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Editorial Style Guide

Updated: Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

Reference Sources:

  • Webster’s New World College Dictionary (Fifth Edition)
  • AP Stylebook

Section titles are capitalized based on appropriate language usage.


In general, avoid unnecessary abbreviations in running text.

Correct: Professor Jones won the award.

Incorrect: Prof. Jones won the award.

An exception would be when an exact date is listed. The months Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. should be abbreviated (e.g., She was born on Aug. 3, 2004.)

With entities whose abbreviations are not well known, spell out the entity’s name on first reference.

Correct: The school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

If the first reference will be followed with a second reference, the first reference should also include the abbreviation or acronym set off in parentheses:

Correct: The school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The AACSB was founded in 1916 to provide accreditation to schools of business.

Well known acronyms and initialisms can be used on first reference without spelling out the entity’s name. Some examples: FBI, IBM, NASA, NBA, NFL, SAT.

academic degrees

Use AP Style: If mention of degree(s) is necessary to establish someone’s credentials, the preferred form is to avoid an abbreviation and use instead a phrase such as: John Jones, who has a doctorate in psychology.

Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, a master’s, etc. There is no possessive when writing Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science, or associate degree.

Use such abbreviations as B.A., M.A., LL.D. and Ph.D. only when the need to identify many individuals by degree on first reference would make the preferred form cumbersome. Use these abbreviations only after a full name — never after just a last name.

When used after a name, an academic abbreviation is set off by commas: John Snow, Ph.D., spoke. Do not precede a name with a courtesy title for an academic degree and follow it with the abbreviation for the degree in the same reference.

Correct: Aaron Furgason, Ph.D.
Incorrect: Dr. Aaron Furgason, Ph.D.

Use Dr. only for medical doctors. Faculty members should be referred to by their professorial titles (e.g., Professor Jones, Assistant Professor, Specialist Professor)

Use periods in academic degrees and professional and honorary designations. For example, B.A., B.S., Ph.D.

Baccalaureate is reserved for use in commencement materials and in accreditation language required by accrediting organizations. In all other instances, bachelor or bachelor’s is preferred.

academic departments and administrative offices

Capitalize the formal names of departments and offices; do not capitalize informal names and incomplete designations.

Department of Chemistry
the chemistry department
the department

the Office of Undergraduate Admission
the admission office
the office


This is the preferred spelling in all official Monmouth University communications.

African American, Black

Acceptable for an American Black person of African descent. Also acceptable is Black. The terms are not necessarily interchangeable. People from Caribbean nations, for example, generally refer to themselves as Caribbean American. Follow a person’s preference.


Not afterwards


Use the correct form of the word:

Alumna denotes a singular female.

Mary Smith is an alumna of Monmouth University.

Alumnae denotes plural female.

The women are Monmouth University alumnae.

Alumni denotes plural male and plural when both men and women are included.

Bob, Mary, and the rest of the alumni group participated in the event.

Alumnus denotes a singular male.

Bob Jones is an alumnus of Monmouth University.

Never use casual terms alum or alumn. See also “class years” below.


Use only as part of formal corporate and publication names. Otherwise spell out and.


Not backwards

buildings, places, centers

Capitalize the formal names of buildings, places, and centers.
In general, omit the first name of the person for whom a building or center is named, unless the reference is for formal, memorial, or ceremonial purposes (e.g., formal invitations, citations, donor acknowledgment).

Pozycki Hall
Woods Theatre
Plangere Center

In general, put the building name first followed by the room number:

Bey Hall, Room 208

For large auditoriums, put the room first followed by the building name:

H.R. Young Auditorium in Bey Hall

See the list below for specific guidance on building and place names:

600 Art Building

Use the full name in all references.

Alumni House

Acceptable in all references.

Athletics Building

Acceptable in all references.

Beechwood Hall

Acceptable in all references.

Bey Hall

Acceptable on first reference. Formal use: Samuel E. and Mollie Bey Hall.

Birch Hall

Acceptable in all references.

