Questions of style, unlike many questions of grammar, usually do not have a “right” or “wrong” answer. However, the hallmark of any style is consistency. Establishing a preferred editorial style is helpful so that a consistent presentation can be maintained throughout an array of materials produced by many individuals.

This guide addresses topics specific to Purchase College that may not adequately be covered in the standard published style guides, as well as instances where the college style supersedes those guides. It does not cover scholarly publishing, which calls for other criteria, including adherence to widely recognized standards for citing other authors and their publications.

In most instances, this guide is based on the most current edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, Associated Press Stylebook, and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

A note about writing for online publication:

The Yale Web Style Guide Online is recommended as a reference for everyone who writes for online publication. As noted in its section on editorial style:

Documents written to be read online should be concise and structured for scanning. Most online readers are at some point “scanners” who skim web pages rather than read them word by word. Even methodical readers will appreciate your efforts to accommodate online reading patterns rather than forcing readers to slow down and pick their way through your pages in order to glean information.

That said, keep in mind that much content is not well suited to the telegraphic style that works well for online documents. Web authors often cut so much out of their presentations that what remains would barely fill a printed pamphlet. Concise writing is always better, but don’t dumb down what you have to say. Simply make printing easy for those who prefer to read offline, and you can use the web to deliver content without cutting the heart out of what you have to say.