Style Guide


Admissions Office or Office of Admissions (not Admission)

acronyms list (see below)

adviser (not advisor)

alumna (one female)
alumnus (one male)
alumnae (more than one female)
alumni/ae or alumni (referring to a mixed group)

a.m. (not A.M.; not am)

athletics teams are not capitalized

Austin Arts Center

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bachelor’s degree; bachelor of arts/science; B.A.

Board of Fellows

Board of Trustees, the board, the trustees

Bold face: Wherever possible, avoid emphasizing items in text by use of bold face, italic, underlining, or all caps. Excessive use of these devices creates a messy-looking publication and can result in more confusion on the part of the reader, rather than less. Emphasize essential information by use of a clearly marked to-do list somewhere in the publication.

the Bulletin

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Capitalization of headings: For headings in articles, brochures, event schedules, etc., only capitalize the first word and any proper nouns.
(ex. “Handicapped parking for Commencement day,” not “Handicapped Parking for Commencement Day”)

chair or chairperson (even if you know the gender of the person involved)

Chapel, Trinity College Chapel

chaplain, the College chaplain


Class of 2010; Class of ’10*; the class 

(ex. Dutch Barhydt ’81, M’04, P’08)
*(not Class of ‘10—apostrophe should not be inverted)

class reunion

class secretary

clergy: Reverend should be preceded by “the” and should never be followed immediately by a surname.

(ex. The Reverend Mr. Carter)
(ex. The Reverend Amos Carter)
(NEVER Rev. Carter)

coeducation, co-ed

College (capitalize only when referring to Trinity)

comma: use serial comma (one, two, three, and four

commas in compound sentences:

Use a comma to separate parts of a compound sentence, placing the comma before the conjunction. Sentences with two verbs or verb clauses joined by and do not usually include a comma before the and. 
(ex. Some of the people remained calm, but others seemed on the verge of panic.)
(ex. We studied the properties of the quarks and then formulated several hypotheses.)

Commencement (the event)


(ex. The zoo comprises twenty different kinds of animals.) (correct)
(ex. Twenty different kinds of animals compose the zoo.) (correct)
(NOT: The zoo is comprised of many different kinds of animals.)

Convocation (the event)

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dates: the 1940s or ’40s (not 1940’s)

the 20th century; 20th-century literature (not the 20th century)
October 21 (not October 21st)

Dean’s Scholars

departments—all departments, offices, and programs are capitalized:

Office of Communications, Communications Office
Department of English, English Department
Department of History, History Department
Human Rights Program

HOWEVER the academic subject is not capitalized:

She is double majoring in American studies and sociology.

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ellipses: When used in the middle of a sentence, three dots indicate an omission within a quote. The dots are used as if they were a three-letter word—there should be a space on either side.

(ex. Trinity is world of opportunities, which vary greatly, for so many students.
Can be shortened to:
Trinity is a world of opportunities … for so many students.)

When used between sentences and the last part of a quoted sentence is omitted  but grammatically complete, four dots—a period followed by an ellipsis—are used to indicate the omission.

(ex. Trinity is a world of opportunities. … There are many internships, study abroad options, and research grants.)


emeritus (one male)
emerita (one female)
emeritae (plural female)
emeriti/ae (plural referring to a mixed group )

Capitalize “emeritus” only when it is used before a proper name:

Professor Emerita Jane Crane

BUT  Jane Crane is a professor emerita. 
HOWEVER “emeritus” is always capitalized when it appears with an endowed professorship:

Jane Crane is Allan K. and Gwendolyn Miles Smith Professor of Literature Emerita.


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faculty=singular (The faculty is meeting today.)
faculty members=plural (Faculty members are meeting today.)

Family Weekend (not Parents Weekend)


First-Year Program
first-year student (not freshman)
first-year seminar

Fulbright fellowship
Fulbright Fellow; fellow
Fulbright Scholar; scholar

fundraiser (noun)
fund-raising (adj.); fundraising (noun)

Funston Courtyard

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gray (NOT grey)

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Hillel House

an historian (NOT a historian)

holidays: most holidays are capitalized

(ex. The break will run from Christmas to New Year’s Day.)

Homecoming Weekend
homecoming; Homecoming 2010 (cap when referring to a specific homecoming)

home page

honors societies: Phi Beta Kappa is always capitalized

hyphens—Compound words are usually hyphenated when used as adjectives.

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InterArts Program

interdisciplinary majors/minors
Interdisciplinary Science Program (ISP)
Interdisciplinary Science Center


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Jewish studies

junior: James F. Jones, Jr. is the president of Trinity College.

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La MaMa Program

Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life (abbrev: the Greenberg Center)

Raether Library and Information Technology Center (abbrev: Raether Center)

*First reference should always be the full name, Raether Library and Information Technology Center. Subsequent references may use the abbreviation.
(ex. Trinity College students frequent the Raether Library and Information and Technology Center. The Raether Center offers a variety of research opportunities.)

*Do not capitalize “library” except in the full name.
(ex. Trinity College students use the library at night.)

*Do not use LITC.

