Points of Style

Here is a list of examples and exceptions to ensure consistency in publications.

addresses — The abbreviations Ave., Blvd., and St., may be used with a numbered address. Alley, drive, road and terrace are spelled out in all instances.

ampersand — The symbol “&” is not used in the names of UA departments or programs (unless Board-approved). The symbol is only used in publications when it is part of the official name of a business or organization.

capitalization — Titles used before a name are capitalized and lowercased after a name. Official names of colleges or campus units are capitalized on first reference. Shortened or generic names on subsequent references are not capitalized. Examples:

The Center for Film Study offers a variety of classes.
The center offers classes in the study of film.

days of the week — Abbreviate only for tabular formats — these three-letter forms are used without a period: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat and Sun.

Dr. — For those who hold a Ph.D., the use of Dr. can be used as a courtesy title on first reference for University of Akron publications. On second and subsequent references, the person’s last name is used.

Lists of words or short phrases — End your sentence with a colon, and unless your words are proper nouns or the titles of departments, do not use caps. Do not use semicolons, periods or other punctuation after each item. Example:

The Department of Film Study offers:
* scholarships
* internships
* practicums
* cooperative education
* work-study

Lists of sentence fragments — End your sentence with a colon, and capitalize sentence fragments after the bullet point. Conclude each with a semicolon, except for the second to last, which should use “and” after the semicolon, and the final item, which takes a period. Think of these lists as extended paragraphs, with capitalization used to make the items easier for the reader. Example:   

Film study majors will:
* Learn the fundamentals of filmmaking;
* Develop effective oral and written communication skills; and
* Become analytical thinkers, problem solvers and decision-makers.

Lists of sentences — Similar to the sentence fragment, except the introductory sentence and individual points should be constructed to use periods, rather than a colon and semicolons. Example:   

The Department of Film Study offers students many benefits.
* Students have access to career-specific scholarships.
* Student-to-faculty ratios are 10:1.
* Students receive hands-on training with the latest in filmmaking equipment.

months — The following months are abbreviated when used with a specific date:
Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out the month when using alone or with a year — no comma is needed between the month and year. In a tabular format, these three-letter forms are used without a period: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov and Dec. (The only exception is in a formal invitation, where the month may be spelled out with the date and year: January 1, 2010.)

When editorial copy includes a month, day and year, set off the year with commas: On Jan. 1, 2008, UA's mascot, Zippy, won the Capital One Bowl Mascot of the Year Challenge.

more than vs. over — More than specifies an amount; over refers to spatial relationships. Examples:

UA was founded more than 140 years ago.
The Goodyear Blimp often flies over campus.

numerals — Spell out numerals used at the beginning of a sentence. In text, numerals one through nine are spelled out; use numerals for 10 and above. In a sentence where a series of numerals is used, follow the same guidelines.

Example: You can take four classes and earn 16 credits.

Exceptions: Always use numerals in text for ages, credit hours, page numbers, percentages, dates and addresses.

percent — This is one word. In most uses, including text, spell out the word. Use the symbol (%) only in a table of figures.

seasons — fall or spring semester (References to seasons as well as academic semesters should be lowercase.)

STEM — The acronym for science, technology, engineering, mathematics/medicine programs.

telephone numbers — include the area code; use hyphens. Example: 330-972-7100.

time — Use numerals in all cases, except for noon and midnight. Always lowercase a.m. and p.m. and use periods. Do not use zeros with on-the-hour times.

titled/entitled — These terms are not interchangeable. Title means “to name.” Entitled means “to designate rights or benefits.”

titles of works — Use quotation marks around titles of the following: books, movies and plays; short stories and poems; magazine and newspaper articles; musical compositions; lectures and speeches; art exhibits or individual paintings; television and radio show titles; and titles of individual episodes of a show.

The names of magazines, newspapers, reference works and journals are used in editorial text without quotation marks around them.

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