Our goal is to promote Adelphi University and its programs in a clear, coherent and consistent manner.

The following guide provides our standards for editorial consistency and serves as an easy-to-use reference regarding the University style, punctuation and word usage. If a rule or word is not covered in this guide, first check The Associated Press Stylebook, then Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.

The guide will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis to ensure current and relevant rules. Please follow these guidelines when writing for the University, whether for print materials, emails or website content.


A is used before consonant sounds: a fantastic foursome, a three-year contract. An is used before vowel sounds: an obvious answer, an NHL mark, an accelerated MBA, an MFA in Creative Writing.

Only use abbreviations if necessary, when space dictates or on second reference. If so, use standard abbreviations. A&S is not acceptable to abbreviate the College of Arts and Sciences. Frequently used standard abbreviations include the following:

  • ACT
  • a.m.; p.m.
  • GPA
  • MLB
  • Mr.; Ms.
  • NBA
  • NFL
  • RN
  • SAT

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary provides an extensive list of standard abbreviations. Some names can be used on first reference, including the names of government agencies, associations, service organizations and unions: CIA, NAACP, UN, YMCA.

For most two-letter abbreviations, do not use periods, like degrees. Lisa earned a BA in Anthropology.

See also: acronyms and degrees.

Adelphi’s accreditation statement must appear in descriptive, programmatic publications that are more than four pages in length. It should read as follows:

Safety First

Colleges and universities are required under federal law to publish and make available an annual campus security report, which includes, among other information, statistics on campus crime. The crime statistics for all colleges and universities required to comply with this law are available from the United States Department of Education.

Adelphi University’s annual security report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Adelphi University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, emergency response plan, timely warnings, fire statistics, missing students and other matters. The advisory committee on campus safety will provide upon request all campus crime statistics as reported to the U.S. Department of Education. You may obtain a copy of this report by contacting the Department of Public Safety and Transportation, Levermore Hall, lower level, 516.877.3500 or by accessing adelphi.edu/safety-transportation/.

The United States Department of Education’s website for campus crime statistics is ope.ed.gov/campussafety.

As a reminder, the rear of any Adelphi University ID card provides you with weather advisory and alert numbers to obtain information on any possible delayed openings or school closings. To register for Rave Alert emergency notifications, log on to eCampus (ecampus.adelphi.edu) and click on Services, University Mass Notification.


Adelphi University, an independent, comprehensive institution, is chartered by the University of the State of New York and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2680, 267.284.5000; the New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234, 518.474.3852; the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 530, Washington, D.C. 20036, 202.887.6791; the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language-Pathology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20850-3289, 800.638.8255; the Council on Social Work Education, 1701 Duke Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703.683.8080; the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), 1140 19th Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036, 202.223.0077; and AACSB International-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, 777 South Harbor Island Boulevard, Suite 750, Tampa, FL 33602-5730, 813.769.6500.

Equal Opportunity

Adelphi University is committed to extending equal opportunity in employment and educational programs and activities to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age, color, creed, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, disability, genetic disposition or carrier status, veteran status, status as a disabled or Vietnam-era veteran, gender expression, or any other basis protected by applicable local, state or federal laws. Adelphi University does not discriminate on the basis of sex with any education program or activity it operates as required by Title IX. All questions regarding Title IX should be referred to our Title IX Office at titleix@adelphi.edu. The discrimination coordinator for student concerns pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is Rosemary Garabedian, Director of the Student Access Office, Post Hall, 516.877.3145, sao@adelphi.edu; the discrimination coordinator for employee concerns pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is Allison Vernace, chief of community concerns and resolution, Room 106, Levermore Hall, 516.877.6808

Acronyms are abbreviations that spell out pronounceable words: NATO, UNICEF, EXCEL. Periods are generally not used in acronyms. If it is not a commonly used acronym, spell out the entire name on first reference and put the acronym in parentheses on first reference: science, technology, math and engineering (STEM).

If a commonly used acronym, put full name in parentheses on first reference. Some acronyms don’t have a spelled-out version: radar, scuba.

Note: Acronyms are often a barrier to clear and accessible communication.  For this reason,  Adelphi usually discourages their use on our website, in our stories, and in communications with students and families.  Before you use  an acronym, please consider how it would be pronounced if spoken aloud and if the meaning of the word best represents the project. If you need to repeatedly use a long proper name in a story or email, try to refer generically to the project, the organization, the program, etc., rather than using an acronym.

See also: abbreviations and degrees.

These words are not capitalized.

John said acting President Julie Smith would give a lecture on the humanities. Julie stated she wanted former President Clinton to make an appearance.

Spell out and capitalize avenue, street, building, boulevard, lane, court, parkway, expressway, place, road, square and terrace when they are part of an address or name. When they stand alone or are used collectively following two or more proper nouns, lowercase: First and Second avenues. When space is limited and the street number is listed, it is OK to abbreviate avenue, boulevard, etc., but never in running text: 123 West Main St., Garden City, NY 11530. Turn right at South Avenue.

Capitalize and spell out building when it is part of a proper noun, but not when it stands alone or is used collectively: the State Tower Building, the Empire State and Chrysler buildings.

Distinguish whether it is a phone or fax number, but not an email or web address. Emails, phone numbers, including extensions (ext. 0000), and URLs are always bold in publications. For consistency, use these terms in the same order throughout the document. Fax is used to distinguish from a telephone number.

It is unnecessary to indicate telephone, email or website with these elements.

