Editorial Style Sheet
Generally speaking, we use AP Style on our website, unless otherwise specified below.
For formal uses, use the following style in return addresses and in running text:
Office of Institutional Advancement
One Campus Road
Staten Island, New York 10301
Office of Institutional Advancement, Reynolds House, Wagner College, One Campus Road, Staten Island, New York 10301
In running text, always spell out state names: The Founders Day celebration will be held in Rochester, New York. In informal usages, such as social media, abbreviations are acceptable.
Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has attended a school. Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar references to a woman. Use alumni when referring to a group of men and women. Alum (alums in the plural) is acceptable in informal usages such as social media. Note that an alumnus/alumna is one who has attended a school, not necessarily graduated from it.
Board of Trustees
Capitalize “Board of Trustees” in reference to the Wagner College Board of Trustees; thereafter, use “the board” or “the trustees” when referring to that specific group.
Format as follow: For more information, contact Betty McComiskey at 718-420-4014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dashes and hyphens
In print, there are three commonly used types of hyphens and dashes, and each has a different use:
- hyphen –
- en dash –
- em dash —
- A hyphen (next to 0 on the keyboard) is used in compound words (on-campus, student-athlete, etc.) and numbers that are not inclusive, like telephone numbers.
- An en dash (option + hyphen in MS Word on the Mac platform) is used to indicate spans of time. It stands in for “to”: 9 a.m.–4 p.m. But, if you use “from,” don’t substitute “to” with a hyphen: from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., not from 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
- An em dash (shift + option + hyphen in MS Word on the Mac platform) is most commonly used to indicate a thought pause in a sentence: My friends — that is, my former friends — ganged up on me.
- For a very formal invitation, spell out all dates: May the sixteenth, two thousand and nine
- For a less formal occasions or running text, use numbers only: May 16, 2009. Do not use ordinal number abbreviations (1st, 2nd, etc.).
The general rule is to spell out only single-digit numbers and use numerals for all others: We are expecting three special guests. Wagner College has approximately 19,000 living alumni. Dates, times, and telephone numbers are, of course, common exceptions, as explained in those respective entries.
Offices, names of
- Capitalize the office’s name when it is used in full: Office of Institutional Advancement or Office of Communications and Marketing
- Use lower case for abbreviated forms of an office’s official name: the advancement office or communications office
Separate elements with hyphens (area code as well as phone number): 718-390-3147
Capitalize all letters. Do not use “Please RSVP,” because the abbreviation stands for a French phrase that means “please reply.”
For less formal occasions or running text:
Use numerals for times of day. The abbreviations “a.m.” and “p.m.” should be set in lowercase type with periods. Do not use zeros after even hours. Separate times with an en dash and with no space on either side of the en dash. Noon and midnight should be spelled out and lowercased unless they begin a sentence. Examples:
- The meeting began at 9 a.m. and was over by noon.
- The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to noon.
- The meeting will be held 9 a.m.–noon.
- 9 a.m.–noon
- 9–11 a.m.
- 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
- noon–3 p.m. or 12–3 p.m.
For very formal invitations:
Spell out times of day and do not use any abbreviations
- Nine o’clock in the morning
- From nine o’clock in the morning until noon
Titles and offices (in reference to people)
Following the Chicago Manual of Style, the rule is that titles are capitalized when they immediately precede a personal name, and they are lowercased when following a name or used in place of a name: President Joel W. Martin; Joel W. Martin, president of Wagner College; the president.
However, in formal contexts as opposed to running text, such as displayed lists or formal invitations, titles are usually capitalized even when following a personal name.
Special rule regarding professors: All professors, independent of their rank (full, associate, or assistant), are titled “Professor” when a title is used immediately before their name: Professor Walter Kaelber, Professor Jean Halley. Use their professorial rank when listing their full title after their name: Walter Kaelber, professor of religious studies; Jean Halley, assistant professor of sociology.
Use of initial periods with abbreviations
When abbreviating a longer title, such as an organization, use initial periods with two-letter abbreviations (like U.S., U.N.) but not with longer abbreviations (like UNESCO).
Exception: Due to its common usage within the field, physician assistant should be abbreviated as PA, without initial periods. For example: PA Program.
Use of “Dr.”
Use Dr. as a formal title on first reference to individuals with degrees in medicine, optometry, dental surgery, osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine or veterinary medicine. Dr. Sunil Malhotra.
If it is necessary to establish the credentials of a subject who is not a medical doctor (as listed above), show the abbreviation for their degree after their name in first usage. Jean Halley, Ph.D.