College Style Guide: C

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campus names

• When a college or university has more than one campus, separate the campus name from the institution’s name with an en dash: University of California–Berkeley, Cal State– Fullerton, State University of New York–Buffalo.


*See Annual Fund; Board of Trustees; class year; college; departments; reunion; titles, personal; and titles of works.

*Don’t cap the words college, department, committee, etc., when used alone. Ex: “This is history professor John Doe. He is a member of the committee.”


• End with a period if caption/cutline is a complete sentence. No period if it is not a complete sentence. Length is not the determining factor.


• The following cities do not require the state to be listed following them: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, St. Paul, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington.

• Use commas between city and state and after state. Ex: “She is from Duluth, Minnesota, and is a first-year student.”

*See state names.

class titles

See course titles.

class year

• No comma before it, no parentheses around it, and make sure that the apostrophe that takes the place of the “19” or “20” is a real apostrophe, not a single open quote: Gabrielle Lawrence ’73.

*To get the single quote to face the right way (become an apostrophe), simply hit the space bar after the number.

*To achieve this in html &rsquo: On a Macintosh: hold down option, shift and closed bracket keys.

*For broadcast emails, use a straight single quote.

• Capitalize the word class when it refers to a specific year:

“The Class of ’56 presented a gift to support science technology.”


• Unless part of a proper name, “Macalester College,” lowercase in every use: “the college’s policy is”; “the college archivist,” “one of the crucial questions facing every college.”


• Use the serial comma: “Abe, Bob, and Camille.” In a series consisting of three or more elements, the elements are separated by commas. When a conjunction joins the last two elements, use a comma before the conjunction. (See Chicago 6.19–6.20.)

• Follow Chicago 6.31 on punctuating nonrestrictive clauses—for example, “My husband, Gabe, liked touring the campus.” (Since the speaker has only one husband, the construction is “nonrestrictive” and the name is set off with commas.)

• See also Jr., Sr.

• Use comma after full date. Ex: Her party was June 13, 2009, at the faculty club.

• Use commas before and after state names when used with cities. Ex: “She is from Tempe, Arizona, and is a first-year student.”


• Capitalize when it refers to the Macalester event in May.

compound words

• In general, use Merriam-Webster’s to determine whether or not to hyphenate or to spell solid or open: clear–cut, workweek, chain saw.

• To avoid ambiguity, hyphenate compound modifiers preceding a noun: “the compound- modifier issue.” If the compound is in the dictionary as an entry, ambiguity is unlikely: “a high school student.” But: first-year student, 10-year reunion.

• Do not hyphenate when the first word of a compound modifier is an adverb ending in -ly: “a badly remembered past.”

course titles

• Capitalize and use quotation marks: His course “Bandits, Outlaws, and Other Rebels” was offered last fall. Exception: In a long list of courses, e.g., the course catalog, omit quotation marks.