The correct form of return address for most general usages is as follows:

Adelphi University
One South Avenue
P.O. Box 0701
Garden City, NY 11530-0701

See also: ZIP Codes.

Our editorial style is adviser; use advisor only if part of a proper noun.

Affect, as a verb, means to influence. Sally’s decision will affect the schedule of summer vacations.

Avoid affect as a noun, though some psychologists use it to describe emotion. Also, avoid misusing affect (to influence) and effect (to bring about).

See also effect.

The preferred term is Black, since individuals may identify as African, Afro-Caribbean or other.

Use African American if a group (or individual) refers to itself as such. Refer to groups as Black students, Black faculty members, etc., not Blacks.

See the Guide to Inclusive Language.

This term is one word when used as an adjective and describing a program. Johnny has several afterschool activities.

Otherwise, after school is two words. She went to work after school.

Ages are always set in numerals. She has a 2-year-old son. Sam is 7 years old. Jamie plays football with 8-year-olds.

Use of all capitals is discouraged in standard writing as a way to emphasize text. It should be used only in advertising copy.

See also: headlines, acronyms, capitalization.

Alphabetize letter by letter and up to the first comma that is not part of a series. Spaces, hyphens, apostrophes, slashes and the letters that follow them are considered part of one word. For example:

left, far
left, radical
left field
leftism and the 1980s
left wing

Initials in personal names are used in place of a given name if they come before any name beginning with the same letter:

Smith, C. Michael
Smith, G. Thomas
Smith, Sally
Smith, Susie

Alphabetize acronyms by letter, and alphabetize numbers as if they were spelled out. Accented or other specially treated letters—such as those with umlauts— should be alphabetized as though unaccented.

Treat personal names containing particles such as de, la, di, la, von, van and saint on a case-by-case basis, because spacing after such elements varies according to personal preference. Alphabetize M’, Mc or Mac letter by letter—not as though the M’ or Mc were an abbreviation for Mac.

Depending on the context, alum is acceptable in running text.

Always use the correct word for gender and number.

  • Alumna is feminine singular.
    Laura is an alumna of Adelphi University.
  • Alumnus is masculine (or mixedgender) singular.
    Sebastian is an alumnus.
  • Alumni is masculine (or mixedgender) plural.
    James, Chris and Wendy are alumni.
  • Alumnae is feminine plural.
    Cindy and Lauren are alumnae.

Use the following forms for undergraduate class year: Peter Rodgers ’03.

Only Adelphi University graduates are identified by two-digit abbreviated years.

For alumni with a degree higher than a bachelor’s, use a comma after the name and after the degree. Ann Brown, MA ’08, and John Petrov ’83, MBA ’85.

For Adelphi alumni, we list the degrees and years received for all degrees. For non-alumni, we include doctoral degrees only.

Use freshman or first-year student, sophomore, junior or senior when referring to a student who has not graduated. We do not use anticipated years of graduation unless using the name as a writer byline on the Adelphi news site or in a print publication.

When listing two or more alumni:

List the name of an earlier graduate first.

It is OK to list the graduation year only once for couples who graduated the same year. Chris and Christina Smith ’03.

If a couple is married and graduated in different years, list the earlier graduate first and the class year after each name. Chris ’02 and Christina Smith ’03.

Two or more alumni from the same family can be referred to with full names and dates of graduation following each name. Siblings Georgette Smith ’89, Josephine Jones ’91 and Michael Smith ’93 wore pink in honor of breast cancer awareness.

See also: alumni.

Only use the ampersand (&) if it is part of an official name or title: AT&T, Simon & Schuster, Procter & Gamble Co.

Do not substitute an ampersand for the word and.

Use a smart apostrophe () and not a dumb apostrophe (). Make sure it faces in the correct direction (i.e., same as the right single quotation mark).

All quotes and facts obtained from other sources should be attributed. Use said or another verb in the past tense when attributing quotes. The speaker usually comes before said to keep the writing in the active voice. “Excuse me,” the man said.

The inverted order is acceptable when the speaker is identified with a long title. “Pass the remote,” said Joe McIntosh, president of the Technology Committee.

Our preference is to use person-first language and refer to a person or group as being on the autism spectrum rather than with autism spectrum disorder. On second reference, on the spectrum can be used. However, it is acceptable to refer to someone with autism spectrum disorder if the individual or group prefers it.

See the Guide to Inclusive Language.


Between refers to two persons or things. Among refers to more than two.

The conversation was between Betty and Sally.

We selected among King Kullen, Key Food and Stop & Shop.

Hyphens are usually not used with bi-: bilingual, bipolar, biweekly, bimonthly.

Biannual means twice a year and is a synonym for semiannual; biennial means every two years.

Only capitalize when using with the formal or full title of an organization. Adelphi University’s Board of Trustees meets once a month. He is on the board.

List only the publisher and year when referring to a book: Sebastian Gardenhire ’04 wrote The Art of Stitching (Random House, 2011).

Book titles are always italicized, except when the font is already italicized, in which case, use roman.

