Writing

In general, the community relations department follows the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual. Following are some of the rules which may be helpful in your writing for college publications.

Capitalization

Avoid unnecessary capitalization.  Do not capitalize offices, departments, classes, or programs unless preceded with Wenatchee Valley College (or WVC). Example: office of diversity, equity and inclusion vs. WVC Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  •  a.m. and p.m.—lowercase with periods.
  • Bachelor of arts, bachelor of science—lowercase; bachelor’s degree or bachelor’s acceptable.
  • Board of trustees—always lower case unless preceded with Wenatchee Valley College.
  • College—always lowercase unless it is the full college name (Wenatchee Valley College). 
  • Course numbers—capitalize course when used with a numeral (ENGL& 101)
  • Freshman, sophomore—lowercase.
  • Fall, spring, winter, and summer quarters—lowercase.
  • Magazine names—capitalize the name but do not place it in quotes; lower case magazine unless it is part of the publication’s formal title.
  • Master of arts, master of science—lowercase; master’s degree or master’s acceptable.
  • President—capitalize president only as a formal title before the name.
  • Titles—in general, confine capitalization to formal titles used directly before an individual’s name. Example: John Doe, vice president vs. WVC Vice President John Doe.
  • Trustee—do not capitalize if used before a name.

Dates

Dates

Always use Arabic figures without “st, nd, rd” or “th.”  When used in a phrase, set off the date from the day.  Example: On Sunday, Dec. 6

Days of the week

Do not abbreviate except when needed in a tabular formation or in class schedule listing.

Midnight and Noon

Do not put a 12 in front. Either use “midnight” or “12 a.m.,” “noon” or “12 p.m.”

Months
  • When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec.  (It is permissible to spell out in formal writing, but stay consistent within a document.)
  • Spell out when using alone or with a year alone (January 2017). When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate with commas. When a phrase refers to a month, day, and year, set off the year with commas (January 1, 2017).
  • Do not abbreviate months with five letters or less: March, April, May, June, July.

Numbers


Numerals

Spell out whole numbers between one and nine, use figures for 10 and above.

Page numbers

Use figures and capitalize when used with a figure (Page 1).

Percentages

Use a numeral followed by “percent” (10 percent).

Phone numbers

Use hyphens: 509-682-6422.

Punctuation

Abbreviations

Two-letter abbreviations are set with periods, three or more letters without periods: U.S., WVC. Abbreviations using lowercase letters require periods: p.m, m.p.h., c.o.d.

Ampersand (&)

Use only when part of a company’s name. Do not use in place of and.

Comma

Use commas to separate elements in a series. In news writing and course descriptions, do not put a comma before a conjunction in a simple series (this saves space). In formal writing, it is usually preferable to put a comma before the conjunction. Stay consistent within a document.

  • Use a comma for most figures higher than 999; major exceptions are street addresses, room numbers, telephone numbers, and years.
  • In names, do not use a comma before Jr. or II. Example: John A. Jones Jr.
Hyphens

Do not use a hyphen between natural prefixed and rootwords, such as non and pre (prerequisite); hyphenate compound words that require each other to make sense, such as non-English.

When a compound modifier—two or more words that express a single concept—precedes a noun, use hyphens to link all the words in the compound except the adverb very and all adverbs that end in ly: a fall-quarter class, a full-time student, a well-known man, a very good time, an easily remembered rule. Most combinations that are hyphenated before a noun are not hyphenated when they occur after a noun: She works full time. The class is offered in the fall quarter.

Periods and Spacing

Use one space after a period, not two.

Quotation marks

Commas and periods always go inside quotation marks.

State names

Place one comma between the city and the state name (Wenatchee, Wash.), and another comma after the state name, unless ending a sentence.

  • State name abbreviations: all state names can be abbreviated except Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah, as well as the District of Columbia.

Spellings

  • Adviser (not advisor)
  • Catalog (not catalogue)
  • Computer Terms
    • ASCII
    • CAD
    • canceled (not cancelled)
    • disk (not disc)—means hard disk.
    • email
    • DOS
    • InDesign
    • internet—capitalized
    • intranet—all lowercase
    • Macintosh
    • offline—no hyphen
    • online—no hyphen
    • Photoshop
    • PowerPoint
    • Washington state (when referring to the state of Washington)
    • Washington State (when referring to Washington State University)
    • web page
    • website
    • webcam
    • webcast
    • webmaster
    • World Wide Web
  • Counseled (not counselled)
  • Flier (publication)—not flyer
  • Full-time—hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: full-time student.
  • Noncredit, nonprofit—(see hyphen rule)
  • Make up (v.) makeup (adj.)
  • Part-time—hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: part-time student.
  • Preregistration (see hyphen rule)
  • Theater (not theatre)
  • Toward (not towards)
  • Vice president—two words, no hyphen.
  • X-ray—capitalize
Building Names
  • Administration Building
  • Batjer Hall
  • Brown Library
  • Central Washington University
  • Eller-Fox Science Center
  • Environmental Systems and Refrigeration Technology
  • Facilities and Operations
  • Hazel Allen Burnett Hall
  • Heritage House
  • Industrial Technology
  • Jack and Edna Maguire Recreation Center
  • Mary Henrie Friendship Hall
  • Music and Art Center (MAC)
  • Paul Thomas Baseball Stadium
  • Residence Hall
  • Sexton Hall
  • Smith Gym (or Smith Gymnasium)
  • Van Tassell Center (not Van Tassell Hall)
  • Wells Hall
  • Wells House
  • Wenatchi Hall
Usage
  • Couple—when used in the sense of two persons, it takes plural verbs and pronouns (example—“The couple were…”).
  • Dr.—use only in first reference. Do not follow a Dr. with Ph.D. Example: Dr. Jane Doe vs. Jane Doe, Ph.D.
  • Entitled—do not use it to mean titled.
  • Tuition and fees are the expenses a college student pays upon registering for classes. Tuition is the charge which covers the student’s instructional program. Fees cover additional charges such as insurance and activities.  An out-of-state student pays out-of-state tuition, not out-of-state fees.
  • Use—not utilize; sometimes simple words are best.