1 MBC Style Guide The MBC Style Guide is based on The AP Stylebook. For further information, consult The AP Stylebook or The Chicago Manual of Style. ABBREVIATIONS ACADEMIC DEGREES B.A., B.S. - bachelor of arts, bachelor of science M.A., M.S. - master of arts, master of science Ed.D., Ph.D. - doctor of education, doctor of philosophy M.B.A., MBA - master of business administration Do not add the word degree after an abbreviation of the degree, e.g. B.A. rather than B.A. degree. For plurals, use s with no apostrophe: M.A.s and Ph.D.s. Use an apostrophe in bachelor s degree or master s degree. If mention of degrees is necessary to establish credentials, the preferred form is to avoid an abbreviation and use a phrase instead: Eric Jones, who has a doctorate in biology... When used after a name, a comma sets off the academic degree: Daniel Metraux, Ph.D., will lead a group to Japan... 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: Dr. Lesley Novack or Lesley Novack, Ph.D., NOT Dr. Lesley Novack, Ph.D. ADP, PEG, VWIL, MAT, PAC, SAC, ETC.: Spell out the full name on first reference. Thereafter, use the acronym. ADDRESSES Spell out streets, avenue, circle, road, etc. DR. Use Dr. in first reference as a formal title before the name of an individual who holds an earned doctoral degree. Not used with honorary doctorates.
2 JUNIOR, SENIOR Abbreviate as Jr. and Sr. only with full names. Do not precede by a comma. The notation II or 2nd may be used if it is the individual s preference, though these notations are not necessarily the equivalent of junior. Do not precede II or III by a comma. Do not capitalize freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior, unless using as class designation: She is a junior. The Junior Class is sponsoring a dance. MONTHS, DAYS Do not abbreviate months and days. No comma is needed when citing month and year only: June SEMESTER HOURS Do not abbreviate semester hours in text: She has accumulated 66 semester hours. In lists or tables, abbreviate semester hours with lowercase and periods: s.h. STATE NAMES Spell out in all references. In sentences, place a comma between the city and state name and another comma after the state name. She has a home in Staunton, Virginia, and another in South Carolina. UNITED STATES Spell out when used as a noun. Abbreviate without spaces when used as an adjective. He came to the United States to get an education. Extension is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. CAPITALIZATION ACADEMIC DEGREES When referring to degrees in general, use lowercase letters. Use the possessive for bachelor s and master s degrees. More than 1,000 students earned bachelor s degrees. Fewer than a dozen people hold doctorates in this field.
3 Do not capitalize types of degrees. Do capitalize any reference to a language (English, French, Spanish, etc.). She was the third generation of Andersons to earn a bachelor of arts degree in English at Mary Baldwin College. Her cousin s degree is in history. ANNUAL GIVING (NO LONGER ANNUAL FUND) Capitalize all references to Annual Giving. ASIAN STUDIES (NOT STUDIES) BOARD OF TRUSTEES The Board of Trustees of Mary Baldwin College or the MBC Board of Trustees in the first reference, the board thereafter. CAMPAIGN Use capitals in first reference if pertaining to a particular campaign such as the Leadership Initiative Campaign. Thereafter refer simply to the campaign. CLASSES Freshman or first-year student, sophomore, junior, senior, entering class, sophomore class, etc. But, Class of COLLEGE Capitalize when using the entire name of the college. Otherwise, use lowercase. I attend Mary Baldwin College. The college is sponsoring a Christmas dinner. COLONS Capitalize first letter of the word that follows a colon if it begins a sentence. COMMITTEE Capitalize when a formal name: the Student Relations Committee. Thereafter, use lowercase: the committee found... COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA The Commonwealth of Virginia as a proper name, the commonwealth when used informally. COURSES/PROGRAMS Uppercase the specific course or program; lowercase when describing courses in general. I took Introduction to Physics, Eighteenth-Century Literature, and Environmental Science. I took a physics class, an English class, and a biology class. DEPARTMENTS/DIVISIONS/OFFICES
