May 1, 2001
Bulldog Newspaper Reporter's
Form & Style Sheet
Bulldog Newspaper Foundation
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- Avoid abbreviations except for long, familiar terms (MMPI).
- Explain what an abbreviation means, the first time it occurs.
- If an abbreviation is commonly used as a word, it does not
require explanation (IQ, LSD, REM, ESP).
- Do not use the old abbreviations for subject, experimenter,
and observer (S, E, O).
- The following abbreviations should NOT be used outside parenthetical
- cf. [use compare]
- e.g. [use for example]
- etc. [use and so forth]
- i.e. [use that is]
- viz. [use namely]
- vs. [use versus]
- Use periods when making an abbreviation within a reference
(Vol. 3, p. 6, 2nd ed.)
- Do not use periods within degree titles and organization titles
- Do not use periods within measurements (lb, ft, s) except inches
- Use s for second, m for meter.
- To form plurals of abbreviations, add s alone, without apostrophe
(PhDs, IQs, vols., Eds).
- In using standard abbreviations for measurements, like m for
meter, do not add an s to make it plural (100 seconds is 100 s),
and when referring to more than one page in an book excerpt, use
the abbreviation pp. (with a period after it and a space after
- Do not use the abbreviation "pp" for magazine or journal citations;
just give the numbers themselves. Do use "pp" for citations of
encyclopedia entries, multi-page newspaper articles, chapters
or articles in edited books.
- Use two-letter postal codes for U.S. state names (GA).
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Avoiding Biased and Pejorative Language
In general, avoid anything that causes offense. The style manual
makes the following suggestions:
|DO NOT use...
||When you can use...
(for example, Hispanic)
|"men" (referring to all adults)
||"men and women"
||"gay men and lesbians"
||"people with depression"
Currect use of the terms "gender" and "sex"
The term "gender" refers to culture and should be used when referring
to men and women as social groups, as in this example from the
publication manual: "sexual orientation rather than gender accounted
for most of the variance in the results; most gay men and lesbians
were for it, most heterosexual men and women were against it."
The term "sex" refers to biology and should be used when biological
distinctions are emphasized, for example, "sex differences in
Avoid gender stereotypes. For example, the manual suggests
replacing "An American boy's infatuation with football" with
"An American child's infatuation with football."
Sensitivity to labels
Be sensitive to labels. A person in a clinical study should be
called a "patient," not a "case." Avoid equating people with their
conditions, for example, do not say "schizophrenics," say "people
diagnosed with schizophrenia." Use the term "sexual orientation,"
not "sexual preference." The phrase "gay men and lesbians" is
currently preferred to the term "homosexuals." To refer to all
people who are not heterosexual, the manual suggests "lesbians,
gay men, and bisexual women and men."
In racial references, the manual simply recommends that we
respect current usage. Currently both the terms "Black" and
"African American" are widely accepted, while "Negro" and "Afro-American"
are not. These things change, so use common sense.
Capitalize Black and White when the words are used as proper
nouns to refer to social groups. Do not use color words for
other ethnic groups. The manual specifies that hyphens should
not be used in multiword names such as Asian American or African
Labels can be tricky, and the manual has a lot to say about
them. For example, "American Indian" and "Native American" are
both acceptable usages, but the manual notes that there are
nearly 450 Native American groups, including Hawaiians and Samoans,
so specific group names are far more informative.
The terms Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano are preferred by different
groups. The safest procedure is use geographical references.
Just say "Cuban American" if referring to people from Cuba.
The term Asian American is preferable to Oriental, and again
the manual recommends being specific about country of origin,
when this is known (for example, Chinese or Vietnamese). People
from northern Canada, Alaska, eastern Siberia, and Greenland
often (but not always!) prefer Inuk (singular) and Inuit
(plural) to "Eskimo." But some Alaska natives are non-Inuit
people who prefer to be called Eskimo. This type of difficulty
is avoided by using geographical references. For example, in
place of "Eskimo" or "Inuit" one could use "people from northern
Canada, Alaska, eastern Siberia, and Greenland."
In general, call people what they want to be called, and do
not contrast one group of people with another group called "normal"
people. Write "we compared people with autism to people without
autism" not "we contrasted autistics to normals." Do not use
pejorative terms like "stroke victim" or "stroke sufferers."
Use a more neutral terminology such as "people who have had
a stroke." Avoid the terms "challenged" and "special" unless
the population referred to prefers this terminology (for example,
Special Olympics). As a rule, use the phrase "people with _______"
(for example, "people with AIDS," not "AIDS sufferers").
In referring to age, be specific about age ranges; avoid open-ended
definitions like "under 16" or "over 65." Avoid the term "elderly."
"Older person" is preferred. "Boy" and "Girl" are acceptable referring
to high school and and younger. For persons 18 and older use "men"
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- Capitalize formal names of tests (Stroop Color-Word Interference
- Capitalize major words and all other words of four letters
or more, in headings, titles, and subtitles outside reference
lists, for example, "A Study of No-Win Strategies."
