All content on UAMS websites must use AP Style. Included below are AP Style rules.
Use figures. The form: 501-686-7000. Use hyphens, not periods.
The form for toll-free numbers: 800-111-1000.
If extension numbers are needed, use a comma to separate the main number from the extension: 501-686-7000, ext. 2.
The names of the 50 U.S. states should be spelled out in your page, whether standing alone or in conjunction with a city, town, village or military base.
If your state is included in a table, then abbreviate it. The names of eight states are never abbreviated in datelines or text: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah.
|Full State Name||AP Style Abbreviation|
Place one comma between the city and the state name, and another comma after the state name, unless ending a sentence or indicating a dateline: He was traveling from Nashville, Tennessee, to Austin, Texas, en route to his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.She said Cook County, Illinois, was Mayor Daley’s stronghold.
Avoid using state abbreviations in headings whenever possible
Use New York state when necessary to distinguish the state from New York City.
Use state of Washington or Washington state within the body of a page when it’s necessary to differentiate the state name from the U.S. capital, Washington. It’s written Washington, D.C., with the added abbreviation only if the city might be confused with the state.
Capitalize when an integral part of a proper name: Dade County, Nassau County, Suffolk County.
Capitalize the full names of county governmental units: the Dade County Commission, the Orange County Department of Social Services, the Suffolk County Legislature.
Retain capitalization for the name of a county body if the proper noun is not needed in the context; lowercase the word county if it is used to distinguish an agency from state or federal counterparts: the Board of Supervisors, the county Board of Supervisors; the Department of Social Services, the county Department of Social Services. Lowercase the board, the department, etc. whenever they stand alone.
Capitalize county if it is an integral part of a specific body’s name even without the proper noun: the County Commission, the County Legislature. Lowercase the commission, the legislature, etc. when not preceded by the word county.
Capitalize as part of a formal title before a name: County Manager John Smith. Lowercase when it is not part of the formal title: county Health Commissioner Frank Jones.
Avoid county of phrases where possible, but when necessary, always lowercase: the county of Westchester.
Lowercase plural combinations: Westchester and Rockland counties.
Apply the same rules to similar terms such as parish.
Dates, Months and Years
Always use Arabic figures, without st, nd, rd or th.
Capitalize the names of months in all uses. When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone.
When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas. When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with commas.
Examples: January 2016 was a cold month. Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month. His birthday is May 8. Feb. 14, 2013, was the target date. She testified that it was Friday, Dec. 3, when the crash occurred.
In tabular material, use these three-letter forms without a period: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec.
For dates in the current year, AP Style says:
When a phrase refers to a month and day within the current year, do not include the year: The hearing is scheduled for June 26.
However, for pages on UAMS websites, include the year. Our pages are not anchored to dates like news stories. If it is a post, follow the AP Style guideline.
If the year is included, set it off with commas: Feb. 14, 2025, is the target date.
Use an s without an apostrophe to indicate spans of decades or centuries: the 1890s, the 1800s.
Years are an exception to the general rule in numerals that a figure is not used to start a sentence: 2013 was a very good year.
Lowercase spring, summer, fall, winter and derivatives such as springtime unless part of a formal name: Dartmouth Winter Carnival, Winter Olympics, Summer Olympics.
Use figures except for noon and midnight.
Use a.m. and p.m. — lowercase, with periods, separated from the figure with a space.
If it is an exact hour, do not include “:00” in your time.
Use a colon to separate hours from minutes: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 9-11 a.m., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Avoid such redundancies as 10 a.m. this morning, 10 p.m. tonight or 10 p.m. Monday night. Use 10 a.m. or 10 p.m. Monday, etc., as required by the norms in time element.
The construction 4 o’clock is acceptable, but time listings with a.m. or p.m. are preferred.
In general, spell out one through nine: The Yankees finished second. He had nine months to go.
Use figures for 10 or above and whenever preceding a unit of measure or referring to ages of people, animals, events or things. Also in all tabular matter, and in statistical and sequential forms.
