This section is primarily for users of the college's content management system (CMS). Other college Web users can benefit from some items in this section as it outlines the text styles, color usage, and image formats used in the Saint Anselm Web site.
In order to ensure visual consistency throughout the site, it is important to follow these guidelines as closely as possible. Variations from this standard will be reviewed and approved by the Office of College Communications and Marketing.
Writing for the Web
Web content should be as brief and concise as possible. People scan web pages for the information they need rather than read word for word. All content should therefore be edited and optimized for viewing online before being posted on the college Web site. And, always keep mobile-readable content in mind.
The first and most important fact to understand about Web use is this:
People don't read Web pages, people scan Web pages.
Several studies support this premise. Web usability gurus John Morkes and Jakob Nielsen found that 79 percent of test users always scanned any new page they came across, while only 16 percent read word-by-word.
Web users seek specific information, or they browse in the hope of finding items of interest. They scan the page, searching for words that pique their interest. Huge blocks of brochure-like text that visitors have to wade through just to determine if your site is valuable overwhelm people.
Write for the reader, not for yourself
Always keep the reader in mind. Think of them as busy, impatient people who are on the Web to find out something quickly [The Web Content Style Guide, 2002].
To write efficiently for your Web audience:
- First ask yourself, what's my point? Start with the conclusion (the inverted pyramid method of writing) and think mobile.
- Keep sentences brief
- Use a single space after sentences. Web writing never uses double spacing.
- Use clear, concise prose (avoid using clichés and modifiers)
- Highlight keywords
- Chunk ideas into short paragraphs
- Employ meaningful subheadings
- Use bulleted and/or numbered lists
Most importantly, halve the amount of content.
Use fewer, more precise words to make your message stick. Your content must be optimized for the way people navigate the Web.
Text and Graphics
- Body content, headlines, and headers should always be left justified, never centered.
- Page titles and Body headers should always be written with initial caps. Correct: About NHIOP / Incorrect: about NHIOP. Header size, h3, is the recommended in Body copy.
- Copy styles are managed by the Drupal stylesheets; Body should include Normal headers (bold), and Heading 3 (under Format)
- Avoid complex tables which contain merged cells or rows, as these become distorted on some devices.
- Do not underline hyperlinks (Web addresses). They are automatically preprogrammed to turn light blue and include a color change rollover action when they are created. If you need to call attention to certain words, use bold text (limit italicized text as it can be difficult to read on smaller devices).
- All imported images must be saved as gifs or .jpg files at a minimum resolution of 72 dpi for on-page Body photos, recommended size of 350w x 250h (horizontal) and 250w x 350h (vertical) or smaller in accordions, and high resolution 300 pixels/inch photos for banners sized to 1600w x 600h (and Subsite heroes sized to 1600w x 856h). (Pre-size and compress/optimize images in a program like Adobe Photoshop Elements before adding to the CMS (available for $39 from the Office of Information Technology)). On-page photos should be right justified (seldom are they left) on a page and never centered, and a caption used.
- Use images to support and enhance text, not overwhelm the page.
- Do not use animated or still clip art images which can appear as amateurish to visitors.
- When you are using images, always include a line of descriptive text in the "text" box when you are inserting the image; this provides alternate text (alt tags) for screen readers used by the visually impaired.
Alphabetical List of Style Preferences
(see courses, academic)
(see degrees, academic)
(see department, names)
In running text, spell out in first usage with the acronym or abbreviation in parenthesis.
The football team's grade point average (GPA) of 3.6 is the highest in the conference. The team's captain has a 3.99 GPA.
Admission, Office of Admission, admission
Preferred usage does not include "s" in name. Capitalize when referring to office and lowercase when referring to the process.
The college uses "advisor"
Saint Anselm College
100 Saint Anselm Drive
Manchester, NH 03102
Also include your e-mail address and the college's Web address when appropriate (e.g., business cards, e-mail signature)
- affect (verb): to influence
- effect (verb): to cause
- effect (noun): a result
Afterward is American English, afterwards is British English
ages, periods of history
- Spell out 1-9, use figures for 10 and above.
- Hyphenate ages used before nouns (e.g., My two-year-old can recite the pledge.). Do not hyphenate after a noun (e.g., My girl is two years old).
