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Style Guide

Editorial Standards

Alphabetical Entries: C

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

campuswide Wide is generally used as a suffix and is not usually hyphenated, per AP. (An exception to that rule is World Wide Web.)

captions Full sentences generally are preferable to sentence fragments. Since a good picture is supposedly worth a thousand words, a caption should do more than reiterate what is obvious in the photo; a good caption should enhance and clarify that which is not immediately obvious in the photo. Depending upon the context, some "thumbnail" or "mug" shots may require no more than a "nameline," simply the name of the individual or object shown. Use no period after a nameline. In all other instances, use a period to conclude all captions, even those written in headline style (as incomplete sentences).

  • TENSE Since a photograph freezes a moment in time, present tense often works well in captions, particularly for actions that continue into the present. It is sometimes preferable to write captions in past tense, such as writing about conditions that no longer exist: The building was destroyed by fire a week after this photo was made.
  • ARTWORKS For campus periodicals, citation of artworks in captions should include the name of the artist, the name of the artwork in quotes, the year it was made, its material(s), its size, the name of the collection to which it belongs and, if applicable, indication that the artwork has been cropped: Robert Arneson, untitled, 1964, glazed ceramic, 13 x 11 x 11". Gift of Fay Nelson. In a photo feature devoted exclusively to one artist, the name of the artist should be omitted in the caption.
  • PAGE LOCATION To cite location of a photo on a page, precede the appropriate caption with directions and separate the directions from the caption with a colon: Above left: The Alumni Association honored.... For News Pulse, use the same typeface (italic) for the directions and the caption. To cite location within a photo, follow examples below. For rows: Team members are (top row, from left) Sleepy, Dopey, Happy; (middle row) Larry, Moe, Curly; (front row) John, Paul, George and Ringo. For groups: Shown standing (from left) are Judy Albertson, commencement coordinator; Mary Kastner, director; and Laura Kniffen, graphic designer. Seated are Rayna Wendell, Diane Yonta and Robyn Thurston, all from Alumni Affairs.
  • CREDIT LINES Credit lines for individual photographs and illustrations generally indicate photographer and campus unit or business name: Neil Michel/Axiom, Rachel Reuben/SUNY New Paltz Public Affairs, Rachel Reuben/SUNY New Paltz
  • EDITORIAL/ DESIGN Other common forms: Courtesy of Keith Williams © AP/Wide World Photos
  • For a freestanding overall credit line covering all photos in a story: Photography by Jim von Rummelhoff
  • Do not use a period to end a credit line.

car pool

catalog, cataloged, cataloger, cataloging, catalogist Not "catalogue."

chair Not "chairman," "chairwoman" or "chairperson," unless part of a formal title: He chaired the committee. Paul Brown was chair of the SUNY New Paltz Foundation board of trustees. See the trustee entry.

Chicano, Hispanic, Latino, Mexican American These terms, which should be capitalized, have distinct meanings that depend, to a large extent, on the interpretations and preferences of individuals. According to Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, a Chicano is an American of Mexican descent; however, persons of Central and South American heritage may also consider themselves Chicanos. Chicana is the feminine form of Chicano. Plural forms are Chicanos and Chicanas. A Latino (feminine form: Latina) is a person of Latin American lineage; according to Webster's New Collegiate, Latin America consists of all the territories in the Americas south of the United States, but some Mexicans may prefer to call themselves Chicanos or Hispanics rather than Latinos. Plural forms are Latinos and Latinas. The term "Hispanic," according to Webster's New Collegiate, relates to the people, speech or culture of Spain, Portugal or Latin America. The plural form is Hispanics. A Mexican American is a native-born or naturalized American of Mexican heritage. Since Mexican American is a proper noun, do not hyphenate it, even when used as an adjective: A collection of Mexican American historical artifacts.

city, town Do not capitalize city or town in city of constructions: the city of Kingston. In most cases, abbreviate "Saint" in the names of cities: St. Paul (see AP Stylebook's "Saint" entry); exceptions: Saint John, New Brunswick, Sault Ste. Marie (see AP's cities and towns and city entries). For proper spellings and abbreviations, consult Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (selected cities and place names listed throughout the dictionary), the National Geographic Atlas of the World, the U.S. Postal Service Directory of Post Offices, geographical sections of other dictionaries or atlases.

