Style Guide

Below are some of the most common editing practices for MMC:

Academic Degrees: Capitalize “Bachelor of Arts” and “Master of Science.” Do not capitalize when used as “bachelor’s degree” and “master’s degree.” When abbreviating, list as BA, MA, MFA, MD, and MBA. Use periods only for Ph.D.

Academic Departments: Capitalize formal names of academic departments. Example: Department of Dance, Department of Natural Sciences. Lowercase informal listings of academic departments. Example: the dance department, the natural sciences department.

Academic Majors and Minors: Majors and minors are capitalized. Example: “John is an English and World Literatures major.” “Sally, a Theatre Arts major, was cast in a show.”

Addresses: Use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd., Dr. Rd., and St. when a numbered address is given; otherwise spell out. Spell out and lowercase “streets” when referring to two. Example: The new auditorium at 123 E. Lincoln St. is the tallest building on Lincoln Street and is at the intersection of Lincoln and Jefferson streets

Afterward: Not “afterwards.”

Alumni, Alumna, Alumnae, Alumnus: Use proper version depending on sex: Alumna for one woman, alumnae for multiple women, alumnus for one man, alumni for more multiple men or mixed group. You may use “alum” for a singular address where sex is not known or specified.

Ampersand: Do not use unless the preferred style of a composition title or business name. Example: AT&T

Art Exhibits/Works: See COMPOSITION TITLES.

Art Galleries: Proper names should be capitalized. Example: the Hewitt Gallery of Art. Second reference use Hewitt Gallery.

Baccalaureate and Commencement are not proper nouns and should be lowercase at all times. Example: Marymount Manhattan’s commencement.

Black and White: Use The Black and White Gallery and The Black and White Lobby.

Campaign: Lowercase if not a formal name.

Campus: Both buildings are referred to as the “campus.” There are two buildings: Carson Hall and Nugent Hall. The word “Hall” should be included when referring to both and it should be capitalized.

Campus Ministry: Capitalize (no formal name is given)

Captions for Photos: Do not use periods in captions that are not sentences. (Example: Photography by Jane Doe)

Carson Hall: Refers to the College’s main building located on 71st street. Carson and Hall are always listed with initial capitalization. Do not abbreviate.

Class Year: Use ’03 after the name on first reference to person. Class of ’67 when referring to group. Use a single right curly quote (Option-Shift-] on a Mac, Alt-0146 on Windows). When referencing an honorary degree recipient, style as Judy Carson H’13. When referencing the parent of a student or alumnus/alumnae, style as Lucille Zanghi P’11.

College: Always capitalized when referring to Marymount Manhattan College.

Commas: Add comma before the word “and” in a simple series; place a comma before the conjunction in a series of phrases or when separating verbs.

Composition Titles: Capitalize the principal words.

In general, italicize the titles of things that can stand by themselves; use quotation marks for pieces of a larger work/collection. For example, “Article” from Newspaper, “Song” from Musical, “Episode” from Television Show, “Essay” from Book, “Article” from Scholarly Journal.

Constituencies: When listing in text, always put “students, faculty, and staff” in that order.

Courses: Capitalize and italicize formal names of courses. Example: Politics and Developing Nations. Do not capitalize or italicize informal names. Example: “Jenny enrolled in a political science course.


Spell out months; use a comma after a date: Example: On December 12, 2015, classes were cancelled due to snow.

Use an s without an apostrophe to indicate a decade or century: The 1960s
Put an apostrophe before the decade when used in shortened form: The grunge music of the early ’90s can be traced to Seattle.

For a span of years, including an academic year, remove the first two numerals from the second year in the set, and separate them with an en-dash: Administration introduced the policy during the 2012–13 school year / the senator served from 1971–85.

When a sentence begins with a year, it can be a number: 2015 was an eventful year.

Do not use suffixes with dates. Right: The party on October 15. Wrong: The party on October 15th.


Em-dash: no spaces, used to break up a sentence. (Example: My college—MMC—is…)
Option-hyphen on Mac
Alt-0151 on Windows

En-dash: no spaces, used for ranges of numbers (Example: 1971–85)
Shift-option-hyphen on Mac
Alt-0150 on Windows

Hyphen: for compound word (Example: post-graduate)


Division: Use: “Division of Humanities and Social Sciences” with caps.

Dow Zanghi Student Health Center: With caps, no “The.” Second reference, use: the student health center (no capitalization).

Dr.: Use Ph.D. or MD after the name on first reference, if known. Do not use both in one reference; “Dr. John Smith, Ph.D.” is incorrect. After first reference, use Dr., except for President Walk, who should be called President Walk or President Kerry Walk.

email: no hyphen and lowercase the “e” (unless at the beginning of a sentence).

Entitled/Titled: Use “titled” to introduce the name of a publication, speech, artwork, etc. Example: The speaker read from her new book, titled Dare to Dream.

Great Hall: Use the Great Hall, with caps.

Faculty: A singular noun. Example: “The faculty is planning a picnic, although some members of the faculty are going to be out of town.

Foundation: Capitalize “Foundation” on second reference to a specific organization.

Historic/Historical: Use “historic” to refer to something of great significance, and “historical” to refer to something pertaining to the past. Example: “The historic discovery of ancient tombs unearthed historical artifacts.”

