Editorial Style Guide

For some of the more common stylistic concerns you may have, see the tabs below. Or see the complete Style Guide for more.

Academic degrees:
Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, etc., but there is no possessive in Bachelor of Arts degree or Master of Science degree.

Capitalize the full name of degree – Bachelor of Arts – but not the informal bachelor’s degree.)

Capitalize abbreviations for degrees and professional designations, placing them only after proper names and separating them with periods. Ex.: John Smith, B.A., B.S., Ph.D.

Academic titles:
Use “Dr.” when referring to a medical doctor or someone with a doctoral degree such as a Ph.D. or Ed.D., etc.

Never use Dr. and Ph.D. – it is redundant.

Do not use two titles consecutively. (Wrong: President Dr. Lorna Edmundson. Correct: Dr. Lorna Edmundson, president of Wilson College.)

Addresses, states, zip codes, etc.
Eight states are never abbreviated (unless when used with zip codes): Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah. State abbreviations can be found under “state names” in the AP Stylebook, which is available in the college bookstore).

*USE THE TWO-LETTER POSTAL SERVICE ABBREVIATION ONLY WITH FULL ADDRESSES THAT INCLUDE THE ZIP CODE.

Alumnae/alumni – alumna/alumnus
Alumna refers to a single female graduate. Alumnae is the plural of alumna and should be used when referring to graduates of the college who are female.

Alumnus refers to a single male graduate. Alumni is plural and refers to graduates of both sexes.

NOTE: Most of the time, use alumnae when referring to Wilson graduates. Alumnae should always be used when referring to graduates of the College for Women (which includes all of those who graduated before men were admitted into the continuing education program in the early 1980s).

Dates:
Never use ordinal numbers. (Wrong: May 21st, June 23rd. Correct: May 21, June 23.)

Majors, minors, and areas of concentration
When used in text, use lower case for all, with the exception of proper nouns like French and English.

Majors: art, biology, French, environmental studies
Minors: business administration, English
Emphases: major in mass communications with an emphasis in writing
Options or areas of concentration: area of concentration in early childhood education

Months:
Never abbreviate March, April, May, June or July. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell all months out when used alone or with a year alone.
Examples: January 1972 was a cold month. Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month. His birthday is May 8. Feb. 14, 1987, was the target date.

Spaces between sentences:
Use only one space between sentences – not two.

Times, dates and places of events:
Always state the time of day first, followed by the day of the week, the date (without the year unless it is not the same year we are in currently) and then the place.
Ex.: The concert will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5, in Norland Hall.
Ex.: Graduation will be held at noon Sunday, May 20, on the campus green.

Time of day:
Use figures except for noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. 

DO NOT use 00. Wrong: 11:00 a.m. Correct: 11 a.m.
Never say 12 noon – noon alone will suffice.
Always use a.m. and p.m. – NOT AM and PM.