Formatting your post

Date, by Nom de Plum.

This is a temporary post to help you understand how to format your blog post BEFORE you publish.

Title: all good blog posts and journalistic pieces have creative titles, of course. These are designed to both inform and hook the reader. In the 21st century, these have morphed into “click-bait.” Think through a good title and be sure to give your post one.

Pasting your written text: When you paste the text of your written post into WordPress, use the “html” pane (above right). This will bring in the text only and not any hidden formatting from Google Docs, for example. Note that this will eliminate italicized, bolded, or other formatted parts of your text. Then, click the “visual” pane to re-format your text.

Citation List: At the end of your post skip a line or two then insert a horizontal line (toggle advanced on the toolbar above) and list your sources. Keep in mind that the numbers of your source list refer to order-of-appearance citations in your writing. Example:


  1. Source 1
  2. Source 2
  3. etc…

Shortening Footnotes: The first footnote referring to any given source should give the full information about the source, however subsequent notes can be shortened — all that is needed is author, title, page number. Example:

5. Michelle Stacy, The Fasting Girl: A True Victorian Medical Mystery (New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 2002), 18.

8. Stacy, The Fasting Girl, 18.

Superscripts: In Chicago style, you number your citations and put the corresponding number after the sentence in your text as a superscript. In the “html” pane (above right) use this code: <sup>TEXT HERE</sup>

[OPTIONAL] Linking superscripts to your citation list: You can link your superscripts to each number in your Bibliography so that the reader can easily access your list by creating “Page Jumps” — follow the instructions here [link].

Actual vs. Fictitious Quotations: It is important that your reader knows what are real and what are fictional quotes in your work. If you are mixing real and “fake” quotes in your writing, use superscripts to reference each. For real quotes, your superscript should refer to the source. For fake quotes, your superscript should refer to a line item “fictitious.”

Images: Use the plus sign + “add media” to insert images or other media items to your post. Note the options for formatting, including horizontal alignment and text wrapping.

Image / Media Citations: Underneath your Bibliography, skip a line and add “Image Sources:” and provide the URL where the original can be viewed.

Categories: Before you publish, choose a category in the right sidebar that corresponds to your post. If you don’t see one that fits, ask Mike to create one.

Tags: Choose from the list of keywords, and/or add keywords that correspond to the content of your post. Tags help search engines and blog visitors to find your post.

Preview and Publish: As you are working in, your post is available for “preview” using the button in the top right corner of the window. When you are satisfied with how your post looks in preview, click the blue “Publish” button. You can edit the final published post at any time and “Update” it.

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