- Capitalize names of conditions, groups, effects, and variables
only when definite. (Group A was the control group; an Age
x Weight interaction showed lower weight with age.)
- Capitalize the first word after a comma or colon if, and
only if, it begins a complete sentence. For example, "This
is a complete sentence, so it is capitalized." As a counter
example, "no capitalization here."
- Capitalize specific course and department titles (GSU Department
of Psychology, Psych 150).
- Do not capitalize generic names of tests (Stroop color
test). "Stroop" is a name, so it remains capitalized.
- Capitalize nouns before numbers, but not before variables
(Trial 2, trial x).
- Do not capitalize names of laws, theories, and hypotheses
(the law of effect).
- Do not capitalize when referring to generalities (any department,
any introductory course).
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- Do not use commas to separate parts of measurement (9 lbs
5 oz). Use the metric system, as a rule.
- Use commas before "and" in lists, for example, height,
width, and depth.
- Use commas between groups of three digits, for example,
- Use commas to set off a reference in a parenthetical comment
- Use commas for seriation within a paragraph or sentence.
For example, "three choices are (a) true, (b) false, and (c)
don't know." Use semicolons for seriation if there are commas
within the items. For example, (a) here, in the middle of
the item, there are commas; (b) here there are not; (c) so
we use semicolons throughout.
- Use commas in exact dates, for example, April 18, 1992
(but not in April 1992).
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- Do not hyphenate -ly and superlative words (widely used
test, best informed students).
- Do not hyphenate common prefixes (posttest, prewar, multiphase,
nonsignificant) unless needed for clarity (pre-existing).
- Do not hyphenate foreign, letter, numeral terms (a priori
hypothesis, Type A behavior) when the meaning is clear without
it (least squares solution, heart rate scores).
- Do not hyphenate if a noun comes first (a therapy was client
centered, results of t tests).
- Hyphenate adjectival phrases (role-playing technique, high-anxiety
group, two-way analysis).
- Hyphenate compound adjectives preceding nouns (client-centered
therapy, t-test scores) unless the compound adjective involves
a superlative (best written paper).
- Hyphenate if the base is an abbreviation or compounded
(pre-UCS, non-college bound).
- Hyphenate if the base word is capitalized or a number (pre-Freudian,
- Hyphenate if the words could be misunderstood without a
hyphen (re- pair, un-ionized, co-worker).
- If in doubt, consult a recently published dictionary. Standards
change. For example, "data base" is now "database," and "life-style"
is now "lifestyle."
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- Do not underline common foreign abbreviations (vice versa,
et al., a priori).
- Do not underline for mere emphasis.
- Underline for titles of books and articles, species names,
introduction of new terms and labels (the first time only),
words and phrases used as linguistic examples, letters used
as statistical symbols, and volume numbers in reference lists.
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Miscellaneous: Colons, dashes, parentheses,
- Do not use "and/or." Write things out. For example, "Monday,
Tuesday, or both" is preferable to "Monday and/or Tuesday."
- Do not use a colon or other punctuation after an introduction
which is not a complete sentence such as
this one, or any other sentence in the body of text
which flows into an extended quote. The quote "picks up where
the sentence leaves off" and provides the punctuation.
- Use a dash (rendered on typewriters and some word processors
as a double hyphen) when there is a sudden interruption like
this one--zoiks!--in the flow of a sentence. Overuse "weakens
the flow of the writing."
- Use parentheses to introduce an abbreviation, for example,
the galvanic skin response (GSR).
- Use "appendixes" (appendices) as the plural of "appendix."
Use datum as singular, data as plural. Use matrix as singular,
matrices as plural. Use schema as singular, schemas (not schemata)
- When listing separate paragraphs in a series, use a number
and a period, not parentheses.
- The first paragraph goes here.
- The second paragraph goes here.
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- Spell out common fractions and common expressions (one-half,
Fourth of July).
- Spell out large numbers beginning sentences (Thirty days
- Use numerals for numbers 10 and above, or lower numbers
grouped with numbers 10 and above (for example, from 6 to
12 hours of sleep).
- Spell out numbers which are inexact, or below 10 and not
grouped with numbers over 10 (one-tailed t test, eight items,
nine pages, three-way interaction, five trials).
- To make plurals out of numbers, add s only, with no apostrophe
- Treat ordinal numbers like cardinal numbers (the first
item of the 75th trial...).
- Use combinations of written and Arabic numerals for back-to-back
modifiers (five 4-point scales).
- Use combinations of numerals and written numbers for large
sums (over 3 million people).
- Use numerals for exact statistical references, scores,
sample sizes, and sums (multiplied by 3, or 5% of the sample).
Here is another example: "We used 30 subjects, all two year
olds, and they spent an average of 1 hr 20 min per day crying.
- Use metric abbreviations with figures (4 km) but not when
written out (many meters distant).
- Use the percent symbol (%) only with figures (5%) not with
written numbers (five percent).
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- Use quotation marks for an odd or ironic usage the first
time but not thereafter, for example, "This is the "good-outcome"
variable, but as it turns out, the good-outcome variable predicts
trouble later on...