Lois Blonder Sculpture Garden

Use the full name on first reference. Use of “the sculpture garden” is acceptable on subsequent references.

Boylan Gymnasium

Acceptable on first reference. Boylan Gym is acceptable in subsequent references. Formal use: William T. Boylan Gymnasium.

Brockriede Commons

Acceptable in all references.

Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University

Acceptable on first reference. In situations when Monmouth University becomes repetitive or when it is absolutely clear that the Archives is a part of the University, you may drop the University’s name from the title: Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music.

On subsequent references, the Archives is acceptable. Formal use: Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University

Cedar Hall

Acceptable in all references.

Ciniello Family Bowling Center

Use on first reference. The bowling center is acceptable in subsequent references.

DiMattio Gallery

Acceptable in all references.

Doherty House

Acceptable in all references.

Edison Science Building

Acceptable in all references. Formal use: Thomas Alva Edison Science Building.

Elmwood Hall

Acceptable in all references.

Erlanger Memorial Gardens

Use on first reference. In subsequent references, “Erlanger Gardens” or “the gardens” is acceptable. Formal use: Charles and Rebecca Erlanger Memorial Gardens.

Garden Apartments

Acceptable in all references.

the Gateway

Acceptable in all references. Formal use: Patricia L. Swannack ’02 Gateway

Great Hall

Acceptable on first reference. Use of the “the Great Hall” is also acceptable on first reference. Formal use: the Great Hall at Shadow Lawn.

Great Hall Annex

Acceptable on first reference. Formal use: Great Hall at Shadow Lawn Annex.

Great Hall Auditorium

Acceptable on first reference.

Great Lawn Apartments

Acceptable in all references.

Guggenheim Memorial Library

Acceptable on first reference. Use of the “the Guggenheim Library” is also acceptable on first reference. “The library” is acceptable in subsequent references. Formal use: Murry and Leonie Guggenheim Memorial Library.

Health Center

Acceptable in all references.

Hesse Field on the Great Lawn

Use the full name on first reference. “Hesse Field” or “the field” is acceptable in subsequent references.

Howard Hall

Acceptable on first reference. Formal use: James and Marlene Howard Hall.

Kessler Stadium

Acceptable on first reference. Formal use: Henni Kantor Kessler and John H. Kessler Stadium.

Lakehouse Recording Studios

Use the full name on first reference. In subsequent references, “Lakehouse” is acceptable.

Laurel Hall

Acceptable in all references.

Magill Commons

Acceptable on first reference. Formal use: Samuel Hays Magill Commons.

Maplewood Hall

Acceptable in all references.

McAllan Hall

Acceptable on first reference. Formal use: Robert E. McAllan Hall.

Dr. Marilyn McNeil Arena

Acceptable in all references.

Monmouth University

Use the full name on first reference. In subsequent references, Monmouth or the University (note capitalization) are acceptable. Capitalize the word “University” whenever referring to Monmouth University, even though the word Monmouth may not precede it. Exception: follow AP Style for all press releases and media communications, i.e., use lowercase u when referring to the university.

Do not use “MU” in official publications. Avoid the use of “MU” when possible.

Monmouth University Fitness Center

Use the full name on first reference. In subsequent references, “the Fitness Center” or “the center” are acceptable.

Monmouth University Graduate Center

Use the full name on first reference. In subsequent references, “the Graduate Center” is acceptable.

Mullaney Hall

Acceptable on first reference. Formal use: H. William and Sandra I. Mullaney Hall.

Oakwood Hall

Acceptable in all references.

OceanFirst Bank Center

Use the full name on first reference, and never abbreviate in subsequent references. Use of “the arena” is also acceptable on subsequent references.

Pinewood Hall

Acceptable in all references.

Plangere Center

Acceptable on first reference. Formal use: Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication and Instructional Technology.

Pollak Gallery

Acceptable in all references.

Pollak Theatre

Acceptable in all references.

Pozycki Hall

Acceptable on first reference. Formal use: Steven J. and Elaine Pozycki Hall.

