• Hamline Style Guide

    In general, Hamline marketing materials are written using the Chicago Manual of Style, though in certain cases, treatment of numbers, percentage signs, and other elements are altered for design/scannability purposes. The Hamline Alumni Magazine and certain communications materials follow Associated Press. A reference of our style guide can be found below.

    Reference guide

    academic year – Terms designating academic years are lowercase: first year, sophomore, junior, senior. Do not use freshman.

    acronyms – Always spell out on first reference. If the phrase is referenced again, you may include the acronym in parentheses on first reference and use the acronym going forward. Do not include acronym if the phrase will not be referenced again.

    • Students can visit Hamline’s Career Development Center (CDC). The CDC can help with internships, cover letters, and more.

    addresses – Always use 1536 Hewitt Avenue as the mailing address or return address on any Hamline publication. When including a mailstop, the hyphen goes after MS, not after the secondary letter (for example, MS-C1917, not MS C-1917).
    When you reference Hamline’s location in text, spell out the state. It is acceptable to abbreviate the state in mailing addresses.

    • Hamline is located at 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104-1284.

    Spell out street names (avenue, road) unless abbreviations are necessary to fit space limitations. When abbreviations are necessary, use periods (Ave., St.).

    Mailing addresses should be formatted like so (note no comma after each line).
    Hamline University
    1536 Hewitt Avenue
    Saint Paul, MN 55104-1284

    admission – Admission is the correct term (Office of Undergraduate Admission, admission counselor, etc.). Do not use "admissions."

    alumna, alumnae, alumnus, alumni – Use alumna (alumnae plural) when referring to a woman who has attended a school, alumnus (alumni plural) when referring to a man who has attended a school, and alumni when referring to a group of men and women. Use “alum” for informal publications only or in a direct quote.

    • Identify Hamline alumni by class year only (not BA, BS, etc.) if they earned their undergraduate degree at Hamline. (Joe Doe ’19).
    • Identify alumni by class year and degree designation if they earned a graduate degree from Hamline. (Joe Doe MFA ’21).
    • If a person holds more than one degree from Hamline, list the class year only of the undergraduate degree, a comma, and then the degree abbreviation and class year of the other degree (Joe Doe ’19, MFA ’21).

    There should be a space between the degree abbreviation and the apostrophe/class year. Note: the apostrophe should hook to the right, ’99, instead of to the left, ‘99.

    a.m., p.m., time – Abbreviations for divisions of the day are lowercase. Use numerals and periods, NOT (AM/PM or am/pm). Use “noon” instead of 12 p.m. and “midnight” instead of 12 a.m. Never use “12 noon.”

    • The event starts at 9 a.m.
    • Dinner is at 6 p.m.
    • The talk ended at noon.

    ampersand – Ampersands (&) are only used in creative assets (banners, header images, posters, etc.) if they're included in a name. They're never used in running copy. The only exception is if they're a part of the official title of an entity outside of Hamline University, such as Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation.

    Black – Capitalize the word Black when referring to people of African descent. “Black” is the preferred term for people of African descent unless the person states otherwise (African American, African, etc.) See also: ethnicities.

    capitalization – Lowercase references to an organization or institution when the names are those widely used in generic terms. For example:

    • board of trustees, history department

    Capitalize references to an organization when they have names that are not widely used generic terms.

    • Piper Athletic Association, Dispute Resolution Institute, Hamline University President's Staff

    cardinal directions (north, south, east, west) – For single-letter cardinal directions, use the abbreviation followed by a period: N., S., E., W. For double-letter directions, use the abbreviation without a period: NW, NE, SW, SE. If a cardinal direction is part of the name of a building or street (West Hall, North Shore Drive), do not abbreviate.

    city/state – The words "city" and "state" are lowercase when preceding the name of the city or state.

    • city of Saint Paul
    • state of Minnesota

    click – Do not use the word “click” or “click here” when referring to web pages. Most users are browsing with a mobile device. Use “visit,” “select,” or a variation.

