|Marshall Writers' Guild Style Sheet 2017|
Carole Kays Schaefer
- Use WW I or II and PM and AM without periods.
- Street addresses
Examples: W Arrow St; N Lafayette Ave; the Square or Marshall Square
- Use USPS abbreviations for all the states.
Examples: MO, NY, KS.
- Capitalize family terms such as Uncle, Aunt, Cousin when used as a proper noun, but not when used with a possessive pronoun such as her, their, his, my.
Examples: I saw Aunt Sarah dancing all night. She saw her aunt Sarah last night. Once you use my mother in a writing, thereafter just say Mother.
- Do not capitalize the seasons unless they are personified.
Examples: Spring's warm touch. We left in the spring
- Capitalize points of the compass and regional terms when they refer to specific sections or when they are part of a precise descriptive title.
Examples: the East; Mid-Atlantic states; North Pole; Central Missouri
- Do not capitalize terms when they are suggesting direction or position.
Examples: central states; south of town; eastern Australia
- Use after the state when city and state are in the middle of a sentence.
Example: He was born in Des Moines, IA, in 1960.
- Place a comma after the year when dates are written as m/d/y within a sentence.
Example: Your letter of July 4, 1776, answers all my questions.
- No commas required for a defining (restrictive) necessary phrase.
The economist Milton Friedman described inflation as the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.
- Commas are required for a nonrestrictive phrase immediately following the word it explains or when the phrase is nonessential.
Example: My mother, the family historian, found some startling information in the 1890 Census.
|Italics or Quotation Marks|
- Use italics for whole works, such as books, magazine, newspapers, movies, plays, and reports.
Examples: Romeo and Juliet; Gone with the Wind; Marshall Democrat-News; The New Yorker; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
- Use Roman regular type and quotation marks for short works such as titles of articles, chapters, poems, essays, and similar short works.
Examples: "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer; "Self-Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson; Chapter 12, "The Human Factor"
|Numbers as figures:
- Use figures with numbers 100 and above.
Example: My efforts to cut out 50,000 words may sometimes result in my adding 75,000.
- Use figures when numbers both below and above 10 refer to the same subject.
Examples: 5 of 20 employees; from 6th to 12th grade
- Use figures when numbers refer to parts of a book.
Examples: Chapter 9; Figure 5; Page 75; Table 1
- Use figures when numbers refer to time periods.
Examples: 21st century; 50-year plan
- Use figures when numbers precede units of time, measurement, or money.
Examples: 18 years old, 9 PM or 9 AM, 3 hours 30 minutes 12 seconds; 2 x 4 inches, 1/4-inch pipe, 10 yards; $1.50, 25-cents, $4 million
- Use figures with decimals and percentages.
Examples: 2.7 grade point average; 13.25% interest
|Numbers as Words:
- Use words with numbers 1-99.
Example: All you need is fifty lucky breaks.
- Use words with round numbers or decades.
Examples: Several thousand people; in her eighties; the Roaring Twenties
- Use words in fractions standing alone or followed by of a or of an.
Examples: One-fourth inch; two-thirds of a cup; one-half of an apple
- Use words to clarify back-to-back modifiers.
Examples: Three 8-foot planks; six 1/2-inch strips
|Parentheses and Quotations|
- Place the punctuation mark outside of the last parenthesis if the enclosed words are not a complete statement.
Example: If I arrive late (and it's quite likely), I'll let myself in.
- Place the punctuation mark inside the last parenthesis if the enclosed words are a complete statement.
Example: (Don’t expect me until nightfall.)
- With quotations place the punctuation inside the last quotation mark.
Example: The teacher asked, "Who left this book?"
- With decades, use no apostrophes.
|Editor's Note: Be frugal with the, that, my, of and prepositional phrases. Use "find" on your computer to search for excessive use of these words.|