dash (long dash or “em” dash):
Long or em dashes (—) can be used to indicate a parenthetical thought, an abrupt change in thought, or an emphatic pause. Example: “I am off to France in June—if I graduate.” When using the em dash, do not use surrounding spaces (this usage differs from AP style). Do not use double hyphens (–) as a substitute unless the em dash is not available. To create the em dash, hold down the “option” and “shift” keys, then press the “hyphen”
dash (short dash or “en” dash):
The en dash (–) is slightly longer than a hyphen and shorter than the em dash. The en dash is used in spans of numbers (“pages 87–89”) or dates (“2015–16” or “May–September”). The en dash is also used to connect compound modifiers made up of two-word proper nouns or already hyphenated words:
- the North Dakota–South Dakota border
- non-European–non-Asian population
To create the en dash, hold down the “option” key and press the “hyphen” key.
- Capitalize formal names of degrees (“John Smith, Doctor of Law;” “The department offers a Master of Arts in Literature”).
- Lowercase short forms and degrees mentioned in general terms: “bachelor of arts degree;” “master’s;” “doctorate;” “graduate certificate.”
- Capitalize abbreviations and insert periods: A.B., B.A., B.S., M.A., Ph.D.; “Robert Kerr, Ph.D. candidate.”
- Use the possessive form (master’s, bachelor’s) for degrees.
- Avoid mixing forms, as in “He received his master’s and doctoral degrees.” “Master’s and doctor’s degrees” would be preferable (or rewrite the sentence).
departments, divisions, colleges, and schools:
Capitalize the full name or shortened form:
- Department of Anthropology
- Anthropology Department
- College of Environmental Design
Lowercase these terms when used alone or generically:
- The Women’s Studies Department includes faculty from a number of disciplines. The department offers a wide range of courses.
- the department, the departments
- The school is considered one of the best in the U.S.
See also the entry for disciplines, majors, and programs.
For additional guidance on this topic, visit www.adata.org.
- Do not refer to a person’s disability in public documents without his or her consent. Verify how the person wishes to refer to his or her disability.
- In general, refer to the person first and the disability second (this avoids defining the person by the disability). Emphasize ability, not limitations. Examples: “She uses a wheelchair,” not “She is wheelchair-bound.” And “A person who is deaf,” not “A deaf person.”
- In references to facilities, emphasize accessibility rather than disability (“accessible parking” and “accessible restrooms”). Do not use the word “handicapped.”
- Use neutral language and avoid negative terms like “victim,” “invalid,” or “afflicted.”
- Avoid euphemisms such as “challenged,” “differently abled,” and “special.” Many people find these terms condescending.
- Avoid terms like “normal,” or “able-bodied” for those without disabilities.
disciplines, majors, and programs:
Lowercase the names of disciplines, majors, and undergraduate and graduate programs when not part of a formal name:
- astronomy and astrophysics program
- Earth sciences courses
- history of consciousness program
- legal studies major
- master’s program in chemistry
- M.S. program in applied economics and finance
Capitalize disciplines when part of the department name or when used to indicate a course:
- Department of Sociology
- Astronomy Department
- Anthropology 101
Capitalize proper names within the names of majors and disciplines:
- American studies
- French literature
- Latin American and Latino studies major
- Earth sciences
Capitalize the following uses of “program” if part of the formal name (visit a program’s website if you are not sure of its formal name):
- Science Communication Program
- Writing Program
Dr. (as in “Dr. Jones):
Use for medical doctors.