Editorial Style Guide

Florida Atlantic University’s Office of Communications and Marketing follows The Associated Press Stylebook (AP). This guide is a reference for the FAU community to ensure consistency, clarity and accuracy among print and online publications directed to external audiences. The style guide is not meant to govern academic publications or everyday internal communications (i.e. email messages, syllabi, class or department handouts, etc.). Its purpose is to help the university community present unified and consistent external messages. The most common issues related to higher education are noted below in alphabetical order.

 

AP Style

The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law , usually called the AP Stylebook , is a style and usage guide used on newspapers and in journalism classes in the United States. The stylebook is updated annually by Associated Press editors, usually in June, and is available in both trade and spiral-bound editions, with the latter containing extra content specific to journalists working for the AP.

The AP Stylebook covers:

  • Grammar, punctuation and spelling.
  • AP style on a variety of questions.
  • Snippets of background information. For example: Public Broadcasting Service is not a network, but an association of public television stations organized to buy and distribute programs selected by a vote of the members.
  • Sports, includes terminology and guidelines for printing league standings.
  • Business
  • A briefing on American media law.

Use the complete Florida Atlantic University on first reference for external audience. FAU or University can be used on second reference. University, when referring to FAU, is always capitalized.

 

ABBREVIATIONS

Before a name: Abbreviate the following titles when used before a full name outside direct quotations: Dr., Gov., Lt. Gov., Mr., Mrs., Rep., the Rev., Sen. Spell out all except Dr., Mr. and Mrs., when they are used before a name in direct quotations.

After a name: Abbreviate junior (Jr.) or senior (Sr.) after an individual’s name. Abbreviate company (Co.), corporation (Corp.), incorporated (Inc.) and limited (Ltd.) when used after the name of a corporate entity. Do not precede by a comma.

With dates or numerals: Use the abbreviation A.D., B.C., a.m., p.m., when used with the day or the month (NOTE: upper and lowercases, as well as inclusion of periods). The abbreviations are correct only with figures. In 450 B.C.; at 9:30 a.m.; in room No. 6; on Sept. 16.

Months: Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone. Jan. 5; January; January 2012.

Addresses: Abbreviate avenue (Ave.), boulevard (Blvd.) and street (St.) in numbered addresses. He lives on Pennsylvania Avenue. He lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Always use numerical figures for an address number (ex. 9 Morningside Circle). Spell out and capitalize First through Ninth when used as street names.

 

ACADEMIC DEGREES

When listing degrees – and the subject areas in which degrees have been issued – capitalize. Preference is to abbreviate the degree. The word degree should not follow a degree abbreviation.
           Examples: He earned a B.S. in Biology. She received a Bachelor of Science in Biology.

Capitalize the title of degree. For example: Bachelor of Science; Master of Arts. But lowercase when generally referring to degree. For example: a bachelor’s degree or a bachelor’s.

The standard reference to degrees is: associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or doctoral degree. There is no possessive in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. Use abbreviations only after a full name; never after only a last name. When abbreviating degrees, use the following:

Bachelor of Arts – B.A.
Bachelor Business Administration – B.B.A.
Bachelor of Science – B.S.
Bachelor of Technology – B.T.
Associate of Applied Science – A.A.S.
Associate of Arts – A.A.
Associate of Occupational Studies – A.O.S.
Associate of Science – A.S.
Master of Education – M.Ed.
Master of Science – M.S.
Master of Arts – M.A.
Master of Fine Arts – M.F.A.
Doctor of Philosophy – Ph.D.
Doctor of Divinity – D.D.           
Doctor of Education – Ed.D.
Doctor of Humane Letters – L.H.D.

When used after a name, an academic abbreviation is set off by commas:
Jeffrey Buller, Ph.D.

Do not precede and follow a name with a courtesy title for an academic degree. Using both Dr. and Ph.D. is redundant.

Correct: Sam Jones, Ph.D.    Incorrect: Dr. Sam Jones, Ph.D.

