Editorial Style Guide

Questions about the editorial style guide?

Please contact Jonathan Easterbrook at

Does the comma go inside or outside the quotation marks? Should I use “which” or “that” in the sentence? Is it "the Hartt School" or "The Hartt School"? What's the proper use of "composed" and "comprised"?

The University's Office of Marketing and Communication manages our Editorial Style Guide, which details many frequently encountered questions about editorial style, including terms and situations specific to UHart. Use it to help you create communication that is consistent and compelling.

This guide is updated frequently. Keep this page bookmarked and check back often to make sure you are using the most up-to-date and accurate editorial style.


  • "Dr.," "Rev.," and all military titles when they precede a name.
    • The word "the" should precede "Rev." in a title: "the Rev. Billy Graham."
  • Do not use "Dr." with a professor's name. The University uses this title only with medical doctors, dentists and veterinary doctors.
  • Use an ampersand (&) only if it is part of an official name:
    • Procter & Gamble
    • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Academic degrees:
    • Associate in Arts (AA), Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Music (BM), Master of Education (MEd), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Never Associate’s or Associates of Arts
  • Names of states:
    • Spell out state names in running text.
    • Abbreviate state names when used with town or city in photo captions, lists, tables, and short-form listings of political party affiliation.
    • Use two-letter postal abbreviations only in mailing addresses that include a zip code.
    • For headlines, avoid abbreviating states whenever possible.
  • Names of months with specific dates MAY be abbreviated except in the case of March, April, May, June, and July. Never abbreviate any month when it stands alone or with only a year.
    • Classes begin on Sept. 5 this year.
    • February 2018 was unusually warm.
  • Names of other countries. Abbreviate United States as U.S. or U.S.A. only when it is an adjective (U.S. customs). Spell out when used as a noun:
    • We live in the United States.
  • The word "percent" using a symbol in general copy:
    • Alumni participation in the Annual Fund went up 10 percent this year.
  • “Assistant” and “associate” when part of a title:
    • He is an assistant professor of art history (not asst. prof. of art history)

State names are not abbreviated in running text. For other applications, follow these guidelines:

  • Abbreviate state names when used with town or city in photo captions, lists, tables, and short-form listings of political party affiliation.
  • Use two-letter postal abbreviations only in mailing addresses that include a zip code.
  • For headlines, avoid abbreviating states whenever possible.

Use traditional state abbreviations found in the table below rather than two-letter, capitalized postal codes in cases outlined above where abbreviations are acceptable.

State Abbreviation State Abbreviation
Alabama Ala. Montana  Mont.
Alaska  Alaska Nebraska Neb.
Arizona    Ariz. Nevada Nev.
Arkansas  Ark. New Hampshire N.H.
California  Calif. New Jersey N.J.
Colorado   Colo. New Mexico N.M.
Connecticut                     Conn. New York N.Y.
Delaware                     Del. North Carolina N.C.
Florida Fla. North Dakota N.D.
Georgia Ga. Ohio Ohio
Hawaii Hawaii Oklahoma Okla.
Idaho Idaho Oregon Ore.
Illinois Ill. Pennsylvania Pa.
Indiana Ind. Rhode Island R.I.
Iowa Iowa South Carolina S.C.
Kansas Kan. South Dakota S.D.
Kentucky  Ky. Tennessee Tenn.
Louisiana La. Texas Texas
Maine  Maine Utah Utah
Maryland Md. Vermont Vt.
Massachusetts Mass. Virginia Va.
Michigan Mich. Washington Wash.
Minnesota Minn. West Virginia W.V.
Mississippi Miss. Wisconsin Wis.
Missouri Mo. Wyoming Wyo.


Academic Degrees

Academic degrees are capitalized only when the full name of the degree is used, such as Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. General references, such as bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, are not capitalized. Use an apostrophe (possessive) with bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, but not in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. Do not use an apostrophe with associate degree or doctoral degree. Do not capitalize the discipline specialty unless it is a proper noun or it is part of a recognized degree name  (such as MBA and MSAT).

associate degree
bachelor's degree
master's degree
doctoral degree
Bachelor of Arts in English
Bachelor of Science in chemistry
Master of Business Administration

Abbreviations such as BA, MS, and PhD should be used in text only when there is a need to identify many people by academic degree and use of the full names would be cumbersome. Note: Do not use periods in these abbreviations.

In most writing, use of the general terms bachelor’s or bachelor’s degree; master’s or master’s degree; and doctorate or doctoral degree are preferred to use of the full name of the degree or initials.

Only those with an MD are referred to as Dr. and then only on first reference.