    • To learn more, visit hamline.edu. NOT Click here for more information about Hamline.

    colons – First word of a phrase following a colon is capitalized if that phrase is a complete sentence.

    commas – Use serial commas (comma after the second-to-last item in a list) to avoid confusion.

    • We saw lions, tigers, and bears at the zoo.

    course names and numbers – Refer to the appropriate Hamline course catalog for official course names and numbers. Use numerals, and capitalize and spell out the subject in text copy when used with a numeral. Biology 101, “Principles of Cell Biology,” not BIO 101.

    dashes – There are three kinds of dashes used in common publications: hyphens, en-dashes, and em-dashes.

    • Hyphens are used to link words with prefixes or to break words at the end of lines. They are also used in telephone numbers.
    • En-dashes are slightly longer than hyphens and are used between page numbers, dates, and times. For example: pages 14–16, 1704–1851, 4–6 p.m.
    • Em-dashes are even longer (usually two hyphens, which Microsoft Word often automatically changes into an em-dash) and are used in sentences to signal an abrupt break.

    Hamline University—Minnesota’s first university—was founded in 1854.

    dates – Do not use all-numeral style (4/11/09). Instead, convert it to April 11, 2009. Do not abbreviate names of days or months in text. Do not use a hyphen or dash with “from” or “between.” Spell it out instead. For example:

    • From May 7 to May 14, not from May 7–14.
    • Between September 8 and September 11, not between September 8–11.

    decades – They can either be spelled out or expressed in numerals with a RIGHT apostrophe before the numerals. There is no apostrophe between the numeral and the “s.”

    • During the eighties and nineties or the ’80s and ’90s.

    degrees – Academic degrees should be capitalized when following a name, whether abbreviated or written in full.

    • John Smith EdD
    • Jane Smith, Doctor of Laws (hon.)
    • Jane Smith JD (no comma between name and degree unless person is referenced in running text)

    When academic degrees are referred to in terms such as doctorate, bachelor’s degree, master of science, etc., they are not capitalized. Note: doctorate degree; doctoral degree is preferred.

    Preference is to spell out the full name of a degree on first reference. However, the following degrees may be abbreviated (no periods) on first reference to fit space constraints: BA, BS, JD, PhD, MBA, MSW, MFA. The rest (Master of Nonprofit Management, etc.) should be spelled out on first reference.

    departments – Department names are capitalized only if you are using the formal name of the department or if the department is a language.

    dollar – If the number is spelled out, so is the unit of currency, and if numerals are used, the symbol is used (twenty-five dollars or $25). Do not duplicate and write $25 dollars; use $ or “dollars,” not both. Do not use “.00” for even dollar amounts ($5 not $5.00).

    dormitory – Avoid this term. Use residence hall, house, or apartment.

    e.g. – Means “for example.” “i.e.” means “that is” and is usually followed by a comma.

    ellipses – If an ellipses follows a phrase that is a complete sentence on its own, use a period and an ellipses. If the phrase could not stand as a complete sentence, use only an ellipses.

    • She said she would arrive today, but she did not….
    • If only I had… Well, it’s not important now.

    email – Lowercase. No hyphen.

    ethnicities – Do not use a hyphen in phrases such as “African American” and “Latino American.” Only use hyphens when a part of the word is abbreviated to make a compound phrase “Indo-European.” The preferred term for people of African descent is Black (capital B), unless an individual specifies otherwise. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) is acceptable, but clarify on first reference.

    events – Capitalize special university events, including Commencement and Baccalaureate Ceremony. Do not capitalize generic events like “First Day of Class.”

    first year – A student in their first year in an undergraduate program; hyphenate when immediately preceding the word "student": "She's a first-year student" versus "She's a student in her first year." Don’t use “freshman.”

    first-year seminar, FYSem – Capitalize when referring to the program or part of a class title. When used generally, lowercase. Use FYSem as its acronym.