 

ACADEMIC TITLES

Academic job titles are capitalized. (Example: Sameer Hinduja, Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, spoke at today’s meeting.)

Director-level titles and above (Dean, Vice President, Associate/Assistant Vice President, Provost, etc.) are capitalized in all instances, including when the term is used as a replacement for the name of the individual. (Examples: Dean Carter of the College for Design and Social Inquiry spoke at yesterday’s meeting. The Dean spoke at today’s meeting.)

Do not capitalize unofficial titles preceding a name. (Example: The exhibit featured artist Mary Smith.)

Do not capitalize titles used without the name. (Example: For information, see the registrar. A professor of history will be in attendance.)

Do not use Dr. and title preceding a name. (Examples: Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs John Smith, Ph.D.    John Smith, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs.)  

 

ACADEMIC DEPARTMENTS/COLLEGES/OFFICES

Official name is capitalized. (Examples: College of Engineering and Computer Science; Office of Communications and Marketing; Office for Students with Disabilities). Lowercase in casual reference. (Example: Send the files to communications.)

FAU currently includes 10 colleges. Use full name on first reference and “college” on second reference, not capitalized:

  • Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
  • College of Business
  • College for Design and Social Inquiry (note use of “for” instead of “of”)
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Graduate College
  • Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College
  • Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
  • Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing
  • Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

In listing more than one college, the preference is to list them alphabetically by content area of the college (as listed above), not alphabetically by donor name.

 

ACADEMIC COURSES

Capitalize specific course titles only; do not use quotation marks. (Examples: History of European Political Theory; a course in psychology.)

ALUMNUS, ALUMNA, ALUMNI, ALUMNAE

  • Use alumnus when referring to a man who has attended a school (alumni is the plural)
  • Use alumna for similar references to a woman (alumnae is the plural)
  • Alumni is used when referring to a group of men and women
  • John Smith ’75 (NOTE: closed quote mark, a.k.a. apostrophe)
  • The class of ’75 (NOTE: closed quote mark, a.k.a. apostrophe)

 

ALMA MATER
alma mater

 

AMPERSAND (&)

Use the ampersand when it is part of a formal name: Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. The ampersand should not otherwise be used in place of and.

NOTE: The College for Design and Social Inquiry and the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters use “and” in their logos; the College of Engineering and Computer Science prefers “&” in its logo. In text, use “and” for all college names.

 

ANNUAL

Do not use the term “first annual.” Use “inaugural.” An event cannot be described as annual until the second year.

 

BUILDINGS

The Breezeway is the walkway running north/south through the middle of the Boca Raton campus.

The Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium is located in the Student Union on the Boca Raton campus.

FAU Arena, also “The Burrow,” is located on the Boca Raton campus.

The FAU/HBOI Marine Science Building is located at FAU Harbor Branch.

The Student Union, previously the University Center, is located on the Boca Raton campus.

The Marleen and Harold Forkas Alumni Center is located on the Boca Raton campus.

The Reubin O’D Askew Tower is the eastern building on the Fort Lauderdale campus and the FAU/BCC Higher Education Complex is the western building.        

 

CAMPUSES/LOCATIONS

FAU currently has six locations. Names listed in bold below are preferred in the first use. Subsequent listings offer additional acceptable uses.

 

                        FAU Boca Raton
                        Boca Raton campus
                        Florida Atlantic University at Boca Raton

                        FAU Dania Beach
                        Also known as SeaTech
                        Florida Atlantic University at Dania Beach

                        FAU Davie
                        Davie campus
                        Florida Atlantic University at Davie

                        FAU Fort Lauderdale
                        Fort Lauderdale campus
                        Florida Atlantic University at Fort Lauderdale

                        FAU Harbor Branch
                        Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI)                       
                        Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
                        (site is located in Fort Pierce, Fla.)