Adelphi has several building and conference rooms on campus. The following are their official names:

  • Adele and Herbert J. Klapper Center for Fine Arts
  • Alice Brown Early Learning Center
  • Adelphi University Performing Arts Center (AUPAC)
    • Black Box Theatre
    • Concert Hall
      • Westermann Stage
    • Dance Studio
    • Lucia and Steven N. Fischer Box Office
    • Olmsted Theatre
    • Recital Hall
  • Alumnae Hall
  • Angello Alumni House
  • Blodgett Hall
  • Center for Recreation and Sports
    • Campbell Lounge
  • Chapman Hall
  • Earle Hall
  • Eddy Hall
  • Hagedorn Hall of Enterprise
    • James Riley, Jr. Trading Room
  • Harvey Hall
  • Hy Weinberg Center for Communication Disorders
  • Janet L. Ficke Field
  • Levermore Hall
  • Linen Hall
  • Motamed Field
  • Residence Hall A
  • Residence Hall B
  • Nexus Building and Welcome Center
    • Below-grade parking garage
  • Post Hall
  • Ruth S. Harley University Center
    • Angela and Barry Zeman Commuter Student Lounge
    • Thomas Dixon Lovely Ballroom
  • Science Building
    • McDonell Chemistry Laboratory
  • Social Work Building
  • Swirbul Library
  • Waldo Hall
  • William J. Bonomo Field
  • Woodruff Hall
    • Arvilla E. Nolan Swimming Pool

Bulleted items should begin with a capital letter and end with punctuation only if they are complete sentences. If they are fragments, still capitalize, but drop ending punctuation.

If necessary, avoid combining bullets with complete sentences and fragments. Rewrite if necessary for consistency.


Lowercase campus in running text, but capitalize in all other uses (listings, stacked text, etc.).

Only proper nouns should be capitalized. Avoid capitalizing other words unless they are part of a company or organization’s name. If there is no listing in this style guide for a particular word or phrase, consult The Associated Press Stylebook and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

The, a or an are never capitalized unless they are part of a name.

Capitalize Adelphi University’s majors, minors, programs of study, departments or offices when referring to an official title. Valerie is majoring in biology. The Department of Art and Art History is hosting an event. She is pursuing a BS in Chemistry.

On second reference, College, School and Institute (e.g., Derner) should be capitalized when referring to Adelphi’s academic units.

On forms, it is acceptable to capitalize all words, even if they are not proper nouns. Just be consistent.

See also: building and room names, bullets, certificates, civic titles, commencement, corporate titles and offices, course names, degrees, academic, departments and offices, directions and regions, governmental bodies, headlines, hyphen, hyphens in titles, Internet, lists, majors, minors, months, names of organizations, names of people, programs, room numbers, seasons, semesters, Social Security number, titles, business and personal, Visa, Web and ZIP codes.

Do not use a period unless it is a complete sentence.

Usecatalogue only if part of a proper noun, as it is the British spelling.

Adelphi has several academic centers on and off campus. The Hauppauge Education and Conference Center, Manhattan Center, Hudson Valley Center and Adelphi Sayville are all Adelphi locations off campus.

Use full name upon first reference; afterward they can be referred to as centers or learning hubs. The Learning Center and Writing Center are both on the Garden City campus.

Certificates should be treated like degrees—capitalize only when referring to an official title. Jim obtained a Certificate in Accounting.

This term is always one word.

Note: This is a change from the 2015 edition of the University Editorial Manual.

This term is always two words and unhyphenated.

Spell out the names of cities and towns on first reference.

In running text, use:

Barack Obama, president of the United States; President Obama; Hillary Clinton, secretary of state; Secretary of State Clinton; the secretary of state; Andrew Cuomo, governor of the state of New York; Governor Andrew Cuomo; the governor of New York.

Abbreviate Honorable, unless it is preceded by the:

Hon. James Stewart, the Honorable Roger T. Jackson III.

Always lowercase terms designating the academic years: first-year, sophomore, junior and senior.

Hyphenate when forming nouns, verbs and adjectives indicating a title: co-chair; co-author; co-worker.

Hyphens are not used in almost all other cases: coed; coeducation; cooperation; cooperate; coexist.

A&S is not acceptable to abbreviate College of Arts and Sciences. Always spell out the entire proper name.

Adelphi University comprises eight colleges and schools. After first reference using the full name of the school (Ruth S. Ammon College of Education and Health Sciences), the abbreviated school names may be used (e.g., Ammon College of Education). Acceptable abbreviations follow in parentheses:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Ruth S. Ammon College of Education and Health Sciences
  • College of Nursing and Public Health
  • Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology (Derner School of Psychology)
  • Honors College
  • Robert B. Willumstad School of Business (Willumstad School of Business)
  • School of Social Work
  • College of Professional and Continuing Studies

In most instances, the colleges and schools of the University should appear in alphabetical order. However, for certain publications, such as the Commencement Program, they should appear in order of founding. Publications that list the schools in order of founding should note that they have done so.

On first mention of any of the schools or colleges above in running copy, use Adelphi University as part of the school or college’s full name.

Do not use the final comma when using and or or in a series, unless part of a proper noun or for sense. The Hudson Valley Center offers the newest technology, modern facilities and great opportunities for Adelphi students.

Capitalize the formal ceremony; lowercase the generic usage.

Capitalize only when part of a formal name: Advisory Committee on Campus Security.

Continual means frequently occurring or intermittent. Continuous refers to actions that are uninterruptible.

The 2020 novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has introduced several words and terms that we are using in our everyday language.


This refers to a family of viruses, named for the crownlike spikes on their surfaces. There are many coronaviruses, including the common cold, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). The novel coronavirus that was identified in 2019 is called COVID-19. It is acceptable to use the coronavirus when referring to this particular strain (include the).


