Santa Clara University

Office of Marketing and Communications

SCU Editorial Style Guide


Daly Science Center

em dashes Use in place of hyphens or double hyphens in text. No spaces between text and em dash.

  • The landscape—a true reflection of the effect of mankind—has changed the most.

en dashes Use to express a range in charts or listings:

  • 5–7:30 p.m.

But do not use dashes in body text:

  • The class runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

See hyphens.



Use Arabic figures (without -st, -th, etc.):

  • May 3

Always spell out days of the week, unless necessary in a grid or tabular format.

Capitalize the names of months. Abbreviate months when used with specific dates:

  • Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec.
  • Parent Weekend is on Feb. 19 and 20.

Do not abbreviate:

  • March, April, May, June or July

When used alone or just with year, spell it out:

  • September is a beautiful time to visit the campus.
  • August 1999

When a phrase lists only a month and year, do not separate the year with commas:

  • The Grand Reunion in October 2009 was a huge success.

When a phrase refers to day, month and year, set off year with commas:

  • January 1999 was a cold month.
  • Feb. 14, 2000, was the target date.

Always include the year when the date is in another calendar year; do not use the year if the date or dates are in the same year as the publication.

Set off day of the week with comma:

  • The event was scheduled for Saturday, April 23, 2011.

First century, 11th century. See numbers. Always use numbers for years:

  • the 1980s (no apostrophe) or the ’80s (note apostrophe faces away from the year)
  • NOT “the eighties”
de Saisset Museum
Use the museum on second reference unless more than one museum is mentioned. In the latter case, the de Saisset is acceptable.

Uppercase when used before a name.

  • School of Engineering Dean Dan Pitt.

Lowercase when used after a name.

  • Dan Pitt, dean of the School of Engineering.

Use full department name on first reference.

dean's list

Lowercase in all uses. 


See academic degrees.


Lowercase unless using full formal title of a department. Also see academic departments.

  • Joe stopped by the Public Safety Office to meet with a campus police officer. He wanted to address public safety issues.
  • The Office of Marketing and Communications offers various workshops. Contact the marketing and communications staff for more details.

Lowercase, but capitalize proper names applied to the devil, such as Satan and Lucifer. 


Uses the preposition from, not than

  • Her opinion is different from mine.
  • NOT Her opinion is different than mine.
  • The programs we offer are different from other colleges in the area.

Capitalize only as part of a proper name:

  • Diocese of San Jose 

In general, lowercase north, south, northeast, northern, etc., when they indicate compass direction. Capitalize these words when they designate regions.

  • He drove west.
  • The cold front is moving east.
  • A storm system that developed in the Midwest is spreading eastward.
  • It will bring showers to the East Coast by morning and to the entire Northeast by midafternoon.
  • High temperatures will prevail throughout the Western states.
  • The North was victorious.
  • The South will rise again.
  • Settlers from the East went to the West in search of new lives.
  • The customs of the East are different from those of the West.
  • The Northeast depends on the Midwest for its food supply.
  • She has a Southern accent.
  • He is a Northerner.
  • Asian nations are opening doors to Western businessmen.
  • The storm developed in the South Pacific.

With names of nations: Lowercase unless they are part of a proper name or are used to designate a politically divided nation

  • northern France
  • eastern Canada
  • the western United States


  • Northern Ireland
  • South Korea.

With states and cities: The preferred form is to lowercase directional or area descriptions when referring to a section of a state or city

  • western Montana
  • southern Atlanta

But capitalize compass points when part of a proper name

  • North Dakota
  • West Virginia

Also capitalize compass points when used in denoting widely known sections

  • Southern California
  • West Texas
  • the South Side of Chicago
  • the Lower East Side of New York

If in doubt, use lowercase.

When combining with another common noun to form the name for a region or location

  • the North Woods
  • the South Pole
  • the Far East
  • the Middle East
  • the West Coast (the entire region, not the coastline itself)
  • the Western Hemisphere

 Use instead of handicapped.


Avoid. Use University residence halls instead. Also, avoid "dorms." 


DO NOT USE the courtesy title Dr. before a name, even on first reference, unless the person has a medical or veterinary degree. On second reference, use only the person’s last name.

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