Editorial Style Guide
These editorial guidelines are based on Associated Press Style, which continues to change. Please use this guide and check back for updates when writing media and press releases, and copy for Stockton University webpages and publications (Stockton News, Stockton Now e-zine, the President’s Newsletter, etc.)
For guidance, please consult the following editorial references:
- Latest edition of The Associated Press Style Book
- Webster’s New World College Dictionary
Questions can be directed to:
- Diane D'Amico, News and Media Relations director
Diane.DAmico@stockton.edu , 609-652-4593
A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z
Use periods in academic degrees and professional and honorary designations.
- Examples: B.A., B.S., Ph.D.
- Bachelor of Arts in English
- Master of Arts in American Studies
- bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctorate, associate degree
The word degree should not follow an abbreviation.
- Examples: She has a B.A. in English.
- She has a bachelor’s degree in English.
When referring to degrees in general, the type of degree is lowercased. Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. Do not use an apostrophe for associate degree and doctorate degree.
- Examples: They all earned master’s degrees.
- He has an associate degree. (not associate’s)
- She has a doctorate degree.
These are usually set in full caps with no periods. Use the following acronyms on first reference, but use Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) on first reference.
- ACT (American College Testing)
- Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF)
- FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
- FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
- GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)
- GED (general equivalency diploma)
- GPA (grade point average)
- GRE (Graduate Record Examination)
- LSAT (Law School Admission Test)
- MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
- RN (registered nurse)
- SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)
- SSTV (Stockton Student Television)
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
- WLFR, 91.7 FM (campus radio [Lake Fred Radio])
For ages, always use figures. If the age is used as an adjective or as a substitute for a noun, then it should be hyphenated. Don’t use apostrophes when describing an age range.
- Examples: A 21-year-old student. The student is 21 years old. The girl, 8, has a brother, 11. The contest is for 18-year-olds. He is in his 20s.
Use alumnus (alumni in the plural) when referring to a man who has graduated from a school.
Use alumna (alumnae in the plural) for similar references to a woman.
Alumni is the plural form for a combination of male and female graduates or two or more male graduates.
Do not use alumn.
Alumni year of graduation
Do not include a comma between the name of the alumnus and the year of graduation.
Example: Joe Smith ’03
Only list the class year for an alumnus with a bachelor degree, but include the academic degree abbreviation before the class year for alumni with either a master’s or doctoral degree. Use the following of abbreviations: M.A. (Master of Arts), M.S. (Master of Science), MBA (Master of Business Administration), DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) and Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)
Example: Jane Smith ’05
Example: Joe Smith ’07, M.A. ’14
Two entities, use between; More than two entities, use among.
Not associate’s degree
Athletics and Recreation
The University is a Division III member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC), the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and the Skyline Conference.
NCAA Division III Sports:
- Fall: Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, Field Hockey, Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Women’s Tennis, Women’s Volleyball
- Winter: Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field
- Spring: Baseball, Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Rowing, Softball, Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field
The student-governed Intramural Recreational Council (IRC) offers eight co-ed club sports and intramural teams. Stockton’s intramural sports are registered with the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). Teams also compete in state and regional conference competitions.
Through the Office of Student Development, more than 130 clubs and organizations and 23 sororities and fraternities are run by students with faculty or staff advisers.
- Do not use capitalization of generic terms (e.g., master’s degree, college and program).
- When referring to Stockton University, “University” is capitalized, except in news releases, which follow the Associated Press Style used by media outlets.
- Offices, Committees, the Board of Trustees, Divisions: The formal names of offices, programs, committees, divisions and institutions are capitalized; informal names and incomplete designations are not. Program in Criminal Justice; criminal justice program; the University Technology and Media Committee; technology committee; the Office of Admissions; the admissions office; the Stockton University Board of Trustees; the board of trustees; the trustees; the Division of Student Affairs, the student affairs division
- Events: The formal names of special events are capitalized. Stay on Campus Weekend; Instant Decisions Days; Spring Commencement; registration (is not capitalized because it’s a description of a specific period of time, not a special event).
- In news releases, following AP style - Titles of people should be capitalized before their names but not after: Vice President of Finance Jane Doe; Jane Doe, vice president of Finance. Exception: capitalize Distinguished Professor and Professor Emeritus/Emerita even after the name in news releases, to make clear these are not just adjectives that can be dropped. Please see Names below.
- Places: The formal names of buildings, places, and centers are capitalized: the Townsend Residential Life Center (TRLC), the Campus Center, the Carnegie Center, the Center for Academic Advising, the Center for Instructional Media and Technology, Elizabeth B. Alton Auditorium, the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism (LIGHT), the Mainland Division of the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, the Performing Arts Center, the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center, Southern Regional Institute & Educational Technology Training Center (SRI&ETTC), the Sports Center, the Stockton Center on Successful Aging (SCOSA), The Lodge at Lakeside, the Stockton Coastal Research Center, the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy.
- Tests: The formal names of standardized tests are capitalized. Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) American College Testing (ACT), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Apply the following guidelines for book titles, computer game titles, movie titles, play titles, poem titles, album and song titles, radio and television program titles, and the titles of lectures, speeches and works of art:
- Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters.