We prefer using all caps, per the AP Style Guide and Merriam-Webster. “CO” stands for corona, “VI” for virus, “D” for disease, and  “19” for 2019.

cancel, canceled, canceling, cancellation

Spell these words with one l, the preferred spelling in American English, as opposed to the British spelling (cancelled, cancelling). 

epidemic, pandemic

An epidemic is the rapid spreading of a disease in a particular region. A pandemic is an epidemic that has spread worldwide.

social distancing

Maintaining a greater than usual physical distance from other people or objects to minimize exposure. Two words, no hyphen.

isolation, quarantine, self-quarantine

Isolation is separating people who are sick from healthy people. Quarantine is restricting movement of healthy people to see if they become ill. Hyphenate self-quarantine, the practice of refraining oneself from contacting other individuals for a period of time.

front line, front lines, front-line

Front line is two words as a noun and hyphenated as an adjective.

For more words and definitions, see Merriam-Webster.com’s “A Guide to Coronavirus-Related Words” and “Coronavirus and the New Words We Added to the Dictionary in March 2020.”

Corporate titles and offices are always lowercase in running text when following the name: Charles Charge, president and chief executive officer, CNN; the president and chief executive officer; Herman Harowitz, chairman and chief executive officer, United Way; the chairman of the corporation.

This term is always one word.

Note: This is a change from the 2015 edition of the University Editorial Manual.

Use credits, not credit hours, since the latter is redundant. Always use numerals for credits, even if it is less than 10, unless the number begins a sentence. Lisa needs 3 credits to graduate.


Always use an em dash (—) with no spaces when emphasizing a separate clause in a sentence. Use em dashes to enclose a word or word group that interrupts the main structure. The projects—all three of them—are due this afternoon. Dashes can be substituted for a colon (:).

An en dash (–) is used to show duration. He brought between 12–14 apples, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m., 2010–2015.

Dates are spelled out unless space constraints disallow: August 28, 2015. However, 9/11 is acceptable when referring to September 11, 2001.

Don’t use a comma when listing only a month and year: February 2021.

Never abbreviate days of the week, unless space dictates.

Words or numbers are both acceptable, as long as style remains consistent. Peter graduated in the ’90s. The sixties were tumultuous times.

Do not use an apostrophe before the s. A hyphen is used when mid- precedes the decade.

Capitalize official names of degrees.: Bachelor of Science in Biology; MS in Professional Accounting, are always capitalized. Lowercase if not using the official name. George earned an MS in Professional Accounting; Jane has a master’s in accounting; Jim graduated with a bachelor’s in biology. 

Degrees are referred to as a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree. A doctorate is synonymous with doctoral degree.

Avoid the redundancy of combining the word degree with a degree name. He received an associate degree in digital technology; not He received an MBA degree.

The plural and singular form of degree is the same. They have master’s degrees.

We no longer use periods with degree abbreviations: AA, BA, EdD, MA, MBA, MS, PhD, RN.

Capitalize when referring to official department or office names: Office of University Communications and Marketing, Office of University Advancement, Department of Biology.

Lowercase when unofficial names are used: members of the history department.

For the official names of programs and offices, check the directory.

East, south, northeast, etc., are always lowercase when indicating compass direction. Valerie is heading north.

Regions are capitalized. The South is warm throughout December.

Widely known and legendary names can be capitalized, and not in quotation marks: the Big Apple, the Bay Area, the Lone Star State, the West Side, Long Island’s East End.

Directions (long version)

When included in a publication, directions should read as phrased on the Visitor’s Guide.

Directions (short version)

In shorter publications, use the following abbreviated directions:

How to Reach the Adelphi Garden City Campus

By Car

Adelphi is on the western quarter of Long Island in Garden City, between the Southern State Parkway and the Northern State Parkway. The University sits off South Avenue, east of Nassau Boulevard. For detailed directions to reach Adelphi by car from your point of departure, call the directions hotline at 516.877.6844.

By Rail

The Long Island Rail Road runs on a frequent schedule. Travel time from New York City is roughly 45 minutes. The Hempstead line runs from Penn Station in Manhattan, Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn or the Jamaica Station in Queens to the Nassau Boulevard Station. Adelphi’s campus is a short walk east on South Avenue.

By Plane

Adelphi University is conveniently located within 45 minutes of John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports. Public transportation is available.

In general, we use person-first language: a person with a disability; person with autism. However, some people prefer what is called identity-first language: a disabled person; an autistic or autistic person. If referring to a specific individual or group, use the term preferred by them.

Avoid outdated, offensive words such as handicapped.

Use the term accessible rather than disabled or handicapped to refer to facilities: We use the New York-state approved term accessible parking.
See the Guide to Inclusive Language.

Adelphi makes accommodations for persons with disabilities. Our disability statement must be placed on every on-campus event publication, including emails. It reads:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Adelphi University require that all events be accessible. To request a reasonable accommodation, please contact the event host identified on the event webpage; please allow for a reasonable time frame. The event host, when necessary, will collaborate with the Student Access Office.

D.C. is abbreviated when used with Washington (Washington, D.C.); spell it out if standing alone.


I.e. is the abbreviation for Latin words meaning “that is,” while e.g. means “for example.” Use e.g. to illustrate something already stated. Use i.e. to clarify a statement that has just been made.

Effect, as a verb, means to cause. Julie will effect changes throughout the company. Effect, as a noun, means result. The effect was substantial.

See also affect.

An ellipsis can be used when quoting someone and words are omitted or to indicate a pause in the flow of a sentence. Treat an ellipsis as a three-letter word, constructed with three periods and no spaces. When an ellipsis begins or ends a sentence, leave a space between the ellipsis and the period.