4 Capitalize formal names of divisions and departments, lowercase informal references. Correct: The Master of Arts in Teaching program. Incorrect: She is enrolled in the Master s program. Department of History (but history department, English department) Registrar s Office Dean of Students Office Admissions Office GRADES Use capitals without periods and enclose in quotation marks: A grade of C is required. For plural, use s : A s and B s HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM (NOT PROGRAM) HISTORICAL PERIODS Capitalize the names of historical periods: The Dark Ages Capitalize Colonial when referring to the historical period, lowercase as a style of architecture. HONORS Lowercase and italicize: cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude Capitalize: Dean s List, Honors List, Honor Code, Honor System, Honor Council (and other councils) MAJORS Do not capitalize majors, specializations, or concentrations of study, unless they involve a language: Her degree in political science is coupled with a minor in English. MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING PROGRAM (NOT PROGRAM) NATIONALITIES AND RACES Capitalize the proper names of nationalities, peoples, races, tribes, etc.: Arab, Arabic, Asian, Asian American, African American, Caucasian, Chinese (both singular and plural), Eskimo (plural Eskimos), French
5 Canadian, Gypsy, Japanese (both singular and plural), Jew, Jewish, Latin, Latina/o, Nordic Lowercase black, white, etc. RESIDENT ADVISOR Do not capitalize resident advisor, but do capitalize R.A. TITLES A title preceding a personal name is uppercased. The title is lowercased when it stands alone or follows a personal name: President Cynthia H. Tyson; Cynthia H. Tyson, president of Mary Baldwin College; the president. VWIL CORPS OF CADETS Corps of cadets capitalized if part of full, formal title, including VWIL. Otherwise, not. NUMBERS AGE Always use figures. When the context does not require years or years old, the figure is presumed to be years. The boy is 5 years old. The woman is in her 30s. Age is hyphenated when used as a modifier: 5-year-old girl. COURSE NUMBERS Use Arabic numerals and capitalize the subject: History 101. MEASUREMENT Always spell out inches, feet, and other measures. MONEY Use the dollar sign and numbers. Do not use a decimal and two zeros. For dollar amounts beyond thousands, use the dollar sign, number, and appropriate word: $25 million. NUMERALS Spell out whole numbers one through nine; use figures for 10 and above. Fractions standing alone are spelled out. For fractions with whole number, use figures: She has eight cats and 11 dogs.
6 About one-fifth of her salary goes to buy 2 1/2 tons of pet food each year. Always spell out a number when it is the first word of a sentence. Spell out numerical designations first through ninth; use numerals with suffixes for 10th and above. Do not use st, th, etc., with dates. Use an s without an apostrophe to indicate spans of decades or centuries: She graduated in the 1960s. Use an apostrophe for class years of alumnae/i: Virginia Francisco 64. Alumnae/i who never graduated are designated by the year they would have graduated. PERCENTAGES Spell out the word percent except in scientific, technical, and statistical copy. In tables, write percentages with the numeral and % symbol. Use figures for all numbers: 2 percent, 36 percent. TELEPHONE NUMBERS If a publication is strictly for use on campus, you may use the last four digits only of a campus number: x7009. If you include more than one extension, use a slash between numbers: x7009/7010. For a listing that shows a complete phone number with area code, use the form TIME When writing a time that falls on the hour, do not use :00. Simply state the hour with a.m. or p.m. For 12 a.m. and 12 p.m., use midnight and noon. PUNCTUATION APOSTROPHES For proper names ending in s : singular possessive: Dickens (apostrophe alone not s)
