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Style Guidelines

Prepared by the Office of Public Relations
Last Updated: July 16, 2007

 

First and Second references 

Buildings/Centers

    • Bergen Community College (Bergen, or the College)
    • Anna Maria Ciccone Theatre (Ciccone Theatre)
    • Bergen Small Business Development Center Bergen (SBDC)
    • Center for Business and Industry (No abbreviations or substitution)
    • Center for Collegiate Deaf Education (CCDE)
    • Center for the Study of Intercultural Understanding (CSIU)
    • Child Development Center (CDC)
    • Educational Broadcast Center (EBC)
    • Emil Buehler Trust Observatory (Observatory)
    • Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR)
    • The Moses Family Meeting and Training Center (Meeting and Training Center)
    • Office of Specialized Services (OSS)
    • Philip J. Ciarco, Jr. Learning Center (Ciarco Learning Center)
    • R. Neil Ender Hall (Ender Hall)
    • Sidney Silverman Library (SSL)
    • Stryker Howmedica Osteonics Manufacturing Laboratory (Stryker Manufacturing Lab)
    • Technology Education Center (TEC)

Divisions and Departments

    • Division of Arts and Humanities or the Arts and Humanities Division, be consistent (Div.)
    • Division of Business, Math & Social Sciences, or the Business, Math and Social Sciences Division, be consistent (Div.)
    • Division of Continuing Education, or Continuing Education Division (Div.)
    • Division of Science and Health, or the Science and Health Division, be consistent (Div.)
    • Department of Allied Health, or the Allied Health Department, be consistent (Dept.)
    • Department of Arts and Communications, or the Arts and Communications Department, be consistent (Dept.)
    • Department of Business, or the Business Department, be consistent (Dept.)
    • Department of English, or the English Department, be consistent (Dept.)
    • Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, or the Mathematics and Computer Science Department, be consistent (Dept.)
    • Department of Nursing, or the Nursing Department, be consistent (Dept.)
    • The Department of Philosophy and Religion,or the Philosophy and Religion Department, be consistent (Dept.)
    • Department of Science and Technology, or the Science and Technology Department, be consistent(Dept.)
    • Department of Social Sciences, or the Social Sciences Department, be consistent (Dept.)
    • Department of Wellness and Exercise, or the Wellness and Exercise Department, be consistent (Dept.)
    • Department of World Languages and Cultures, or the World Languages and Cultures Department, be consistent (Dept.)

Titles
Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as professor, dean, president, trustee, chair, etc., when they precede a name. Lowercase elsewhere: "former Dean and Professor Jane Doe;" or "Jane Doe , former dean, spoke at the event." 

Lowercase modifiers such as "social science," as in "social science Professor Jane Doe" or "department" in "department Chair Jane Doe." 

Administrative Titles

    • B. Kaye Walter, Ph.D. President
    • Laurie Francis, Executive Director of the Bergen Community College Foundation
    • Naydeen González-De Jesús, Ph.D., Vice President of Student Affairs​
    • Yun K. Kim, Ph.D., Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness
    • James R. Miller, Executive Director of Human Resources
    • Ronald Anthony Milon, Ph.D., Vice President of Administrative Services
    • William P. Mullaney, Ph.D., Vice President of Academic Affairs​Ursula Parrish Daniels, Ed.D., Executive Assistant to the President
Degrees
    • Associate in Arts (A.A.)
    • Associate in Science (A.S.)
    • Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)
    • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
    • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
    • Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
    • Master of Arts (M.A.)
    • Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
    • Master of Education (M.Ed.)
    • Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
    • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
    • Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.)
    • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

General Style

Abbreviations
BEFORE A NAME
Abbreviate the following titles when used before a full name outside direct quotations: Dr., Gov., Rep., the Rev., Sen., and certain military designations. Spell out all others except Dr., Mr., Mrs., Ms when used before a name. 

AFTER A NAME
Abbreviate junior or senior after a name. Abbreviate company, corporation, incorporated and limited when used after the name of a corporate entity. Do not use a comma after the designation. Correct: "the Center for Money Studies Inc." 

FOR DEPARTMENTS, only after properly identified the Child Development Center (CDC)…