Use figures for:
Academic Course Numbers: History 6, Philosophy 209.
Addresses: 210 Main St. Spell out numbered streets nine and under: 5 Sixth Ave.; 3012 50th St.; No. 10 Downing St. Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. only with a numbered address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Spell them out and capitalize without a number: Pennsylvania Avenue.
Ages: a 6-year-old girl; an 8-year-old law; the 7-year-old house. Use hyphens for ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun. A 5-year-old boy, but the boy is 5 years old. The boy, 5, has a sister, 10. The race is for 3-year-olds. The woman is in her 30s. 30-something, but Thirty-something to start a sentence.
Planes, Ships and Spacecraft Designations: B-2 bomber, Queen Elizabeth 2, QE2, Apollo 9, Viking 2 An exception: Air Force One, the president’s plane. Use Roman numerals if they are part of the official designation: Titan I, Titan II.
Centuries: Use figures for numbers 10 or higher: 21st century. Spell out for numbers nine and lower: fifth century. (Note lowercase.) For proper names, follow the organization’s usage.
Court Decisions: The Supreme Court ruled 5-4, a 5-4 decision. The word to is not needed, except in quotations: “The court ruled 5 to 4.”
– Court districts: 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Dates, Years and Decades: Feb. 8, 2007, Class of ’66, the 1950s. For the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, 9/11 is acceptable in all references. (Note comma to set off the year when the phrase refers to a month, date and year.)
Decimals, Percentages and Fractions With Numbers Larger Than 1: 7.2 magnitude quake, 3 1/2 laps, 3.7% interest, 4 percentage points. Decimalization should not exceed two places in most text material. Exceptions: blood alcohol content, expressed in three decimals: as in 0.056, and batting averages in baseball, as in .324. For amounts less than 1, precede the decimal with a zero: The cost of living rose 0.03%. Spell out fractions less than 1, using hyphens between the words: two-thirds, four-fifths. In quotations, use figures for fractions: “He was 2 1/2 laps behind with four to go.”
Dimensions, to Indicate Depth, Height, Length and Width: He is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, the 5-foot-6 man (“inch” is understood), the 5-foot man, the basketball team signed a 7-footer. The car is 17 feet long, 6 feet wide and 5 feet high. The rug is 9 feet by 12 feet, the 9-by-12 rug. A 9-inch snowfall. Exception: two-by-four. Spell out the noun, which refers to any length of untrimmed lumber approximately 2 inches thick by 4 inches wide.
Distances: He walked 4 miles. He missed a 3-foot putt.GOLF CLUBS: 3-wood, 7-iron, 3-hybrid (note hyphen).HIGHWAY DESIGNATIONS: Interstate 5, U.S. Highway 1, state Route 1A. (Do not abbreviate Route. No hyphen between highway designation and number.)
Mathematical Usage: Multiply by 4, divide by 6. He added 2 and 2 but got 5.
Military Ranks, Used As Titles With Names, Military Terms and Weapons: Petty Officer 2nd Class Alan Markow, Spc. Alice Moreno, 1st Sgt. David Triplett, M16 rifle, 9 mm (note space) pistol, 6th Fleet. In military ranks, spell out the figure when it is used after the name or without a name: Smith was a second lieutenant. The goal is to make first sergeant.
Millions, Billions, Trillions: Use a figure-word combination. 1 million people; $2 billion, NOT one million/two billion. (Also note no hyphen linking numerals and the word million, billion or trillion.)
Monetary Units: 5 cents, $5 bill, 8 euros, 4 pounds.
Odds, Proportions and Ratios: 9-1 long shot; 3 parts cement to 1 part water; a 1-4 chance; 1 chance in 3.
Rank: He was my No. 1 choice. (Note abbreviation for “Number”). Kentucky was ranked No. 3. The band had five Top 40 hits.
School Grades: Use figures for grades 10 and above: 10th grade. Spell out for first through ninth grades: fourth grade, fifth grader.
