• ampersand (&) — Do not use as a substitute for “and” unless it’s a part of an official name or website navigation.
  • comma series — Do not use a comma before the conjunction in a simple series. “The flag is red, white and blue.” Keep commas in a series of complex phrases to ease readability.
  • comma before Jr. — Don’t use a comma. Ex) John F. Kennedy Jr.
  • ellipses — A single space precedes and follows ellipses.
  • en/em dash — Use an en dash to indicate a range: 6–8 p.m., $10–$15 (notice the use of the dollar sign for both numbers). There are no spaces before or after en dashes. Use an em dash when setting off information in a sentence: The room was stifling — 85 to 90 degrees— and reeked of body odor and rotten fruit. Use spaces before and after the em dash.
  • hyphens — When a compound modifier precedes a noun, use hyphens to link all the words in the compound except the adverb very and all the adverbs that end in “ly.” A first-quarter touchdown, a full-time job, a very good day, her worst bad-hair day, a well-qualified candidate, a highly qualified candidate.
  • italicize — Never italicize copy, including composition titles and foreign words. Designers may italicize text for effect.
  • periods — Use periods in abbreviations, except in such common usage as JFK, MLK, GE, IBM, CBS, YMCA, CIA, the UN, etc. We do, however, use periods in U.S., L.A., D.C.
  • parenthesis — Don’t use them.
  • quotation marks — Use smart, curved inward, quotes.
  • spacing — One space after a period; one space after a colon.
  • superscripts — No superscripts. Ex) 12th
  • 2009–10, not 2009–2010 (use an en dash) — only applies when both years are in the same century
Willamette University

Marketing and Communications

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6667 voice
503-370-6153 fax

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