  • Academic degrees: In general usage, spell out the degrees in lowercase letters, using an apostrophe: bachelor's degree, master's degree. For a doctorate, use "doctorate in ." Use degree abbreviations only when the need to identify individuals by degree on first reference would make the preferred form cumbersome. Use abbreviations only after the full name of a person. "Mike Jones, M.F.A."
  • Academic departments: Capitalize the proper names of departments. Examples: Department of English; the English Department. General references to the same department are not capitalized: "the department."
  • Academic Intervention and Monitoring System (AIMS)
  • Academic Titles: See entry under "Titles."
  • Address abbreviations: Abbreviate avenue, boulevard and street in numbered addresses. Bergen Community College is on Paramus Road. The address is 400 Paramus Rd."
  • Alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae
  • Alumnus (alumni as plural) refers to man or a woman who has attended a school. Alumna (alumnae as plural) is a woman who has attended a school.
  • American Language Program (ALP)
  • Area code: Enclose the area code in parenthesis and use a hyphen after the exchange
  • Associate in Arts: A.A.
  • Associate in Science: A.S.
  • Associate in Applied Science: A.A.S.
  • Avenue: Ave.
  • Bachelor of Arts: B.A.
  • Bergen Community College, or the College, or Bergen.
  • Board of directors, board of trustees: Lowercase if not used with the full title of the organization.
  • Capitalization: Capitalize the words college, division and center when using their full, proper name. Capitalize a shortened form of the name when referring to an entity on this campus.
  • Chair: "Chair" is suitable for all general references to the person leading a group.
  • Child Development Center: CDC 
  • Ciarco Learning Center: Can only be used in second reference to Philip J. Ciarco, Jr. Learning Center 
  • Ciccone Theatre: Can only be used in second reference to Anna Maria Ciccone Theatre
  • College Level Examination Program: CLEP
  • Cooperative Education: Co-op 
  • Corequesite: No hyphen
  • Coursework: One word, not hyphenated or two words.
  • Credit bearing: Not "for credit"
  • Dean: Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name Dean John Smith vs. John Smith, the dean of
  • E-mail: The "e" is not capitalized unless it's the first word of a sentence.
  • Emeritus, emeriti, emerita: Emeritus (emeriti as plural) may be used for either a man or a woman. Emerita (emeriti as plural) may be used for a woman. Place the word after the formal title, capitalizing when used before a name, but not after.
  • English-as-a-Second-Language: ESL - the hyphenation only in modifier, otherwise it is English As a Second Language
  • Fund raising, fund-raising, fund-raiser: Correct usage of these word forms depends on the context and whether it's serving as a noun or as a compound modifier. 
  • Examples:
  • "Fund raising is difficult."
  • "Let's go to that fund raiser."
  • "They planned a fund-raising campaign."
  • "A fund raiser was hired."
  • Faculty: Refers to a teacher or a body of teachers within a school of university. When meant as a plural, it is clearer to non-academic audiences to say "faculty members are..."
  • Grade Point Average: In general, spell out on first reference; G.P.A. or GPA after that. Usually, the abbreviation GPA can be used with figures: "He earned a 3.99 GPA in biology."
  • Health care: Two words. If used as an modifier, hyphenate. Example: "He is in favor of health-care reform."
  • Internet: A reference to a decentralized network of host computers. Always capitalized if referring to the worldwide network. Lowercase if referring to simple networks.
  • Lab: abbreviation for Laboratory, not lab.
  • Months: Capitalize in all uses. When used with a specific date, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec. Do not abbreviate March, April, May, June or July.
  • Non-credit: Hyphenated word.
  • Noon: This term stands alone. Do not put a "12" in front of it. "12 p.m." also is acceptable.
  • off of, off: Off will work nicely, as in "Get off my back!" "Off of " is redundant and a bulky construction. 
  • Office of Specialized Services: OSS
  • Online: Use "online" in all references, rather than "on-line." 
  • Online Writing Lab: OWL
  • On-site, off-site: use hyphen
  • Percent: One word. Do not use % unless in tabular material. Percent takes a singular verb when standing alone or when a singular word follows an "of" construction. 
  • "She collected 50 percent to win the election."
  • Percent takes aplural verb when a plural word follows an "of" construction. 
  • "More than 40 percent of the students came to the meeting."
  • Philip J. Ciarco, Jr. Learning Center: All caps, Can be referred to as Ciarco Learning Center after properly identified with full title
  • p.m., a.m.: Lowercase and use periods. Avoid redundancies such as "8 p.m. tonight." If your seminar is from 10 in the morning to 6 in the evening, write "10 a.m. -6 p.m." rather than 10-6. Most people won't show up at 10 p.m., but it always helps to be clear.
  • Prerequesite: No hyphen
  • Seasons: Lowercase spring, summer, fall, winter. Capitalize only if part of a formal name: "Kansas City Spring Festival." At UMKC, Fall Semester, Winter Semester and Summer Session are formal names.
  • That/Which: "That" is used to restrict meaning and "which" is used to elaborate. 
  • Correct: The bonds that are to be used for the new building will be paid in 2010. 
  • Correct: The bonds, which were issued in 2000, will be paid off in 2010."
  • Titles: Confine capitalization to formal titles used directly before an individual's name. Lowercase and spell out titles used alone: "The vice president for student services issued a memo." Lowercase and spell out titles in constructions that set them off from a name by commas: "The Bergen Community College president, Dr. Judith K. Winn, was available for questions after the meeting."

 

FORMAL TITLES
Capitalize formal titles when they are used immediately before one or more names: President Bush, Pope Benedict.