When listing names of alumni, the bachelor's is the default and needs no letter next to the year. Include “A” for associate, “M” for master's, and “D” for doctoral.

  • Joe Smith ’73
  • Mary Jones A’90, ’92, M’99

Omit periods in abbreviations of academic degrees, unless required for tradition or consistency. For example, the University catalog has always used periods to abbreviate degrees in the faculty listings.

The following degrees are currently, or have been historically, offered by the University of Hartford:

Abbreviation Degree
AA Associate in Arts
AAS Associate in Applied Science
AASCET Associate in Applied Science in Computer Engineering Technology
Art Cert Art Certificate
Art Dipl Art Diploma/Artist Diploma
AS Associate in Science
BA Bachelor of Arts
BET Bachelor of Engineering Technology
BFA Bachelor of Fine Arts
BM Bachelor of Music
BMEd Bachelor of Music Education
BS Bachelor of Science
BSBA Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
BSCE Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
BSCmpE Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
BSE Bachelor of Science in Engineering
BSEE Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
BSEET Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology
BSME Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
BSN Bachelor of Science in Nursing
CAGS Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study
Cert Certificate
Dipl Diploma
DMA Doctor of Musical Arts
DPT Doctor of Physical Therapy
EdD Doctor of Education
GPD Graduate Professional Diploma
MA Master of Arts
MAEc Master of Arts in Economics
MAEd Master of Art Education
MArch Master of Architecture
MAT Master of Arts in Teaching
MBA Master of Business Administration
MEng Master of Engineering
MEd Master of Education
MFA Master of Fine Arts
MM Master of Music
MMEd Master of Music Education
MPA Master of Public Administration
MS Master of Science
MSAT Master of Science in Accounting and Taxation
MSI Master of Science in Insurance
MSN Master of Science in Nursing
MSOB Master of Science in Organizational Behavior
MSOP Master of Science in Organizational Psychology
MSPA Master of Science in Professional Accounting
MSPO Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics
MSPT Master of Science in Physical Therapy
MST Master of Science in Teaching
PsyD Doctor of Psychology
6th-Yr Cert Sixth-Year Certificate




  • “University” when referring to the University of Hartford
  • Proper nouns, days of the week, and months
    • BUT Do not capitalize the seasons:
      • I am enrolled in three classes for the spring semester.
  • Hawktober Weekend, Commencement, Orientation etc., when referring to an official University of Hartford event
  • “Association,” “building,” “center,” “conference,” etc., when used as part of a full title; do not capitalize them when used alone
    • the Center for Professional Development; thereafter, the center
  • University of Hartford Board of Regents; thereafter, the board or the regents
  • Specific course titles
  • BIO 260 Ecology (no punctuation between course number and title)
  • Names of all races and nationalities
    • Caucasian, Irish, Chinese, Native American
  • Capitalize both Black and White, which aligns with the capitalization preference applied to other racial/ethnic categories, except in instances where such capitalization could be perceived as inflammatory, divisive, or otherwise inappropriate.
  • The word “class” when referring to a graduation year:
    • This year’s reunion is for the Class of 1957.

In running text, capitalize formal job titles only when they appear directly in front of a name and are not set off by a comma. Use lower case in other instances.

  • University of Hartford Acting President Stephen Mulready; Stephen Mulready, acting president of the University of Hartford
  • English Professor Tom Anderson; Tom Anderson, professor of English (English capitalized as proper noun)
  • Chief Executive Officer Mary Jones; Mary Jones, chief executive officer

The names of offices and departments at the University of Hartford are capitalized only when the full, official name is used.

  • Capitalize
    • Office of the Provost
    • Office of Institutional Advancement
    • Department of Athletics
  • Do not capitalize
    • provost’s office
    • institutional advancement
    • athletics department

Do not use all-capital-letter names unless the letters are individually pronounced. For example, “BMW.” Other should be uppercase and lowercase. For example,

  • Ikea, not IKEA
  • USA Today, not USA TODAY
  • Politico

Except for languages such as English and Spanish, the names of academic disciplines, majors, and minors are not proper nouns and should not be capitalized.

Academic degrees are capitalized only when the full name of the degree is used, such as Bachelor of Arts or Master of Engineering. General references, such as bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, are not capitalized. Use an apostrophe (possessive) with bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, but not in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. Do not use an apostrophe with associate degree or doctoral degree. Do not capitalize the major or academic discipline unless it is part of the formal degree name.