Sequential Designations: Page 1, Page 20A. They were out of sizes 4 and 5; magnitude 6 earthquake; Rooms 3 and 4; Chapter 2; line 1 but first line; Act 3, Scene 4, but third act, fourth scene; Game 1, but best of seven.
Political Districts: Ward 9, 9th Precinct, 3rd Congressional District.
– Recipes: 2 tablespoons of sugar to 1 cup of milk.
Speeds: 7 mph, winds of 5 to 10 mph, winds of 7 to 9 knots.
Sports Scores, Standings and Standards: The Dodgers defeated the Phillies 10-3 (No comma between the team and the score); in golf, 3 up, but a 3-up lead; led 3-2; a 6-1-2 record (six wins, one loss, two ties); par 3; 5 handicap, 5-under-par 67 but he was 5 under par (or 5 under, with “par” understood). In narrative, spell out nine and under except for yard lines in football and individual and team statistical performances: The ball was on the 5-yard line. Seventh hole. In basketball, 3-point play and 3-point shot. In statistical performances, hyphenate as a modifier: He completed 8 of 12 passes. He made 5 of 6 (shots is understood). He was 5-for-12 passing. He had a 3-for-5 day. He was 3-for-5. He went 3-for-5 (batting, shooting, etc., is understood).
Temperatures: Use figures, except zero. It was 8 degrees below zero or minus 8. The temperature dropped from 38 to 8 in two hours.
Times: Use figures for time of day except for noon and midnight: 1 p.m.; 10:30 a.m.; 5 o’clock; 8 hours, 30 minutes, 20 seconds; a winning time of 2:17:3 (2 hours, 17 minutes, 3 seconds). Spell out numbers less than 10 standing alone and in modifiers: I’ll be there in five minutes. He scored with two seconds left. An eight-hour day. The two-minute warning.
Votes: The bill was defeated by a vote of 6-4, but by a two-vote margin.
At the Start of a Sentence: In general, spell out numbers at the start of a sentence: Forty years was a long time to wait. Fifteen to 20 cars were involved in the accident. An exception is years: 1992 was a very good year. Another exception: Numeral(s) and letter(s) combinations: 401(k) plans are offered. 4K TVs are flying off the shelves. 3D movies are drawing more fans.
In Indefinite and Casual Uses: Thanks a million. He walked a quarter of a mile. One at a time; a thousand clowns; one day we will know; an eleventh-hour decision; dollar store; a hundred dollars.
In Fanciful Usage or Proper Names: Chicago Seven, Fab Four, Final Four, the Four Tops.
In Formal Language, Rhetorical Quotations and Figures of Speech: “Fourscore and seven years ago …” Twelve Apostles, Ten Commandments, high-five, Day One.
In Fractions Less Than One That Are Not Used As Modifiers: reduced by one-third, he made three-fourths of his shots.
They may be used for wars and to establish personal sequence for people and animals: World War I, Native Dancer II, King George V. Also for certain legislative acts (Title IX). Otherwise, use sparingly. Pro football Super Bowls should be identified by the year, rather than the Roman numerals: 1969 Super Bowl, not Super Bowl III.
Numbers used to indicate order (first, second, 10th, 25th, etc.) are called ordinal numbers. Spell out first through ninth: fourth grade, first base, the First Amendment, he was first in line. Use figures starting with 10th.
Numbers used in counting or showing how many (2, 40, 627, etc.) are called cardinal numbers.
Some Other Punctuation and Usage Examples
- 3 ounces
- 4-foot fence
- “The president’s speech lasted 28 1/2 minutes,” she said.
- DC-10 but 747B
- the 1980s, the ’80s
- the House voted 230-205 (fewer than 1,000 votes)
- Jimmy Carter outpolled Gerald Ford 40,827,292 to 39,146,157 (more than 1,000 votes)
- Carter outpolled Ford 10 votes to 2 votes in Little Junction (to avoid confusion with ratio)
- No. 3 choice, but Public School 3
- a pay increase of 12%-15%. Or: a pay increase of between 12% and 15%, or a pay increase of 12% to 15% (But: from $12 million to $14 million)
- a ratio of 2-to-1, a 2-1 ratio
- 1 in 4 voters
- seven houses 7 miles apart
- He walked 4 miles.
