Word document, Times New Roman font face, 12-point font size and double-spaced.
Each article should begin with a suggested title (headline) and byline.
A Story About Camshaft Chains
By Paul Glaves
In BMW Owners News, Owners News or the shortened BMW ON should always be italicized and capitalized, and BMW should always precede it (BMW ON).
If your article is about pressure gauges, provide captions for all photos and rename the photos so they are numbered: #1 PG, #2 PG, #3 PG, etc. Place the caption descriptions at the bottom of your Word document or as a separate Word document. With photos we want the names, locations and the why.
Do a spelling and grammar check prior to submission. Eliminate excessive expletives (!!!), and do not use ellipses (...). All caps should only be used for acronyms, not for emphasis (use italics for emphasis).
Avoid fragments and incomplete sentences:
Folks from all over the States, Canada and a few Brits, too.
Went back for the evening meal and maybe a debrief.
An old Airhead.
ABBREVIATIONS FOR STATES
Use the two letter abbreviation according to the USPS.
Use the apostrophe with contractions. The apostrophe is always placed at the spot where the letter(s) has been removed: don't, isn't.
Use the apostrophe to show possession. Place the apostrophe before the "s" to show singular possession.
It was a full day's ride across the desert.
To show plural possession, make the noun plural first and then immediately use the apostrophe.
It was two full days' ride across the desert.
When using Firstgear, Velcro®, Aerostich (not Aerostitch), Metzeler (not Metzler), Jesse, Sargent, et al., pay particular attention to the proper names of these and other companies and capitalize and spell them correctly. If in doubt, look them up on the Internet.
Use trademark and copyright symbols (these marks are in the symbol table) where appropriate and be consistent with the usage throughout the document.
When naming a commercial enterprise, do not use "Inc.," "Ltd.," "LLC" or other qualifying text following the company name.
Do not use "Velcro®" when you mean "hook-and-loop fastener." That's like writing "Apple" or "Dell" when you should have used "computer," or "Frigidaire" when you meant "refrigerator."
Although it is not stylistically correct to capitalize the titles of club officers when they do not occur just before the name of the officer (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, etc.), we make an exception for the BMW ON. Our members expect to see their title capitalized, even if it is technically incorrect to do so.
I am going to run for President of the Bay City Riders next year.
Jim is our new Treasurer, and he is doing a great job.
Any reference to the International Rally needs to be capitalized. It's a bit of branding. When referring to other rallies, a lower-case "rally" is fine.
We left two weeks early for the long ride to Redmond for the Rally.
The names of the seasons (winter, spring, summer and fall) are normally not capitalized.
The BMW Owners News capitalizes the following words, as they are proper nouns.
North, south, east, and west are not capitalized when used as cardinal directions. Portions of continents, such as West Coast and East Coast, the South and the North are capitalized, as are the Far East, Central Asia, Western Australia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Portions of states, such as western Pennsylvania and southern California, are not capitalized.
HYPHENS/EN DASHES/EM DASHES
Use a hyphen (-) when adding a prefix to some words. The purpose of this hyphen is to make the word easier to read. Let the dictionary be your guide for when to use the hyphen after a prefix.
reattach, but re-energize
Use hyphens when creating compound words from separate words.
The GPS provided critical, up-to-the-minute location information.
An en dash (-) is most commonly used to indicate a range of numbers. In Microsoft Word, the en dash can be found in the symbol table under "special characters." Leave no character spaces in front of or behind an en dash.
The lever costs $15-18. The rally is scheduled for the weekend of 22-24 July.
The em dash (-) connects an independent clause with another, with a separate or interrupting thought plus a conjunction (or, but, yet, as, for, and) after the second dash.
I had to push aside the tree branch-it was in my face-or I couldn't see the trail in front of me.
I let go of the tree branch-it slapped my wife on her helmet-but now I could see where I was going.
Em dashes are also used to offset lists placed in the middle of an independent clause, where commas are already used.
The entire contents of my tank bag-water bottle, sandwiches, cell phone, lip balm, sun screen, maps, tire gage and logbook-fell into the creek.