    • The First-Year Seminar program offers a variety of first-year seminar options for students.

    Founders Day – Note there is no apostrophe in “Founders.”

    freshman – Do not use. Instead, use “first-year student.”

    fundraise – Does not require a hyphen.

    honorary degree – Honorary degree recipients should be identified with the abbreviation for their specific honorary degree and the year it was conferred, followed by (hon.). A complete list of recipients can be found in the Alumni Directory or obtained from the Office of Marketing Communications. Honorary degrees:

    DBA: Doctor of Business Administration
    DCL: Doctor of Civility
    DD: Doctor of Divinity
    DFA: Doctor of Fine Arts
    DH: Doctor of Humanities
    D Mus: Doctor of Music
    DSc: Doctor of Science
    EdD: Doctor of Education
    LHD: Doctor of Humane Letters
    LHM: Master of Human Literature
    LittD: Doctor of Letters
    LLD: Doctor of Laws
    Ped D: Doctor of Pedagogy

    identification, Mr./Mrs./Mx. – In general, identify people with name, job title, and school affiliation on first reference. In ongoing references, use last name only with no title or Mr./Mrs./etc.

    i.e. – Means “that is” and is usually followed by a comma. “e.g.” means “for example.”

    internet – Lowercase. See also: URLs.

    it’s and its – “It’s” is always a contraction of “it is.” “Its” refers to the possessive of “it.”

    • It’s a beautiful day.
    • The tree lost its leaves.

    italics – Used for the titles of books, periodicals, plays, radio programs, paintings, movies, and long musical compositions. Chapter titles, song titles, or shorter works like poems go in quotation marks.

    • Example: We studied the book Mexican Gothic in class. We saw Starry Night at the museum.
    • Example: Her favorite song was “Cruel Summer” off the album Lover

    majors/minors – Lowercase all majors and minors unless referring to a language. When a student has two majors, do not say that they are a “double major.”

    • math major, history major
    • English major

    mission statement – Do not capitalize.

    months – Do not use a comma in between the month and year if there is no specific date.
    May 2002, not May, 2002

    names – Alphabetize names in the following way:

    • Breanne Hanson Hegg — Hegg, Breanne Hanson
    • Máel Embser-Herbert — Embser-Herbert, Máel

    If a person abbreviates their first and middle names with initials, put a space between the initials.

    • J. R. R. Tolkien

    If a person’s name includes accent marks, these are not optional and must be included in all references.

    • Gabriel García Márquez NOT Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    numbers – Numbers one through nine are spelled out. (Note: this is a rule of the Associated Press style guide, not the Chicago Manual of Style.) Ordinal numbers are spelled out as well (first, tenth, one hundredth, etc.). However, use numerals when referring to credits (example: Students can earn 4 credits through a J-term course).

    offices – Capitalize the proper title for an office and lowercase generic references.

    • Marketing and Creative Services or marketing office

    online – Lowercase and do not hyphenate.

    order of events – When describing an event, the following sequence of information should be used: event, date, time, and place.

    • President's Holiday Party, December 7, 2018, 8 p.m., president's home

    parentheses – Include the period inside of the parentheses when a full sentence exists on its own.

    • (He ran home.)

    If the parentheses are included as part of a longer sentence, place the period outside of the parentheses.

    • She became worried when she couldn’t find her son (he had run home).

    percent – Use a percent symbol (this is an AP Style rule) unless the number begins a sentence.

    • Nearly 80% of students receive financial aid.
    • Ninety-nine percent of faculty have doctorates or the highest degrees in their field.

    postbaccalaureate – like most post- words, it does not require a hyphen.

    president – Uppercase when used as a title before the name. Lowercase in all other instances.

    pronouns – Use "them" as the collective pronoun as opposed to "he or she." We encourage all writers to ask a person’s pronouns and include them when introducing an individual in text. If necessary to provide more information, never use the term "preferred pronoun." Use “personal pronoun” or specify like so: Jordan uses they/them pronouns.

    quotation marks – Use double marks to enclose the exact words of a speaker, to set off a character or word when it represents itself rather than its usual meaning, or to indicate short works. Single marks are used for quotes within quotes. The period and comma always go inside the quotation marks. The dash, semicolon, question mark, and exclamation point go within the quotes when they apply to the quoted material.