Rechnitz Hall

Acceptable on first reference. Formal use: Joan and Robert Rechnitz Hall.

Redwood Hall

Acceptable in all references.

Rotary Ice House Gallery

Use the full name on first reference. “The gallery” is acceptable on subsequent references provided it won’t be confused with other galleries on campus.

So Sweet A Cat Field

Use the full name on first reference. Use of “the field” is acceptable on subsequent references.

Spruce Hall

Acceptable in all references.

Stafford Center

Acceptable on first reference. Student Center is also acceptable on first reference. Formal use: Rebecca Stafford Student Center.

Steadman Natatorium

Acceptable on first reference. Formal use: Richard E. Steadman Natatorium.

Torcivia Common

Acceptable in all references.

Virginia A. Cory Community Garden

Use the full name on first reference. Use of “the community garden” or “the garden” is acceptable on subsequent references.

Willow Hall

Acceptable in all references.

Woods Theatre

Acceptable on first reference. Formal use: Lauren K. Woods Theatre.

University Bluffs Apartments or University Bluffs

Both are acceptable on first reference.


Avoid capitalization of generic terms (e.g., master’s degree, bachelor’s degree).

departments, offices, committees, the Board of Trustees

The formal names of departments, offices, programs, committees, and institutions are capitalized; informal names and incomplete designations are not.


Department of Computer Science; the computer science department; the department

Student Tactical Action Committee (STAC); the committee

Office of Marketing and Communications; the marketing and communications office; the office

The Monmouth University Board of Trustees; the trustees; the board


The formal names of special events are capitalized.

Opening Convocation; Senior Exhibition; Graduate Information Session; International Festival; Commencement.


Avoid over-capitalization of titles. In running text, a title is capitalized when it immediately precedes a person’s name (becoming, in effect, part of the name). The title is not capitalized when it follows a name.

President Patrick F. Leahy;
Patrick F. Leahy, president of Monmouth University;
the president

Vice President for Enrollment Management Robert D. Mc Caig
Robert D. Mc Caig, vice president for enrollment management

Dean of the School of Science Steven M. Bachrach;
Steven M. Bachrach, dean of the School of Science
the dean of the School of Science;
the dean

Professor of English Kristin Bluemel;
Kristin Bluemel, professor of English;
the professor

Richard Guilfoyle, professor emeritus of mathematics

Exceptions: A title may be capitalized when it appears on the line following the name (for example, on a letter, poster, or invitation or in running lists).


When referring to Monmouth University, “University” is always capitalized, except when used in press releases or media communications.

The formal names of buildings, schools, and places are capitalized.

Pollak Theatre; the theatre
Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies; the nursing school


The formal names of standardized tests are capitalized.

American College Testing (ACT)
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Advanced Placement (AP) test
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)


Lowercase unless part of a name. Spell out numerals under 10. Use ordinals for 10 and above.

Examples: the first century, 12th century, 20th Century Fox

Centers of Distinction

Acceptable on first reference. “the Center” or “the Centers” are acceptable in subsequent references.

Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University

Acceptable on first reference. On subsequent references, “The Bruce Springsteen Archives,” “the Archives,” and “BSACAM” are all acceptable.

Center for the Arts

Acceptable in all references.

Institute for Global Understanding

Acceptable in all references.

Kislak Real Estate Institute

Acceptable in all references.

Monmouth University Polling Institute

Acceptable on first reference. On subsequent references “the Polling Institute” is acceptable.

Urban Coast Institute

Acceptable in all references.

class years

Designate graduation years as follows:

Joe Jones ’88
Jane Jones ’89M (indicates a graduate degree recipient)
John Jones ’07, ’10M (use commas to separate multiple class years)
Bobbi Brown ’17HN (indicates honorary degree recipient)

Note the direction of the apostrophe. It is the same as a regular possessive e.g., Steve’s hammer

Capitalize “class” in all “Class of” references. Example: Members of the Class of 1970 gathered in the Great Hall.