  • Bachelor of Arts in communication, Bachelor of Science in biology
  • bachelor’s degree in communication, master’s degree in English
  • Master of Science in Accounting and Taxation (formal degree name)
  • Capitalize city if part of a proper name, an integral part of an official name, or a regularly used nickname: Kansas City, New York City, Windy City, City of Light, Fun City, Greater Hartford (but greater Hartford region)
  • Lowercase elsewhere: a Texas city; the city government; the city Board of Education; and all city of phrases: the city of Hartford.
  • Capitalize when part of a formal title before a name: City Manager Francis McGrath. Lowercase when not part of the formal title: city Health Commissioner Frank Smith.
  • Always capitalize the first and the last word of a title
  • Capitalize the following parts of speech:
    • nouns
    • pronouns (including it, my and our )
    • verbs (including is, am and other forms of to be )
    • adverbs
    • adjectives
    • subordinating conjunctions (including if )
    • prepositions of five letters or greater
    • the first word in a compound preposition (Out of the Ordinary)
  • Lowercase the following parts of speech:
    • articles
    • coordinating conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)
    • short prepositions of four letters or fewer
    • to as part of an infinitive
  • Hyphenated words in headlines and titles:
  1. Always capitalize the first element.
  2. Capitalize any subsequent elements unless they are articles, prepositions of four letters or fewer, or coordinating conjunctions such as and, or, but, for, or nor, or such modifiers as flat or sharp following musical key symbols.
  3. If the first element is merely a prefix or combining form that could not stand by itself as a word (anti, pre, etc.), do not capitalize the second element unless it is a proper noun or proper adjective.
  4. Capitalize the second element in a hyphenated spelled-out number (twenty-one or twenty-first, etc.) or hyphenated simple fraction (two-thirds in two-thirds majority).
  • Bed-and-Breakfast Options in Upstate New York
  • Cross-Stitching for Beginners
  • The E-flat Concerto
  • Anti-intellectual Pursuits
  • Does E-mail Alter Thinking Patterns?
  • A Two-Thirds Majority of Non-English-Speaking Representatives
  • Atari’s Twenty-First-Century Adherents


  • The word “room” when designating a particular space:
    • The math lab is in room 204 in Dana Hall.
  • Names of fields of study, programs, major areas or major subjects, unless they are proper nouns.
    • She is majoring in Spanish and economics.
    • Each student must satisfy requirements in the humanities, social sciences and physical sciences.  
  • Classes of students at the University:
    • First-year students are required to take a writing course.
    • My sister is a junior majoring in finance.
  • Unofficial or descriptive titles preceding a name:
    • poet Michael Waters, faculty member Tom Bradley
  • Titles of officers of a class, social organization, etc.:
    • She is the senior class president.
    • He is treasurer of the Student Government Association.
  • The abbreviations a.m. and p.m.:
    • The reception begins at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 8 p.m.
  • Seasons of the year or semester designations:
    • We had a very chilly spring this year.
    • He plans to change his major in the spring semester.
  • Honorary terms:
    • cum laude, summa cum laude, magna cum laude


Indicates the omission of letters, possessive case or marks as a plural.

  • In forming the plural of figures, do not use an apostrophe:
    • the early 1900s
    • the late ’60s
  • Punctuate the year of college graduation with an apostrophe (curved and facing left, never straight or facing right):
    • Class of ’86
    • William ’56 and Carol Wanamaker Lenker ’57
  • Master’s and bachelor’s should always be written with an ’s.
    • Never write masters’ degrees. For PhD, use doctorate (noun) or doctoral degree (adjective).
  • Use ’s to form the possessive of singular nouns; use only an apostrophe for plural nouns ending in s:
    • women’s rights
    • the United States’ wealth
    • Dickens’s life

Introduces a list in a sentence or a quote, separates major parts of a sentence.

  • Follow a statement that introduces a direct quotation of one or more sentences with a colon:
    • This is what the message said: "Call your mother when you get in."
  • Use a colon after "as follows." If the colon precedes two or more complete sentences, capitalize following the colon; if not, don't:
    • Please note as follows: Meetings are held on Tuesday mornings. Bring your ideas and an open mind with you.
    • We were instructed as follows: bring your ideas and an open mind with you.
  • Do not use a colon to introduce a list in running copy:
    • The winners of the competition are John Brown, Mary White and Amy Tan. She went to pick up a few things, including coffee, cream, milk and muffins.
  • Do not use a colon after a preposition to set off the copy that follows, whether horizontally or vertically laid out:
    • E-mail any questions to Pamela Frazier, director of budget and financial analysis,
    • Send replies to

International Center
University of Hartford
200 Bloomfield Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117

Separates words independent phrases or clauses in a sentence.

