- Use with an “s” to make a singular proper name possessive; e.g., Bobby’s
- Place the apostrophe after the “s” when possessive is plural
- To express the shortened form of years of college classes; e.g., Class of ’76
- Before s when using the spelled-out form of degrees; e.g., bachelor’s degree or master’s degree
Do not use:
- primes (apostrophe and quotes) to designate inches and feet and navigational/degree notation; e.g., 12 inches not 12″; 67 degrees not 67°
- when making the plural; e.g., 1980s
Commas, Semicolons, Colons
- Place a comma after digits signifying thousands, except when reference is made to temperature or to SAT scores; e.g., 1,150 students, but 1100 degrees and an SAT score of 1143Use a colon to introduce a list of items.
- Use a colon to introduce a list of items.
- When listing city names with states, use the state abbreviation followed by a period and comma unless at the end of a sentence; with the exception of the following eight states which should be spelled out: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah; e.g., Robert Green is a San Antonio, Texas, native. Clara Temple comes from Kansas City, Mo.
If a phrase is within parentheses at the end of a sentence, place the period after the closing parenthesis.
If a complete sentence is in parentheses, the period should be inside the closing parenthesis.
An ellipsis is a string of three periods with a single space before and after to denote continuation on an idea. e.g., The audience applauded, then there was silence … and suddenly music started playing.
Apply italics to:
- Titles of books, plays, movies, radio and television programs, musical compositions, operas, pamphlets, periodicals, etc.Latin names.
- Latin names.Scientific names; e.g.,
- Scientific names; e.g., canis familiaris
- To emphasize words and phrases; e.g., The time to start planning is now.
- Apply quotation marks to essays, lectures, and parts of volumes, chapters, titles of papers, etc.
- Use single quotation marks for quotations printed within other quotations.
- If several paragraphs are to be quoted, use open-quote marks at the beginning of each paragraph, but use close-quote marks only at the end of the final paragraph.
- Set quotation marks after periods and commas and before colons and semicolons.
- Use editor’s brackets, not parentheses, to set off editorial remarks within direct quotations; e.g., “Jacobs saw it [the movie] and was moved by the story.”
- Do not place quotation marks around the Bible or books that are primarily catalogs of reference material.