- minus 10, zero, 60 degrees (spell out minus)
For uses not covered by these listings, spell out whole numbers below 10, and use figures for 10 and above: They had three sons and two daughters. They had a fleet of 10 station wagons and two buses.
In a Series
Apply the standard guidelines: They had 10 dogs, six cats and 97 hamsters. They had four four-room houses, 10 three-room houses and 12 10-room houses.
The form: $12 million to $14 million. Not: $12 to $14 million. Also: a pay increase of 12%-15% or 12% to 15% or between 12% and 15%. For full calendar years, hyphenated 2015-16 is acceptable.
[The “Ask the Editor” section also lists another example: The spider lays 45 to 85 eggs, which hatch in seven to 11 days.]
In general, avoid unnecessary capitals. Use a capital letter only if you can justify it by one of the principles listed here.
Many words and phrases, including special cases, are listed separately in this book. Entries that are capitalized without further comment should be capitalized in all uses.
If there is no relevant listing in this book for a particular word or phrase, consult Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Use lowercase if the dictionary lists it as an acceptable form for the sense in which the word is being used.
As used in this book, capitalize means to use uppercase for the first letter of a word. If additional capital letters are needed, they are called for by an example or a phrase such as use all caps.
Some basic principles:
Capitalize nouns that constitute the unique identification for a specific person, place, or thing: John, Mary, America, Boston, England.
Some words, such as the examples just given, are always proper nouns. Some common nouns receive proper noun status when they are used as the name of a particular entity: General Electric, Gulf Oil.
Capitalize common nouns such as party, river, street and west when they are an integral part of the full name for a person, place or thing: Democratic Party, Mississippi River, Fleet Street, West Virginia.
Lowercase these common nouns when they stand alone in subsequent references: the party, the river, the street.
Lowercase the common noun elements of names in plural uses: the Democratic and Republican parties, Main and State streets, lakes Erie and Ontario. Exception: plurals of formal titles with full names are capitalized: Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald R. Ford.
Some places and events lack officially designated proper names but have popular names that are the effective equivalent: the Combat Zone (a section of downtown Boston), the Main Line (a group of Philadelphia suburbs), the South Side (of Chicago), the Badlands (of South Dakota), the Street (the financial community in the Wall Street area of New York).The principle applies also to shortened versions of the proper names of one-of-a-kind events: the Series (for the World Series), the Derby (for the Kentucky Derby). This practice should not, however, be interpreted as a license to ignore the general practice of lowercasing the common noun elements of a name when they stand alone.
Capitalize words that are derived from a proper noun and still depend on it for their meaning: American, Christian, Christianity, English, French, Marxism, Shakespearean.
Lowercase words that are derived from a proper noun but no longer depend on it for their meaning: french fries, herculean, malapropism, pasteurize, quixotic, venetian blind.
Capitalize the first word in a statement that stands as a sentence.
In poetry, capital letters are used for the first words of some phrases that would not be capitalized in prose.
Capitalize the principal words in the names of books, movies, plays, poems, operas, songs, radio and television programs, works of art, etc.
See Composition Titles.
Capitalize formal titles when used immediately before a name. Lowercase formal titles when used alone or in constructions that set them off from a name by commas.
Use lowercase at all times for terms that are job descriptions rather than formal titles.
Organizations and Institutions
Capitalize the full names of organizations and institutions: the American Medical Association; First Presbyterian Church; General Motors Co.; Harvard University, Harvard University Medical School; the Procrastinators Club; the Society of Professional Journalists.
Retain capitalization if Co., Corp. or a similar word is deleted from the full proper name: General Motors.
Subsidiaries: Capitalize the names of major subdivisions: the Pontiac Motor Division of General Motors.
