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Content guides Punctuation principles

Punctuation needs to be consistent and minimal so it does not slow users down. This is important when there are many questions for a user to answer on a survey or questionnaire.

Use the following punctuation guidance for survey content:

When to use full stops

Use full sentences with full stops for any of the following content:

  • interstitial, start, confirmation or submission pages on surveys
  • any normal body text
  • content within accordions

When not to use full stops

Do not use full stops for:

  • survey question descriptions
  • question guidance panels (includes warning, padlock and thank you panels)
  • question headings (all questions should only ever end in a question mark, even if multiple sentences)
  • answer labels
  • answer descriptions
  • error messages
  • error summaries

Important information:

Exception: Do use full stops if there are multiple sentences and/or multiple paragraphs

Do not include full stops inside hyperlinks if they come at the end of a sentence.

If the hyperlink is an email address, try to put it at the end of a paragraph and do not use a full stop. This makes it easier for the user to copy and paste the email address.

Do not use a full stop if you are ending a sentence using an external link.

There is more detail about punctuation on Style.ONS