  • The serial comma is used in a series of elements. Use a comma in a series and before the final "and" or "or."
    • As a first-year student, he took courses in writing, English, biology, and math.
    • Hmm, shall I have the grilled swordfish, barbecued spareribs, or Irish stew?
    • After work, he picked up his shirts at the cleaners, went to the ATM, and met his wife.
  • Place a comma after digits signifying thousands (3,400 students), except when referring to temperature or year (4600 degrees, in the year 2001).
  • Transition terms, such as "however," "namely," "i.e." (that is), and "e.g." (for example), should be immediately preceded by a comma or semicolon and followed by a comma:
    • Our evening class is three hours long; however, we do take a 15-minute break.
    • We have a lengthy assignment, namely, chapters one, two and three.
  • Use a comma before coordinate adjectives; apply the following test:
    • Place the word “and” between the adjectives. Second, reverse them. If, in both instances, the resulting phrase still sounds appropriate, you likely have coordinate adjectives and should use a comma between them.
      • Students attended a lengthy, informative planning session.
      • The lecture will present multiple cost-effective strategies.
      • A confident, knowledgeable panelist gave a quick rebuttal.
  • Do not use a comma in names ending in "Jr." or a numeral (III):
    • John Smith Jr.
    • John F. Zeller III
  • When writing a date or a location with city and state, place a comma after any element preceded by one:
    • On July 4, 1976, the nation celebrated its 200th birthday.
    • Located in West Hartford, Conn., the University of Hartford comprises seven schools and colleges.
  • Do not place a comma between the month and year when the day is not mentioned:
    • July 2007
  • Use of a comma in the following situations will depend on your additional knowledge of the situation and/or how the sentence is worded.
    • My sister, Helen, is on vacation. (If you have just one sister since this is a unique identifier)
    • My sister Helen is on vacation. (if you have more than one sister)
    • I went to see Woody Allen's movie Midnight in Paris with my friend Bill. (we know Woody Allen has been in dozens of movies and we are assuming that Bill is not your only friend)
    • I went to see my favorite Woody Allen movie, Midnight in Paris, with my oldest friend, Bill. (commas in play in both cases as you have only one "favorite" Woody Allen movie, and before "Bill" because he and only he is your oldest friend)

Separate parts of a sentence.

Em Dash

The em dash is perhaps the most versatile of punctuation marks. It can be used in sentences to create a strong break, to show emphasis, or to denote a change in thought. Depending on the context, the em dash can take the place of commas, parentheses, or colons. Many confuse the em dash for the slightly narrower en dash or the even narrower hyphen.

  • She likes all kinds of music—classical, jazz, country, and rock.
  • Matt joined the company a month before it went public—and long before it became the billion dollar giant it is today.

The em dash can be created by holding down the ALT key and typing 0151 on the numeric keypad (right side of the keyboard). Macintosh users, press Shift-Option and the minus key at the same time.

En Dash

The en dash is used to represent a span or range of numbers, dates, or time. There should be no space between the en dash and the adjacent material. Depending on the context, the en dash is read as “to” or “through.”

  • The president's term was 1960–64.
  • Hawktober Weekend will be held Oct. 14–16.

The en dash can be created by holding down the ALT key and typing 0150 on the numeric keypad (right side of the keyboard). Macintosh users, press the option and minus keys simultaneously.

An ellipsis represents three consecutive, evenly spaced periods used as a punctuation mark to denote missing or omitted text—or an incomplete thought.

In a sentence, add a space before and after a three-dot ellipsis:

"It helped build a background to speak ... from different perspectives," she explains.

If the words that precede an ellipsis make up a complete sentence, insert a period at the end of the last word before the ellipsis and follow it with a space and an ellipsis:

The school provided a diverse education. ... It helped build a background to speak about world events from different perspectives."

Joins or separates words.

  • In general, the move is away from hyphenated words, whether used as nouns or adjectives:
    • fundraising
    • groundbreaking
    • bestseller
  • Generally, do not hyphenate when using a prefix with a word starting with a consonant but there are many exceptions. The following rules are constant:
    • Except for cooperate and coordinate, use a hyphen if the prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel.
    • Use a hyphen if the word that follows is capitalized.
    • Use a hyphen to join doubled prefixes: sub-subparagraph.
    • Use a hyphen with the prefix ex, the relative prefix self, and when using all as a prefix
      • ex-mayor, self-serve, all-powerful
  • Other notes:
    • With words beginning with the prefix co-, retain the hyphen when forming nouns, adjectives, and verbs that indicate occupation or status, such as co-worker and co-founder.
    • Use a hyphen to join doubled prefixes, as in sub-subparagraph.A hyphen is needed with compound words that must be distinguished from homonyms, such as in the case of recover and re-cover.
    • Use a hyphen when the last letter of the prefix and the first letter of the following word are the same, such as with pre-engineering, pre-election, or pre-establish.
    • While nonprofit is one word, use a hyphen with terms such as non-credit, non-student, and non-discrimination.
    • Use a hyphen in any case if not using one would create confusion with another word (such as re-cover vs. recover)

  • If not referenced in the above rules, follow Webster's New World College Dictionary, hyphenating if not listed there.

