Haverford College Style Guide Highlights
We invite you to visit the full guide, but here are tips for the most popular style issues:
- Academic and Professional Titles: All job-descriptive titles are only capitalized when they precede a name. Ex: Professor of Biology Jane Smith is on leave. OR Jane Smith, professor of biology, is on leave.
- Titles of Works: Course titles, thesis titles, dissertation titles, and song titles should be presented in title case inside quotation marks (e.g., "Novel Isotope Analysis of DDX Compounds in an Estuarine Environment," "Hey Jude," "Simulating Observations of the Milky Way"). Other works of art, such as films, television shows, books, journals, magazines, and plays, should be written in title case in italics (e.g., A Raisin in the Sun, The New England Journal of Medicine, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet). Note: There can often be italicized works mentioned inside a title in quotation marks, as in the senior thesis "The Embodied God of Small Things."
- Dates and Times: Always separate days of week, months, and years by commas. Abbreviate the month, and use periods in a.m. or p.m. Ex: We will meet at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. Do not use "st," "nd," "rd," or "th" after dates. Ex: Save the date of May 31 for Alumni Weekend.
- Class Years: When mentioning a student or alum, present their class year as a double-digit number after an apostrophe. Ex: John Smith ’91. Alumni from classes before 1920, require mention of their full, four-digit class year along with the words "Class of" set off by commas. Ex: John Smith, Class of 1899, endowed the scholarship. Students from Bryn Mawr should have their class year preceded by BMC. Ex: Jane Doe BMC ’18 is majoring in music at Haverford. Note: All apostrophes before class years should curve to the right: ’20.
- Areas of Study: Do not capitalize names of fields of study, major or minor subjects, or concentrations unless those words are proper nouns (names of languages, geographic locations, people's names). Ex: She is a chemistry major, but is taking classes in French literature. He took a class on Shakespeare's comedies in the English department last semester, and needs one more humanities class to graduate.
- Numbers: For all numbers below 10, spell out the full word. Use figures for 10 and above. For ordinal numbers, spell out "first" through "ninth." For numbers 10 and above use figures and "th" but do not set the "th" in superscript. Ex: She scored 15 points in the first game of the season. He was the 11th person to sign up for the nine-person class. Exceptions: When a sentence starts with a number, always spell it out. Ex: Fifty alumni attended the panel. For measurements, decimals, percentages, sports scores, times, and ages, always use figures. Ex: The soccer team won 50 percent of its games 1–0. She is 18 years old. At 3:00 p.m. add 4 ounces of stock to the sauce.
- Commas: For ease of understanding, in a list of three or more things, use the Oxford comma. This means, use the penultimate comma before "and" or "or." Ex: She travelled to India, Thailand, and Australia on her Watson Fellowship.
- Hyphens: Use a hyphen with an adjective when it precedes a noun, but not when it follows it. Ex: He has a full-time position elsewhere, but still works part time with first-year students.
- Dashes: Do not separate a range of numbers, such as dates or years, with a hyphen; use an en-dash (–). Ex: The exhibit runs Oct. 7–Dec. 22. John Doe (1919–2016). Em-dashes (—) are used to indicate a break in though, similar to parentheses or commas. Ex: Upon discovering the errors—all 12 of them—the professor asked him to redo his paper. Do not use multiple hyphens in lieu of em-dashes or en-dashes, and do not put spaces on either side of the dash.
- Hyperlinks: When writing out a URL drop the http://www before the domain name (e.g., haverford.edu). Embed all hyperlinks in electronic texts; do not use "click here" language. Ex: The Haverford College Style Guide has further details. NOT See the Haverford College Style Guide here: URL. Contact College Communications for a shortened hav.to link if your URL is particularly long.
Bonus item: Only use one space after a period before starting the next sentence!