                        FAU Jupiter
                        John D. MacArthur Campus at Jupiter                       
                        Florida Atlantic University at Jupiter

 

NOTES: When appropriate, “Broward campuses” or “Northern campuses” grouping may be used. The Broward campuses are FAU Dania Beach, FAU Davie and FAU Fort Lauderdale. The Northern campuses are FAU Harbor Branch and FAU Jupiter.

List in alphabetical order when listing more than one campus.

Always spell out “Fort Lauderdale” and “Fort” Pierce. Always abbreviate Port “St.” Lucie.

When using the “campus” in text, lowercase “c.” (Example: I met my wife at the Jupiter campus.)

 

CAPITALIZATION

In general, avoid unnecessary capitals. Use a capital letter only if you can justify it by one of the principles listed below.

  • Proper Names: John, Mary, Boston, General Electric
  • Proper Nouns: Capitalize common nouns such as party, river, street when they are an integral part of the full name for a person, place of thing: Delaware River; Main Street, the Democratic Party
  • Lowercase the common noun elements of names in all plural uses: the Democratic and Republican parties; the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers; Montgomery and City Line avenues; Delaware and Chester counties
  • Derivatives:
    • Capitalize words that are derived from a proper noun and still depend on it for their meaning: American; English; Shakespearean
    • Lowercase words that are derived from a proper noun but no longer depend on it for their meaning: french fries; herculean; venetian blind
  • Do not capitalize the words association, building, center, club, conference, college, committee, department, division, office, hall, board, trustees, etc., when used along to refer to a specific place of group. The college is nearing its 200th anniversary.
  • The word “College” should only be capitalized when referring specifically to another institution’s official name (Example: Boston College).

 

CITIES AND STATES

Cities – The following domestic cities stand alone (do not need to be accompanied by a state) in datelines and basic copy:

            Atlanta                Milwaukee

            Baltimore            Minneapolis

            Boston                New Orleans

            Chicago               New York

            Cincinnati             Oklahoma City

            Cleveland             Philadelphia

            Dallas                  Phoenix

            Denver                 Pittsburgh

            Detroit                  St. Louis

            Honolulu                Salt Lake City

            Houston                 San Antonio

            Indianapolis           San Diego

            Las Vegas              San Francisco

            Los Angeles            Seattle

            Miami                     Washington

 

States – The following are the state abbreviations to be used in general copy (zip code abbreviations in parentheses):

            Ala. (AL)                    Md. (MD)                   N.D. (ND)

            Ariz. (AZ)                  Mass. (MA)                 Okla. (OK)

            Ark. (AR)                   Mich. (MI)                  Ore. (OR)

            Calif. (CA)                  Minn. (MN)                 Pa. (PA)

            Colo. (CO)                  Miss. (MS)                  R.I. (RI)

            Del. (DE)                    Mont. (MT)                 S.D. (SD)

            Fla. (FL)                      Neb. (NE)                   Tenn. (TN)

            Ga. (GA)                     Nev. (NV)                   Vt. (VT)

            Ill (IL)                         N.H. (NH)                   Va. (VA)

            Ind. (IN)                      N.J. (NJ)                    Wash. (WA)

            Kan. (KS)                    N.M. (NM)                  W. Va. (WV)

            Ky. (KY)                      N.Y. (NY)                   Wis. (WI)

            La. (LA)                      N.C. (NC)                   Wyo. (WY)

Eight states are not abbreviated in copy or datelines: Alaska (AK); Hawaii (HI); Idaho (ID); Iowa (IA); Maine (ME); Ohio (OH); Texas (TX); Utah (UT)

 

CLASS STANDING

Use lowercase for first-year students (or freshmen), sophomores, juniors or seniors when referring to individuals. Capitalize names of organized entities. (Examples: Class of 1970; the Senior Class).

 

COMMAS

In a series: Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series, unless one is critical to clarity. (Examples: The flag is red, white and blue. He would nominate Tom, Dick or Harry.)

Put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series, however, if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction. (Example: I had orange juice, ham and eggs, and toast for breakfast.)