- Capitalize an article - the, a, an – or words fewer than four letters if it is the first or last word in the title.
- Put quotation marks around the names of all such works except the Bible and books that are primarily catalogs of reference material.
Do not place newspaper names in quotes.
An “em” dash is a long dash used in punctuation to indicate a sudden break in thought that causes an abrupt change in sentence structure (e.g., “I want to go to the store—I need a new dress— before the end of the day.). An en-dash is wider than a hyphen and narrower than an em dash and is used to connect numbers or dates (ranges); e.g., 1971–2004.
e-book, e-reader (these do have hyphens)
email (no hyphen)
Use as a noun; also acceptable as a verb.
ensure (see insure)
To guarantee or to make certain of.
As a singular noun, represents all of the instructors of the University (or one of its programs); takes a singular verb.
Farther refers to physical distance. Memphis is farther away than I thought.
Further refers to an extension of time or degree. She will give the matter further study.
first-come, first-served basis
Note use of hyphens
There’s a trend toward the use of the term first-year student, but freshman is acceptable. Singular: freshman; plural: freshmen; adj.: freshman (i.e. class)
full-time, full time
He is a full-time student and he works full time. (Hyphenate when using as adjective.)
Capitalize the first word, last word and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and subordinating conjunctions. Articles, coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions are lowercased. ‘Use single quote marks in headlines.’ Use numerals in headlines, except when the number is the first word.
- Examples: Conference Features 4 Speakers
- Four Speakers Present at Conference
Two words in all references.
Use to create compound modifiers in some, but not all, cases.
- co-ops (but cooperative education)
- full-time faculty (but students attend full time)
- non-refundable deposit
- off-campus apartment (but some students reside off campus)
- post-master’s certificate
- pre-career student
- pre-medical students
- pre-professional student
- study-abroad programs; but you study abroad.
- upper-division courses
- work-study programs
inclusive (nonsexist) language
Use nonsexist language. Avoid gender-specific titles or terms:
instead of ... write
- chairman ... chair
- businessman ... business executive, manager
- cameraman ... camera operator
- coed ... student, woman student
- congressman ... representative, senator
- fireman ... firefighter
- forefathers ... ancestors
- foreman ... supervisor
- mailman ... mail carrier
insure (See ensure.)
Guarantee against risk; refers to insurance.
With a capital I.
With a lower case i.
Stockton University Locations:
Use Stockton University’s Galloway campus or Stockton’s main campus in Galloway, N.J.
Use Stockton University Atlantic City on first reference. See Stockton University Atlantic City.
101 Vera King Farris Drive
Galloway, NJ 08205-9441
(Name of Person, Name of the Office/Department)
101 Vera King Farris Drive
Galloway, NJ 08205-9441
For media advisories, press releases, Stockton University publications and webpages, and copy for Stockton University webpages, use an individual’s full name and title on first reference. On second reference, use the individual’s last name. Capitalize formal titles used directly before an individual’s name. Lowercase titles following names.
Do not use a courtesy title (Dr., Mr., Mrs. or Ms.) before an individual’s name. Exception: 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.
Example: Jane Doe, provost and executive vice president; Use Doe on second reference.
Jane Doe, chief executive officer; Use Doe on second reference.
Use President Harvey Kesselman on first reference and President Kesselman on second reference.
Spell out numbers one through nine, except when referring to someone’s age (the toddler was 2) or distance or dimension (the store is 1.5 miles away; they shored up the sagging wall with a 2 X 4.)
Numbers 10 and higher should usually be written as a number:
- Examples: There are 12 squirrels on that tree.
- There are 6,000 full-time students.
- There are a thousand excuses.
All numbers beginning a sentence are written out.
Use commas for numbers 1,000 and above.
Use roman numerals to describe wars and to show sequences for people.
Examples: World War II, Pope John Paul II, Elizabeth II.
For ordinal numbers, spell out first through ninth and use figures for 10th and above when describing order in time or location.
Examples: second base, 10th in a row; Fifth Avenue. Some ordinal numbers, such as those indicating political or geographic order, should use figures in all cases. Examples: 3rd District Court, 9th ward.
When referring to money, use numerals. For cents or amounts of $1 million or more, spell the words cents, million, billion, trillion etc.
Examples: $26.52, $100,200, $8 million, 6 cents.
off-campus, off campus; on-campus, on campus
The hyphen is used when on- or off-campus is used as a compound modifier; no hyphen when either is used as a prepositional phrase.
Example: Even though he wanted to live on campus, he ended up living in off-campus housing. (In this instance, on campus is a prepositional phrase, off-campus is modifying housing.)
one word, no hyphen
Percentages are given in numerals. In standard text, the word percent is spelled out.
Use a single space after a period.
Do not use commas before a conjunction in a simple series.
- Example: In art class, they learned that red, yellow and blue are primary colors. His brothers are Tom, Joe, Frank and Pete.
However, a comma should be used before the terminal conjunction in a complex series, if part of that series also contains a conjunction.
- Example: Purdue University's English Department offers doctoral majors in Literature, Second Language Studies, English Language and Linguistics, and Rhetoric and Composition.
A semicolon marks stronger breaks in a sentence flow than that represented by a comma.
Use semicolons to break up three or more individuals with titles listed in an article or photo caption.
- Example: Jane Doe, provost and executive vice president; John Doe, assistant professor of Biology; and Jane Doe, program assistant.
Semicolons and colons go outside quotation marks.
Commas and periods go inside quotation marks.
Use the full name of the School on first reference. The abbreviations listed below in parentheses are appropriate to use on second reference. On second reference, lowercase “the school.”
- Examples: Singular - School of Arts and Humanities (ARHU)
- Plural: Schools of Arts and Humanities (ARHU) and Education (EDUC)
- School of Arts and Humanities (ARHU)
- School of Business (BUSN)
- School of Education (EDUC)
- School of General Studies (GENS)
- School of Health Sciences (HLSC)
- School of Natural Sciences and Math (NAMS)
- School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SOBL)
The names of the four seasons are lowercased, unless referring to academic semesters, such as “Fall 2016.”
South Jersey, southern New Jersey
Can be used interchangeably
For states use the following abbreviations:
Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kan., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Neb., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., N.C., N.D., Okla., Ore., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.D., Tenn., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.
According to AP Style, do not abbreviate Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas or Utah.
Stockton Now, the official Stockton University e-zine
Use the full name on first reference; “Stockton” is acceptable thereafter; also “the University.”
Use The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey only when referring to events that occurred from April 21, 1993-February 17, 2015, when this was the institution’s name. Use Richard Stockton State College for events from October 1, 1969-April 20, 1993.
Stockton University Atlantic City
Use Stockton University Atlantic City on first reference and Stockton Atlantic City on second reference.
Stockton University Atlantic City, located at the intersection of Atlantic, Albany and Pacific avenues, includes a three-story, 56,000-square-foot John F. Scarpa Academic Center, Residential Complex with apartments for over 500 students overlooking the beach and Boardwalk. The Fannie Lou Hamer Event Room is housed inside the John F. Scarpa Academic Center.
Atlantic City’s City Council approved the designation of a new University District surrounding the new Stockton University Atlantic City campus on July 18, 2018. The designation supports Stockton’s role as a state-designated Anchor Institution in the city. It is intended to promote investment and development in academic and related uses within the boundaries of the district.
When publishing a telephone number, call the number to make sure it is correct.
Avoid breaking telephone numbers in text. Maintain area code presentation throughout document, using hyphens: 609-652-1776. For extensions, use ext. 177
that or which
AP Style: Use “that” for essential clauses that are important to the meaning of the sentence.
- Example: I remember the day that I met my future wife.
Use “which” for nonessential clauses where the pronoun is less necessary.
- Example: The team, which won the championship last year, begins its 2016 season in August.
Set abbreviations for divisions of the day in lowercase: 4 p.m., 3:36 a.m. Use noon and midnight rather than 12 p.m. or 12 a.m., which can be confusing.
time, date, place
The event will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12, in the Campus Center.
Use the day of the week and date prior to an event: Friday, May 12
Use the date after the event: May 12
Do not use “th” to indicate a date. Use May 12, 2015; do not use May 12th, 2015.
In news releases, use AP Style example: April 1-10, from 9-11 p.m.
Now one word in all usages
The www reference is assumed and is not necessary, but add hyperlink
- Example: stockton.edu
Use periods, except in headlines.
Versus\ v.\ vs
Spell out “versus” in news releases and University publications except for court cases. See below.
- Example: The lecturer presented the pros and cons of running versus walking.
For court cases, use “v.”
- Example: Marbury v. Madison was a landmark case.
The abbreviation “vs.” is permitted in headlines not relating to specific court cases.
- Example: Speaker Discusses Gun Rights Vs. Public Safety
waitlist (noun) - He was on the waitlist.
wait-list (verb) - The university will wait-list 50 students.
The following include some exceptions to AP Style. Use lowercase for all web references. Example: web, web addresses, web page, website, etc.
which or that
See that or which.
Exception is World Wide Web.
Stockton University Statements
Stockton University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The undergraduate Social Work Program and the Master of Social Work Program have been fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Program has been certified by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. The Teacher Education Program has been accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council and approved by the New Jersey Department of Education and the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification. The Nursing Program is approved by the New Jersey Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The Chemistry Program offers a B.S. track accredited by the American Chemical Society. The Physical Therapy Program has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The Occupational Therapy Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
Americans with Disabilities Act / Accessibility
Please continue to check this section as the information will frequently be updated. For invitations to campus or to an event, use:
Stockton University is committed to providing equal access to its programs and facilities for persons with disabilities. Those persons with special needs should notify [telephone number and/or name of the University organization] at least 14 days before the event you will attend.
Equal Opportunity Statement
Please continue to check this section as the information will frequently be updated.
For invitations and posters, and the Stockton Now e-zine, use:
Stockton University is an Equal Opportunity Institution
For guidance on using the Stockton University seal, logos, wordmarks and more, please consult the Stockton University Brand Guide.