  • Hyphenate “part time” and “full time” only when used as adjectives:
    • He is a part-time instructor in the English department.
    • She works full time in the computer laboratory.

  • Use a hyphen to join two or more words serving as a single adjective when used as a modifier before a noun:
    • tree-ripened peach
    • well-qualified instructor
    • a one-way road

  • However, when compound modifiers come after a noun, they are not hyphenated:
    • The peach was tree ripened.
    • The instructor is well qualified.
    • The road is one way.

  • Do not use a hyphen to connect an adverb ending in “ly” to the adjective it modifies
    • highly qualified student
    • elegantly furnished home
  • When the attributive adjective is a common and frequently used open-compound noun, no hyphen is required unless not having one leads to ambiguity. 
    • income tax refund
    • high school student
    • health care system (see Health Care in "Spelling and Usage" category)

  • When omitting the second part of a hyphenated term, retain the hyphen and follow with a space:
    • 10- to 12-year-olds
    • Hartford- or Greenwich-bound lane


  • Hyphenate “grade-point average,” which is preferred on first reference rather than "GPA."
  • Do not hyphenate the term “vice president.”
  • Do not hyphenate African American, Asian American, etc. in all uses
  • Hyphenate service-learning in all uses.

For rules about capitalizing hyphenated words in a title or headline, see our capitalization section.

A dot used at the end of a sentence to indicate that it is the end.

  • In general, do not use periods with abbreviations for academic degrees:
    • He has a BA in economics, an MA in finance, and an MBA.
  • Do not use periods with acronyms or initialisms:
    • UNICEF works on behalf of children's rights, survival, development and protection.
    • The Hawks did very well in last year's NCAA finals.
    • RSVP
      • The word "please" is already represented by the “P” in this French initialism-répondez s'il vous plaît (please respond). Do not say “Please RSVP.”
  • Use only one space after a period or other end punctuation before starting the next sentence or clause:
    • Hawk Hall is our brand-new dormitory. It is divided into five themed floors.
    • You have a choice of two days: Tuesday or Thursday.

Surrounding a quotation, direct speech, or a literal title or name.

    • Use single quotation marks for quotations printed within other quotations:
      • “When I was a student,” she reminisced, “someone said to me, ‘Be sure to enjoy this time of your life.’”
    • Use single quotation marks in headlines:
      • Team Finds ‘Hawk’ Heaven
    • Periods and commas should be set inside quotation marks; colons and semicolons should be set outside. Exclamation points and question marks that are not part of a quotation also go outside.
      • The instructor said, “Good morning, everyone,” but the fire alarm went off before he could say another word.
      • The coach said to “print Sports Center hours at the bottom of the brochure”; I don't know what they are, though.
      • Didn’t you hear her say, “Reading assignments are due every Friday”?
    • Indicate an omission within a quotation by using an ellipsis (three periods evenly spaced between words):
      • “I...tried to do what was best.”
    • If the omission occurs at the end of a complete sentence, add a period at the end of the ellipsis, followed by a space:
      • “At the University we are committed to a liberal arts education.... We develop our degree programs with this in mind.”
    • Titles of songs, articles, book chapters, poems, photographs, lectures, individual titles from a series, unpublished works, etc., should be set in quotation marks:
      • “Drops of Jupiter,” sung by Train
      • Stieglitz’s “The Steerage,” 1907 (photogravure on vellum)
      • “Video Provocateur” from the Distinguished Teaching Humanist Series
    • Italicize titles of books, films, magazines, newspapers, journals, television and radio programs, major musical compositions, plays, gallery exhibitions, and works of art:
  • Blackboard Jungle
  • New England Journal of Medicine
  • American Idol
  • Madama Butterfly

Refer to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary for more information.

Separates major parts of a compound sentence. A semicolon is not interchangeable with a colon. Check carefully which you have typed on the keyboard: the colon requires the shift key; the semicolon does not.