Use a comma before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases. (Example: The main points to consider are whether the athletes are skillful enough to compete, whether they have the stamina to endure the training, and whether they have the proper mental attitude.)

With equal adjectives: Use commas to separate a series of adjectives equal in rank. If the commas could be replaced by the word “and” without changing the sense, the adjectives are equal. (Examples: A thoughtful, precise manner; a dark, dangerous street.)

Use no comma when the last adjective before a noun outranks its predecessors because it is an integral element of a noun phrase, which is the equivalent of a single noun. (Examples: a cheap fur coat (the noun phrase is fur coat); the old oaken bucket; a new, blue spring bonnet.)

With introductory clauses and phrases: A comma normally is used to separate an introductory clause or phrase from a main clause. (Example: When he grew tired of the mad pace of New York, he moved to Philadelphia.)

The comma may be omitted after short introductory phrases if no ambiguity would result. (Example: During the night he heard many noises. But use the comma if its omission would slow comprehension: On the street below, the curious gathered.)

Introducing direct quotes: Use a comma to introduce a complete, one-sentence quotation within a paragraph. (Example: Catherine said, “She spent six weeks in Italy and came back speaking English with an Italian accent.)

Do not use a comma at the start of an indirect or partial quotation. (Example : He said his victory put him “firmly on the road to a new season record.”)

With hometowns and ages: Use a comma to set off an individual’s hometown when it is placed in apposition. (Examples: Mary Richards, Minneapolis, and Rhoda Morganstern, New York, were there.)However, the use of the word “of” without a comma between the individual’s name and the city name generally is preferred. (Example:Mary Richards of Minneapolis and Rhoda Morganstern of New York were there.)

If an individual’s age is used, set it off by commas. (Example: Mary Richards, 48, Minneapolis, was present.)Again, the use of the word “of” will eliminate the need for some of the commas.

With Yes and No: Yes, I will be there.

In Large Figures: Use a comma for most figures greater than 999. The major exceptions are street addresses (1234 Main Street), broadcast frequencies (1600 kilohertz), room numbers, serial numbers, telephone numbers and years (1916).

 

COMMITTEES

In the United States, a committee is an “it,” not a “they.” Committee members, on the other hand, are “people on a committee” or “they.” The same applies to a board, a department or an office. Therefore, “The committee gave its recommendation.” Committee members recommend.” Capitalize the names of committees.

 

COMPOSITION TITLES

Use quotation marks around the names of such works as book titles, movie titles, opera titles, play titles, poem titles, son titles, television program titles and the titles of lectures, speeches and works of art. (Examples: “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the NBC-TV “Today” program, the “CBS Evening News,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”)

Books and publications that are primarily catalogs of reference material should be italicized. In addition to catalogs, this category includes newspapers, magazines, journals, handbooks and similar publications. Do not use quotation marks around such software titles as Acrobat or Windows. (Examples: South Florida Sun-Sentinel; New York Times; Newsweek magazine; Associated Press; Encyclopedia Britannica).

 

COURTESY TITLES

In general, do not use the courtesy titles Miss, Mr., Mrs., or Ms., on first reference. Instead, use the first and last names of the person.

Do not use Mr. in any reference to couples unless it is combined with Mrs.: Mr. and Mrs. John Doe. If you are unaware of the marital status of a woman, use Ms. rather than Mrs. Always try to use a woman’s first name: John and Jane Doe is preferable to Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.

 

DASHES/HYPHENS

There are important distinctions between hyphens, en dashes and em dashes.

The hyphen (hyphen key on a PC/Mac) is used to hyphenate compound words and between non-continuing numbers, eg., phone numbers and sports scores. See more detail under HYPHENS.

The en dash (ctl + hyphen keys on a PC, opt + hyphen keys on a Mac) is used to connect numerals (or months) that indicate a range, such as dates, times or page reference numbers. (Examples: June10­­–14, Jan.–March, pages 234–239.)

