Author Style Guide for Articles

The first sentence should be formatted in Heading 3 size, as a brief, compelling intro to the article.

This is an example of how an article might be formatted. This article detail should be relatively the same as always, but we’d like to spice it up and keep readers engaged. Even if the information is compelling and interesting, if it’s not laid out in an easily digestible way, it’s difficult to stay connected to the material.

Related: Author Image Guidelines

Engagement can be increased in a number of ways:

  1. Lists: using formatted lists (like this one) if there is content that can be formatted as lists
  2. Article Titles: throughout the article (like the one above) in Heading 4 size – see below the line for more details
  3. Additional Photos: insert additional pictures, especially if it helps tell the story of the article – there should be at least 2 photos in longer articles so an image is at least always partially viewable on the screen
  4. Internal Links: try to include 1-2 links to other parts of site – health centers are great when a condition is mentioned, related articles, slideshows or videos, etc
  5. Blockquotes: use at least one in each article by selecting (Blockquote) and changing the font to Heading 4 size
    • Additional blockquotes can be used in longer articles – aim for a blockquote every two paragraphs or 200 words
  6. Citations: authors notes or cited work should appear in an 8pt font below the article, not at the start
  7. Dashes: use em-dashes ( – ) instead of the standard dash ( – )
  8. Links: do not write out a hyperlink (ex: Visit my site at ­–­ instead, simply hyperlink the text to the page (ex: Visit my site.)

For specifics on images, please reference the article Image Guidelines, which can be obtained from


How to deal with a press release article:

  • Treat these as you would any other article – often, these types of articles become a bit more science-jargon heavy, and reference the release numerous times – instead, glean from the release a compelling story (even if short) that is more accessible to our audience and doesn’t appear to be coming from a press release
  • Do not site the source at the beginning of the article, if you do want to cite the article, place it at the end of the article, in an 8pt font


Author notes and sources/citations should be at the end, NOT the beginning of the article, in a font size 8 and italic. Please keep it as short as possible and add an extra space in between the article text and the beginning of the note. Also, please note – please don’t add stand-alone author website urls (i.e., but rather input as hyperlinks to the Author Name.



Slideshows standards:

  • Use landscape-style images, not portrait
  • Follow the same standard of image selection, noted in detail in Image Guidelines



SEO optimization:

Right rail in the WordPress backend:
  • Categories: select 1 – 3
  • Tags: select 5 – 10
In the SEO settings:
  • Search Engine Listing: this is how content will appear in search engines
    • Title Tag: formatted as following; Title of Article | thirdAGE
    • Meta Description: 1 – 2 brief sentences about the article, if should be unique and not be a sentence that has already been used in the article
  • Social Networks Listing: this is how content will appear in social media posts
    • Title: the title of the article
    • Description: can be the same as the Meta Description
    • Image: it will carry over from the Featured Image that is already uploaded
    • Links + Miscellaneous: no need to do anything with this



How to Use Specific Formats:

Heading 1: Do not use – SEO issue

Heading 2: Generally not needed

Heading 3: Use this for first sentence of the article

Heading 4: To be used for articles that have multiple section titles throughout

Heading 5: A smaller alternative, good for lists, etc
Heading 6: Can be used if it makes sense

While using “Headings,” do NOT use bold, as they are already formatted to be bold and selecting the bold will slightly corrupt them.

Blockquotes are callouts of important text within a large chunk of text – to be formatted in H4 and used about every 200 words or every 2 paragraphs

Italic: Used to cite, quote, etc

Bold: Use sparingly

Regular: This is the standard text throughout the article

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