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Effectively communicating the College’s messages in harmony with the College’s identity, mission and vision.

Office of Communication & Marketing

Editorial Standards - A

Alphabetical Entries: A

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abbreviations and acronyms In general, avoid acronyms and abbreviations. Use Haggerty, not HAB; Student Union, not SUB, etc.

On first reference, spell out university names that may be unfamiliar to the particular audience you are addressing. Do not follow an organization's full name with an abbreviation or acronym in parentheses or set off by dashes. If an abbreviation or acronym would not be clear on second reference without this arrangement, do not use it. On first reference, use colloquialisms such as SUB and JFT judiciously, considering the probable familiarity of the audience with such terms. Note, however, that it is acceptable in all cases to refer to the "Quadrangle" as the "Quad" on first and subsequent references. In general, avoid using acronyms that aren't well known and avoid using a number of acronyms in one article. Do not use periods in university abbreviations and acronyms: SUB, SUNY. For New Paltz buildings named after an individual, the individual's name is retained in second references: Haggerty, Coykendall, Wooster. NOT HAB, CSB, WH. Some acronyms and abbreviations are capitalized; others are lowercased: scuba, an acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. Consult the AP Stylebook and Webster's Collegiate Dictionary in specific instances. See general guidelines under AP's abbreviations and acronyms entry. Consult AP first concerning use of caps and periods for individual abbreviations.

academic degrees It is preferable to avoid abbreviations and instead spell out names of degrees: Ronald McDonald, who received his bachelor's degree in English from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Capitalize the formal name of a degree conferred: The department offers a Master of Arts and a Master of Arts in Teaching. Lowercase and use an apostrophe when referring to a generic degree: bachelor's degree, master's, etc. Do no use periods when referring to a specific program: SUNY New Paltz offers an MA in English. Use periods in abbreviations after a person's full name, set off with commas: Robert A. Kerr, Ph.D., is responsible for.... Avoid redundancies such as Dr. Mark Mannis, M.D. A complete listing of all the degrees offered by New Paltz are found in the undergraduate and graduate studies catalogs. See the doctor entry.

academic departments See the names entry.

academic majors Lowercase all majors except those incorporating proper nouns: Paul Pfotenhauer is majoring in textiles and clothing, Teri Bachman's major is Scandinavian, Karen Watson is taking Native American studies, and Barbara Anderson is majoring in Chicano studies.

academic titles See the ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL TITLES heading under the titles entry.

acronyms See the abbreviations and acronyms entry.

adviser Not "advisor," per AP.

aesthetic Not "esthetic."

African American, black Use these terms interchangeably, with preference to African American. Do not hyphenate African American or other compound nationalities, even when used as an adjective: an honored African American novelist. But always hyphenate compounds with name fragments: Afro-American, Indo-European.

alumni Per AP, use “alumnus” for an individual male, “alumna” for an individual female; “alumni” for a group of males, “alumnae” for a group of females; and “alumni” when referring to a group composed of men and women. An individual need not have graduated from New Paltz to be considered an alumna or alumnus; any individual who attended New Paltz as a regularly enrolled student for one semester or 12 credits is considered an alumnus of New Paltz. Alumni should be identified by name, class year, and major in the following format: John Smith ’03 (Biology). For graduate degrees, graduation year should include a “g” at the end: Mark Thompson ’11g (Special Education). For alumni who hold more than one degree, do not separate degrees with a comma: Paul Johnson ’09 (Chemistry) ’11g (Special Education). Paul Huth ’72 ’79g (Biology). For guidelines governing use of birth name to help identify married alumnae, consult the INDIVIDUALS heading under the names entry. Consider using the term “graduate” to reduce repetition. Use the nickname “alum” sparingly, since that term could be confused with the name of a chemical compound.

American Indian, Native American Both are acceptable terms in general references for those in the U.S. when referring to two or more people of different tribal affiliations. They may be used interchangeably in New Paltz news releases and publications, depending upon the wishes of the individual(s) cited in the story. For individuals, use the name of the tribe; if that information is not immediately available, try to obtain it. He is a Navajo commissioner. She is a member of the Nisqually Indian Tribe. He is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Some tribes and tribal nations use member; others use citizen. If in doubt, use citizen. Indian is used to describe the peoples and cultures of the South Asian nation of India. Do not use the term as a shorthand for American Indians.

and/& Use "and." An ampersand (&) is only acceptable when using a department or school name: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

animals Per AP, do not apply a personal pronoun to an animal unless its sex has been established or the animal has a name: The dog was scared and it barked. Rover was scared and he barked. The cat, which was scared, ran to its basket. Susie the cat, who was scared, ran to her basket. The bull tosses his horns. Capitalize breed names according to Webster's; for breeds not listed, capitalize words derived from proper nouns and use lowercase elsewhere: Thoroughbred, basset hound, Boston terrier. See also Chicago 7.105-7.106 and AP Stylebook's that, which, who, whom (pronouns) entry.

archaeology Not "archeology."

art exhibitions See EXHIBITIONS under composition titles entry.

artworks See the ARTWORKS heading under the composition titles entry.

Asian American

assistant professor, associate professor See the ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL TITLES heading under the titles entry.

attribution Attribute any statement that is not a widely known fact or that is a matter of opinion and is subject to potential disagreement. His nose is 44 picas long does not require attribution as long as it is true; the statement his nose looks like a banana should have attribution because it's an opinion subject to disagreement. Use caution in choosing verbs for attribution. Forms of the verb "say" are impartial and appear objective; other verbs, however, can inadvertently tint your writing with unintended shades of meaning. Words such as "noted," "commented," "claimed," "suggested," "charged," "denied" and "asserted" should be used with precision, not just for the sake of variety. Even innocent-sounding verbs such as "stated" and "told" can unwittingly make a source sound dogmatic or didactic. In general, present tense is acceptable in paraphrasing a line of thought that an individual continually expresses, but past tense is preferable in citing a literal quotation that an individual uttered at a specific time.