­­­

The em dash (ctl + alt + hyphen keys on a PC, opt + shift + hyphen keys on a Mac) is used to denote a sudden break in thought that causes an abrupt change in sentence structure. (Example: The FAU Owls — including a football team that made its debut in 2001 — began competing in NCAA Division I.) The em dash can also be represented by typing two hyphens (--) with a space on either side in all uses except the start of a paragraph. However, in all formal publications and on the Web when possible, use the specific key command or character to em dash.

(NOTE: word processing and layout programs often do not convert correctly, so use the guidelines above.)

Follow these guidelines for proper grammatical use:

Abrupt Change: Use dashes to denote an abrupt change in thought in a sentence for an emphatic pause. (Examples: We will fly to Paris in June — if I get a raise. Smith offered a plan — it was unprecedented — to raise revenues.)

Series Within a Phrase: When a phrase that otherwise would be set off by commas contains a series of words that must be separated by commas, use dashes to set off the full phrase. (Example: He listed the qualities — intelligence, charm, beauty, independence — that he liked in a woman.)

Attribution: “Who steals my purse steals trash.” — Shakespeare

 

DATES AND TIME

Always use Arabic figures for dates, without st, nd, rd or th: Nov. 1, 1998. Always abbreviate the months of Jan., Feb., Aug. Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out March, April, May, June and July.(Exceptions allowed on formal invitations: February 12, 2008).

Use figures for times except for noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes. It isn’t necessary to indicate a time “on the hour” by typing “:00”. Avoid redundancies like 12 noon; 10 p.m. tonight.

If the current year is implied, it isn’t necessary to write it out. Use the year in text if it refers to past or future years. (Examples: Our January 2000 meeting. Our Dec. 20 party.)

Lowercase a.m. and p.m., with periods: 9:30 a.m., 1 p.m., noon.

Spaces between the hyphens with times: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

 

DAYS OF THE WEEK

Capitalize. Do not abbreviate, except when needed in a tabular format: Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat (three letters, without periods, in tabular composition).

 

DR.

The only degree to be referenced as “Dr.” is the Doctor of Medicine or M.D.

 

DOLLARS AND CENTS

Use numerals and the word cents (all lowercase) for amounts less than a dollar: 5 cents, 12 cents.    

Use the $ sign and decimal for larger amounts: $1.25 million, $2.55      

For whole dollar amounts, drop the decimals: $2, $15, $155      

For dollar figures greater than 999 a comma should be used: $12,000; $500,000

 

ELLIPSIS (…)

Use an ellipsis to indicate the deletion of one or more words in condensing quotes, texts and documents. Be especially careful to avoid deletions that would distort the meaning. In general, treat an ellipsis as a three-letter word, constructed with three periods and two spaces as …

Punctuation guidelines: If the words that precede an ellipsis constitute a grammatically complete sentence, either in the original or in the condensation, place a period at the end of the last word before the ellipsis. Follow it with a regular space and an ellipsis: “I no longer have a strong enough political base. …” (NOTE: There should be a period and then an ellipsis.)

When the grammatical sense calls for a question mark, exclamation point, comma or colon, the sequence is word, punctuation mark, regular space, ellipsis: Will you come? …

 

EMAIL

Lowercase with no hyphen: email

 

ENTITLED vs. TITLED

“Entitled” means that someone has rights to something. (Example: She felt entitled to special treatment ever since she won an Oscar.) “Titled” means that something has received a title. (Example: The workshop titled Experience Freedom, Compassion and Unity through Foregiveness will begin on Saturday, Nov. 7.)

 

FACULTY

The word “faculty” pertains to a group of people, not one person. One person should be referred to as a faculty member.

 

GPA

GPA is acceptable in all references for grade-point average.

 

HYPHENS

Hyphens are joiners. Use them to avoid ambiguity or to form a single idea from two or more words.