- Many historical or cultural periods are capitalized (e.g., Stone Age, Bronze Age, the Renaissance). More general period designations are not capitalized (e.g., the golden age).
aid (verb); aide (noun)
- The discovery will aid in finding a cure for cancer.
- The aide plans to speak to the senator about the issue.
all right, alright
Use the two-word version.
Always written as two words
alum, alumni, alumnus, alumna, alumnae
- alum(s) informal use for alumnus/a/i
- alumni (plural all, or a group of unknown gender)
- alumnus (masculine singular)
- alumna (feminine singular)
- alumnae (plural feminine)
- Lowercase with periods; no caps
- Avoid 12 noon and 12 midnight; noon and midnight are sufficient and both are in lowercase
- Avoid including :00 for times at the top of the hour (use 10 a.m. and not 10:00 a.m.)
America (see also U.S. [link to 33.2.5 Alphabetical List Of Style Preferences - U])
When referring to the country, use United States
- Generally not used in running text; okay in charts, tables, or lists.
- Okay to use in running text if it is part of an official name, e.g., U.S. News & World Report
Annual Giving, annual giving, The Saint Anselm Fund
Capitalize the reference to the program, lowercase when referring to the act. The Saint Anselm Fund is the proper name for the college's annual fund.
anyone, any one, everyone, every one
- The compound pronouns anyone or everyone mean "any person" and "all the people," respectively.
- The non-compound modified pronoun any one or every one put a greater emphasis on the word one and mean "any single person or thing" and "every single person or thing."
anyway, any way
- The compound word anyway is an adverb meaning "regardless."
- Any way is simply the word way modified by the word any. It means "any manner" or "any method."
See punctuation section
assure, ensure, insure: All mean "to make sure or certain"
- Assure is used to "set the mind at rest." They assured me my check was in the mail.
- Ensure means to make certain to do something
- Insure is to issue an insurance policy
Names & Titles
Include the full name of a person the first time they appear in an article. Thereafter, use the person's last name.
Bob Smith is author of the new book. Smith wrote the book while on sabbatical.
Use the title Dr. when referring to a doctor of medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine. Do not use it to designate doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.)
Dr. Smith is a skilled surgeon.
Jane Smith, Ph.D., spoke about her research in early French history.
Capitalize all job titles when used before a name or in lists and programs. (Exception: Do not capitalize such titles in the text when they follow the name.)
Fr. Jonathan Defelice, O.S.B., president of Saint Anselm College...
Professor Bob Smith, is chair of the Biology Department.
Do not capitalize unofficial titles preceding the name.
The writer Robert Frost...
Job titles that stand alone or in apposition
Do not capitalize titles standing alone or in apposition.
The president of Sun Microsystems is scheduled to speak at the conference.
Contact the dean of students for more information.
Abbreviated job titles
Abbreviate the following titles when they precede a name: Dr., Mr., Mrs., the Rev., Fr., and all military titles. Do not use them in combination with any other title or with abbreviations including scholastic or academic degrees.
Bob Smith, Ph.D., not Dr. Bob Smith, Ph.D.
Lily Smith, M.D., not Mrs. Lily Smith, M.D.
Do not abbreviate assistant and associate when used in a title, such as assistant professor of history.
The titles of books, essays, plays, musical compositions, motion pictures, pamphlets, radio and television programs, and songs, should all be placed in italics.
Of Mice and Men
America the Beautiful
NBC's Meet the Press
The titles of newspapers, journals, newsletters, and magazines should be italicized.
The Union Leader
To avoid ambiguity writers should use a comma between the last two items in a series.
The college will host the conference, which will feature a keynote address, lectures, and a poster display.
The U.S. flag colors are red, white, and blue
Place a comma after digits signifying thousands: 1,952 students. (Exception: Don't use a comma when referring to temperature: 2200 degrees.)
i.e. and e.g.
Introductory words or phrases such as namely, i.e., and e.g., should be immediately preceded by a comma or semicolon and followed by a comma.
Locally grown food is fresher, i.e., it doesn't have to be trucked here from California.
When writing a date, place a comma between the day (if given) and the year, and after the year.
December 7, 1941, is a day that will live in infamy.
Do not place a comma between the month and year when the day is not mentioned, or between season and year.
December 1999, fall 2000
Use a comma between two or more adjectives when each modifies a noun separately.