  • Use a semicolon to separate two independent clauses that are not joined by a conjunction:
    • Boston is two hours northeast of Hartford; New York City is two hours south.
  • Place a semicolon before an adverb used transitionally between independent clauses:
    • Some students arrived late; however, they were still able to register on time.
  • Separate items in a series with a semicolon when they contain internal punctuation:
    • January consists of 31 days; February, 28; March, 31; and April, 30.

Spelling and Usage

The word “alumnus” refers to a male graduate; “alumni” is its plural form. The word “alumna” refers to a female graduate; “alumnae” is its plural form. “Alumni” is also used to refer to two or more graduates of mixed gender:

  • Many alumnae from Hartford College for Women were at the reunion.
  • He is one alumnus who went on to do great things.
  • Alumni Affairs sponsors a number of trips during the year.
Emeritus and emeriti are the preferred singular and plural terms of professors of any gender. The feminine term emerita may be used given the context of the publication or the preference of the subject.

Use “titled” when referring to the name of a book, speech, or other work. Do not write “entitled”:

  • Her dissertation was titled “Effects of Narrated Computer Animation Versus Pure Computer Animation on Understanding of the Operation of an Internal Combustion Engine.”

The debate over usage of health care is one of the hottest that exists with much confusion over whether health care should be one or two words; require a hyphen when used as a modifier; be used differently depending on whether you are talking about the industry as a whole or the providing of health care; or be based on what part of the world you are in.

It often leads to one big headache that may require a visit to a health care facility!

We currently have opted to follow the more focused style guidelines of two important entities representing the fields of medicine and journalism—the American Medical Association and the Associated Press—both indicating that health care be used as two words in all uses, without the need to include a hyphen when using health care as a modifier.

  • health care reform
  • health care professionals
  • I work in health care.

Exceptions: Official proper names of health care organizations (Hartford HealthCare) and approved academic degree program names (Master of Healthcare Administration).


In academic or University references, use advisor. In all other uses, including business references, use adviser.

  • academic advisor
  • Your advisor will help you decide on a major.
  • Sales and marketing strategies are formed through a network of business advisers.

While both terms have the same meaning and are used interchangeably, the more common and preferred term in this country is toward.

Numbers and Figures

  • In most usages, spell out numbers under 10 and use numerals for numbers 10 and above.
    • A maximum of four tickets will be distributed per person.
    • Louise traveled into 14 different states on her journey.
  • Exceptions: Use numerals, even if the number is below 10, when indicating the following: ages, figures containing decimals, statistics, percentages, academic credits, sums of money, times of day, days of the month, chapters in a book, latitude and longitude, degrees of temperature, dimensions, measurements, and proportions. Do not use superscripts.
    • This year is the University's 60th anniversary.
    • Children usually begin kindergarten when they are 5 years old.
    • Work begins at 8:30 a.m.
    • She is 4 credits short of earning her degree.
    • Only 3 percent of those attending needed additional assistance.
    • 7-by-10 rug; 9 miles per hour; two million people BUT $6 million dollars
  • Days of the month— omit rd, th, st and nd following the numerals:
    • April 6, June 1
    • Classes begin on Sept. 4.
  • Date ranges—use an en-dash to represent a span of dates. Avoid using the ampersand.
    • The performance will be held from March 26–30 in Lincoln Theater.
    • Special discounted tickets will be available on March 29 and 30.
  • Spans of years are written as follows, using an en dash (see "Dash" above):
    • 1861–65, 1898–1902, 1903–04, 1985–86, 2001–03
    • Spell out numbers of centuries from first through ninth and lowercase (the third century, the ninth century), but use numerals from the 10th century on (the 12th century, the 20th century).
  • Do not capitalize “century” in any context other than a title. Do not hyphenate a century unless it modifies a noun:
    • They own a 20th-century house furnished with 19th-century antiques.
    • Traditional Chinese medicine began many thousands of years before the 21st century.

Do not use zeros with even hours. Use noon and midnight rather than 12 a.m. or 12 p.m.

  • 3 p.m., 10 a.m.
  • 3:05 p.m., 10:30 a.m.
  • The group will meet at noon
  • A million or more—spell out the word "million." Use no hyphens.
    • $150 million capital campaign
    • 12.5 million people
  • Do not begin a sentence with numerals; supply a word or spell out the figures. Numbers below 100 should be hyphenated when they consist of two words:
    • Fifty-five houses now stand on Main Street.
    • A total of 55 houses now stand on Main Street.
  • Use numerals for amounts of money with the word "cents" or with a dollar sign:
    • $3 (not $3.00), $5.09, or 77 cents, unless tabulated in columns.
  • When numbers are next to each other in a sentence and where the above rules would have them both be spelled out or both be written as numbers, change the second reference to the opposite form.
    • eight 7-week sessions (the seven is changed to 7)
    • 52 ten-week options (the 10 is changed to ten)
    • three 20-week terms (no exception to normal style)

Names & Titles

Always include the first name or complete initials of individuals the first time they appear written in copy.