The colon can be used to mark a break in grammatical construction equivalent to that marked by the semicolon. But the colon emphasizes the content relation between the separated elements, helping to expand upon the first sentence (e.g., Many of the policemen held additional jobs: Thirteen of them doubled as cab drivers.).

A colon is used to introduce a formal statement, an extract, or a speech in dialogue.
A colon is commonly used to introduce a list or a series.
Capitalize the first word after a colon when it is a proper noun or the first word in a complete sentence.


Monmouth University uses the serial or Oxford comma. In a series consisting of three or more elements, commas separate the elements. When a conjunction joins the last two elements in a series, a comma is used before the conjunction.

Place the comma when necessary before a closing quotation mark, after a closing parenthesis.

Do not use a comma to separate “Jr.”, “Sr.”, “II”, etc. from a person’s name (e.g., John Doe Jr.; NOT John Doe, Jr.) Exception: when an individual specifically indicates they style their name with a comma.


One word


COVID-19 stands for coronavirus disease 2019, and should be used when referring to the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. When referring to the virus itself, use coronavirus.


Dashes separate, hyphens join.

Generally, use a hyphen to join two or more words that come before a noun to modify it, except with words ending in -ly. (e.g., The smartly dressed man bought the newspaper-wrapped fish.)

An em dash (represented by two hyphens when typing) is used to denote a sudden break in thought that causes an abrupt change in sentence structure (e.g., “Will he—can he—obtain the necessary signatures?” Mills asked pointedly.).

An en dash is used to connect continuing, or inclusive, numbers including dates, times, or reference numbers. Examples: Mills attended from 1998–2001. The meeting is scheduled for 5–8 p.m. (See also “Ranges” entry below.)

The en dash is also used in a compound adjective when one of the elements of the adjective is an open compound or when two or more of the elements are hyphenated compounds: New York–London flight; post–Civil War period; non–English–speaking countries.


Never use ordinals (e.g., 1st, 2nd, 3rd) in dates, unless part of an existing, official title.

Capitalize the names of all months.

Exact dates are written in the sequence month-day-year, with the year set off by commas. (e.g., The events of April 18, 1775, have long been celebrated in song and story.)

Note that when an exact date is listed, the months Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. should be abbreviated. (e.g., She was born on Aug. 3, 2004.) When a month and year (but no day) is given, no comma is needed and the month should always be spelled out completely. (e.g., The study is expected to run through August 2018).

Years are expressed in numerals. Rather than beginning a sentence with a year, it is best to recast the sentence. (example: “The company was founded in 2002” is preferable to “2002 was the year the company was founded.”


The word “degree” should not follow an abbreviation.

Incorrect: She has a B.A. degree in English.

Correct: She has a B.A. in English
She has a bachelor’s degree in English.
She has a Bachelor of Arts in English.

When referring to degrees in general, the first letter of the degree should be lowercase.
They all earned master’s degrees. She holds a bachelor’s degree.

Formal names of degree programs should be used upon first reference.


Use Dr. in first reference as a formal title before the name of an individual who holds a doctor of dental surgery, doctor of medicine, doctor of optometry, doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of podiatric medicine, or doctor of veterinary medicine: Dr. Jonas Salk.

The form Dr., or Drs. in a plural construction, applies to all first-reference uses before a name, including direct quotations. Do not continue the use of Dr. in subsequent references.

Do not use Dr. before the names of individuals who hold other types of doctoral degrees. Instead, when necessary or appropriate: Cassandra Karoub, who has a doctorate in mathematics, was lead researcher. U.S. first lady Jill Biden, who has a doctorate in education, plans to continue teaching. U.S. second gentleman Doug Emhoff, a lawyer, is joining the faculty of Georgetown Law.

In a list: Stephanie Sanchez, Ph.D.

Do not use Dr. before the names of individuals who hold only honorary doctorates.

dollars and cents

Do not show .00 (zero cents) when figures are mentioned.