My uncle is a strong, confident, stubborn man.
Do not use commas between cumulative adjectives. In the instance below ‘and' cannot be inserted between the adjectives three, oval, and disks, and the order of the adjectives cannot be changed.
Three large oval disks appeared in the sky above the city.
Students should always carry the following things: paper, pens, text books, and a positive attitude.
My roommate is guilty of two unhealthy habits: staying up late and poor eating.
Set quotation marks outside of periods, question marks, and commas and inside colons and semicolons. They should be set inside of exclamation points that are not part of the quotation.
He asked, "How long will this take?"
No quotation marks are necessary in interviews when the name of the speaker is given first, or in reports of testimony when the words question and answer or Q and A are used, such as:
Q: Who will benefit from the fee waiver program?
A: Full-time faculty and staff.
When referring to years, use an apostrophe only to indicate numerals that are left out. Do not use an apostrophe in plural cases. For class years, us a single, left facing single quotation mark with no comma between the last name and class year.
Chris Clark '92
the '80s (preferred style is the 1980s)
Master's and doctor's degrees should always be written with an 's. Never write masters' degrees.
Em dash -
Use em dashes to indicate an abrupt change of thought or to set off a parenthetical phrase with more emphasis than commas, or to set off an appositive whenever a comma might be misread as part of a series. Do not insert a space before or after em dashes. The sentence should still make sense if you remove the words between the em dashes.
In New Hampshire, the amount of open space-farmland, mountains, and forests-provides unsurpassed opportunities for enjoying the outdoors.
En dash -
Use en dashes to replace the word "to" when it represents a duration of time. Do not put a full space before or after the en dash. Do not use the en dash when preceded by the word "from."
The biology class will be held 2-4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.
The biology class will be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Use the hyphen to connect two or more words functioning together as an adjective before a noun (to avoid ambiguity).
on-campus housing, rather than on campus housing.
Do not use the hyphen to connect -ly adverbs to the words they modify.
The beautifully exhibited artwork will be on display until the end of the month.
In a series, hyphens are suspended.
The runners from Saint Anselm received first-, second-, and third-place honors.
Use the hyphen with the prefixes all-, ex-, and self- and with the suffix -elect.
The college organizes several self-help projects to assist those in need.
Lily is the student government's president-elect.
Do not hyphenate words beginning with the prefix non, except those containing a proper noun.
Do not place a hyphen between the prefixes pre, semi, anti, co., etc., and nouns or adjectives, except proper nouns. (Exception: Hyphenate to avoid duplicated vowels or triple consonants.)
coauthored, reapply, pro-republican, pre-enlist, premedicine
Do not place a hyphen between the prefix sub and the word to which it is attached:
Saint Anselm College
Do not capitalize college when referring to Saint Anselm College (e.g., The college is located in Manchester, N.H.).
Capitalize job title if it occurs before the name; lower case if following or by itself.
Many faculty members attended the game including Professor Bob Smith.
Bob Smith, professor of biology, stayed until the end of the game.
The dean of students attended the conference.
Buildings, departments, addresses, etc.
Capitalize association, building, center, club, conference, department, hall, office, street, etc., when used as part of a title; thereafter, do not capitalize these words when used alone to refer to the specific place or group.
The Faculty Senate - thereafter, the senate
The Office or Public Relations - thereafter, the office
The History Department - thereafter, the department
Saint Anselm College Board of Trustees - thereafter, the board or the trustees
Capitalize the name of a specific course or subject.
BI 19, Aquatic Ecology
Capitalize room when used to designate a particular room.
The meeting was held in Conference Room 2 in the Dana Center.
Capitalize alphabetical abbreviations of groups, organizations, or institutions such as FBI, UNH, ROTC, USDA, UCLA, or MIT, without periods or spaces unless the entity uses such punctuation as part of its proper name.
In running text, write out the first instance and place the abbreviation in parenthesis. Thereafter you can use the abbreviated text.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has an office in Manchester. For directions to the USDA's office, visit their Web site.
Ethnic groups and nationalities
Capitalize names of ethnic groups and nationalities.
Amy Smith, professor of African American Studies
The Asian American community
The French artist
Capitalize all words in the titles of books, plays, lectures, musical compositions, etc. unless they are prepositions, articles, or conjunctions. (Exception: The first word of a title is always capitalized). Place all publication titles, movies, and television shows in italics.
