Editorial Style Guide

Academic Terms
Buildings + Offices
Punctuation + Grammar
Titles + Degrees
Web Terms


The Office of Marketing Communications has developed this style guide to aid Emmanuel College in adapting a consistent grammatical style. It is intended for use by writers of Emmanuel College documents and publications, not for use by students for academic papers.

The following is a list of frequently occurring style issues and the preferences to which Emmanuel will adhere, based on the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual and Emmanuel College preferences. Please contact the Office of Marketing Communications if you have any questions while using this style guide.

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Academic Terms


The correct terms referring to graduates of Emmanuel College are:

Alumnus - an individual male
*Alumni - a group of males
Alumna - an individual female
Alumnae - a group of females

*Note: The use of alumni when referring to a group of both men and women is now standard vocabulary for Emmanuel College.



Freshman, sophomore, junior and senior may be capitalized for emphasis, except when used as an adjective.

The senior class will sponsor a blood drive next week.
The Sophomores are planning an event.
First-year student is also an acceptable term for freshmen.

When accompanied by the year of graduation, the word class should be capitalized.

Class of 2002

When referring to the year of graduation of an alumna/us of Emmanuel College, a space, an apostrophe and the year follows the name:

Mary Smith '85

Note: The apostrophe should face left prior to a date.



Coeducation, coeducational or the abbreviation coed is not hyphenated.



Avoid abbreviations of degrees. Use the preferred form:

bachelor's degree
master's degree
Bachelor of Arts
Master of Science

Note: the area of study is not capitalized

Bachelor of Arts in history

The correct abbreviations are:




When referring to specific academic departments at Emmanuel College, acceptable references are:

Department of History
history department

Capitalization is used when citing an individual's title or a department's official title:

Professor of History Alice Smith is facilitating the meeting.
Department of English

Departments that are proper nouns should always be capitalized as well:

English department



Majors and disciplines should be lowercase unless the word is a proper noun:

She is an art major.
Mary Jones is a professor of English. Alice Smith is a professor of history.

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Buildings + Offices


The proper names of buildings on the Emmanuel College campus should be used in documents. The names of buildings should be capitalized:

Administration Building
Alden Trust Lab (Maureen Murphy Wilkens Science Center, Room 202)
Avenue Commons
Cardinal Cushing Library
Connors Atrium (Maureen Murphy Wilkens Science Center,
      3rd Floor Atrium)
Daley Family Classroom (Maureen Murphy Wilkens Science Center,
Room 102)
Emmanuel College Gymnasium

Fenway Room (Administration Building, Room 232)
Finney Reception Room (Administration Building, Room 237)
Janet M. Daley Library Lecture Hall
Jean Yawkey Center
The Joanne DiGeronimo Migliaro '88 and Anthony Migliaro Classroom
(Administration Building, Room 156)
Julie Hall
JYCCL Conference Room

Loretto Hall
Marian Hall
Marian Hall Dining Room
Maureen Murphy Wilkens Atrium
Maureen Murphy Wilkens Science Center
Merck Research Laboratories-Boston
Muddy River Café
Notre Dame Campus

Roberto Clemente Field
St. Ann Hall
St. Joseph Hall

Note: St. Joseph should always be spelled out.



The word College, when referring specifically to Emmanuel College, should generally be capitalized.

The College is located in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston.



Acceptable references to Emmanuel College offices are, for example:

Office of Admissions or Admissions Office

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Punctuation + Grammar

Title Capitalization

We follow the AP Style Guide's rules for title capitalization: Capitalize the first word of any title. Capitalize all words that are four letters or longer. Do not capitalize the articles "a," "an" and "the." Do not capitalize conjunctions or prepositions, unless they are four letters or longer.

Examples: The Elements of Style; Opening Doors Through Internships at Emmanuel ("through is a preposition, but it is capitalized because of the four-letter rule)


The Ampersand should not be used in place of and, except if it is an official title of a company, product or proper noun.


Bulleted lists

A bulleted list does not contain punctuation of any kind, unless an item in the list is a complete sentence.

  • Example 1
  • Example 2


  • This is Example 1.
  • This is Example 2.



A comma is used to separate items in a series, but should not be placed before the conjunction.

The Muddy River Café serves drinks, salads and sandwiches.

A comma may be omitted following an introductory clause in a sentence, but should be included for clarity when necessary.

In the fall of 2001 Emmanuel admitted its first coeducational undergraduate class.
When the Saints basketball team reached the NCAA Final Four, a rally was organized.



An academic year should be written as 2004-2005, for example. The plural of a year is formed without an apostrophe. When referring to a decade ('90s, '80s), no apostrophe is used.

"America Since the 1960s" is a popular history course among students.

When referring to a month and a year only, do not use commas.

The Jean Yawkey Center opened in September 2004.



A hyphen is used between two words only to create an adjective.

He has a full-time job.
She lives off campus.
He lives on-campus housing.
She works full time.



Numbers less than 10 should be written out. Numerals may be used for figures 10 and greater. Hyphens are used to separate telephone numbers. No parentheses are needed around the area code, since it is now required for dialing.

Emmanuel College has four on-campus residence halls.
A group of 10 students attended the meeting.
Print (no hyphen between area code and phone number): Contact the Admissions Office at 617 735-9715 to schedule a tour.
Web (hyphen between area code and phone number): Contact the Admissions Office at 617-735-9715 to schedule a tour.

Any number that begins a sentence should be expressed in words.

Twelve participants answered the question.



References to times should be consistent with the AP Stylebook. Figures should be used, except for noon and midnight. Abbreviations of a.m. and p.m. should be lowercase and separated by periods.

Commencement will begin at 11:00 a.m.
A reception will be held at 3:30 p.m.



Avoid split forms of verbs. In some cases, the AP Stylebook acknowledges that a split may be necessary and is not awkward. They refer to the following examples:

Preferred: She was ordered to leave immediately on assignment.
An acceptable split: The budget was tentatively approved.

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Titles + Degrees


Avoid abbreviations of degrees. Use the preferred form:

bachelor's degree
master's degree
Bachelor of Arts
Master of Science

The correct abbreviations are:




Using Sr. to abbreviate Sister is acceptable.

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur may be abbreviated with SND (without periods).



Official titles are generally capitalized when they precede a name, but in lowercase when the title follows the name. For emphasis, however, uppercase is acceptable.

Professor John Brown or John Brown, professor

Use two words for Vice President, without a hyphen.

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Web Terms

Web Addresses/URLs

Web addresses, or URLs, are frequently used in text which the reader may refer to for more information. Our preferences seek to eliminate any confusion between the writer and the reader.

In print, it is not necessary to include the http:// at the beginning of the web address, unless it begins with something other than the universally recognized www. For example:

The Emmanuel College website, www.emmanuel.edu, was launched with a new design.

Online, web addresses should be turned into descriptive links. Instead of directing someone to http://www.pin.ed.gov/PINWebApp/pinindex.jsp for their FAFSA pin number, direct them to the FAFSA PIN website.

If a web address does not fit on one line, and it is not possible to move the web address to a new line, it is acceptable to break the address before a period or after a forward slash. Do not add punctuation or a hyphen to the address, except for necessary punctuation at the end of the sentence.

In print, web addresses for the Emmanuel website should be kept to text-based directions whenever possible. For example:

For more information about a PLUS loan, call the Office of Student Financial Services or visit our website: www.emmanuel.edu and
click on "Admissions + Aid."


Additional Terms

The term website is one word. The terms web page and home page are two words. Web should be capitalized when referring to the World Wide Web, but lowercase when used as an adjective.

A hyphen is used in e-mail. It is lowercase.

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