Library: Use Thomas J. Shanahan Library on first reference. Second reference “library” should not be capitalized.

Marymount Manhattan College: Use Marymount Manhattan College in title or masthead. Use Marymount Manhattan College on first reference in body copy, use MMC or Marymount Manhattan thereafter. MMC is preferred in text. Never use just “Marymount.”

Mission of the College: Capitalize Mission Statement when referring to the College’s document. Lowercase mission when used by itself: Marymount Manhattan’s mission makes up the core of the College’s ideals.

MMC: See Marymount Manhattan College.

Multi-Faith Center: Capitalize.

Names: First reference should use full name; subsequent references should be last name only.

Nationalities and Ethnicities: Capitalize the proper names of nationalities, races, tribes, etc. Examples: African, American, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Spanish. Do not capitalize “black” or “white” when referring to race.


Non, Non-: No hyphen is used when forming a compound that does not have special meaning and can be understood if not is used before the base word. Use a hyphen, however, before proper nouns or in awkward combinations, such as non-nuclear.

Nonprofit: No hyphen, one word

Nugent Hall: Refers to the 72nd street side of campus. Nugent and Hall are always listed with initial capitalization. Do not abbreviate.

Numerals: Spell out numbers one to nine. Use numerals for numbers 10 and above. Do not use numerals at the beginning of a sentence. Use numerals for ages, addresses, and monetary amounts.

Percentages: Use numerals and spell out the word “percent.” Example: Only 2 percent of the student body voted in the election.

Periods: Two spaces after a period within a letter or other correspondence, such as grants or proposals. One space within publications, marketing and fundraising materials, press releases, and on the web.

Ph.D.: Use Ph.D. after the name on first reference. Thereafter, use Dr., except for President Walk. Use with two periods. Do not use both in one reference; “Dr. John Smith, Ph.D.” would be incorrect.

Quotations: In most cases, use “says/said.” Avoid potential editorializing with verbs like “claimed,” “argued,” “professed,” etc.

Regions: Capitalize when they are widely understood to designate a specific area. Example: the Midwest, Southern California

Registered Nurse: Spell out “registered nurse” in textual references. When the acronym is used, as in “Jane Smith, RN,” use no periods after the letters.

Residence Hall: Do not capitalize. Do not use the term “dorm” or “dormitories.”

RSVP: Do not use with “please.”

Staff: A singular noun. Example: The library staff is preparing for the spring semester.

Seasons: Names of seasons begin with lowercase letters.

Semesters: See SEASONS.

State Names: State names should be given in full when standing alone. When state names follow a city, they should be spelled out unless in lists, tabular matter, bibliographies, indexes, and mailing addresses.  (Example: The event took place in Garden City, New York. RSVP to 221 East 71st St., New York, NY 10021). When referring to the federal district, use Washington, D.C.

Telephone Numbers: Use the area code, but not in parenthesis. Example: 212.111.1111 or 212-111-1111

Theatre: Preferred to “theater”

The Commons: Capitalize “The” and “Commons.”

The Faculty Center: Refers to the College’s building located at 255 East 71st Street. The, Faculty, and Center are always listed with initial capitalization.

The Lowerre Family Terrace: Capitalize “The” and “Lowerre Family Terrace.” Second reference “terrace” should not be capitalized.

The Theresa Lang Center for Producing: Capitalize “The” and “Theresa Lang Center for Producing.” Second reference “center” should be lowercase.

The Theresa Lang Theatre: Use the Theresa Lang Theatre. When “Theresa Lang” is not included in the name, “theatre” should be lowercase.

Times: Use space and no periods for “7:00 pm” or “12:00 pm–1:30 pm.” Use “noon” or “midnight.”

Titles: In general, capitalize formal titles when they appear before a person’s name (President Kerry Walk or Professor Andreas Hernandez), but lowercase titles if they are informal (Charles E. Schumer, a senator from New York).

Academic Titles: On first reference, use the title and terminal degree (Ph.D., MD, JD, MFA), if applicable. Do not list non-terminal degrees (MA, BA, BS). (Associate Professor of Psychology Nava Silton, Ph.D. or Professor of Theatre Arts Kevin Connell, MFA). On second reference, use Dr. where applicable or, if not applicable, use title without degree (Dr. Nava Silton or Professor Kevin Connell).

Chair: Use Chair, not Chairman or Chairwoman. (Chair Michael J. Materasso).

Dean: Capitalize when it appears before a person’s name, but not when it is informal (Dean Emmalyn Yamrick; Dean of Student Emmalyn Yamrick; Emmalyn Yamrick, a dean at MMC).

President: On first reference, President Kerry Walk, Ph.D. Thereafter, President Walk.

Trustee: Capitalize when it appears before a person’s name, but not when it is informal (Trustee Carol Berman; Carol Berman is a trustee).

Vice President: No hyphen, two words, capitalized when used as a title (Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty Peter Naccarato).

United States: Spell out when used as a noun. It can be abbreviated to U.S. (with periods, no spaces) as an adjective. Example: The U.S. figure skating team returned to the United States after the Olympics.

Unique: Few things meet the true definition of unique; use sparingly.

Vice President: No hyphen, two words.

Web and Website: Use “web” when referring to the web as a whole and keep text lowercase (unless at the beginning of a sentence).Website” is one word and lowercase (unless at the beginning of a sentence).

Years: See DATES