A formal title generally is one that denotes a scope of authority, professional activity or academic accomplishment so specific that the designation becomes almost as much an integral part of an individual's identity as a proper name itself: Gov. Corzine.

Other titles serve primarily as occupational descriptions: pilot Chuck Yeager, novelist Tom Clancy.

ABBREVIATED TITLES
The following formal titles are capitalized and abbreviated as shown when used before a name outside quotations: "Dr., Gov., Lt. Gov., Rep., Sen." and certain military ranks. Spell out all except "Dr." when they are used in quotations.

PAST AND FUTURE TITLES
A formal title that an individual formerly held, is about to hold or holds temporarily is capitalized if used before the person's name, but do not capitalize the qualifying word: former President Carter, interim Vice President Jane Doe. 

LONG TITLES 
Separate a long title from a name by a construction that requires a comma: "Jane Doe, vice provost for affirmative action and academic personnel, asked for the application forms."

UNIQUE TITLES
If the title applies only to one person in an organization, insert the word "the" in a construction that uses commas: 
"Joe Jefferson, the deputy secretary, spoke to the group."

ACADEMIC TITLES 
Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as professor, dean, president, chancellor, chairman, etc., when they precede a name. Lowercase elsewhere: "former Chancellor and Provost Eleanor Brantley Schwartz;" or "George Russell, former chancellor, spoke at the event."

Lowercase modifiers such as "political science," as in "political science Professor Ben Martin" or "department" in "department Chair Burton Dunbar."

COMPOSITION TITLES
Apply these guidelines to book titles, movie titles, opera titles, play titles, poem titles, song titles, television program titles, and the titles of lectures, speeches and works of art.

    • Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters in all examples.
    • Capitalize an article - a, an, the - or words of fewer than four letters only if it is the first or last word in the title.
    • Italicize major works and the names of magazines, books, journals and newspapers: Time magazine.
    • Capitalize the names of motion pictures, radio and TV programs: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Frazier.
    • Quote marks around the names of articles appearing in magazines, newspapers or journals, i.e., "Analysis of Antitoxins in Pharmacology," or the names of art exhibitions, i.e., "Still Life: Photography at Its Best."


DOCTOR, DR.

In general, the preferred form for mention of academic degrees is to use a phrase such as "Jim Phillips, who has a doctorate in physics ...."

In articles and materials prepared for academic audiences or on-campus use, or in materials where the credentials of the person are necessary to establish credibility, the title "Dr." may be used for holders of Ph.D. or honorary degrees.

Do not continue the use of "Dr." in subsequent references.

LEGISLATIVE TITLES Use "Rep., Reps., Sen. and Sens." as formal titles before one or more names in regular text. Spell out and capitalize these titles before one or more names in a direct quotation. Spell out and lowercase "representative" and "senator" in other uses.

Spell out other legislative titles in all uses. Capitalize when they are used before a name. Lowercase in other uses.

Add "U.S." or "state" before a title only if necessary to avoid confusion.

Theatre: Not theater

try and/try to: Correct: "She will try to pass the test." Incorrect: "She will try and pass the test."

use, utilize: Grammar experts note no discernible reason to substitute "utilize" for "use," because they have the same meaning. Rene Cappon, in "Guide to Good Writing" says "Why choose the longer and ugly word over the short and crisp one? Use use."

Web site: Use as two words: "Web site."

World Wide Web: On second reference, it's acceptable as "the Web."

TRICKY WORDS AND PHRASES

  • After: No hyphen when used to form a noun: aftereffect. Follow with hyphen when used to form compound modifiers: after-dinner drink
  • Co- : Retain the hyphen when forming nouns, adjectives and verbs that indicate occupation or status co-chair. Use no hyphens in other combinations cooperative, coeducation.
  • Ex: Use no hyphen for words when used in the sense of out of. Hyphenate when used in the sense of former
  • Full-: Hyphenate when used to form compound modifiers, i.e. works full time vs. full-time job.
  • Honorary Degrees: All references should specify degree was honorary. Do not use Dr. before the name.
  • In-: No hyphen when it means not inaccurate. 
  • -In: Precede with hyphen, i.e. walk-in
  • Part-: As in part-time (adjective), or part time (noun and adverb)

NUMERALS

General
Use Arabic numerals (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0) unless Roman numerals (I,V,X,L) are specifically required.

For uses not covered by the following listings spell out whole numbers below 20, use figures for 20 and above.

In a series
Apply the appropriate guidelines, even if that means using two different styles:
"They had 12 hamburgers, five hot dogs and only 10 buns." "She had three three-hour classes, two four-hour classes, and she bought 10 three-ring binders to keep her notes straight."

Large numbers
When large numbers must be spelled out, use a hyphen to connect a word ending in "y" to another word; do not use commas between other separate words that are part of one number twenty, thirty; twenty-two; thirty-three; two hundred fifty-four.