7 plural: Dickenses plural possessive: Dickenses M.S. s, Ph.D. s, A s, B s, 1990s, 90s. COMMAS The serial comma the comma before and in a series is preferred: Students will do course work in three major areas: economics, languages, and history. Brief introductory phrases such as Last year and In 1966 do not require commas. DASHES Distinguish between em and en dashes (typesetters terms that turn up in crossword puzzles). A hyphen or double hyphen is not a substitute for either. Em dashes are longer, required a space before and after, and separate related thoughts or add emphasis. We will fly to Paris in June if I get a raise. En dashes express a range of years or months or pages, for example. Don t put spaces around them May August Don t write from Instead: from 1996 to ELLIPSES Treat as a three-letter word (three periods, no spaces between), putting a space at either end. Use to indicate deletion of one or more words. No need to begin a sentence with an ellipsis if the remaining words include a subject and a verb. Be sure to include a space between an ellipsis and any punctuation it follows such as a period or question mark. HYPHENS When a compound modifier (two or more words that express a single concept) precedes a noun, use hyphens to link all the words in the compound. Exceptions: the adverb very and all adverbs that end in ly. a very nice person a truly good man on-campus program land-grant university vice president (no hyphen)
8 fund raising (but fund-raising dinner), fundraiser (no hyphen) nonprofit, postgraduate, preadmission (no hyphen with non-,post-,pre-, sub-, etc. compounds) EXCEPTIONS: when the second word in a pair is capitalized: non-english numbers, pre-1954 when the last letter of a prefix is the same as the first letter in the second word, use a hyphen: anti-intellectual, pre-existing PARENTHESES Place the period inside the parentheses when the matter enclosed is an independent sentence forming no part of the preceding sentence. Otherwise, place it outside. Semicolons and colons are placed outside the parentheses. PUNCTUATION WITH QUOTATIONS Commas ALWAYS go inside the quotation marks. Periods ALWAYS go inside. Exclamation points and question marks go inside quotation marks when they are part of the quotation. Otherwise, they go outside, as do semicolons. PREFERRED USAGE ADP Don t use when indicating class year. Sherry R. Cox 99 Not: Sherry R. Cox 99 (ADP) AFRICAN AMERICAN OR ASIAN AMERICAN AS NOUN. She is an African American. He is an Asian American. AFRICAN-AMERICAN OR ASIAN-AMERICAN AS MODIFIER. She is an African-American student. He is an Asian-American student. ALUMNAE/ALUMNI When referring to those who have attended or graduated from Mary Baldwin College, use alumnae/i. When referring to a particular person, use the word according to gender. She is an alumna of Mary Baldwin College. He is an alumnus of Mary Baldwin College. Alumnae is feminine plural; alumni is masculine plural and the plural for graduates of a coeducational institution.
9 The name of the organization for all who have attended Mary Baldwin College is the Alumnae/i Association, which has headquarters in the Alumnae House. ANNUAL An event is not annual until it has been held two successive years. Never use first annual. Simply note that the event will be held annually. CATALOG (NOT CATALOGUE) CHAIR/CHAIRMAN Use chair to refer to the head of a committee unless the official title is chairman or chairwoman. COLLEGEWIDE, CAMPUSWIDE (LIKE NATIONWIDE, STATEWIDE) Collegewide refers to the main campus as well as MBC s regional centers. Campuswide refers to the main campus only. COURSE WORK (TWO WORDS) COURTESY TITLES In general, do not use the courtesy titles Miss, Mr., Mrs., or Ms. with the first and last names of a person. For married women, the preferred form on first reference is to identify the woman by her first and last name. Use Mrs. on the first reference only if a woman requests that her husband s first name be used. Jane Doe, Mrs. Robert Doe. For women who have never been married, use Ms., Miss, or no titles on second reference, according to the woman s preference. Ms. Doe, Doe For divorced women and widows, the normal practice is to use Mrs. or no title, if she prefers, on second reference. The college publications generally use only the last name after the first reference. FACULTY Takes singular verbs and pronouns. The faculty is reviewing its position. FACULTY MEMBER OR MEMBER OF A MINORITY