When using Microsoft Word, type two hyphens in between the words you wish to separate, leaving no spaces before or after hyphens. The processor will automatically change the two hyphens into an em dash. The em dash is also available in the "special characters" symbol table.
Disable all website hyperlinks.
Italicize the titles of books, magazines, newspapers, long plays and poems. In writing the titles of newspapers or magazines, do not italicize the word "the," even when it is part of the title, as in the New York Times. Italicize names of motorcycle journals and magazines: Cycle World, Motorcyclist, RoadRUNNER, Rider, etc. When using italics, there is no need to also use quotation marks.
The last word belongs to the editor. If you have questions regarding a particular word, sentence, paragraph, usage or quotation, and you can't resolve it yourself, highlight the text in question with yellow or green. In your e-mail back to the editor, mention the problem area so it will be addressed.
Never begin a sentence with the word "And."
Banish the ampersand (&); use "and."
The % sign is used in tables but is always written out in text: "50 percent."
We use the following notation for motorcycle models (without spaces):
R1200GS Adventure or R1200GSA upon second reference
Motorcycles are not people. In general, we edit out references to motorcycles as "she" or "her," as well as "he" or "his." Motorcycles should be referred to as an "it."
Incorrect: "Once I got a look at her, I was in love. She was a gorgeous K100."
Correct: "It is the most beautiful motorcycle I have ever seen."
Foreign words, such as are commonly found in international travel articles, should be italicized. Foreign city and country names should appear as they are found in common gazetteers, without italics.
Use italics, vice all caps, for emphasis in text.
The grammar checker included with Microsoft Word is quite powerful when it comes to checking matters of style in your writing. One of the things you can have Word check for is whether you are using numbers correctly in your text. Normally, any number ten or less should be spelled out (such as "nine bikes" or "three riders"). If the number is larger than ten, it should be expressed with numerals (as in "47 spokes" or "12 splines").
If the material within parentheses appears within a sentence, do not use a capital letter or period to punctuate that material, even if the material is itself a complete sentence. (A question mark or exclamation mark, however, might be appropriate and necessary.) If the material within your parentheses is written as a separate sentence (not included within another sentence), punctuate it as if it were a separate sentence.
The period and comma are always placed inside the ending quotation marks, regardless if the quotation is an entire sentence or just two words. (This differs from British English, wherein the period or comma is placed outside the quotation marks.)
Single quotation marks are used only when there is a quotation inside a quotation that is denoted by double quotation marks.
"John said to me, 'I bet you can't do this!' just before he wheelied across the puddle."
Quotation marks are used to set off words that are used in a non-standard meaning. These are commonly referred to as "scare quotes" and have many applications. The author may intend sarcasm or irony, may want to show disbelief or non-acceptance, or simply distance himself from the word or words in quotation marks. If you have questions about this usage of quotation marks, use them (but not single quotation marks), and the copy editor will sort it out.
Semicolons join related main clauses when a coordinating conjunction is not used.
I will ride my motorcycle to work every day; you can't stop me.
Semicolons work with conjunctive adverbs to join main clauses.
I would like to go to the meeting with you; however, I'm going to the rally instead.
Use a semicolon to separate items in a series that contains commas.
I packed my saddlebags with old, comfortable jeans; tools, oil and first aid supplies; and lots of homemade, fresh snacks for the road.
In a sequence, no series comma is needed between the last two listed items as such:
"I packed my map, compass and gloves."
Only ONE space is needed between sentences. Please indent the second paragraph and every subsequent paragraph. The first line of text in every section should be justified full left. The first line of text after a list should also be justified full left.
If the action of a story happened in the past, then the story should be written entirely in past tense. Our authors have a tendency to flow between first and third person, and present and past tenses. Please make it your goal when editing to bring an entire story into one tense and one person.
Use figures except for noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes and lower case for a.m. and p.m.: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Avoid such redundancies as 10 a.m. this morning, 10 p.m. tonight or 10 p.m. Monday night. The construction 4 o'clock is acceptable, but time listings with a.m. or p.m. are preferred. Spell out: 50 hours, 23 minutes and 14 seconds.
Questions? Please contact our Managing Editor Bill Wiegand via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 636-394-7277.