Avoid Ambiguity: Use a hyphen whenever ambiguity would result if it were omitted. (Examples: He recovered his health. He re-covered the leaky roof.)

Compound Modifiers: Use hyphens to link all the words in the compound except the adverb very and all adverbs that end in ly. (Examples: a full-time job; a part-time student; a better-qualified applicant; a know-it-all attitude; a very good time; an easily remembered rule. A fulltime student but the student attends full time.)

Compound Proper Nouns and Adjectives. (Examples: Italian-American; Mexican-American. No hyphen, however, for Latin American or French Canadian.)

Avoid duplicated vowels, tripled consonants. (Examples: anti-intellectual; pre-empt, shell-like; coop.)

Listings of Multiple Hyphenated Terms. (Examples: He received a 10- to 20-year prison sentence.)

With the prefix “non,” hyphenate all except the following words, which have specific meanings of their own. (Examples: nonchalance; nonsense; nonchalant; nonsensical; nondescript. Other words and proper names preceded by “non” should be hyphenated: non-traditional; non-credit; non-German.)

Do not hyphenate vice president (or any other compound title) in any reference.

 

INITIALS

Use periods and no space when an individual uses initials instead of a first name: H.L. Mencken.

 

INTERNET/COMPUTER REFERENCES

The words Internet, Web and Word Wide Web should always be capitalized in every reference. Other terms include:

  • website is in one and lowercase
  • home page is two words lowercase
  • CD-ROM
  • database
  • download
  • email (no hyphen)
  • online (no hyphen)

 

JUNIOR/SENIOR

Abbreviate as Jr. and Sr. only with full names of persons. Do not precede by a comma: John F. Kennedy Jr.

 

MORE THAN/OVER

When referring to something that can be counted, use “more than” rather than “over.” The word “over” generally refers to spatial relationships. (Examples: More than 50 attended. The plan flew over South Florida.)

 

NAMES

People are entitled to be known however they want to be known, as along as their identities are clear. A nickname should be used in place of a person’s given name only when it is the way the individual prefers to be known: Magic Johnson

 

NUMERALS

In general, spell out whole numbers below 10; use figures for 10 and above. (Examples: He has a fleet of 10 station wagons and two buses. They had 10 dogs, six cats and 97 hamsters.)

Spell out a numeral at the beginning of a sentence. If necessary, recast the sentence:
WRONG: 993 freshmen entered the college last year.
RIGHT: Last year, 993 freshmen entered the college.

Use numerals even for numbers below 10 when indicating the following:

  • ages
  • course credit hours
  • statistics
  • ratios
  • percentages
  • amounts of money

Use a comma after digits signifying thousands except when referring to:

  • temperature
  • years
  • SAT scores

 

PERCENT

Spell out “percent” in text, and always use numerals. (Example: Our retention rate is 85 percent.)

 

PHONE NUMBERS

Use figures. The form: 561-297-5555. (Do NOT use periods). If extension numbers are needed, use a comma to separate the main number from the extension: 561-297-5555, ext. 22.

Capitalize letters in phone numbers: 1-800-FAU-OWLS

 

POSSESSIVES

Plural nouns not ending in “s”: Add “’s”: the alumni’s contributions; women’s rights.        

Plural nouns ending in “s”: Add only an apostrophe: the churches’ needs; the girls’ toys; the horses’ food.

Singular nouns not ending in “s”: Add “’s”: the girl’s toy; the horse’s food.

Singular common nouns ending in “s”: Add “’s” unless the next word begins with s: the hostess’s invitation; the hostess’ seat; the witness’s answer; the witness’ story.

Singular proper names ending in “s”: Use only an apostrophe: Achilles’ heel; Agnes’ book; Xerxes’ armies.

Special Expressions: The following exceptions to the general rule for words not ending in “s” apply to words that end in an “s” sound and are followed by a word that begins with “s”: for appearance sake. Use “’s” otherwise: the appearance’s cost; my conscience’s voice.

