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Style guide

A Style Guide for Danwei Posts

  1. General style guidelines
  2. Formatting
  3. Tags

General text style guidelines

The Golden Rule
Danwei is dedicated to information about Chinese media and China, not punditry: all posts should contain at least one fact — and preferably more — for every opinion.

Language, grammar and style

  • American spelling and usage;
  • Use straight quotes (tick marks), not smart quotes;
  • Use double quote marks for direct quotations;
  • For names of publications, movies, TV programs and other media, use italics for the English name;
  • For Chinese names (of people, media, companies and government organizations) that are not mentioned frequently on Danwei but which play an important role in the post, include the Chinese characters for the name in parentheses after the English or pinyin name;
  • Post length: Only the first few paragraphs should appear on the front page;
  • Headlines: post titles should be use ordinary sentence capitalization: The first letter of the first word and proper nouns should be capitalized, nothing else; the only exception is for the first part of regular columns, e.g. 'Xinhua Watch', 'Beijing Media Top Stories', 'Beijing Bestsellers'.

Headlines, images, image captions and links

  • Headlines should contain as much descriptive information as possible, so readers glancing at a headline can know immediately what the article is about. This also helps Google to correctly 'understand' the post.
  • All posts should ideally have an image.
  • All images should ideally have a caption. The caption can be humorous rather than informative, but must convey different information from the post's headline.
  • Ideally, there are no links within the body copy of an article, unless there is a particular reason for it. Links and sources should all be placed at the bottom of the post in the standard 'Links and Sources' format.


Image formattting

The standard size of the top left image is 160px in width with a variable height. Front pages and other images that might benefit from more detail may be 200px in width. Larger images should be saved as popups, with a standard size thumbnail appearing on the front page.


Use this code for images with captions (adjust the width: 160px to reflect the actual width of the image):

<div class="imgleft">IMG TAG COMES HERE<br /><div class="CaptionStyle" style="width: 160px;">CAPTION COMES HERE </div></div>

Use this code for images without captions:

<div class="imgleft">IMG TAG COMES HERE </div>

Other layouts can be used: <div class="imgright"> floats an image on the right-hand side. To place a large image all by itself, use <div class="imgblock">.

Links and sources formattting

Use this code and formatting:

<div class="LinksAndSourcesHeader">Links and Sources</div>
<div class="LinksAndSourcesText">
<li>Name of Source: <a href="http://WWW.SITE">LINK TEXT</a></li>
<li><i>Name of Source</i> via Some Website (Chinese): <a href="http://WWW.SITE.COM">Link Text</a></li>
<li>Image via <a href="http://WWW.SITE">Link Text</a></li>
<li>Earlier on Danwei: <a href="http://WWW.SITE">Link Text</a></li>

Names of newspapers and magazines should be italicized, and the language should be indicated if it's not English. Link titles should be in English.

If the link is to a website that has republished an article that originally appeared elsewhere, indicate this with a "via" note. Check Danwei's China Media Guide for standard names of Chinese media)

Other formatting

Centering article titles:

<div class="essayTitle">
<h3>Title of essay</h3>
by Author / Organization

Special posts

Featured video

  • Title: the title (this needs to be a single line above the video, so you might have to edit it once you've published the post)
  • Body: this is what shows up on the front page. Basically, just paste in the "embed" or "share" code (or whatever else it might be called) from the video host website, then leave a blank line, then write up a short description.
  • Extended: If there's anything else you want to say about the video that you can't fit into the short description, put it here.
  • Tags: As usual.
  • Excerpt: I usually just copy the short description in here.
  • Category: Featured Video, and one or two others if you really think it needs it.

China books

Posts placed in the "China Books" category will show up in the sidebar (the sidebar is not updated immediately, so don't worry if it doesn't show up right away).

An additional thumbnail image, width 80px, needs to be made and pasted into the "Keywords" field.

Model Worker Awards

The Danwei Model Worker Award is granted by Danwei editors to blogs that we feel are especially worth reading. The full list is generated automatically by posts carrying the tags @mwchinese or @mwenglish, for Chinese-language and English-language blogs, respectively.

These posts are usually made under the Blogs category. The image is a 250px-wide screenshot of the blog itself, and the caption is a link to the blog's URL.

The Excerpt field should be a short description to the blog and should include a link. This will be used in the full list of Model Workers.


General tagging

Tags on Danwei are a way to connect similarly-themed posts without explicitly inserting links into the "Links and Sources" section.

Add tags for

  • Names: Notable people mentioned in the post, original authors, and guest posters.
  • Titles: Newspaper names (particularly for the Front Page of the Day) and magazine titles. These tags link up with corresponding entries on Danwei's China Media Guide.
  • Keywords: Major themes and ideas mentioned in the post. Consider how you'd describe the post in single words or short phrases, and use those as tags.

Each author tends to have a particular tagging style; check out the tags for other posts to get a feel for how they're used.

At the moment, Danwei uses tags in English only.

Special Tags

These special tags are used to direct the website to handle the post in a particular way. They don't display in the published post.

  • @classic: Inserts the post into a list of Classic Posts, as well as the randomly-generated selection of posts under "From the Archives" in the sidebar.
  • @noads: Suppresses Google ads on the post archive page.
  • @altcat: The contents of the "Keywords" field will be used instead of the normal "Category" header displaying above the post title. Use this method instead of adding a new category.
  • @nofeed: The post will not be included in the RSS feed. This is a valid tag for the Must-read China News blog as well, and is useful when a Top Banner is linked to a main Danwei post.
  • @mwchinese, @mwenglish: Marks the post as Chinese and English Model Worker Awards, respectively.

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