Web Style Guide
The following style guidelines relate to content developed for Denison.edu. These guidelines do not necessarily reflect styles for print publications.
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 out Fort (Fort Lauderdale) and Mount (Mount Prospect). US is 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.
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
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, and to in 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.
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."