Web Style Guide
The following style guidelines relate to content developed specifically for Denison.edu. These guidelines do not necessarily reflect styles that should be used for print publications.
Lowercase, with periods. Use figures to designate time using a.m. and p.m. For noon and midnight, use the words noon and midnight without the figure 12.
Acceptable if part of a formal name (Morgan Stanley & Co.). Avoid in running text (Professor Smith, not Prof. Smith). With place names, abbreviate St. (St. Louis) but spell outFort (Fort Lauderdale) and Mount (Mount Prospect).USis acceptable as an adjective, but use United States for the noun. As of the 16th edition, the Chicago Manual of Style does not put periods in US.
Use periods, as in B.A., M.A., M.B.A., M.F.A., Ph.D.
A Ph.D. is a doctorate. An M.A. is a master’s degree. A B.A. or B.S. is a bachelor’s degree.
Bachelor of Arts is capitalized, while bachelor's degree is not.
Do not precede a name with a courtesy title.
RIGHT: Smith lectured on Plato. WRONG: Dr. Smith lectured on Plato.
News Style: Use a hyphen when writing out an academic year.
Example, News Style:
Online applications are available for the 2011-12 academic year.
Non-news Style offers the option of either a slash or an en dash to designate a period that extends over part of two successive calendar years.
The 2011/2012 catalog is available online.
administrative departments and offices
Capitalize when using the official titles of departments and offices.
Office of Admissions, Office of the Provost, Office of the Registrar.
Note: Do not capitalize when using without proper noun.
Example:Tom stopped by the admissions office.
Do not use apostrophes.
Use only when it is part of a company or organization’s formal name. Do not use in text to replace and.
Professional titles are capitalized when they immediately precede a personal name. Titles are normally lowercased when following a name or used in place of a name. Titles are also lowercased when used alone. Note that this rule applies to civil, military, and religious titles as well as academic titles.
Example:Vice President Johnson, or Johnson is vice president.
ceremonies and celebrations
Capitalize Denison’s major ceremonies: Opening Convocation, Commencement, Academic Convocation, Induction Ceremony.
For internal offices, use chair and not chairman.
Lowercase chapter in names of local branches of national organizations. Also, chapter is the preferred term over house for sororities and fraternities.
Capitalize when referring to a specific class:the Class of ’94. Note: Use an apostrophe, not a single quotation mark.
Capitalize and use quotation marks for course titles.
She taught both “Classical Mythology” and “Intermediate Greek: Prose.”
Exception: The quotation marks should be omitted in long lists of courses, as in the course catalog.
One word, not two, and not hyphenated.
Colloquium is singular; colloquia is plural. Capitalize when part of a full, formal name; lowercase otherwise.
Use numerals to refer to credit hours.
One word, not two, and not hyphenated.
Use en dashes to denote a range (pages 40–48) and to join adjectives when one of the adjectives is already a compound (New York–Boston route).
En dashes may be used for material that amplifies, explains, or digresses, but avoid using them when commas would serve the purpose just as well.
Hyphens, not en dashes, should be used in sports scores.
Use a comma before and after the year in full dates within sentences.
The lecture will be on April 3, 2009, in Higley Auditorium.
days of the week
Capitalize. Do not abbreviate.
The word is singular possessive, taking an apostrophe, and is capitalized.
Use the term “residence hall.”
Use BCE and CE, not BC and AD. Note that capital letters are used, without periods.
Example: This course will examine the Roman Empire from the first century BCE through the fifth century CE.
Use three dots with spaces around each (…), but close up the space between an ellipses point and a quotation (“…). If a sentence ends with an ellipses, use a period as well (…). Take care not to overuse ellipses- they indicate missing text, not a pause for effect.
Follows professor (professor emeritus, not emeritus professor).
Use emerita for a woman.
Use emeriti for the plural.
Capitalize the names of ethnic and national groups, e.g., Aborigines, African Americans, Asian Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, Latino, Latina, Native Americans.
The hyphen is not used in phrases like “African American,” whether the phrase functions as a noun or adjective. Other, more casual designations are usually lowercased in narrative. Example: a white male, or a black male.
May be singular or plural, depending on the context, but be consistent within a context.
Do not use “.00”, use $3 (not $3.00)
forms and documents
Full names of official forms and documents are capitalized but are not italicized or put between quotation marks.
Federal Income Tax Return, Declaration of Independence
Avoid this term. Instead, use "first-year student."
grades, grade point average
Do not put in quotation marks. Use an apostrophe for plurals (A's, B's).
Depending on the publication, it may be acceptable to abbreviate GPAin first reference.
Do not put period marks between letters in GPA.
