Dates, Times, Numbers

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Academic Years 

  • first-year student 
  • second-year student 
  • junior 
  • senior 
    • we use first-year and second-year rather than freshman and sophomore, then junior and senior thereafter, to avoid awkward things like fifth-year and sixth-year student.


  • Spell out dates and include the day of the week and year for informational purposes.
    • Wednesday, March 27, 2019; not March 27th, 2019 or 3/27/19
  • When not preceded by between or from, date ranges use an en dash with no spaces. 
    • March 27–28, 2019; not between March 27–28 or from March 27–28

Graduation Years

  • Graduation years can be abbreviated to the last two digits preceded by an apostrophe
  • No punctuation
    • '92 '09
    • MS '92 PhD '09
    • BS English Literature '78 MS Rhetoric and Technical Communication '92
    • Jack Johnson '11 '15
    • Exception: early 1900s and later 1800s alumni, use full year: 1887, 1915


  • a.m./p.m. is correct in text/narrative. AM/PM is acceptable in design.
    • 9 p.m., Saturday, April 28, 2012
  • noon and midnight are preferable to 12 p.m. and 12 a.m.
  • When not preceded by between or from, time ranges use an en dash with no spaces.
    • 8–9 a.m., 10 a.m.–2 p.m., or 3–5 p.m.; not between 8–9 a.m. or from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • 5th is correct. Don't use superscripts unless for scientific or technical accuracy


  • Zero to nine are always spelled out except for in recipes and with staff positions; 10 and up are written as numerals except at the start of a sentence or for headlines
  • Spell out a figure when beginning a sentence even though numerals are used elsewhere in the text
  • Numbers of more than three figures are pointed off with commas, except SAT scores.
    • 1,259 women
    • $4,700,900
    • 1220 SAT
  • "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2" (abbreviate number)

Credit Hours

  • Use numerals to refer to credit hours
    • 6 credits

Percent, Percentage

  • Use the word percent instead of the symbol %
  • A numeral is used before the word percent, unless it comes at the beginning of a sentence
  • Percent refers to an exact number
    • Thirty percent of their wages went to taxes.
    • The power play is running at 25 percent.
  • Percentage is used when there is no exact number
    • The percentage of their salaries that went to taxes was significant.

Room Numbers

  • Put the building name first before room numbers
    • Administration Building G20
    • Fisher Hall 135

Telephone Numbers

  • Use hyphens in telephone numbers. Do not include parentheses for area codes
    • 1-888-688-1885
    • 906-487-2319