Of Mice and Men, Spiderman II, NBC's Meet the Press, Nightline
Capitalize recognized geographical regions. (Exception: Do not capitalize points of the compass.)
The South, the Midwest, the East, the West
He moved to northern Vermont.
To get to Cushing Center from Alumni Hall walk east across the quad.
Do not capitalize official college degrees when spelled out.
He has a bachelor of science in biology, a master of arts in literature, and a doctor of philosophy.
Majors, courses, programs, etc.
Do not capitalize names of college studies, fields of study, options, curricula, major areas, major subjects, or programs, unless referring to a specific course. (Exception: Capitalize names of languages.)
Jane is studying biology, theology, and Spanish.
Each student must meet the college's core requirements in languages and humanities.
Saint Anselm College offers biology as a major.
Do not capitalize organized groups or classes of students in college or high school, or the words freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate, when referring to the classification of the student.
Humanities II must be taken in the sophomore year.
Jane Smith is a senior chemistry major.
The junior class has scheduled a meeting for tomorrow night.
Do not capitalize designations of officers of a class, social organization, etc.
She was elected freshman class treasurer.
Bob Smith is president of the Abbey Players.
Words not to capitalize
Do not capitalize these words: honors, bachelor's degree, master's degree, baccalaureate, federal, state, and government.
Do not capitalize the word offices or departments when referring to more than one individual office or department.
The offices of Human Resources and Admission attended the event.
Do not capitalize seasons.
I am looking forward to graduating in spring 2015.
Use figures for numbers 10 or greater; write out figures less than 10.
Nearly 40 people attended the gathering. Only four people came to class.
Days of the month
Use figures for days of the month, omitting st, nd, rd, and th:
September 28 (not September 28th)
December 22 (not December 22nd)
Use figures for sums that are cumbersome to spell out; however, spell out the words million and billion.
The campaign received a $3.25 million gift. (Not 3,250,000 million).
China has a population of roughly 1.9 billion.
Use figures for measurements.
9 cubic centimeters
33 percent (don't use 33% in a sentence)
Use figures for ages more than 10; spell out if less than 10.
The child is five years old.
For a 12-year-old student, she sure knows her history.
The average student age at the college is 20.
Write phone numbers as follows:
- Always list area codes and local exchanges on the Web since some visitors will be attempting to call from off campus.
- Use parentheses around area code and space after (e.g., (603) 641-7000)
- Avoid listing only extensions on the Web (e.g., x6164 or ext. 6184), since the college uses multiple local exchanges (641, 656, and 222). Include the local exchange to assist Web visitors (e.g., 656-6164)
- Also list toll-free numbers in parenthesis for consistency (e.g., Call us at toll-free at 1(888) 4ANSELM.)
Use figures for hours of the day:
5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. (never 5:00 p.m., unless used in lists of events to preserve alignment of type).
Use figures for amounts of money with the word cents or with the dollar sign (i.e., $5, $5.25, $.77 or 77 cents), unless tabulated in columns.
Numbers at the beginning of a sentence
Do not begin a sentence with numerals; supply a word or spell out the figures. Please note: numbers less than 100 should be hyphenated when they consist of two words.
Two thousand people attend the college.
Eighty-eight percent of our students live on campus.
One-half of the class was late.
A good source of definitions for commonly used computer and Internet terms is http://www.webopedia.com.
- alt text, alternate text, alt tag
- blog or Web log
- CD: compact disk
- CD-ROM: all caps and hyphenated
- chatroom: one word
- database: one word
- disk, diskette
- forum, discussion board, bulletin board
- 56K: no space before and "K" is capitalized
- homepage: one word
- html: Hyper Text Markup Language
- internet service provider (ISP)
- laptop: one word
- listserv: one word, no "e"
- log in
- log on
- Macintosh: no internal caps
- offline, online: no hyphen
- PC: personal computer (plural: PCs)
- real time (n.); real-time (adj.)
- URI: uniform resource identifier
- URL: uniform resource locator
- videoconferencing: one word
- Word: use after using Microsoft Word in first reference
- Web, the Web, World Wide Web (no hyphens), Saint Anselm Web site (site's name), website (general reference)