Joint Possession, Individual Possession: Use a possessive form after only the last word if ownership is joint: Fred and Sylvia’s apartment; Fred and Sylvia’s stocks.

Use a possessive form after both words if the objects are individually owned: Fred’s and Sylvia’s books.

Descriptive Phrases: Do not add an apostrophe to a word ending in “s” when it is used primarily in a descriptive sense: citizens band radio; a teachers college; a writers guide; our speakers bureau.

An ’s is required when a term involves a plural word that does not end in s: a children’s hospital; a people’s republic.

Quasi Possessives: Follow the rules above in composing the possessive form of words that occur in such phrases as: a day’s pay; two weeks’ vacation; three days’ work; your money’s worth. Frequently, a hyphenated form is clearer; two-week vacation; a three-day job.

 

PRESIDENT MARY JANE SAUNDERS

Always use full name on first reference. “President M.J. Saunders” is also allowed on first reference. Use “President Saunders” on subsequent references.

 

QUOTATION MARKS

The period and comma always go within the quotation marks. The dash, semicolon, question mark and exclamation point go within the quotations marks when they apply to the quoted matter only. They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence.

                        He said, “I am shocked and horrified by the incident.”

                        He said he was “shocked and horrified by the incident.”

                        “I do not object,” he said, “to the tenor of the report.”

 

Quotation within Quotation: Alternate between double quotation marks (“or”) and single marks (‘or’). (Example: She said, “I quote from his letter, ‘I agree with Kipling that “the female of the species is more deadly than the male,” but the phenomenon is not an unchangeable law of nature,’ a remark he did not explain.”)

Use three marks together if two quoted elements end at the same time. (Example:She said, “He told me, “I love you.’”)

 

R.S.V.P.

Use periods after letters. Do not use “please” before R.S.V.P. (Example: R.S.V.P. by Tuesday, Jan. 22.)

 

SEMESTERS

Use lowercase for seasons of the year, but uppercase when referring to a semester. (Example: I started classes at FAU last fall during the Fall 2007 semester.)

 

SEMICOLON

Use the semicolon (;) to separate elements of a series when the items in the series are long or when individual segments contain material that also must be set off by commas. The semicolon is used before the “and” in the series. (Example: He is survived by a son, John Smith, of Chicago; three daughters, Jane Smith, of Wichita, Kan., Mary Smith, of Denver, and Susan of Boston; and a sister, Martha, of Omaha, Neb.”

 

SENTENCES

Use only one space between sentences — not two.

 

SPELLING AND TERMS

For spelling, consult Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition. A few common terms include:

  • advisor, not adviser
  • catalog, not catalogue
  • health care (two words)
  • theater, except in FAU’s University Theatre and the “theatre department”

 

THAT, WHICH

Use that and which in referring to inanimate objects and to animals without a name.

Use that for essential clauses, important to the meaning of a sentence, and without commas. (Example: I remember the day that we met.) Use which for nonessential clauses, where the pronoun is less necessary, and use commas. (Example: The team, which finished last year a year ago, is in first place.)

 

TOWARD vs. TOWARDS

Correct word is “toward.” There is no “s” on the word.

 

VERBS

Avoid awkward constructions that split forms of a verb.

Incorrect: Group tickets will also be available for the men’s basketball games at a discounted rate.

Correct: Group tickets also will be available for the men’s basketball games at a discounted rate.

 

WEB ADDRESS

FAU’s Web address is www.fau.edu. No need to use “http://” unless address does NOT start with www. Do NOT italicize or set off Web and email addresses in text.

 

WHO, WHOM

Who is the pronoun used for references to human beings and to animals with a name. It is grammatically the subject (never the object) of a sentence, clause or phrase. (Examples: The woman who rented the room left the window open. Who is there?)

Whom is used when someone is the object of a verb or preposition. (Examples: The woman to whom the room was rented left the window open. Whom do you wish to see?)

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 Last Modified 3/8/13