Only capitalize email if it starts a sentence, otherwise it is always lowercase.

Email addresses and URLs are mostly lowercase and always bold in print publications. Do not bold on web pages. Please note that email addresses and URLs are not case sensitive: jsmith@adelphi.edu.

Never use http:// or www. They are not necessary.

Avoid breaking email addresses and URLs. If the address will not fit on a line, don’t add a hyphen or other punctuation. Break it before existing punctuation, such as periods, hyphens, slashes, double slashes, etc.

See also: URL addresses.

Emeritus is singular, masculine. References to women should be emerita (singular) or emeritae (plural). Emeriti may serve as the plural for a group that is composed of men only or of men and women together. All references follow the noun and are set in roman type.

Unless an official title or direct quote from a person or historical document, use the terms enslaved person, enslaver, and enslavement instead of slave, slave owner and slavery to acknowledge the humanity of those were or are enslaved, both past and present.

Many people are still enslaved today. The family were the enslavers of four people.

But: The spokesperson for Anti-Slavery International said, “Slavery did not end with the nineteenth century.”

Do not hyphenate national origins even if they are used as adjectives. Irish American, Polish American, Japanese American.

Use preferred ethnic designations—instead of other identities. Asian, African American, Latino/Latina. Native American is preferred over American Indian.

See the Guide to Inclusive Language.


Faculty is a collective noun that takes a singular verb when referring to individuals acting as a single unit. The faculty meets once a month. When referring to group members acting individually, use faculty members to avoid confusion. Our faculty members led various study-abroad trips this semester.

Always denote faculty ranks in formal lists: Laura Esposito, Ph.D., professor of anthropology; Christian Rabinowitz, assistant professor of computer science. On second reference use Dr. for those with doctoral degrees; use last name only for those without a doctorate. Never use Professor as a prefix.

Lowercase in generic use. Capitalize when designating a semester. John joined the Adelphi community in Fall 2011.

Fewer is used for individual items and less for quantity. Peter has fewer than 18 DVDs.

Never capitalize the names of majors, minors or fields of study, except English and foreign languages. Do not capitalize the words major, minor or program— only the program name if it is a formal title.

Use the term first-year as a noun and adjective to describe students beginning their first year in higher education.

If necessary for clarity, include freshman in parentheses: a first-year student (freshman); first-year students (freshmen).

See the Guide to Inclusive Language.

Italicize only those foreign words and phrases not found in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

Only hyphenate when used as a compound modifier. Louis works full time. Lisa has a full-time designer position.

See also part time.


Unless subject has strong preference otherwise, use gender neutral nouns: chair, firefighter, police officer, flight attendant; not chairman, fireman, policeman/policewoman, steward/stewardess.

See also: gender pronoun usage and the Guide to Inclusive Language.

Use the singular they when referring to someone whose gender is not specified. When possible, use the plural form to avoid the ungrammatical use of they/their.

Instead of: Each author was chosen based on his or her research.
Use: Authors were chosen based on their research.

When this is not possible, use the singular they:

If your child registers after this date, they will have to make up the additional work.

See the Guide to Inclusive Language.

Capitalize all specific references to governmental legislative bodies: the U.S. Senate; the Senate; state Senate.

The abbreviation for grade point average is always capitalized and never with periods.


Use he or she and him or her as a gender neutral pronoun, never he/she or him/her.

See the Guide to Inclusive Language.

All words in headlines are capitalized, except for articles: a, an, the, etc. It is OK to italicize titles of works in headlines. Prepositions of four letters or more are capitalized. Is and other forms of the verb to be should be capitalized in headlines.

This term is always one word.

Hispanic refers to people from Spanish-speaking countries. Latino/a/LatinX is a person of Latin American descent who can be of any background or language. Therefore, people from Chile, Guatemala or Cuba who speak Spanish are both Hispanic and Latino/a/LatinX. Brazilians who speak Portuguese are Latino/a/LatinX, not Hispanic, and Spanish-speaking people in Spain and outside Latin America are Hispanic but not Latino/a/LatinX.

In general, our style is Hispanic, but use the term preferred by the individual or group, who may identify as, for example, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, Mexican American or Cuban American. If the individual or group does not identify as either Latino or Latina, the gender-neutral term LatinX can be used.

See the Guide to Inclusive Language.

Try to avoid using hyphenation if possible.

When a prefix ends and a root word begins with the same vowel, some remain one word:

  • cooperate
  • cooperative (but co-op)
  • nonprofit
  • preeminent
  • reelect
  • reevaluate

Compound Nouns:

Some noun compounds are hyphenated:

  • brother-in-law
  • ex-president
  • follow-up
  • one-half
  • well-being
  • 18-year-old

Many noun compounds are not hyphenated:

  • day care
  • decision making
  • lowest common denominator
  • problem solving
  • vice president

Many compounds are written as one word:

  • copyediting
  • database
  • healthcare
  • statewide
  • workforce
  • workplace
  • workstation
  • worldwide

Compound Numbers:

Fractions are hyphenated when written out, especially when it begins a sentence. Three-fourths of the pizza was eaten. Seven thousand and thirty-five evictions were made.

A hyphen is always used between the numerator and denominator when a fraction is written out and used as an adjective.