10 Not faculty or minority when referring to one member. However, faculty and minority may be used as modifiers (faculty prerogatives, minority students). FAMILY WEEKEND (NOT PARENTS WEEKEND) FOUNDERS DAY (NO APOSTROPHE) GENDER-SPECIFIC LANGUAGE Avoid unless intended. For example, never assume someone is male or female. Not preferred: A professor should always control his class or his or her class. Preferred: Professors should always control their classes. OR A professor should always control the class. JUNIOR DADS WEEKEND (NO APOSTROPHE) PARENTS COUNCIL (NO APOSTROPHE) REGIONAL CENTERS Mary Baldwin College in Northern Virginia (Sterling) Mary Baldwin College at PVCC (Piedmont Virginia Community College) Mary Baldwin College in Richmond Mary Baldwin College in Roanoke MBC/BRCC Adult Degree Program (Blue Ridge Community College) RESIDENCE HALL (NOT DORMITORY) SPOKESMAN/SPOKESWOMAN Avoid unless gender is known. Better to recast the sentence. Preferred: Who speaks for our group? Preferred: Cynthia Smith, spokeswoman, or Chris Smith, speaking for the group, THEATRE Use this spelling in all references except when a proper name spells it theater. TITLES Italicize the following: full-length plays collections of poetry and long poems published separately collections of recorded music as on compact disks long musical compositions drawings, statues, and other works of art motion pictures titles and subtitles of published books, pamphlets, proceedings, and
11 collections periodicals, newspapers, and sections of newspapers published separately Use quotation marks with titles of the following: short poems and plays songs and short compositions television and radio programs articles and features in periodicals and newspapers chapter titles, titles of short stories essays and individual selections in books formal lectures WOMAN VS. GIRL Refer to any female student at MBC as woman or young woman regardless of her age or program. ELECTRONIC STYLE CAPITALIZATION Capitalize World Wide Web, Internet, the Web, the Net when used as proper names. Use all caps for such acronyms as HTML, URL, CD-ROM, RAM. For clarity, uppercase Web when used as an adjective: Web site, Web access, Web construction. Lowercase and hyphenate . ITALICS Generally, in letters, press releases, and articles for MBC publications, italicize a Web or address so that it stands out as such. For our Web site, especially, and viewbooks, roman is more distinct. ONLINE (ONE WORD, NO HYPHEN) GRAMMAR
12 AFFECT, EFFECT, IMPACT Affect is a verb, usually. What affects you most? Effect is a noun, usually. What effect does she have on you? Impact is always a noun. COMPOSE, COMPRISE Opposite meanings. Things compose the whole of something. The whole of something comprises its parts. Trustees compose the board. The board comprises its members. ENSURE, INSURE, ASSURE All different. Ensure an outcome, insure against fire or theft, assure a person. LESS, FEWER Less refers to bulk quantity. She took less time than her roommate to finish the test. Fewer refers to number. She reduced the assignments to fewer than 10. LIKE, AS Like introduces a noun. As introduces a phrase containing a verb. Like a cola, this drink is the color of caramel. It tastes good, as it should. THAT, WHICH Not interchangeable. Use that to introduce information that defines. The car that I bought is blue. Use which, preceded by a comma, to introduce what is meant to be less important detail. I bought a new car, which is blue. VERBAL, ORAL Not necessarily the same. Verbal covers speaking and writing.
13 FOR PUBLICATIONS FORMAT Use Times New Roman typeface, 12 pt. Tab for paragraph indents. Don t indent first paragraph. One space, not two, between sentences. No blank lines between paragraphs. PHOTO CAPTIONS Identify people left to right. So indicate. Use present tense, describing action depicted. HEADINGS, HEADLINES Use action verbs, active voice. If two lines or more, don t split infinitives or separate nouns and modifiers one on one line, the other on the next. Capitalize all words except for prepositions and conjunctions. Capitalize to when part of an infinitive (To Challenge, but not Challenge to the College). Capitalize the letter beginning each line. Each line should be about the same length and should cover most of the last column of an article. MBC Student Wins National Science Grant To Study Cell Biology Not: MBC Student Is Awarded National Science Grant to Study Cell Biology