  • After introducing individuals by their full names, refer to them in subsequent references by their last name only EXCEPT in the case of profile or feature articles about current undergraduate students, where it is acceptable to use first names on subsequent references if it better fits the tone of the story.
    • Use full name on first reference.
    • If the person has a nickname, put it in double quotation marks just before the last name.
    • On subsequent references, identify current undergraduate students by first name in profile and feature articles, and all others, including faculty, staff, and alumni, by last name.
    • First names may be used to avoid confusion, e.g., when two persons in an article have the same last name.
  • One initial should never be used. Use both initials, the first name, or the first name and middle initial. All initials and names should be separated by a space, except when initials are used alone, with or without periods:
    • J. H. Henry, John Henry, or John H. Henry; but not J. Henry
    • FDR, U.S.A.
  • Never use “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” “Ms.,” or similar titles in written copy.
  • Generally, use the title “Dr.” only when referring to a doctor of medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine. Refer to faculty by last name only, once full names and titles have been introduced:
    • Assistant Professor Jim Smith teaches at least one class each semester.
  • Avoid using long titles before the names of people, such as “Vice President for Marketing and Communication Molly Polk.” Instead, write “Vice President Molly Polk” or “Molly Polk, vice president for marketing and communication.”
  • A department head, whether female or male, is referred to as “chair.”
  • When referring to emeriti faculty, place the word “emerita” or “emeritus” after the title “professor”:
    • Ann Beck, professor emerita of history

As a general rule, the title of a work that is part of a larger work is placed in quotation marks while the title of the complete work itself is italicized.  

Italicize the following:

  • Titles of books, journals, newspapers, and magazines
  • Complete musical works and albums
  • Operas
  • Full-length plays
  • Long poems
  • Cartoons and comic strips
  • TV shows, radio shows, and movies
  • Works of art (paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc.)
  • Museums and gallery art or historical exhibitions
  • Online publications, blogs, and websites
  • Podcast series
  • Computer and video games
  • Legal cases

Place the following in quotation marks:

  • Titles of lectures and speeches
  • Short works or sections of long works
  • A work that is included in an anthology or collection
  • Articles in print publications
  • Academic papers
  • Dissertations
  • Grant proposals
  • Blog entries
  • Chapters of a book
  • Episodes of a TV series
  • Individual podcast titles
  • Essays
  • Short stories and poems
  • Songs
  • Unpublished works

Do not use italics or quotation marks—but title case— for:

  • Course titles
  • Musical groups or bands
  • Lecture series
  • Names of conferences, seminars, and workshops
  • Names of events
  • TV and radio stations and networks

Electronic and Social Media

Lowercase all elements of an email address in body copy:

  • Contact
  • Do not omit the period when a sentence ends with an email address (see previous example).

When necessary in body copy, a URL (uniform resource locator) or email address may be broken at the end of a line as follows:

After a colon or double slash:


Before a single slash, period, or other punctuation mark or symbol:


Between words or syllables:


Never insert a hyphen when breaking a URL or email address that falls at the end of a line. The extraneous punctuation only confuses a valid URL.

In many cases it is no longer necessary to use http:// or www in web addresses. But be sure to test any  URL that will appear online or in a print publication to ensure that the link connects.

Do not omit the period when a web address ends a sentence:

  • UNotes, the University’s e-newsletter, is available at

Refrain from using the hackneyed and unnecessary “click on” to direct users to Internet links. URLs are easily recognizable in body copy and generally require no further instruction on accessing them.

  • cyberspace (no hyphen)
  • dot-com
  • e-book
  • e-commerce
  • email
  • home page
  • instant messenger (IM)
  • Internet (retain initial cap)
  • intranet (lowercase)
  • log on (v.), logon (n., adj.)
  • log off (v.)
  • multimedia
  • offline
  • online
  • podcast
  • the web
  • webcast
  • web design
  • web developer
  • website
  • World Wide Web (historical references)

The University of Hartford retains the following social media accounts:

  • Facebook:
  • Twitter:
  • LinkedIn:
  • Instagram:
  • YouTube:


Home venues on campus should be written as:

  • Chase Arena at Reich Family Pavilion (Basketball)
  • Al-Marzook Field at Alumni Stadium (soccer, lacrosse)
  • Hartford Volleyball Gym
  • Hartford Softball Field
  • Fiondella Field

Note that Reich Family Pavilion encompasses the area of the Sports Center that includes the arena, swimming pool, ticket office, and office suite. Events in other parts of the building, including the Hartford Volleyball Gym, should not be listed as taking place in the Reich Family Pavilion.