Compound Adjectives:

Some compound adjectives are hyphenated:

  • 6-foot-6 shooting guard
  • 12th-century literature
  • 210-pound bait
  • blue-green eyes
  • best-selling book
  • matter-of-fact statement
  • problem-solving techniques
  • two-thirds majority
  • well-known man

Other compound adjective forms are not hyphenated:

  • northern New Jersey
  • day care center
  • food service industry
  • healthcare plan

Some compound adjective forms are written as one word:

  • catlike movements
  • statewide referendum

Adverb and a Verb (Hyphenated when the adverb doesn’t end in ‘ly):

  • an ill-favored hero
  • a plainly marked trail
  • a well-marked trail

Words with Prefixes:

When a prefix stands alone, it carries a hyphen:

  • over- and underused
  • macro- and microeconomics

Words formed with co- also are usually spelled without a hyphen, but note some exceptions:

  • co-author (no hyphen in verb form)
  • co-chairman
  • co-editor
  • co-host (no hyphen in verb form)
  • co-op
  • co-opt
  • cofounder (no hyphen)

Between a Prefix and a Proper Name:

  • mid-Atlantic
  • pre-Cambrian
  • pro-Doonesbury


When hyphenated words appear in headlines and titles, capitalize both words:

  • Non-Christian
  • Non-European


This phrase is unnecessary. Write in the active voice.

Incorrect: In order to win, Miami must win the turnover battle.
Correct: To win, Miami must win the turnover battle.

See also overused words and phrases.

There is no space between initials:

For example, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling.

This term is lowercased unless beginning a sentence.

Note: This is a change from the 2015 edition of the University Editorial Manual.

See also:  web, webpage, webmaster and website.


Use as one word as a noun, two words as a verb.

  • The Dolphins kick off at 4:15 p.m.
  • The kickoff meeting is scheduled for today.


Last refers to something that won’t happen again or hasn’t happened again. He performed his last task before resigning.

Past refers to something that can continue. Hal Linden performed at Adelphi the past three years.

Adelphi has several academic centers on and off-campus.

The Hauppauge Education and Conference Center, Manhattan Center and Hudson Valley Center are all Adelphi locations off-campus.

Use full name upon first reference; afterward, they can be referred to as centers or learning hubs.

The Learning Center and Writing Center are both on the Garden City campus.

Use the inclusive term LGBTQIA+, which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or queer, intersex, and asexual/agender/allies, and others.

See the Guide to Inclusive Language.

When inserting hyperlinks into a webpage or email, refrain from using the convention of “click here” or “here” or similar phrases. You should link a descriptive phrase as a best practice for the best user experience and search engine optimization.

See also: URL addresses and website.

Lists should be alphabetized with the first letter capitalized. It is acceptable to capitalize all words in a list for consistency.

The abbreviated usage is LIE, without periods.


Italicize magazine titles. Do not include the if it isn’t in the official title.

Majors are always lowercase except English and foreign languages. The only exception is in lists.

Use manikins, not mannequins, when referring to models of the human body used for medical educational purposes.

Do not use the term minority. Refer instead to people of color, students of color, etc. or underserved or underrepresented populations.

See the Guide to Inclusive Language.

Minors, except English and foreign languages, are always lowercase, except in lists.

Money is always shown as figures, even in amounts under a dollar: $3.50; $1,575; $25,893; $1.2 million; 8 cents.

Don’t use a decimal point and zeroes if a dollar value has no cents. Tickets cost $10.

Always capitalize the names of months. Do not abbreviate and do not use a comma between the month and the year when no date is included. Jim graduated in May 2015. If you must abbreviate for space limitations (only on websites or in tables), shorten as follows: Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., May, Jun., July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.

Use more than to convey quantity. Chris has more than 15 projects on his desk.

Over refers to space/direction. The horse jumped over the obstacle.


On first reference, use the company’s full, formal name as per the copyright at the bottom of the homepage of its website. A short version may be used on second reference to preserve space. General Electric Company turned in profits during the first quarter. GE announced a plan to go green last year.

Formal titles of organizations and their departments and divisions are capitalized. Lowercase shortened versions, such as company, department, school: Department of Anthropology, the department, College of Arts and Sciences, the college.

A person’s full name is used on first reference. On second reference use Dr. for those with doctoral degrees; use last name for those without a doctorate.

A middle initial is acceptable if the person prefers it and in names of buildings. Robert B. Willumstad School of Business.

Jr., II, 3rd, etc., are only used with the person’s complete name. Do not use a comma after the name.

Don’t use periods when people are referred to by initials: JFK, FDR.

A maiden name should be used in alumni publications or if a woman prefers it. If using a maiden name, use nee in italics between the married and maiden name (Jessica Smith nee Lombardi).

Nicknames, if used, are not in quotation marks. See also,

See also, titles, business and personal.

Neurodiversity refers to the variation in the human brain regarding the ways we learn, socialize, behave and process emotions. Do not use the term neurodiverse to describe an individual: a person can be described as either neurotypical, meaning someone whose brain functions within standard norms in how they learn, behave, socialize and process emotions, or neurodivergent—someone whose brain functions differently, for example, a person with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, obsessive compulsive disorder or bipolar disorder. 

No. is the abbreviation for number. It is accepted to use No. or no.

It is in the writer’s discretion to use either option because they have the same meaning.

Adelphi University is a nonprofit organization.

The Long Island Bombers, a not-for-profit beep baseball team, practices every Sunday in Rockville Centre.

One through nine are always spelled out, as well as first through ninth. Use numerals for higher numbers: the sixth man, the 106th time the Yankees won, fourth-grade student.

Use numerals for round numbers in the millions and billions: 9 billion seashells; 17 million residents.

Use decimals when numbers are not round: 3.6 million geocaches.

Ages and hours of the day are always numerals. A 3-year-old boy. Sam is 7 years old. The meeting is at 6:00 p.m.

Percentages are also always numerals. Enrollment grew 8 percent in 2010.

Spell numbers out when beginning a sentence. Rewrite the sentence, if necessary. Seventeen students won the spelling bee.

A hyphen should be used between the tens and units number when writing out the numbers twenty-one through ninety-nine in words (beginning a sentence): Three thousand seventy-nine.

Use a hyphen between the numerator and denominator when a fraction is written out and the fraction is an adjective. Two-thirds of the pizza was eaten.

Use numerals for scores, court decisions and legislative votes: a 7–2 win; a 56–44 Senate vote.

Casual expressions are spelled out. He was among a hundred civilians.

Commas are used in numbers more than 1,000, except when referring to SAT scores. Rent is $1,500. Jason scored 1210 on the SAT.


Either term must be hyphenated when it is used as a modifier. Drop the hyphen when campus is used as a noun.

  • The on-campus bookstore offers great prices.
  • Gina works off campus.

All formal titles are capitalized: The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, the Office of University Communications and Marketing, the Institute for Parenting.

Unofficial forms are lowercase: the office, the college.

On second reference, capitalize University, School, College and Institute when referring to Adelphi and its official schools.

Both are acceptable and under the writer’s discretion. Just be consistent.

One word when referring to being digitally connected.

Avoid the use of actually, awesome, basically, really, totally, kind of, sort of and similar words and phrases.


Only hyphenate when used as a compound modifier. Louis works part time. Lisa has a part-time designer position.

See also full time.

Do not use the term minority. Refer instead to people of color, students of color, etc. or underserved or underrepresented populations.

See the Guide to Inclusive Language.

Spell out percent in running text and, if space allows, in charts, graphs, etc. It is acceptable to use the percent sign (%) in scientific and statistical copy, if necessary.

Percentages should always be in numerals, including when listing percentages under 10. The noun in the phrase determines whether the verb is singular or plural. Eighteen percent of the team is playing this season.

Do not hyphenate when using percent as an adjectival phrase: a 20 percent increase.

Periods are used when a URL or email address ends a complete sentence. They are not set in bold type unless part of the URL or email.

Phone numbers are always listed with periods: 516.877.3267.

Do not include 1 in long-distance and 800 numbers: 800.678.7887.

Phone numbers, including extensions (ext. 0000), are bold in running text in print pieces and email. Do not bold on web pages.

Do not use a plus symbol (+) in body copy. Plus can be used as a substitute for and, also, besides or in addition.

Programs are capitalized when using the official name of a program: Jaggar Community Fellows Program. In unofficial references, lowercase and treat like majors and minors, which are always lowercase, except English and foreign languages.


Physical quantities follow the numbers rule: 20 miles, seven square feet, 570 volts, three meters.

Use figures to show fractions and quantities comprising whole numbers: 5.5×8.5-inch paper.

Use numerals if an abbreviation is used for the unit of measure: 2 mi., 3 hrs., 80 mph.

Always use smart quotes (“”), not dumb quotes (“).

Quotations are used to enclose direct quotations, names of presentations, lectures, speeches, titles of songs, poems, short stories and chapters. Never use quotation marks around words without attribution to who said it. “Leaders don’t follow,” he said. As she walked, she looked and said, “Joe said ‘I don’t want to disturb anything.’”

See also titles of works.

In quote usage, the comma comes before the closed quote marks.

Course names are capitalized and never in quotation marks or italics. Freshmen must take SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology to begin the program.

Semicolons are placed outside quotation marks. Chris said he “exhausted all of his options”; yet he still persevered.

Colons are placed outside of quotation marks.

Question marks, and all other punctuation, are placed inside or outside quotation marks depending on their use in the sentence. “What was that?” he said. Are you going to the lecture, “Changing the Times”?


Use an en dash with no spaces to show range such as time, etc.: 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.,1995–1997, A–F, pages 211–215.

Use the term residence hall, not dorm.

Use residence halls, resident student, resident assistant.

Use accents for the document of someone’s job and education history. Without accents, it is a verb.

Capitalize class years when used as a proper noun: Class of 1986. Only capitalize 25th reunion class in headlines.

Room and Booth are capitalized when followed by a number. Floorlobby and lounge are all lowercase.

Do not use periods.

Don’t include please—it is redundant.


Do not use commas: 1260.

Adelphi has many scholarship opportunities. Their formal names can be found on the Student Financial Services website.

The names of Endowed and Restricted Scholarships and Prizes are listed in the University Bulletin.

Capitalize seasons when referring to a specific time: the Fall 2018 semester.

Lowercase general usages: The summer is over.

Capitalize references to semesters: the Spring 2018 semester.

Omit the serial comma unless necessary for sense or part of a title.

If the text in a series is bold, or if listing a name with degree obtained, the comma following the period in the degree or the period or comma following the final piece in the series will also be bold.

For easier reading, exclude “Office of” and “Department of” for campus signage: Human Resources, not Office of Human Resources; Public Safety, not Department of Public Safety.

All terms are acceptable to use. Phone can refer to either a mobile phone or landline. 

Do not capitalize number unless it is part of a title.

SSN or Social Security no. may be used if space dictates.

Use a single space after a period or colon.

Do not use spaces around hyphens, en dashes or em dashes.

See also: period and dash.

SUNY is no longer used as a modifier.

For the formal names of universities and colleges within the system, refer to their official websites.

This term is hyphenated.


That refers to inanimate objects and introduces an essential clause. Noelle uses a program that allows her to create intricate designs.

Which is the only acceptable pronoun to introduce a nonessential clause that refers to an inanimate object. Lauren passed the test, which the professor gave unannounced.

That is used for objects and who is used for people.

Correct: He is the man who married my sister.

Incorrect: He is the man that married my sister.

Use theater generically and theatre only if part of a proper noun: Department of Theatre, Black Box Theatre, American Ballet Theatre.

Use figures for all times, including 12:00 noon and 12:00 midnight. A colon separates hours from minutes: 11:00 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 3:45 p.m.

Use a space between 11:00 and a.m., and always use periods for a.m. and p.m. Never use phrases such as 10:00 a.m. this morning, 10:00 p.m. tonight; they are redundant.

Repeat a.m. and p.m. when a span is given, and separate using an en dash with no spaces: 6:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m.

All words are capitalized in titles except articles (a, an, the) and conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet) and prepositions (at, by, in, to, etc.) of less than four letters, except when they come at the beginning or end of a title. Always capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. That includes the word With.

Italicize the titles of:

  • Books, magazines, pamphlets
  • Long works and compositions
  • Works of art and art exhibitions
  • Legal cases
  • Plays, movies, television programs
  • Symphonies, concerts and operas, albums

If the text is already in italics, the above should be in roman type to differentiate. Titles of short poems, stories, speeches, lectures, presentations, chapters of books, TV show episodes and other short works are in quotation marks.

Use Roman, Quotation Marks for the Titles of:

  • Short poems, short stories
  • Articles
  • Speeches, presentations, posters
  • Chapters of books, TV show episodes and other short works
  • Songs

His favorite episode of I Love Lucy was “The Candy Factory.”

Song titles are in quotation marks and album names are in italics. The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” is on the album Yellow Submarine.

Use Roman, No Quotes for Titles of:

  • Parts of a book. Spelled out and set lowercase: part III, page ix, chapter 19.
  • Names of apps, software, board games and video games: Monopoly, chess, Dungeons and Dragons, Angry Birds, Adobe Acrobat.

Hyphens in Titles:

Capitalize both parts of a hyphenated compound in headlines if both are actual words: Cease-Fire, Able-Bodied, Sit-In, Make-Believe.

Capitalize if the title appears before a name. Lowercase when used after a name. Executive Director of Personnel Susan Schmidt attended the workshop. Claire Moynahan is the associate editor.

For Adelphi alumni, we list the degrees and years received: Sarah Goldstein ’88, MA ’90, PhD ’95. For non-alumni, we include doctoral degrees only: Amir Patel, PhD.

On first reference, use full name, degree and graduation years (if applicable) and title. Thereafter, use last name only for those who have not earned doctoral degrees and Dr. for those who have: Rick Garcia ’18 worked with Associate Professor Gail Chen, PhD, on her research. Garcia said working with Dr. Chen was a life-changing experience. 

Use freshman or first-year student, sophomore, junior or senior when referring to a student who has not graduated. We do not use anticipated years of graduation unless using the name as a writer byline on the Adelphi news site or in a print publication: by Lucy Considine ’22 (anticipated).

Use the American Englishtoward, etc. rather than the British towards. The same applies for forwardafterwardbackward, etc.

Refer to as transfer students on first mention. Afterward it is permissible to say transfers.

Transgender refers to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.

A trans woman is someone assigned male at birth who identifies as a woman; a trans man is someone assigned female at birth who identifies as a man.

Cisgender refers to someone assigned a gender at birth who identifies as that gender.

See the Guide to Inclusive Language.


Use the gender-neutral terms first-years and sophomores instead of underclassmen, and juniors and seniors instead of upperclassmen. 

See the Guide to Inclusive Language.

United States should be used as a noun. U.S. is used as an adjective.

Email addresses and URLs should be lowercase unless to do so would cause a technical issue.

Always bold email addresses and URLs in print publications. Do not bold on web pages.

Never use http:// or www. They are not necessary. URLs do not need the / at the end.

Avoid breaking URLs. If the address will not fit on a line, don’t add a hyphen or other punctuation. Break it before existing punctuation, such as periods, hyphens, slashes, double slashes, etc.


In print: For more information, visit adelphi.edu/academics/.

On web or in email: For more information, visit adelphi.edu/academics/.

See also: email addresses and URLs.


When referring to the credit card, use Visa, not VISA. Lowercase when referring to an immigration or travel document.


Web is lowercased unless beginning a sentence, whether it stands alone or as part of a phrase.

Keith is the director of web technologies.

See also:  internet, webpage and website.

Webpage is always one word, never two, and lowercased unless beginning a sentence.

See also:  internet, web and website.

Website is one word in all references.

See also:  internet, web and webpage.

Used as the subject of a verb, who is a nominative pronoun or the predicate nominative complement of a linking verb. Whom is the object of a preposition.

Serena is the copywriter who takes care of the Open House pieces.

She is the person to whom we sent the invitation.

Use WiFi, not Wi-Fi or wifi, when referring to a wireless connection.


You’re means “you are.”

Your is a possessive pronoun.


ZIP stands for “Zoning Improvement Plan” and all three letters should be capitalized and never have periods. Two spaces are used between the state designation and the number.

For Adelphi, use 11530-0701 only if P.O. Box 701 is listed. If it just refers to 1 South Avenue, do not use the extension.

See also: addresses.
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