Internal Elements: Use lowercase for internal elements of an organization when they have names that are widely used generic terms: the board of directors of General Motors, the board of trustees of Columbia University, the history department of Harvard University, the sports department of the Daily Citizen-Leader.
Capitalize internal elements of an organization when they have names that are not widely used generic terms: the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches, the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association, the House of Bishops and House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church.
Flip-flopped Names: Retain capital letters when commonly accepted practice flops a name to delete the word of: Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Dental School.
Do not, however, flop formal names that are known to the public with the word of: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example, not Massachusetts Technology Institute.
Do not capitalize diseases such as cancer, emphysema, leukemia, hepatitis, etc.
When a disease is known by the name of a person or geographical area identified with it, capitalize only the proper noun element: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Ebola virus disease, etc.
Apply these guidelines to the titles of books, movies, plays, poems, albums, songs, operas, radio and television programs, lectures, speeches, and works of art:
— Capitalize all words in a title except articles (a, an, the); prepositions of three or fewer letters (for, of, on, up, etc.); and conjunctions of three or fewer letters (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet, etc.) unless any of those start or end the title.
— Capitalize prepositions of four or more letters (above, after, down, inside, over, with, etc.) and conjunctions of four or more letters (because, while, since, though, etc.)
— Capitalize both parts of a phrasal verb: “What To Look For in a Mate”; “Turn Off the Lights in Silence.” But: “A Life of Eating Chocolate for Stamina”; “Living With Both Feet off the Ground.” (Note the different uses of for and off, and thus the different capitalization, in those examples.)
— Capitalize to in infinitives: “What I Want To Be When I Grow Up.”
— Put quotation marks around the names of all such works except the Bible, the Quran and other holy books, and books that are primarily catalogs of reference material. In addition to catalogs, this category includes almanacs, directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, gazetteers, handbooks and similar publications.
— Do not use quotation marks around such software titles as WordPerfect or Windows; apps; or around names of video, online or analog versions of games: FarmVille, Pokemon Go, The Legend of Zelda, Monopoly.
— Do not use quotation marks for sculptures: The Thinker, Michelangelo’s Pieta.
— Translate a foreign title into English unless a work is generally known by its foreign name. An exception to this is reviews of musical performances. In those instances, generally refer to the work in the language it was sung in, so as to differentiate for the reader. However, musical compositions in Slavic languages are always referred to in their English translations.
EXAMPLES: “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” “Gone With the Wind,” “Of Mice and Men,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “Time After Time,” the “Today” show, the “CBS Evening News,” “This Is Us,” “A Star Is Born,” “Star Wars,” “Game of Thrones.”
REFERENCE WORKS: IHS Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft; Encyclopaedia Britannica; Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fifth Edition.
FOREIGN WORKS: Rousseau’s “War,” not Rousseau’s “La Guerre.” But: Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” if sung in English but “Le Nozze di Figaro” if sung in Italian. Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” if sung in English but “Die Zauberfloete” if sung in German. “Die Walkuere” and “Goetterdaemmerung” from Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” if sung in German but “The Valkyrie” and “The Twilight of the Gods” from “The Ring of the Nibelung” if sung in English. Janacek’s “From the House of the Dead,” not Janacek’s “Z Mrtveho Domu.”
— For other classical music titles, use quotation marks around the composition’s nicknames but not compositions identified by its sequence.
EXAMPLES: Dvorak’s “New World Symphony.” Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9.
Abbreviations and Acronyms
A few universally recognized abbreviations are required in some circumstances. Some others are acceptable, depending on the context. But in general, avoid alphabet soup. Do not use abbreviations or acronyms that the reader would not quickly recognize.
Avoid abbreviations and most acronyms in headlines, except those that are widely recognizable (FBI, EU, US, CIA, IRS, NASA, NATO, COVID, for example.)
An acronym is a word formed from the first letter or letters of a series of words: laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation). An abbreviation is not an acronym.
