Our voice establishes the foundation of the Sentient Science brand. No matter what role we play in Sentient Science, others will be influenced by your style of writing and presentations. The way we communicate is a reflection of our culture, values, and commitment to our customers. We need to make sure that these traits come through in all of our customer-facing communications.
All our messages, including letters, emails, presentations, articles, press releases and many others should be consistent across the organization. We should be recognized as professional communicators to both our internal and external stakeholders.
To speak to our audiences with a consistent voice, it is important that we all follow the same guidelines for grammar, punctuation, and acronyms for online and paper-based communication.
Lists and bullet points
Lists are helpful for splitting up information to make it clearer for the reader – especially in presentations.
- One is where you have a continuous sentence that needs particular points pulled out to emphasize or make your sentence clearer.
- The other is a list of separate points or complete sentences.
For example, for a continuous sentence, use round bullet points, put semi-colons (;) after each point and start with a lower case letter.
To apply for Sentient Science you must prove that:
- you are a social business or a third sector enterprise;
- you want to help deliver useful services; and
- you have a business bank account.
For a general list, use bullet points and a full stop on the final bullet.
Three groups of Sentient Science’s Investment associates were targeted to attend the network day.
- BME-led organizations
- social enterprises
- community groups.
Numbers in text
When writing figures please use the following:
For the numbers one to nine, always use words.
For 10 upwards, use figures.
Seven-year old Masood received an award.
Media has 11 new applicants.
Where there is a mixture of the two in the same sentence, use all figures:
There are 8 organizations working with 10,000 people.
Dates and times
Always write the date in full, with the use of commas:
Thursday, March 25, 2013
Only shorten the date to numerical form when labelling or naming documents.
New chief executive appointed at The Mango Project (07.25.13)
Always write out centuries in full:
Sentient Science was founded in the twenty-first century.
Express the time using either the 12 hour or 24 hour clock:
The meeting will run from 10:00am – 1:00pm.
Training begins promptly at 14:00.
Do not use a combination of both:
The center opens at 10:00am and shuts at 16:00.
Please take care when using apostrophes. Apostrophes should only be used:
To show possession:
my mother’s doctor
Mark’s event really went well
last year’s conference
In an abbreviated word:
it’s - it is
don’t - do not
haven’t - have not.
An apostrophe should not be used in the word ‘its’, when it indicates possession, for example:
The Cabinet Office said in its report.
Do not use:
The Cabinet Office said in it’s report.
And in dates, years or groups of organizations/ professions:
An exception to apostrophe rule
However when indicating possession, and using Sentient Science’s full title, please use ’s. For example:
Sentient Science’s investors all met for a network day.
When using just Sentient Science as a title or word on its own, for design consistency, please omit the ’s.
To be grammatically correct, you would have to use: Sentient Science’s annual review, to show possession. For this reason please only use’s when using the full title.
So for example, don’t use:
Sentient’s Annual Review
Sentient Science’ Annual Review
Sentient Science Annual Review
Use hyphens sparingly. More often than not, words with hyphens can be written as one word without causing confusion. For example, there is no need for a hyphen in:
Use a hyphen when two vowels are alike:
Other exceptions to the rule include:
If in doubt, always consult a dictionary.
The quickest way to alienate an audience is to use jargon in your written communications without taking the time to spell out or explain what words or phrases mean.
You cannot guarantee that your leaflets, posters, letters or stories will be read by people with the same level of knowledge as you, and you should not assume those witha good understanding of the sector will be familiar with the thousands of acronyms used across Sentient Science.
Acronyms should always be set out in capital letters and written out in full on their first outing.
Remaining Useful Life (RUL)
Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME)
Digital Clone Live (DCL)
If you are writing a lengthy document with numerous sections or chapters, don’t rely on your reader remembering an acronym you highlighted in your introduction. To help your readers, start each chapter or section reiterating the acronyms in full.
As always, be consistent throughout your entire document.