- Use quotation marks for article and chapter titles cited
in the text but not in the reference list. (In Smith's (1992)
article, "APA Style and Personal computers," computers were
described as "here to stay" (p. 311).)
- Add emphasis in a quotation with underlining, immediately
followed by the words [italics added] in brackets.
- Brackets are not necessary when changing the first letter
of a quotation to upper case.
- For quotations over 40 words in length, indent and double
space the whole block. (However, single-spacing is acceptable.)
Indent five more spaces if there are paragraphs within the
long quotation. Always provide author, year, and page citation.
Use brackets if introducing or altering material.
- Reproduce a quote exactly. If there are errors, introduce
the word sic underlined and bracketed, for example,
[sic] immediately after the error.
- Use three dots (ellipsis points) when omitting material,
four if the omitted material includes the end of a sentence.
Do not use dots at the beginning or end of a quotation unless
it is important to indicate the quotation begins or ends in
When not to use quotes
Do NOT use quotes to...
- ...cite a linguistic example; instead, underline the term
(the verb gather).
- ...hedge, cast doubt, or apologize (he was "cured"). Leave
off the quotes.
- ...identify endpoints on a scale; underline instead (poor
- ...introduce a key term (the neoquasipsychoanalytic
References are citations of other works such as books, journal
articles, or private communications. References in text are treated
somewhat differently from references in the complete list at the
end of a paper.
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Abbreviating within a reference
Here are approved abbreviations for use in a reference list:
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- chap. for chapter
- ed. for edition
- rev. ed. for revised edition
- 2nd ed. for second edition
- Ed. for Edited by
- (Eds.) for multiple editors
- Trans. for Translated by
- p. for page number, with a space after the period
- pp. for page numbers in encyclopedia entries, multi-page
newspaper articles, chapters or articles in edited books,
but not in journal or magazine article citations, where numbers
alone should be used (see examples of reference formats).
- Vol. for Volume
- vols. for volumes
- No. for Number
- Pt. for Part
- Suppl. for Supplement,
- Tech. Rep. for Technical Report
Alphabetizing within reference lists
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- Use prefixes in alphabetizing names if commonly part of
the surname (De Vries).
- Do not use "von" in alphabetizing (Helmholtz, H. L. F.
- Treat Mc and Mac literally; Mac comes before Mc.
- Disregard apostrophes and capitals in alphabetizing; D'Arcy
comes after Daagwood.
- Single-author citations precede multiple-author citations
(Zev, 1990 then Zev et al., 1990).
- Alphabetize corporate authors by first significant word.
Do not use abbreviations in corporate names.
In-text source references
- Use the author-date format to cite references in text. For
example: as Smith (1990) points out, a recent study (Smith, 1990)
- For two-author citations, spell out both authors on all occurrences.
- For multiple-author citations (up to five authors) name all
authors the first time, then use et al., so the first time it
is Smith, Jones, Pearson and Sherwin (1990), but the second time
it is Smith et al., with a period after "al" but no underlining.
- The first time an "et al." reference is used in a paragraph,
give the year, thereafter (if the citation is repeated in the
paragraph) omit the year.
- For six or more authors, use et al. the first time and give
the full citation in references.
- Include page reference after the year, outside quotes but inside
the comma, for example: The author stated, "The effect disappeared
within minutes" (Lopez, 1993, p. 311) , but she did not say which
effect. Another example would be: Lopez found that "the effect
disappeared within minutes" (p. 311). Notice also that the sentence
is capitalized only if presented after a comma, as a complete
- If two or more multiple-author references which shorten to
the same "et al." form, making it ambiguous, give as many author
names as necessary to make them distinct, before et al. For example:
(Smith, Jones, et al., 1991) to distinguish it from (Smith, Burke,
et al., 1991).
- Join names in a multiple-author citation with and (in text)
or an ampersand (&) in reference lists and parenthetical comments.
For example: As Smith and Sarason (1990) point out, the same argument
was made by in an earlier study (Smith & Sarason, 1990).
- If a group is readily identified by its initials, spell it
out only the first time. For example, "As reported in a government
study (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 1991), blah
blah..." and thereafter, "The previously cited study (NIMH, 1991)
- If the author is unknown or unspecified, use the first few
words of the reference list entry (usually the title), for example:
("Study Finds," 1992).
- If citing multiple works by the same author at the same time,
arrange dates in order. In general, use letters after years to
distinguish multiple publications by the same author in the same
year. For example: Several studies (Johnson, 1988, 1990a, 1990b,
1995 in press-a, 1995 in press-b) showed the same thing.
- For old works cite the translation or the original and modern
copyright dates if both are known, for example: (Aristotle, trans.
1931) or (James, 1890/1983).
- Always give page numbers for quotations, for example: (Cheek
& Buss, 1981, p. 332) or (Shimamura, 1989, chap. 3, p. 5).
- For e-mail and other "unrecoverable data" use personal communication,
for example: (V.-G. Nguyen, personal communication, September
28, 1993). These do not appear in the reference list.
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