- Advanced Placement courses and exams; AP classes and AP exams are acceptable on second reference.
- Americans with Disabilities Act; ADA is acceptable on second reference.
- Black Lives Matter; BLM is acceptable on second reference.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CDC is acceptable on second reference. The shorthand CDC takes a singular verb: The CDC is investigating.
- Cesarean section; C-section is acceptable on second reference.
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy; CTE is acceptable on second reference for, as well as in headlines.
- Electrocardiogram; EKG is acceptable on second reference.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency; FEMA is acceptable on second reference.
- Food and Drug Administration; FDA is acceptable on second reference.
- Internal Revenue Service; IRS is acceptable on second reference.
- In vitro fertilization; IVF is acceptable on second reference.
- Internet service provider; ISP is acceptable on second reference.
- Intrauterine device; IUD is acceptable on second reference for intrauterine device.
- Middle East respiratory syndrome; MERS is acceptable on second reference.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration; OSHA is acceptable on second reference.
- Personal protective equipment; PPE is acceptable on second reference.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder; PTSD is acceptable on second reference.
Some general principles:
Before a Name
Abbreviate titles when used before a full name: Dr., Gov., Lt. Gov., Rep., the Rev., Sen. and certain military designations.
After a Name
Abbreviate junior or senior after an individual’s name. Abbreviate company, corporation, incorporated and limited when used after the name of a corporate entity.
In some cases, an academic degree may be abbreviated after an individual’s name. See academic degrees.
With Dates or Numerals
Use the abbreviations A.D., B.C., a.m., p.m., No., and abbreviate certain months (Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.) when used with the day of the month.
Right: In 450 B.C.; at 9:30 a.m.; in room No. 6; on Sept. 16.
Wrong: Early this a.m. he asked for the No. of your room. The abbreviations are correct only with figures.
Right: Early this morning he asked for the number of your room.
In Numbered Addresses
Abbreviate avenue, boulevard and street in numbered addresses: He lives on Pennsylvania Avenue. He lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The names of certain states and the United States are abbreviated with periods in some circumstances.
See state names.
Avoid Awkward Constructions
Do not follow the full name of an organization or company with an abbreviation or acronym in parentheses or set off by dashes. If an abbreviation or acronym would not be clear on second reference without this arrangement, do not use it.
Names not commonly before the public should not be reduced to acronyms solely to save a few words.
Use capital letters and periods according to the listings in this book. For words not in this book, use the first-listed abbreviation in Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Generally, omit periods in acronyms unless the result would spell an unrelated word. But use periods in most two-letter abbreviations: U.S., U.N., U.K., B.A., B.C. (AP, a trademark, is an exception. Also, no periods in GI, ID and EU, among others.) In headlines, do not use periods in abbreviations, unless required for clarity.
Use all caps, but no periods, in longer abbreviations when the individual letters are pronounced: ABC, CIA, FBI.
Use only an initial cap and then lowercase for abbreviations and acronyms of more than five letters, unless listed otherwise in this Stylebook or Webster’s New World College Dictionary.
In general, use only last names on second reference. When it is necessary to distinguish between two people who use the same last name, generally use the first and last name on subsequent references. Generally use the name a person prefers: Thomas or Tom, depending on preference; Martine McCarthy Chang may prefer McCarthy Chang or Chang on second reference. If an individual requests it, a public name rather than a real name may be used for a political dissident, or a nom de guerre for a rebel leader, if the person’s safety is an issue. In general, call children 15 or younger by their first name on second reference. Use the last name, however, if the seriousness of the story calls for it, as in a murder case, for example. For ages 16 and 17, use judgment, but generally go with the surname unless it’s a light story. Use the surname for those 18 and older.
Abbreviate as Jr. and Sr. and do not precede by a comma: Martin Luther King Jr.
The notation II or 2nd may be used if it is the individual’s preference. Note, however, that II and 2nd are not necessarily the equivalent of junior; they often are used by a grandson or nephew.
