Editorial style guide - C
Proper nouns, official titles and course titles use initial capitals when written in full.
Vice-Chancellor Keith Burnett
When referring to such titles in running text or using a word such as history in a generic sense, don't use an initial capital.
The University is about to appoint a new vice-chancellor
Applicants must study history at A Level
Department names use initial capitals, but the word department always uses lower-case d, unless it begins a sentence.
The Department of English Literature
Our department has an excellent reputation.
When referring to the University of Sheffield as the University use an initial capital. When referring to a university use all lower case.
Don't use initial capitals for the small connecting words in titles.
The Hound of the Baskervilles
My Life as a Dog
not careers advisor
careers advisory service
In keeping with our general guideline on numbers, we use words for everything up to ninth. From 10th onwards, use numerals.
For nouns, use: fourth century, fifth century and so on, then: 10th century, 21st century. For adjectives, use a hyphen: fourth–century philosopher, 21st–century furniture.
Use a colon to introduce a list in a sentence:
Research topics include: gender and politics in France, French cinema, 20th–century literature.
Colons can also be used to separate statements in a sentence, when the second statement explains the first:
The Department of Chemistry has some of the best facilities in the country: its laboratories are state-of-the-art.
Never follow a colon with a dash (:-).
The building houses computers, seminar rooms and a library.
In a simple sentence like the above there is no need for a comma before and.
Compliment or complement
You pay someone a compliment. You have a full complement of students.
A book review may be complimentary. Two types of medical treatment or two colours can be complementary.
Comprise or compose
The parts compose (make up) the whole. The whole comprises (includes) the parts. The whole is composed of the parts. Never use is comprised of, although consists of is correct.
Hyphenated when used as an adjective as in computer-aided design.
If a telephone number is given there should also be an email address. Fax numbers and web addresses are optional but strongly recommended.
Telephone numbers should always follow the format 0114 XXX XXXX. Don't put the area code in brackets.
If the publication or web page is for an international audience, then the telephone number should follow the format +44 (0)114 XXX XXXX.
There's nothing wrong with contractions. They’re not grammatically incorrect. If it feels right to use one, go ahead.
But don't overuse them. Too many contractions in a piece of writing can be irritating and distracting.
Contractions such as 'you'll and 'we'll' help establish an informal, friendly tone. They help you to replicate the flow of everyday speech, which can make your copy easier to read.
Some contractions can have the opposite effect. 'There've', for instance, looks strange and sounds forced.
See also Abbreviations
The correct way to write a course title is BA(Honours) History or BA(Hons) History. Note there is no space between BA and (Honours).
- A Level (not hyphenated)
See also Capital letters