Use Department of Athletics and Director of Athletics when possible. Otherwise, use athletics department or athletics director. Do not write athletic department or athletic director.

  • The University of Hartford Department of Athletics will host the event on Saturday.
  • Director of Athletics Maria Feeley will address the group on Friday.

Athletics (not athletic) should modify all terms with the exception of trainer, which will conform with the professional industry organization terminology.

  • athletics facilities
  • athletics staff  
  • athletic trainer

For coaches and athletics administrators, capitalize titles only when it is a direct title before their name. Otherwise, use lowercase.

  • Head Coach John Doe is excited about the season ahead.
  • John Doe, head coach, will speak to the group after the game.

Use "Hartford" when attached to the department name or a specific sport such as:

Hartford Athletics
Hartford Baseball
Hartford Women's Soccer

For more general mentions of campus and the University in sports copy, adhere to existing University standards and accepted abbreviations (University of Hartford, UHart, the University)

"Since arriving at the University of Hartford six years ago, Coach Smith..."

"The team energized the UHart campus community."


The term for a student who participates on one of our NCAA Division III intercollegiate teams is “student-athlete” (note the hyphen).

The nickname is Hawks in all instances of our men's and women's teams. Never put a modifying term in front of Hawks.

The University of Hartford offers 17 intercollegiate sports at the Division NCAA III level.

Men's Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Track & Field (indoor), Track & Field (outdoor)

Women's Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Track & Field (indoor), Track & Field (outdoor), Volleyball

The University of Hartford is a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference.

Use “all-America” as an adjective and “all-American” as a noun. For conference, regional, and national honors, capitalize when the official full name of the honor/award is used.

  • all-region selection
  • named to the America East All-Rookie Team
  • America East Scholar-Athletes of the Year
  • selected to the all-conference second team.

America East postseason events not in tournament format should be referred to as championship. Otherwise, use tournament.

  • America East Men's Basketball Tournament
  • America East Cross Country Championship

Follow Associated Press (AP) style for terminology specific to a given sport.

Other Rules

Health care

Use health care (two words with no hypenation required) in all forms—including as an adjective—in conjunction with style guidelines issued by both the American Medical Association and the Associated Press.

  • I work in health care.
  • health care reform
  • health care workers

Premedical and Related Terms

  • premedical, premed BUT
  • pre-dental, pre-optometry, pre-pharmacy, pre-professional

Non Prefixes

  • non-credit
  • non-student
  • non-University
  • Exception: Nonprofit

In most cases, a plural pronoun should agree in number with the antecedent: The students value the mentorship provided to them. Use of they/them/their is acceptable in limited cases as a singular or gender-neutral pronoun. However, rewording usually is possible and always is preferable. 

  • Neutralize the context with words that incorporate all individuals:

    • "the best person (or candidate) for the job" rather than "the best man for the job"

    • "department or committee chair" rather than "chairman" or "chairwoman" Note: If referring to a specific individual associated with a business or organization outside of the University, check to see if that person has a preference.

    • "supervisor" rather than "foreman"

  • To make your language inclusive, avoid using the “his or her” possessive. Rephrase the sentence with a plural antecedent, whenever possible.

    • Students have many options when choosing their majors. (rather than "Each student has many options when declaring his or her major.")

    Consider use of second-person language (you and your) as an additional option:

    • You have many options when choosing your major.

Additional Resources

The University of Hartford Editorial Style Guide primarily follows the Associated Press Stylebook, but conforms to the Chicago Manual of Style in some specific situations. In order of priority, please consult the following resources for situations that are not outlined in this University of Hartford editorial style guide.

The Associated Press Stylebook: The AP Stylebook is widely used as a writing and editing reference tool in newsrooms, classrooms, and offices worldwide. Please follow AP style—and its companion Webster’s New World College Dictionary—for any topics and words not addressed by University of Hartford editorial style. Online subscriptions to both can be ordered at

The Chicago Manual of Style: This is an additional resource to be consulted only when specific questions have not been addressed by either UHart or AP style guidelines. Learn more at

Partner With Us

If you have produced your own marketing and promotional material intended for an external audience, it must be submitted to the University’s Office of Marketing and Communication for review and sign-off before printing, production, posting, or publishing. This extends to all mediums, including print, digital, video, web, and environmental. Please contact Alicia Post Lindstadt at 860.768.4379.