Editorial Suggestions and Style Guide
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PunctuationItemRules/notes
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AbbreviationsCorp. and Co.Use the abbreviated version
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AbbreviationsStatesEau Claire, Wis., WI, or Wisconsin; Unless there is potential for confusion, use the postal abbreviations; otherwise, use AP style or spell out
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AbbreviationsUMN and U of MUsing "UMN" or "U of M" to refer to the University of Minnesota is acceptable. Example: "UMN Sparks" the event @UMNews is the U's official social media account.
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AbbreviationTitlesNews contexts: Gov. Mark Dayton visited campus with Sen. Amy Klobuchar and state Rep. Jim Davnie. After name: Mark Dayton, governor of Minnesota. Feature contexts: Use your judgment. If you can't abbreviate, a long title may look better after the name: The governor visited with Jim Davnie, a member of the Minnesota Legislature/a Minnesota state representative.
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Avenues/StreetsUppercase when combining two or more, e.g., Park and Portland Avenues
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BuildingsIf "building" or "hall" is part of the formal name is uppercase, otherwise no
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CampusesUniversity of Minnesota Duluth, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, etc.
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CapitalizationAreas/regionsnortheastern Minnesota, the South, the Northeast; if it's a known name, for example Southern California
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CapitalizationTwin Cities locationsCasual use: east bank of the Twin Cities campus. As an entity: I walked to the East Bank; my classes are on the West Bank and on the St. Paul campus. Use in an administrative sense: The rule applies to the Twin Cities campus. Northrop Mall is a proper name, Northrop plaza is not.
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Capitalization StatesThe state of Minnesota is bigger than the state of Washington. But: I pay taxes to the State of Minnesota.
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CapitalizationLegislatureMinnesota State Legislature; Minnesota Legislature; the legislature; the state legislature
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CapitalizationPlacesThe meeting is in Room 105 but: It's in 105 Morrill Hall
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CapitalizationTitlesUppercase official titles that precede name, e.g., President Eric Kaler, Professor Marvin Martian. But not descriptive titles: University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler; professor of anthropology Marvin Martian. Lowercase after the name: Karen Hanson, executive vice president and provost; Marvin Martian, anthropology professor. Exceptions, before and after name: regents professors and holders of endowed chairs or professorships. E.g., Regents Professor of Ecology and Behavioral Biology Margaret Davis; Christopher Uggen, Regents Professor of Sociology. Organizational bodies: Board of Regents. But: the board, the regents. Buildings: Uppercase "Building" if part of a formal name.
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CollegesUppercase when combining two or more, e.g., Colleges of Design and Pharmacy. Capitalize names of University of Minnesota colleges, divisions, departments, and committees only when using the official name. Exceptions are shortened names that could be confusing if not capitalized
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Digital styleSpecial charactersSpecial characters on a web page or in an email should be coded in HTML. See this article (especially the chart).
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HyphenationE.g., Sign in here; a sign-in sheet; the on-campus service is on campus; a six-foot-tall man; nonmember, but: a non-ACLU member; a non-PC-loving computer user.
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NumbersBelow 10: Spell out. 10 and greater: Use numerals. Ages: Use numerals. A 10-year-old, she just turned 7.
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PunctuationSerial commaItems in a series are normally separated by commas. When a conjunction joins the last two elements in a series of three or more, a comma—known as the serial or series comma or the Oxford comma—should appear before the conjunction.
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Punctuationcommas with Inc. or Jr.Omit commas, unless an organization name dictates otherwise
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PunctuationEllipsisSpaces around an ellipsis, e.g., "This is important … so we're moving fast."
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Timenoon and midnightWhen possible use them instead of 12 a.m. and 12 p.m.
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Timesto or –e.g., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.; the meeting ran 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Use an en dash when possible, otherwise hyphen
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TitlesUpper vs. lowercaseThe Minnesota Legislature. But: the legislature. Buildings: Uppercase "Building" if part of a formal name.
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TitlesAcademicDon't use "Dr." before the name unless crucial and the person is an M.D.
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Titles of worksItalicsItalics for book titles, magazines, newspapers, collections of pieces, plays, motion pictures, operas, albums/CDs, works of art
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Titles of worksQuotesArticles, book chapters, stories and essays in books, radio and TV programs, song titles, titles of exhibits
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Titles of worksOnly capitalizeCourse title, special event (Rock the Garden, Homecoming, Minnesota State Fair. But: the state fair, the fair)
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TopicItemRules/notes
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Miscellaneous styleSaid vs. saysSaid is used for news, as: "We're on track," they said at a news conference. Says is good for feature stories. Use your judgment.
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system-wide vs. systemwideUse systemwide
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