    • “When I asked them what their major is, they said, ‘I don’t know,’” she told me.

    Saint Paul – Always refer to Saint Paul as “Saint Paul,” not “St. Paul.” “Saint Paul” is the official name of the city. Other cities’ names differ, for example St. Cloud, St. Louis Park. When in doubt, check the city government's website.

    seasons – The four seasons are lowercase.

    semicolons – May be placed between two independent clauses (i.e. each part of the sentence could exist on its own if separated). Otherwise, a comma should be used.

    • Sarah planned to major in French and English; her roommate, Kirsten, was undecided.

    spacing – Use only one space after sentence endings (periods, question, and exclamation marks). NEVER use multiple spaces to indent a paragraph, create a line break, or align text in any other way. Use the tab or return keys.

    state/city – The words "city" and "state" are lowercase when preceding the name of the city or state.

    • city of Saint Paul
    • state of Minnesota

    street, avenue, or road – Abbreviations are acceptable; however, the unabbreviated form is appropriate in formal “display” usage such as invitations.

    student – Do not capitalize as a title.

    telephone numbers – Use hyphens to separate the area code from the exchange and the exchange from the number. Do not use parentheses or periods. For 800 numbers, use 800 in place of the area code. Do not precede with “1.” Avoid the term “toll-free” on materials for undergraduate students.

    terms, semesters – Lowercase all, except the months in "May term" and "J-term." "summer term," "fall term," and "spring term" should never be capitalized.

    theatre, theater – Hamline's program is Theatre & Dance. Use theatre in all general references. For names of specific venues, check official spelling (Anne Simley Theatre, but Guthrie Theater).

    time – Times of day in even, half, and quarter hours are usually spelled out in text matter, but numerals are used when the exact time is important. In general, omit zeros for even hours (7 p.m., 8:30 a.m.). Numerals are to be used with a.m. and p.m. abbreviations, but not with o’clock. “Noon” and “midnight” are lowercase and stand alone.

    • She arrived at nine.
    • The class begins at 8:15 a.m.

    titles – Avoid abbreviation of formal titles. Any person with a university or other title should be identified with their full, formal title in the first reference. Generic forms of the title may be used in subsequent references.

    • Associate Professor Jane Smith
    • Jane Smith, a biology professor at Hamline, graded the assignments.

    Capitalize the title if it appears before the person’s name, but do not set the title off with a comma. Do not capitalize titles if they appear after the person’s name, but do set the title off with commas.

    • Fayneese Miller, the president of Hamline, spoke at the event.

    Some titles denote an elected or appointed position within governmental or judiciary systems. For courtesy, capitalize and use these titles before a name only. Some of these titles include: Judge or The Honorable, Congress member, Commissioner, Justice, Representative, and Senator.

    trustee(s), Hamline University Board of Trustees, board of trustees – Follow the rules of titles, above.

    • Trustee Ronald Mitsch
    • Ronald Mitsch, a Hamline trustee

    university – Lowercase when used in any context except when preceded by Hamline.

    URL (Uniform Resource Locator/web addresses) – hamline.edu (“http://www.” should be dropped). Do not italicize or underline URLs.

    US – The United States should be abbreviated US.

    web address, website, web page, web – Lowercase. See URL.

    year – When specifying a year with a month in running text, surround with commas.

    • Her daughter was born on March 1, 2021, and weighed eight pounds.

    When referring to alumni who graduated more than a hundred years ago, spell out the full year, no apostrophe.

    • Jane Doe ’21 (graduated 2021)
    • Jane Doe 1921 (graduated 1921)