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Style / Resource Guide

Style / Resource Guide

Style & Resource Guide

Uppercase or lowercase? Hyphenated or not?  If you have style questions then look no further!  The Associated Press Stylebook is our official style guide and a handy resource. Here are some common style boo-boos to keep in mind:    

Academic Degrees

When speaking in general terms, use doctorate, bachelor's degree, master's degree. Only specific academic degrees should be capitalized, for example Bachelor of Arts degree. When abbreviating, remember to include periods: B.A. degree, B.S. degree, M.A. degree, M.S. degree, M.D. degree, or Ph.D. degree.

Academic Majors

Except for languages (English, French, etc.) and studies related to geographical areas, the names of academic majors or programs should not be capitalized. 

Alumnus, alumna, alumni

  • Alumnus is a man who has attended or graduated from a school; alumni is plural.
  • Alumna is a woman who has done so; alumni is plural.  
  • Alumni also refers to a group of men and women who have attended or graduated from a school.    


Do not capitalize individual class designations: first-year student, sophomore, junior, senior. Do capitalize the formal names of organized entities: the Class of 1979, the Class of '92 Reunion Gift Committee.

Class Years (numbers and names)

When identifying current students or alumni by their class years, the two-digit year is preceded by an apostrophe (note which way the apostrophe faces). John Smith '87 or Jane Doe '00

Identify alumni who have changed their names since birth, through marriage or otherwise, as follows:

First Name / Birth Name / Present  Last Name / Class Year

Jane Doe Smith '70

Identify alumni couples who share a last name as follows:

First partner's first name / birth name (if different) / and class year

followed by second partner's first name / birth name / class year / the couple's present last name

John '47 and Jane Doe '45 Smith

The college

Do not capitalize "college" when used as a noun referring to Doane, for example "The college is ranked on the best-value list."

Doane College's Lincoln campus

We are all Doane College, no matter the location.  Please refer to the Lincoln campus as Doane College's Lincoln campus - not Doane Lincoln.


No hyphen and no need to capitalize unless it appears at the beginning of a sentence or list.

Geographical terms

Capitalize north, south, east and west when they are part of specific geographic regions or official names of organizations.  Don't capitalize general compass directions. Examples:  the Far East - the east entrance; the Western hemisphere - the western United States


This is capitalized in all instances. 


Spell out numbers from one to nine, and use numerals for 10 and above.


Just one word and lowercased unless it begins a sentence.


Spell out percentage - use % only in charts of tabular material.

Titles (academic, courtesy, legislative, military and religious)

Do capitalize titles if they directly precede the name of the individual.  Do not capitalize a title following the name of an individual or just a title by itself.