[horizontal rule]
Effective: 12/1/1984

Revised: 9/15/2003

[horizontal rule]

[ASU logo] CAM 302–01: Punctuation and Capitalization


To describe the punctuation and capitalization guidelines for manuals

[horizontal rule]

[horizontal rule]

Academic and Administrative Documents

[horizontal rule]

[horizontal rule]

Follow conventional punctuation and capitalization rules. The following guidelines are helpful in situations in which common practice varies.

  1. Use commas to separate a series of words or phrases. When a conjunction joins the last two elements in a series, use a comma before the conjunction.
  2. Supervisors hire and train new employees, offer them encouragement and direction, and evaluate them once a year.

    A committee has been formed to determine the need for additional personnel in the department, to create job descriptions for approved positions, and to advertise those approved positions.

  3. Use commas to set off items in a date. No comma is necessary when only the month and year are written.
  4. The committee met on July 1, 1992, to discuss the budget.

    The committee met in July 1992 to discuss the budget.

  5. Hyphenate only where appropriate.
  6. “Nonteaching,” “reapply,” and “postdoctoral” are examples of words that should not be hyphenated.

  7. Capitalize titles that precede names, but not those that follow names or stand alone. (This applies to text, not necessarily to lists.)
  8. Dean James R. Sturdivant, Vice President Smith
    James R. Sturdivant, dean of the College of Medicine
    Catherine Smith, vice president for Academic Affairs
    the dean of the college
    the vice president of the university

  9. Capitalize complete and proper names of universities and colleges, governmental units, companies, etc., and their major subdivisions, but not partial forms.
  10. Arizona State University
    The university will comply with the rules and regulations of the Immigration and Naturalization Service

    Department of Mathematics
    Courses offered by the department are listed in the schedule.

    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    The college has 21 departments.

    Alumni Association
    The programs of the association are usually well supported.

  11. Do not capitalize names of curricula, programs, majors, or minors. However, names of specific courses should be capitalized.
  12. Students may major in sculpture or graphic design.
    Advisors encourage students to take courses in computer science.
    Advisors encourage students to take Introduction to Computer Science I.

  13. Do not capitalize spring or fall semester or summer session.
  14. What was fall semester total enrollment?

  15. Do not capitalize the words figure, table, or page unless they occur at the beginning of a sentence.

  16. This form is illustrated in figure 3 on page 162.

  17. Do not capitalize the words state and federal unless they are part of a proper name.
  18. The project obtained federal funding.
    All employees of the State of Arizona are included.

  19. Do not capitalize academic degrees when they are referred to in general terms in text, but do capitalize their abbreviation.
  20. The diligent student earned a master’s degree in anthropology and a doctorate in history.
    The diligent student earned an M.S. in anthropology and a Ph.D. in history.

[horizontal rule]

Note:Please be advised that the policies and procedures used as examples in the CAM manual are often out of date and no longer applicable. They were chosen as examples when the CAM manual was revised in 1992. To access the current policies and procedures manuals, please go to http://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals.

Back to Top