Be clear in distinguishing between father and son on second reference if both names appear in a story. The elder Smith and the younger Smith is one option; Smith Sr. and Smith Jr. is also acceptable. The possessive form: Smith Jr.’s career.
In general, do not use courtesy titles (e.g. Mr., Miss, Ms. or Mrs.) except in direct quotations. When it is necessary to distinguish between two people who use the same last name, as in married couples or brothers and sisters, use the first and last name.
Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd. and St. only with a numbered address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Spell them out and capitalize when part of a formal street name without a number: Pennsylvania Avenue. Lowercase and spell out when used alone or with more than one street name: Massachusetts and Pennsylvania avenues.
All similar words (alley, drive, road, terrace, etc.) always are spelled out. Capitalize them when part of a formal name without a number; lowercase when used alone or with two or more names.
Always use figures for an address number: 9 Morningside Circle.
Spell out and capitalize First through Ninth when used as street names; use figures for 10th and above: 7 Fifth Ave., 100 21st St.
Abbreviate compass points used to indicate directional ends of a street or quadrants of a city in a numbered address: 222 E. 42nd St., 562 W. 43rd St., 600 K St. NW. Do not abbreviate if the number is omitted: East 42nd Street, West 43rd Street, K Street Northwest. No periods in quadrant abbreviations (NW, SE) unless customary locally.
Use periods in the abbreviation P.O. for P.O. Box numbers.
If mention of degrees is necessary to establish someone’s credentials, the preferred form is to avoid an abbreviation and use instead a phrase such as: Fatima Kader, who has a doctorate in psychology.
Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, a master’s, etc., but there is no possessive in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science.
Also: an associate degree (no possessive).
Use such abbreviations as B.A., M.A., LL.D. and Ph.D. only when the need to identify many individuals by degree on first reference would make the preferred form cumbersome. Use these abbreviations only after a full name — never after just a last name.
When used after a name, an academic abbreviation is set off by commas: John Snow, Ph.D., spoke.
Do not precede a name with a courtesy title for an academic degree and follow it with the abbreviation for the degree in the same reference.
When referring to the programs: associate degree program, bachelor’s degree program, master’s degree program.
The preferred form is to say a person holds a doctorate and name the individual’s area of specialty.
The Dr. Prefix
Use Dr. in first reference as a formal title before the name of an individual who holds a doctor of dental surgery, doctor of medicine, doctor of optometry, doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of podiatric medicine, or doctor of veterinary medicine: Dr. Jonas Salk.
The form Dr., or Drs. in a plural construction, applies to all first-reference uses before a name, including direct quotations. Do not continue the use of Dr. in subsequent references.
Do not use Dr. before the names of individuals who hold other types of doctoral degrees. Instead, when necessary or appropriate: Cassandra Karoub, who has a doctorate in mathematics, was lead researcher. U.S. first lady Jill Biden, who has a doctorate in education, plans to continue teaching. U.S. second gentleman Doug Emhoff, a lawyer, is joining the faculty of Georgetown Law.
In a list: Stephanie Sanchez, Ph.D.
Academic Departments and Course Titles
If you are referring to the official name of a course or academic department, make that clear and capitalize it. If you’re referring to a field of study, in general, lowercase it. I am excited to take the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning class. My undergraduate studies included courses on data structures, object-oriented programming, software engineering, web design and algorithms.
Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as chancellor, chair, etc., when they precede a name. Lowercase elsewhere.
Lowercase modifiers such as department in department Chair Jerome Wiesner.
Letter grades don’t require quotation marks. He earned an A on the project. She got B’s in history and English.
Follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Hyphenate if not listed there.
Some words without a hyphen:
Some words that use a hyphen:
Follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Hyphenate if not listed there. A 2019 change: In recognition of common usage and dictionary preferences, do not hyphenate double-e combinations with pre- and re-. Examples: preeclampsia, preelection, preeminent, preempt, preestablished, preexisting and those listed in re-. Other rules in prefixes apply.
Some hyphenated coinage, not listed in the dictionary: