Style Guide for Print
Two words, as in "This style stuff is a lot of trouble."
Abbreviate titles, such as professor, only when they precede the first name or initials; spell out titles when they are used before the surname alone. Do not abbreviate assistant and associate when used in a title, such as assistant professor of astronomy.
• Prof. H.V. Feinstein (use this construction when space is limited)
• Associate Prof. Kristen Mitchell
• Assistant Prof. David Armstrong
• Profs. W.H. Auden and E.B. White
Abbreviate the following titles when they precede a name: Dr., Mr., Mrs., the Rev., Fr., and all military titles. Do not use them in combination with other titles or abbreviations including scholastic or academic degrees.
• Lois Lyles, Ph.D., not Dr. Lois Lyles, Ph.D.
• Scott Peck, M.D., not Mr. M. Scott Peck, M.D.
Abbreviate academic degrees as follows:
• Bachelor of Science -- BS
• Master of Arts -- MA
• Doctor of Education -- Ed.D.
We do not abbreviate the names of the College and the two Schools.
Lowercase bachelor of arts, master’s degree, honorary doctorate. Abbreviations of two letters do not use periods – BA, MA, MS. No periods for abbreviations with three or more letters (MFT), except for Ph.D. and Ed.D. Always put an apostrophe in master’s degree and bachelor’s degree.
Lowercase except in the case of the Schools, e.g., the School of Business and Management.
Capitalize and spell out before names, lowercase after: "I am studying chemistry with Assistant Professor John Smith," but "John Smith, assistant professor of chemistry." Don’t abbreviate titles. If the name of an office, department, or school is part of the title, capitalization rules apply: "Joanne rossi, dean of the School of Education and Leadership."
If a person has earned more than one degree from NDNU, list the undergraduate year first. The apostrophe faces away from numerals, e.g., ’83.
Alumnus is the singular, masculine form; alumna is the singular feminine form; alumnae is the plural feminine form. Alumni may serve as the plural for a group that is composed of men only or of men and women together. Place the year they graduated in parentheses after their name.
Lowercase with periods. Avoid the redundant 10 p.m. tonight. Use noon, not 12 p.m.
An event must be held for at least two successive years before it could be described as annual. Do not write "first annual."
When referring to years, use only to indicate numerals that are left out. Do not use in plural cases. The apostrophe faces away from numerals.
• Class of ’96
• the ’83
Master’s and doctor’s degrees should always be written with an ‘s. Never write masters’ degrees. Men’s and women’s sports should also be written with an ‘s.
Use figures. The form: 650-508-3500
Associated Students of Notre Dame de Namur University. Refers to the student government on campus.
bachelor of arts, bachelor of science
Do not capitalize except when abbreviating. "He earned a bachelor of arts degree in communication." Or "He earned a BA from NDNU." Do not use periods when abbreviating: BA, BS
board of trustees
The following should appear at the end of every press release:
Notre Dame de Namur University is an independent Catholic, coeducational institution serving nearly 2000 students. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur, Belgium in 1851 and chartered by the state in 1868, NDNU maintains a strong commitment to social justice and community engagement. The University is fully accredited and offers 21 liberal arts and career preparation undergraduate programs, and 12 graduate degrees and five credentials. The 50-acre campus is located in Belmont, just south of San Francisco. For more information visit www.ndnu.edu.
Capitalize the first word of each bulleted item. Use punctuation at the end of each item only if each is a complete sentence. Introduce a bulleted list with a colon only if the introduction is a complete sentence. Keep all bulleted text flush left.
He made the following points:
• NDNU is in Belmont.
• It was founded in 1851.
• It grants undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The agenda items include
• Removing the boulder
• Eating too much
•Singing a song
Capitalize all conferred and traditional educational, occupational, and business titles when used specifically in front of the name or in lists and programs. Do not capitalize such titles in the text when they follow the name, unless the title is a named or distinguished professorship; John Smith, president, or President John Smith.
Do not capitalize unofficial titles preceding the name; the poet Rol Risska. Do not capitalize titles standing alone or in apposition; The dean of the School of Sciences must approve all research projects; Contact the dean of the School of Business and Management for more information.
Avoid over use of capitals. Capitalize full names of programs or schools but lowercase otherwise. Uppercase University only when referring to NDNU. Lowercase majors or areas of study. Capitalize names of athletic clubs and teams, the San Francisco 49ers, but lowercase names of sports, i.e. men’s golf, women’s volleyball.
Capitalize the names of the four Schools: the School of Arts and Humanities, the School of Business and Management; the School of Education and Leadership; the School of Sciences. Do not use ampersands in the School names.
Capitalize Professor if it occurs before the name, lower case if following or by itself. "Many instructors attended the event, including Professor Ray Powers." "Ray Powers, professor of geology, attended the event."
Capitalize the name of a specific course or subject. Eng 555, "The Short Story"
Capitalize "room" when used to designate a particular room. "The meeting was held in Room 545 of the Humanities Building."
Capitalize call letters of radio stations and alphabetical abbreviations of groups, organizations, or institutions such as NDNU, NOW, ASNDNU, USDA, UCLA, or MIT, without periods or spaces unless the entity uses such punctuation as part of its proper name. (Exception: U.S. should be capitalized and written with periods.)
Capitalize names of ethnic groups and nationalities, including when used as adjectives: Lauren Chew, Professor of Asian American Studies, The African American community, Irish folk music
Capitalize all words in the titles of books, plays, lectures, musical compositions, etc. unless they are prepositions, articles, or conjunctions. (Exception: The first word of a title is always capitalized, regardless of what part of speech it is.) "For Whom the Bell Tolls"
Capitalize recognized geographical regions. (Exception: Do not capitalize points of the compass.) "The professor spends her weekends in Northern California but works in Southern California." "He moved to northern Idaho." the South, the Midwest, the East; "We are walking northwest across campus."
Capitalize degrees offered by NDNU when using the full and proper name of the degree. "He has a bachelor of science in biology, a master of arts in literature, and is a doctor of philosophy."
Do not capitalize names of college studies, fields of study, options, curricula, major areas, or major subjects unless a specific course is being referenced. (Exception: capitalize names of languages.) "Russell is studying philosophy, theology, and French." "Each student must meet the core requirements in science and the humanities." "Notre Dame de Namur University offers a curriculum in music."
Do not capitalize organized groups or classes of students, or the words freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate, when referring to the classification of the student. "ENG 101 should be taken in the freshman year." "Maria Rodriguez is a senior in the School of Arts and Humanities." "The junior class will conduct its annual election tomorrow."
Do not capitalize designations of officers of a class or social organization. "She was elected freshman class secretary." "Paula Smith is president of ASNDNU."
Do not capitalize these words: honors, bachelor's degree, master's degree, baccalaureate page, doctor's, federal, state, government.
Capitalize seasons when they refer to semesters, but not when they just refer to a season. "Tommy will be a freshman in the fall." "His brother will graduate Spring 2005."
Do not capitalize.
Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Library
class of ’12
Apostrophe points away from numbers.
When a person is an NDNU alumnus, list relevant degrees first, others after comma: "Josephine Antonelli BA ’57, MA ’59. Note that the apostrophe faces away from the numbers. When writing about a current student, don’t mention expected graduation date.
College of Notre Dame
Our former name. It does not start with "the."
Use a colon after an independent clause to direct attention to a list, an appositive, or a direct quotation of one or more paragraphs. "Students should always carry the following things: paper, pens, textbooks, and a positive attitude." "My roommate is guilty of two of the seven deadly sins: greed and gluttony."
Use commas to separate elements in a series: "I like bananas, apples and peaches." Do not put the comma before the conjunction in a simple series, however, put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction: "I like cake, ice cream, and peaches and cream." Use a comma before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases. In the case of a complex list in which individual items contain commas, a semicolon should be used instead.
Place a comma after digits signifying thousands: 1,150 students. (Exception: Use no commas when referring to temperature: 4600 degrees.)
Introductory words or phrases beginning with i.e., and e.g., should be immediately preceded by a comma or semicolon and followed by a comma.
When listing names with cities or states, punctuate as follows: Janet Wade, Belmont, director.
When writing a date, place a comma between the day (if given) and the year, and after the year. "November 9, 1969, is the date of Erica's birth."
Use a comma between two or more adjectives when each modifies a noun separately. "Her student has become a strong, confident, independent woman."
Do not use commas between cumulative adjectives. "Two large dark shadows emerged from the alley." (And cannot be inserted between the adjectives two, large, and dark, and the order of the adjectives cannot be changed.)
Capitalize, no italics or quotes. Lowercase when describing a course in a generic sense or area of study. "He is studying psychology. He is taking Psychology 101. He is taking Psychology of Adolescence."
Use dashes sparingly!
Use em dashes (two hyphens) to indicate an abrupt change of thought or to set off a parenthetical phrase with more emphasis than commas, or to set off an appositive whenever a comma might be misread as a series comma. Put a full space before or after em dashes. "In San Francisco the cost of basic needs -- food, clothing, and housing -- has risen dramatically over the past 20 years."
Use en dashes (hyphens) to replace the word "to" when it represents a duration of time. Do not put a full space before or after the en dash. Do not use the en dash when followed by the word "from." "The physics class will be held 3 - 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays." "The physics class will be held from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays."
En dashes are used instead of a hyphen in a compound adjective when one of the elements is two words or a hyphenated word. Do not put a full space before or after the en dash (except on the Web). "The San Francisco-Los Angeles shuttle leaves at 8:10 a.m." "Their test scores ranked in the over-two-thirds category." (The en dash appears between over and two.)
Use Arabic figures without –nd, -rd, -st, etc. May 5. Always spell out days of the week. Capitalize the names of months. Abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. when used with specific dates. Do not abbreviate March, April, May, June, or July. Spell out when used alone or just with a year: October 1998.
Always include the year when the date is in another calendar year.
When a phrase lists only a month and year, do not separate the year with commas. Use commas when a phrase refers to a day, month, and year. "July 2003 was a hot month." "She started work on the project on Sept. 2, 2002."
Set off the day of the week with a comma: "The event took place on Saturday, August 18, 2001."
Always use numbers for years: the 1980s (no apostrophe) or the ’80s, not "the eighties."
Uppercase when used before a name, such as Dean Stanley Wong. Lowercase when used after a name: Stanley Wong, dean of the School.
See academic degrees
Lowercase unless using full formal title of a department. "He is a member of the Athletics Department." "He went to the alumni office."
east, north, south, west. Do not capitalize. See Geographic Terms and Names
Lowercase e-mail addresses. Website addresses are case-sensitive and should appear exactly as required by the URL. Hyphenate e-mail.
The word emeritus is the singular, masculine form; for references to women, use emerita (singular) or emeritae (plural). Just as with alumni, emeriti may serve as the plural for a group that is composed of men only or of men and women together. All references follow the noun. Professor emerita of music, professors emeriti, faculty emeriti.
Use figures for numbers 10 or greater, including ordinal numbers. "There are at least 10 good reasons to get an education."
Use figures for days of the month, omitting st, nd, rd, and th: Oct. 3; May 25
Use figures for sums that are cumbersome to spell out; however, spell out the words million and billion. 5.75 million; 4.6
Use figures for measurements (but spell out percent). 4 feet; 6 inches; 10 cubic centimeters; 39 percent
Write phone numbers as follows: ext. 3680 for on-campus callers. Do not use parentheses around the area code: 650-508-3500.
Use figures for hours of the day: 7 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. (never 7:00 p.m., unless used in lists of events, etc. to preserve alignment of type).
Use figures for amounts of money with the word cents or with the dollar sign (i.e., $3, $5.09, or 77 cents) unless tabulated in columns.
Do not begin a sentence with numerals; supply a word or spell out the figures.
Please note: numbers less than 100 should be hyphenated when they consist of two words: One thousand people; Thirty-nine NDNU students; Two-thirds of the voters.
Do not capitalize.
One word in all cases.
Walter Gleason Gymnasium
geographic terms and names
Lowercase north, south, east, and west and variations when they indicate direction. Capitalize north, south, east, west, and similar terms when they refer to regions.
• We went north, then east, then west, and finally south.
• He drove northwest for about 20 miles.
• He is from the South; his wife is from the Northeast.
• Tuscaloosa is the business and cultural heart of West Alabama.
• The earthquake affected parts of East L.A.
• the south of France
• Southern hospitality, Southern accent (Use this capitalization carefully – only when referring to the region's culture, people, or history. In geographic and similar uses, such as southern city or southern climate, lowercase.)
• Antarctica, Antarctic Circle
Capitalize the names of provinces and divisions:
• Appalachian Highlands
• Continental Shelf
• Great Plains
• Hudson Valley
• Interior Plains
• New England Province
• Rocky Mountain System
grade point average, GPA
After first reference, GPA is an acceptable abbreviation, although in many contexts you may not need to use the long form; no periods are necessary. When giving a GPA, always use a decimal point and carry to at least the 10th place: 3.0, 2.2.
Grades should be capitalized: A, B-, C+, Incomplete, Pass
• He earned a "B+" in that class.
• A grade of "NC," or "No Credit," may be given in some courses.
• It was a pass/fail course; I earned a grade of Pass.
• I took the course pass/fail.
In formal documents, refer to the president as Dr. Judith Maxwell Greig or Judith Maxwell Greig, Ph.D. in first reference; Dr. Greig or President Greig thereafter. At the close of a letter, use Judith Maxwell Greig, Ph.D., President.
Herzo Recital Room
Use the hyphen to connect two or more words functioning together as an adjective before a noun (to avoid ambiguity). Small-business profits, rather than small business profits.
Do not use the hyphen to connect -ly adverbs to the words they modify.
"A slowly moving car tied up traffic on Ralston Avenue."
Hyphenate part-time and full-time when used as adjectives, and hyphenate any modifying words combined with well when preceding a noun. "The professor is a well-known candidate for the new full-time position."
Suspend hyphens in a series. "The students received first-, second-, and third-place prizes."
Use the hyphen with the prefixes all, ex, and self and with the suffix elect. "The University sponsors self-help projects in underserved areas."
"Joe is the club's president-elect."
Do not hyphenate words beginning with the prefix non, except those containing a proper noun. Non-German, nontechnical.
Do not place a hyphen between the prefixes pre, semi, anti, co., etc., and nouns or adjectives, except proper nouns. (Exception: Hyphenate to avoid duplicated vowels or triple consonants.) coauthored, bell-like, reapply, pro-American, pre-enroll, predentistry.
Do not place a hyphen between the prefix sub and the word to which it is attached: subtotal.
Never say "more importantly."
Use periods and no space: E.B. White.
Uppercase the word. Lowercase Internet addresses unless entries are case-sensitive. Do not italicize Web and e-mail addresses within blocks of text: "NDNU’s Website is www.ndnu.edu." Do not break a Web address in a line. It is not necessary to use http://.
Italicize names of books, magazines, newspapers, journals, newsletters, and other publications: The Bohemian, The San Francisco Chronicle, Self, Redbook. Punctuation following an italicized word is also italicized.
it's = it is; its is a possessive form: "It's going to be a challenging semester." "I read the letter and its message is clear to me."
Do not capitalize.
Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Library
Capitalize and italicize: NDNU Magazine.
master of arts, master of science
A master’s degree or master’s is acceptable in any reference. The correct abbreviations are MA and MS.
Founded upon the values of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and rooted in the Catholic tradition, Notre Dame de Namur University serves its students and the community by providing excellent professional and liberal arts programs in which community engagement and the values of social justice and global peace are integral to the learning experience. NDNU is a diverse and inclusive learning community that challenges each member to consciously apply values and ethics in his or her personal, professional, and public life.
For amounts of $1 up to $999,999.99, use the dollar sign with a decimal point to separate dollars from cents. Leave the decimal point and zeroes off of even dollar amounts; $50, but $50.75.
For even amounts of $1 million or more, omit zeroes and use million.
For amounts under $1, do not use a dollar sign or decimal point. Use the word cents; 37 cents.
Notre Dame de Namur University
Use on first reference. Use NDNU or the University in succeeding references.
Use instead of 12 p.m. Do not put a 12 in front of it. Do not use 12 noon.
Do not hyphenate when used as a prefix unless the word begins with a capital letter: nonjudgmental, nondenominational, non-Catholic.
Spell out numbers one through nine and first through ninth. Use numerals for 10 or more. Always use numerals for ages, percentages, headlines, units of credit. "It’s a 4-credit course. She’s taking 4 credits this term."
Write out the word percent except in display or tabular copy: 45 percent.
In body copy, write out numbers expressed in quotes: "I expect a thousand new freshmen this fall," she said.
Spell out a numeral at the beginning of a sentence. "Nine students attended the dinner."
Capitalize office when it is part of an agency’s formal name: Office of Management and Budget. Lowercase all other uses, including phrases such as: the office of the attorney general, the U.S. attorney’s office.
Don’t use the current year with dates. "She died March 3." Use courtesy titles "Mr., Mrs." when referring to the deceased in an obituary.
Use figures and capitalize page when used with a figure. When a letter is appended to the figure, capitalize it, but don’t use a hyphen: Page 1, Page 10, Page 20A.
One exception: "It’s a Page One story."
Capitalize the principal words including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more words. Place quotation marks around the names of such works: Leonardo da Vinci’s "Mona Lisa."
Capitalize as part of a proper name: the San Francisco Peninsula. But lowercase in cases such as: "We enjoy living on the peninsula."
Use figures: 1 percent, 2.5 percent (use decimals, not fractions), 10 percent. For amounts less than one percent, precede the decimal with a zero; 0.5 percent.
Repeat percent with each individual figure: He said 10 percent to 30 percent of the electorate may not vote.
If the percentage is the first word in a sentence, spell out the number: Eighty percent of the people voted for the best candidate.
The preferred form is to say a person holds a doctorate and name the individual’s area of specialty.
phone, fax numbers
Use parentheses, not slashes or hyphens, for area codes: 650-508-3500.
Lowercase with periods. Avoid the redundant 10 p.m. tonight. Use noon, not 12 p.m.
Capitalize when used before a name; Bush President Barack Obama. Lowercase when used alone, as in "according to the president."
Never abbreviate when used as part of a sentance. Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name. "The class was taught by Professor Jones." But "The professor lectured to students."
Capitalize only when part of a formal name.
Capitalize when used before a proper name, lowercase otherwise.
fall quarter, lowercase.
The period and comma always go within the quotation marks. The dash, semicolon, question mark, and exclamation point go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted matter only. They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence.
Ralston Hall Mansion
Use figures and capitalize room when used with a figure: Room 222.
Do not use please with RSVP, as it is already built in.
Abbreviate as St. in the names of saints, cities, and other places.
School of Arts and Humanities
Use the word "and;" do not use the ampersand.
School of Business and Management
Use the word "and;" do not use the ampersand.
School of Education and Leadership
Use the word "and;" do not use the ampersand.
School of Sciences
Lowercase spring, summer, fall, winter, and derivatives like springtime, unless part of a formal name: fall 1995, but "Fall 1995 issue of NDNU Magazine."
Lowercase when referring to the class year designation.
Abbreviate only with full names. Capitalize, no comma. "Joseph P. Kennedy Sr."
But the valley.
Capitalize in all references before the names of nuns. If no surname is given, the name is the same in all references: Sister Agnes Rita.
If a surname is used in the first reference, drop the given name on second reference: Sister Regina Torpy in first reference, Sister Torpy on second reference or use courtesy titles or no title as she prefers. It’s also acceptable to abbreviate: Sr.
Use the two-letter abbreviations for states when used in conjunction with city names (Belmont, CA) in text. When using only the state name, spell out.
New Hampshire (NH)
New Jersey (NJ)
New Mexico (NM)
New York (NY)
North Carolina (NC)
North Dakota (ND)
Rhode Island (RI)
South Carolina (SC)
South Dakota (SD)
West Virginia (WV)
A comma should be put between the city and the state name, and another comma after the state name, unless ending a sentence or indicating a dateline. "He was traveling from Nashville, TN, to Austin, TX, en route to his home in Albuquerque, NM." "She said Cook County, IL, was Mayor Daley’s stronghold."
Use New York State when necessary to distinguish the state from New York City. Use state of Washington or Washington State when necessary to distinguish the state from the District of Columbia. "Washington State is the name of a university in the state of Washington."
Use periods with a.m. and p.m. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No colon with double zeroes for even times (4 p.m., not 4:00 p.m.). Use figures except for "noon" and "midnight." Do not use 12 noon, 12 p.m., or 12 a.m.
titles, book, magazine, newspaper, etc.
Use quotations for titles of movies, plays, poems, songs, works of art, titles of lectures, speeches, etc. Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. Exceptions: italicize magazine, book, newsletter, and other publication titles.
If the title precedes a pronoun, capitalize the title. If the title follows a name, lowercase their profession.
toward not towards
Do not capitalilze if used before a name.
Use U.S. on second reference
Capitalize only when referring to NDNU specifically: the University, University departments. NDNU is acceptable on second reference. Don’t use "the university" alone on first reference. In a press release, lower case "university" except when used with the whole name of the school.
Capitalize only when used as part of a formal title: Santa Clara Valley, Silicon Valley. Lowercase the word valley when it stands on its own on second reference.
Do not hyphenate. Capitalize when used before a person’s name, lowercase if after.
Website, Web page
Wiegand Art Gallery
E-mail is hyphenated and not capped (unless at the beginning of a sentence). When listing Websites that begin with http://www…, omit http://
To visit us on the Web, go to www.ndnu.edu.
Internet is always capitalized.
World Wide Web, or the Web is capped, both as a proper noun and as an adjective. It is a "Website" not a "website." Website is one word.
Express a range of years with an en-dash, even in body copy. If the first two digits are the same for the start and end years, format the range like this: 1990-95. Use 1999-2000, not 1999-00.