Use an ellipsis (…) to indicate words left out of quoted material. Place a space before and after the ellipsis as if it were a three-letter word.

If the ellipsis is at the end of a completed sentence, use a four-point ellipsis. The four-point ellipsis is also used to indicate one or more sentences have been omitted.

Do not use an ellipsis at the front or start of a sentence quote. Instead, capitalize the first letter of the first word and put it in brackets. (“[T]he times that try men’s souls.”).


Also, Email, but never e-mail. However, use hyphens for e-book, e-commerce, e-reader. Email is acceptable as a noun or verb.


Educational Opportunity Fund on first reference

et cetera; etc.

Use of “etc.” is discouraged in formal writing, although it is more acceptable in lists, tables, direct quotations, and parenthetical series. Set off by commas; an alternative treatment is to punctuate it like any other final element in a series.




The word faculty can be used as a plural noun.

The faculty are all in agreement.
Faculty members are co-chairing the event.
Faculty are co-chairing the event.

Here’s how to refer to a faculty member:

Cynthia Huntington, the Frederick Sessions Beebe ’35 Professor in the Art of Writing, has a new book of poems.

English professor Michael Waters is a poet.
Professor Michael Waters is a member of the English department.

Brendan Nyhan is a professor of government.
Professor of Government Brendan Nyhan writes for The New York Times blog The Upshot. Professor Brendan Nyhan writes opinion pieces for The Times.


Use as a noun or transitive verb.


One word

First Year Advising

Note that there is no hyphen when referring to Monmouth’s program.

First Year Seminar

No hyphen is used when referring to Monmouth’s graduation requirement. However, first-year student is hyphenated.

first-year student

Do not use freshman when referring to a first-year student.

full-time, full time

One works full time doing full-time work.


Acceptable on first reference. When spelled out, “grade point average” (no hyphens, open compound) is correct.


Use lowercase when referring to the animal in general. Capitalize Hawk when referring to the University mascot or campus member.

health care

Two words in all uses


When using initial capitalization style for a headline, capitalize the title’s first word, last word, and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinating conjunctions. Articles, coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions are lowercased.

home page

Two words

inclusive (gender-neutral) language

It is best to use gender-neutral language when writing. Don’t say “he” when referring to an unspecified person. Instead, recast the sentence into the plural, or avoid the use of pronouns altogether.

Example: Each student is expected to turn in his paper on Tuesday.

Students are expected to turn in their papers on Tuesday.
The students’ papers are due on Tuesday.
Each student is expected to turn in his or her paper on Tuesday.

If it’s impossible to solve the problem using these approaches, remember that “he or she” is preferable to “he/she.”

Avoid gender-specific titles or terms:

instead of … say
chairman … chair
businessman … business executive, manager
cameraman … camera operator
coed … student, female student
congressman … representative, senator
fireman … firefighter
forefathers … ancestors
foreman … supervisor
mailman … mail carrier
Dear Sir … Dear Director, Coordinator, Manager


With a lowercase i

lay, lie

Lay is a transitive verb. It needs an object to complete its meaning: to put down or place; to cause to lie or deposit.

Lie is an intransitive verb. It does not take an object: to be or put oneself in a reclined position usually on a horizontal space of some sort.

Example: You can lay your book on the nightstand before you lie down in bed.


Acceptable in all references for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning and/or queer. In quotations and the formal names of organizations and events, other forms such as LGBTQIA and other variations are also acceptable with the other letters explained. I generally stands for intersex, and A can stand for asexual (a person who doesn’t experience sexual attraction), ally (some activists decry this use of the abbreviation for a person who is not LGBT but who actively supports LGBT communities) or both. Use of LGBT or LGBTQ is best as an adjective and an umbrella term. Don’t use it, for instance, when the group you’re referring to is limited to bisexuals. Walters joined the LGBTQ business association. Queer is an umbrella term covering people who are not heterosexual or cisgender and is acceptable for people and organizations that use the term to identify themselves.