"Class Notes" See INDIVIDUALS heading under names entry.

class year For current students, avoid identifying a graduating class year, unless it is a key fact in the story. Instead, refer to a student as an undergraduate, freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student. For alumni, see the INDIVIDUALS heading under the names entry.

College of See School of entry.

commencement Use lowercase – the university's annual spring commencement – unless part of a proper title in formal publications – SUNY New Paltz May 2001 Commencement.

composition titles Apply the guidelines listed here to book titles, computer game titles (but not software titles), movie titles, opera titles, play titles, poem titles, song titles, television program titles, and titles of speeches, lectures and works of art.

  • Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters.
  • Capitalize an article – the, a, an – or words with fewer than four letters only if it is the first or last word in a title.
  • Set in italics the names of long works — books, movies, operas and plays.
  • Put quotation marks around the names of works such as poems, songs, television programs and speeches. The Bible and books that are primarily catalogs of reference material do not get italics or quotes. In addition to catalogs, this category includes newspapers, magazines, journals, almanacs, directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, gazetteers, handbooks and similar publications.
  • Translate a foreign title into English unless a work is known to the American public by its foreign name.

Examples: Of Mice and Men, Catcher in the Rye, "You Don't Know Jack," Quicken, Gone With the Wind, The Exorcist, Broadway Bound, "The Star-Spangled Banner," the NBC-TV Today program, "ER," "Conflicting Cultures."

Reference works: Poughkeepsie Journal, U.S. News and World Report, Jane's All the World's Aircraft, Encyclopedia Britannica, Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition.

Foreign works: Rousseau's "War," not Rousseau's "La Guerre." But: Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" and "The Magic Flute."

Periodicals: Capitalize "the" in a newspaper's name if that is the way the publication prefers to be known, unless the story mentions several papers, some of which use "the" as part of the name and some of which do not: Daily Freeman, New Paltz Times, Poughkeepsie Journal, The New York Times, The Times Herald-Record, The Wall Street Journal, The New Paltz Oracle

  • UNPUBLISHED WORKS. Titles of dissertations and theses, manuscripts in collections, lectures and papers read at seminars should be set within quotes: "The Psychosocial Effects of ‘Gilligan's Island' on Contemporary Cultural Tastes of Residents of Suburban Lincoln, Nebraska."

comprise Comprise means "to contain," "to include all" or "embrace," so never say "comprised of." See AP's compose, comprise, constitute entry.

computer terms See database, disk, e-mail, Web and online entries, Chicago 7.157-160, and Internet entry in AP Stylebook.

Conference/exhibition titles Full official names of conferences and exhibitions should be capitalized: Mohonk International Peace Conference, Republican National Convention (the national convention or the convention on second and subsequent references). Don't treat such appendages as "annual meeting" as part of titles; lowercase them: 55th annual New York State Political Science Conference. A title given to a conference is enclosed in quotation marks: "Lessons from the Conflict in Kosovo: Where do we go from here?" a conference held at SUNY New Paltz in December.

convince, persuade With convince, use "that" or "of"; with persuade, use "to": She is convinced that he is a bozo. His work convinced her of his vapidity. She persuaded him to consider another line of work.

councilmember Preferable to AP's "councilman" and "councilwoman."

course titles Capitalize and put within quotation marks: "Studies in Baroque Art."

courtesy titles Refer to both men and women by first and last name: Susan Smith or Robert Smith. Do not use courtesy titles Mr., Mrs., Ms. or Miss except in direct quotations, or where needed to distinguish among people of the same last name (as in married couples or brothers and sisters). In cases where a person's gender is not clear from the first name or from the story's context, indicate the gender by using "he" or "she" on a subsequent reference.