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magna cum laude

majors: lowercase unless there’s a word normally capped (American literature; classics)

master’s degree or master of arts/science degree or M.A.

medieval and Renaissance studies

Middle Eastern studies

midterm; mid-August; mid-1980s


money: nine dollars or $9; 12 dollars or $12

Only if an even dollar amount is in a sentence with a dollar/fraction amount do you use .00 after the amount.
(ex. The children paid $1.50 to enter; adults paid $3.00.)

months: Write out full name of months in running text.  However, when abbreviations are necessary, the following are used: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec.  

more than: use instead of over when referring to something that can be counted 

(ex. More than fifty people attended.)
(BUT: Jason is over six feet tall.)

multicultural, multinational, multimedia (most multi words are not hyphenated)

multiple-digit numbers: Use a comma for four-digit and larger numbers (except dates): 3,500; 60,000.  For very large numbers use figure and word: 1.2 million

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Nobel Prize; Nobel Prize-winning scientist; Nobel Prize winner

nondiscrimination, nonprofit, non-Spanish speaking, nonreunion classes/years

*Most “non” words are not hyphenated, although a list of exceptions can be referenced in the dictionary.  One exception: hyphenate when main word is a proper noun.

numbers: Spell out whole numbers below 10, use figures for 10 and above; when two or more numbers appear in a sentence, and one of them is a figure, that number determines style: one-to-15 ratio becomes 1-to-15 ratio.

two-and-a-half-year-old daughter
the two and a half year old

Spell out a number at the beginning of a sentence. (Twenty-five students attended.)

Spell out first through ninth when sequence is indicated: first base, the First Amendment. Starting with 10th, use figures.

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off campus; off-campus event

offices—all departments, offices, and programs are capitalized:

Office of Communications, Communications Office
Department of English, English Department
Department of History, History Department

Office of International Programs

online (noun and adjective)


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P’05 (parent in the student in the Class of 2005; no space between P and apostrophe)

Parents Weekend (see Family Weekend)


Phi Beta Kappa

phone numbers: (860) 297-2500; extensions: x2500 (no space)

p.m. (NOT P.M. or pm)


When used before a name, “president” is capitalized: President Jones
James F. Jones, Jr. is the president of Trinity College.
*The first reference to the president should read: James F. Jones, Jr., President  and Trinity College Professor in the Humanities; subsequent references may read: President Jones.


When used before a name, “professor” is capitalized:

Professor Paul Lauter

BUT when “professor” follows the name (or no name is included), use lower case:

(ex. Paul Lauter, department chair and professor of American studies, gave a lecture.)

(ex. He is an American studies professor.)

HOWEVER, named professorships are always capitalized:

(ex. Paul Lauter is Allan K. and Gwendolyn Miles Smith Professor of Literature.)

programs—all departments, offices, and programs are capitalized:

Office of Communications, Communications Office
Department of English, English Department
Department of History, History Department

program list (see below)

Pulitzer Prize winner; Pulitzer Prize-winning author

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At the end of a quotation, a period or comma is placed inside the quotation mark.

A dash or a hyphen is placed inside the quotation mark.

(ex. “All alumni—no matter how many—” she told us, “are invited.”)

A question mark or an exclamation mark is placed inside the quotation only if it applies to the quotation:

She asked her student, “Are you amazed?”
Did she tell you that “I was amazed”?

A semi-colon or colon is placed outside the quotation mark:

(ex. “The meeting is at nine o’clock,” said the team leader.
She reminded us of the “necessity of this meeting”; later, she postponed it until next week.)

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Reporter, Trinity Reporter

Reunion, 25th Reunion, Reunion 2005, Reunion Weekend

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sports teams are not capitalized. 

(ex. John is on the soccer team.)

states’ names: Write out full name in text: 

(ex. The alumna is from Massachusetts.)

UNLESS it is part of a full address. In that case, the two-letter post office abbreviation will suffice.

(ex. Please send the information to 120 South Street, Riverside, MA 02109.)


summa cum laude

superscript: 10th not 10th

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the: Do not capitalize “the” unless it appears at the beginning of the sentence unless it is part of the formal name or title:

(ex. Her article appeared in the New York Times.)
(ex. The New York Times published her article about The Merchant of Venice.)

that/which:  “That” is used to introduce restrictive clauses—clauses that are essential to the meaning of the nouns they modify.   “Which,” preceded by a comma, is used to introduce nonrestrictive clauses—clauses that are not essential to the meaning of the modify.

(ex. The report that the committee submitted was well written.)
(ex. James gave us the committee’s report, which was well written.)

theater: not “theatre,” unless part of a formal name


books: italicize; uppercase principal words
courses: quotation marks around formal titles; uppercase principal words
lectures: quotation marks; uppercase principal words
poetry: long poems treat as book titles (ex. Paradise Lost)
shorter poems: quotation marks
articles, essays, and short stories: quotation marks; uppercase principal words
magazines, newspapers, operas, oratories, plays, films, paintings, and sculptures: treat as book titles (La Traviata)

titles (people): Lowercase unless title appears directly before an individual’s name:

*Exception: uppercase when a professor holds an endowed professorship

Uppercase first reference to president: James F. Jones, Jr., President and Trinity College Professor in the Humanities

William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in American Institutions and Values Lou Masur

Trinity College: When referencing Trinity, “College” is uppercase.  Lowercase when generic.

trustee: Capitalize trustee only when it is used before a proper name.

(ex. Trustee Jane Mead is arriving this afternoon.) 
(ex. Jane Mead is a trustee.)

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under way (not one word)

(ex. Once the meeting got under way, we were able to outline our objectives.)

U.S. as adjective only; USA; United States

(ex. U.S. House of Representatives)
(ex. He lives in the United States.)

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voice mail

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Washington, DC (in mailing address); Washington D.C. (in running text)

Web site; Web page

work-study, Work-Study Program (Federal Work-Study Program)

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X, Y, Z

Trinity Acronyms

Community Learning Initiative (CLI)

Individualized Degree Program (IDP)

Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC)

La Voz Latina (LVL)

National Alumni Association (NAA)

Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA)

Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)

Center for Urban and Global Studies (CUGS)


Trinity Programs

Cities Program

Genomics Research Program

Guided Studies Program

Hartford Consortium for Higher Education

Hartford Studies Project

Health Fellows Program

Human Rights Program

InterArts Program

Special Academic Programs

Trinity/LaMama Urban Arts Semester in New York City

Twelve-College Exchange Program

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