If there is a reference to an individual, use first and last names in initial reference, last name only in subsequent references. Avoid nicknames unless specifically requested by individual. As a rule of thumb use job or professional titles in the initial reference, but no social titles.

Correct: Professional title: Dr.

Example: Dr. Jonas Salk

Incorrect: Social title: Mr., Mrs.

Example: Mr. Jonas Salk

nationalities and race

Capitalize the proper names of nationalities, peoples, races, tribes, etc.: Arab, Arabic, African, American, Caucasian, Cherokee, Chinese (both singular and plural), Eskimo (plural Eskimos) or Inuit, French Canadian, Japanese (singular and plural), Jewish, Nordic, Sioux, Swede, etc.


Generally use without hyphen, but hyphen can be used, and is generally used when the base word begins with a capital letter.

Examples: nonprofit, non-Euclidean geometry


Spell out one through nine. Use numerals for 10 and above, with the exception of ages, which are always given in numeral form.

Correct: There were seven students living on the floor.
Correct: There are 17 students living on the floor.
Correct: Sarah is 4 years old. Joshua is 6 years old.

All numerals beginning a sentence are written out, no matter the length, or if it would normally be expressed in figures. If it is too cumbersome to write out, reword the sentence so the numeral is not at the beginning.

Thirteen squirrels ran across the Great Lawn.

Write figures out numerically if they are used with a percentage sign for scores, court decisions, vote tallies, ratios, and similar constructions.
7% or 7 percent; 270% or 270 percent

Use figures with million, billion, or trillion in all except casual uses: I’d like to make a billion dollars. But: The nation has 1 million citizens. I need $7 billion. The government ran a deficit of more than $1 trillion.

Use commas for figures 1,000 and above. A comma is used every three numbers from the right to left.

If you are indicating a rank or a position use the No. (abbreviation for number).

For very large sums of money use figures with a dollar sign; spell out million or billion.

$2.6 million; between $3 and $4 billion

off-campus, off campus/on-campus, on campus

The hyphen is used when off-campus is used as a compound modifier. No hyphen is needed when used as a prepositional phrase.

Examples: The students live off campus. The students live in an off-campus apartment. The on-campus dining options are plentiful. Most students prefer to eat on campus.


one word


Use one space after the period at the end of sentences.

plural or singular

When using “(s)” to show that a word can be either singular or plural—for example, item(s)—treat the word as a plural.

Correct: The item(s) were blue.


quotation marks

Quotation marks are used to denote direct quotes from other author’s sources. They are traditionally put into double marks “ ” and the author is given credit.

  • Commas and periods always go inside double quotation marks.
  • Exclamation points and question marks go inside double quotation marks when they are part of the material being quoted. They go outside double quotation marks when they have been added by the author.
  • Semicolons and colons go outside double quotation marks.

Quotation marks are also used to express dialogue. Single marks ‘ ’ are generally used to express quotations within quotations; double marks, quotations within these; and so on.

Example: “Don’t be absurd!” said Henry. “To say that ‘I mean what I say’ is the same as ‘I say what I mean.’”


It is preferable to write out “to” or “through” instead of using en dashes when expressing ranges or spans in text documents.

Example: The season runs from September–December.
Better: The season runs from September to December.

When expressing spans, write out the years in full (e.g., 1998 to 2001 instead of ’98–’01.) Do not take shortcuts when writing out ranges if it could lead to the slightest misinterpretation.


On first reference, spell out the full name of the school:

Honors School
Leon Hess Business School
Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies
School of Education
School of Science
School of Social Work
Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences

On subsequent references, it is acceptable to use colloquialisms such as “the school,” “the business school,” “the nursing school,” etc. Do not use acronyms/abbreviations/initialisms unless absolutely necessary.

season names

The four seasons are lowercased, unless personified or used to denote a specific academic semester or part of an official name.

spring, Father Winter (as a person)
fall, Fall 2014


Of oneself or itself: refers to the direct object of the implied transitive verb. A hyphen always follows the prefix

Example: self-taught


A semicolon creates more separation between thoughts than a comma does but less than a period does. It should always be used between the two parts of a compound sentence when those parts are not connected by a conjunction.

