Introduction to AMOS

Welcome to the Australian manual of style (AMOS).

AMOS has been designed to give Australia’s writers, editors and designers an Australian-based resource to help them create clear and effective content. It has been developed from Biotext’s Australian manual of scientific style by Biotext and Macquarie University, with input from Australian writing, editing and discipline experts.

Who is the manual for?

AMOS is for anyone who writes, edits or designs content. This includes researchers and students in academia; writers in government departments and agencies, nongovernment organisations and industry; large and small businesses; and journalists, writers and editors in all forms of media.

AMOS can help you to produce a variety of content, from reports to websites, journal articles, fact sheets, maps and graphs.

What does AMOS cover?

AMOS is a comprehensive manual that addresses the main issues encountered by writers, editors and designers. It has 6 main sections:

  • Engaging helps you to understand your audiences and how to connect with them.
  • Writing explores the principles of good writing to help you to communicate information in a way that is easy to read and understand, and avoid the major pitfalls that can block effective communication.
  • Editing provides the ‘nuts and bolts’ of grammar, style and formatting, from capitalisation to hyphenation and referencing.
  • Showing describes how best to present graphs, tables and other visual information, and includes help with data visualisation and infographics.
  • Subject areas has specific style advice for various disciplines, such as arts, mathematics, fields of science, and social science.
  • Resources provides practical tools, downloadable guides and e-learning modules to help you to develop effective communication skills.

What doesn’t AMOS cover?

AMOS does not aim to reproduce the information in other grammar or specialised discipline style guides.

However, throughout the text, there are references to more detailed and specialist information, including comprehensive internationally recognised resources for each discipline. This provides guidance should you need additional information on particular issues.

What style rules have been followed in AMOS?

AMOS was developed by Australian writing, editing and design professionals, informed by discipline experts.

AMOS styles for subject areas are based on primary international and Australian sources, wherever possible, and these are shown at the start of relevant subsections. We have used both the 6th edition of the Australian Government style manual, and the updated online manual, to inform some of the style rules. We have also referred to the Council of Science Editors Scientific style and format (8th edition) and other internationally recognised style manuals listed in the Resources section.

A summary of differences between AMOS and the online Australian Government style manual is provided in a quick guide.

How can I get involved?

We welcome input from members of the writing, editing and design community to further develop AMOS as an Australian resource. Please fill in our feedback form if you have any suggestions about AMOS.

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