The use of downstyle or upper- and lowercase headlines is generally determined by the formality of the publication and the design, but once a style is chosen, it should be followed consistently within a publication. In downstyle headlines, the first word and proper nouns are capitalized. In upper- and lowercase headlines, every word is capitalized except articles (a, an, the), coordinate conjunctions (and, or, for, nor), prepositions, andtoin infinitives.
Capitalize “Honors Program,” but not “honors.”
Insert a space between the numeral and a.m. or p.m., lowercase a.m. and p.m., and use periods in a.m. and p.m.: 6 p.m. (not 6:00PM).
Capitalize this term.
Information Technology. Do not use this abbreviation in text or other formal works. Capitalize when referring to the formal name of Denison's Information Technology Services.
Jr., Sr., and III
Do not use a comma before or after these elements.
Omit non-essential words. Web users don’t read—they scan.
Use “inverted pyramid” writing style: start with the point, then support it, using links for more in-depth details.
Keep the most important elements “above the fold,” that is, visible upon initial page view without scrolling.
Categorize according to users’ needs, not by departmental organization or hierarchy.
When creating a link, highlight only the one-to-three most important words. Do not use "click here."
Capitalize the name of a lecture series. The titles of individual lectures go in quotation marks.
Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss
In giving the names of students’ parents, use Mr. and Mrs. if one or both parents’ names are not known.
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Jones
daughter of Mr. Jones
If first names of one or both parents are known, omit courtesy titles.
daughter of Sam and Dorothy Jones
daughter of Dorothy Jones
In general, do not use a hyphen when forming a compound: nonprofit, nonexistent. Use a hyphen, however, before proper nouns or in awkward combinations: non-nuclear, non-English-speaking.
Hyphenate. (This is an exception.)
One word; do not hyphenate.
Spell out whole numbers below 10, use figures for 10 and above.
Hyphenate as an adjective before the noun; otherwise, leave as two words.
Barb has an off-campus job.
but: Barb works off campus.
One word, no hyphen.
One word, no hyphen.
Use hyphens between the elements of a phone number.
prepositions in headlines
Always lowercase, unless the preposition is the first word.
Do not capitalize in general reference to a curriculum (for instance, international studies). Capitalize the formal name of the program when it is the equivalent of the formal name of a department (Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences Program, International Studies Program).
One word, no hyphen.
Lowercase in informal usage.
Example: registrar’s office, the registrar
Capitalize as part of the official name.
Example: Office of the Registrar
Capitalize the event Reunion Weekend, as well as Reunion when it is used as shorthand for Reunion Weekend. Lowercase the word when used generically.
as prefix. Do not hyphenate.
In text, spell out the words percent, degrees (temperature), feet, inches, and cents. In tables, it is acceptable to use the symbols: (%,?,’,”,?).
Amounts greater than 99 cents should be in numerals with a dollar sign ($4).
http:// is not needed at the start of a web address unless the address doesn’t start with www. or there might be some confusion about whether it is a web address.
www. is not required in contexts where it is clear that it is a web address, but be consistent in using it or not within a publication.
< > is not needed around a web address.
Capitalize Internet but lowercase web.
Use home page as two words but website as one word.
Use database as one word.
Italicize the titles of online publications (HotWired) and blogs.
States should not be abbreviated. Exceptions may be made when states appear with city names in class notes, tabular material, and mailing addresses (use postal codes then).
Hyphenate and use capitalT.
Lowercase academic terms or quarters: spring term, winter quarter.
Do not use :00 with a time unless it’s a very formal publication in which it would be appropriate—for instance, invitations.
Lowercase a.m. and p.m.
It is sometimes permissible to remove the periods in a.m. and p.m. in tables and lists if space is tight, but use the periods in text.
Do not use a dash in place of to in a range of times introduced by from (from 5 to 7 p.m., not from 5–7 p.m.).
Do not use o’clock unless it’s in quoted material or formal contexts such as invitations.
the in names
The at the start of titles of creative works is generally capitalized (The Canterbury Tales).
Use Theater, not theatre.
Capitalize and italicize the titles of: books, periodicals, newspapers, movies, plays, television and radio programs (but not single episodes), works of art (paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, etc.). Use quotation marks for articles, short stories, poems, and chapters within books. Exception: Use italics for a very long poetic work, especially one constituting a book (e.g., Dante’sInferno).
upper class students
This term designates sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
Omit the http:// and www. when citing URLs in print publications unless a website will not work without them. Additionally, all words in URLs should be lowercase.
Lowercase general references to the work-study program, but capitalize official references to Federal Work-Study (the program for undergraduates) and Federal Graduate Work-Study (the program for graduate students).
Hyphenate first-year, second-year, third-year, fourth-year when used to modify student in classifications for law and medical students. Undergraduates are first-years, sophomores, juniors and seniors; use senior for both fourth- and fifth-year undergraduates.