Example: I have a big test tomorrow; I can’t go out tonight.

It can also be used to mark a series or list of words when the punctuation of those sets of words are complicated (e.g. The membership of the international commission was as follows: France, 4; Germany, 5; Great Britain, 1; Italy, 3; the United States, 7.).

singular or plural

See entry above for “plural or singular.”


Use one space after the period at the end of sentences.

state names

The names of states, territories, and possessions of the United States should always be given in full when standing alone. When they follow the name of a city or some other geographical term, it is preferable to spell them out except in lists, tabular matter, notes, bibliographies, indexes, and mailing addresses.

telephone numbers

Do not put the area code in parentheses. Format with hyphens. (e.g., 800-571-3456)

that or which

That has been long regarded as introducing a restrictive clause, and which has been used to introduce a nonrestrictive clause. Although the distinction is often disregarded in contemporary writing, it can lead to misreading or uncertainty. Which clauses are set off by commas, but that clauses are not.

Example: The team, which went 11-0 last season, is off to a great start this year.
The team that wins this game will advance to the finals.


Use the spelling established by the department or club or that is part of the official name. For example, Pollak Theatre and Lauren K. Woods Theatre. Use theater in all other references.


Use figures except for noon and midnight. Do not use :00 for times on the hour. Use lowercase with periods for a.m. and p.m. unless the text is stylized with capitalization.

Examples: The program is televised at 2:30 a.m. We will be meeting her at 5:35 p.m. The concert ended at midnight. The movie is starting at 8 p.m.

titles of people

Civil, military, religious, and professional titles and titles of nobility are capitalized when they immediately precede a personal name, as part of the name (e.g., President Buchanan was born in Cove Gap, Pa.). When such titles are used in apposition to a name, they are not part of the name and so are lowercased (The emperor who was Maximilian).

For formal usage, such as acknowledgments and lists of contributors, titles following a personal name can be capitalized.

Use Dr. only for medical doctors. Faculty members should be referred to by their professorial titles (e.g., Professor Jones, Assistant Professor, Specialist Professor).

titles of works

Put quotation marks around the titles of books, movies, plays, poems, albums, songs, operas, radio and television programs, lectures, speeches, and works of art. Do not put quotation marks around websites, titles of journals, holy books, or magazines. When using the possessive case of a title, set the apostrophe and “s” in the printed type of the body copy. (e.g., The Iliad’s).

Software titles should follow the style of the market name as to spelling, symbols, and capitalization. Do not enclose the name within quotation marks unless it will cause confusion.


Not towards


Not upwards

United States

Use periods when abbreviated (U.S.) except in headlines.


Avoid breaking the address at the end of a line. If it must be broken, do not hyphenate the broken address. In most cases, you may drop the beginning “http://” or “https://” as well as with www. from the URL. It is understood.


versus (v., vs.)

Spell out versus in ordinary usage. (e.g., It’s us versus them.) The names of legal cases use v. (roman or italic), The use of vs. is usually used in written text or titles of matches.


The short form of World Wide Web. Lowercased unless it is the first word in a sentence. Also, website, webpage, webcast, webmaster.

which or that

See “that or which” entry above

who or whom

Who is the subject; whom is the object.

When someone is the subject of a sentence, clause, or phrase, use who. (Who is there?) Use who whenever you can substitute she, he, we, they, or I in the who clause.

When someone is the object of a verb or preposition, use whom. (Whom do you wish to see?) Use whom whenever you can substitute him, her, them, me, or us as the object of a verb or preposition.

words as words

When, in running text, a word or term is referred to as the word or term itself, and is not being used functionally to convey its meaning, it is commonly set in italics or quotations.

Correctness and justness are not synonyms.
“Correct” and “just” are not synonyms.


World Wide Web

Note capitalization

ZIP code

Use all caps for ZIP and lowercase code.

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