A consistent style is a hallmark of highly ranked academic institutions and an important part of the Samford University brand. It ensures consistency in use of unique university phrases, names and other key identifying terminology. Style also can be a sensitive issue because of personal preferences and discipline-specific options. A style manual has been developed for Samford University to help present a consistent identity for the university. The style manual provides guidance in the correct use of terms that specifically relate to academia and are in prevalent use across the campus. For items not found in this style manual, the current editions of the Associated Press Stylebook and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary serve as the reference.


See time.

academic degrees
These may be abbreviated in text in most instances. When they are, periods are required:


People who hold the J.D., or juris doctor, are not called “Dr.” Those who hold the terminal degree in that field—the doctor of juridical science, or J.S.D.—are.

When listing Samford University faculty members, cite only the highest degree attained, plus any relevant professional designation. Common professional designations such as RN and CPA require no periods.
Jane Smith, Ph.D., RN
Mary Jones, M.Acc., CPA

For degrees offered by Samford University, please see the university catalog.

academic divisions, Samford University
See divisions.

academic honors
Cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude and with honors receive no special treatment in straight copy:
She graduated magna cum laude.

ACT, SAT, LSAT, GMAT, GRE, MAT, MCAT and other entrance examination titles usually don’t need to be spelled out, even on first reference. Use Arabic numerals in constructions such as SAT-1.

Let pronunciation determine your choice of a or an with abbreviations and acronyms:
an M.B.A. program
a C&BA course
an FBI agent
an IRS audit
an IMAX movie

Acronyms and abbreviations almost always are capitalized, but their capitalization doesn’t necessarily mean the words for which they stand must be capitalized when spelled out.

PBL, problem-based learning

See also academic degrees; course numbers and titles; departments; divisions.

addresses, campus
In most publications, give addresses for Samford University departments and offices as follows:
Office or department name
Samford University
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229
205-726-XXXX or toll-free 1-XXX-XXX-XXXX
205-726-XXXX fax
XXXXXX@samford.edu (email address)
www.samford.edu/XXXX (website address)

Phone and fax numbers, email address and website address may be omitted as appropriate.

Note: U.S. Postal Service regulations require Samford University as the first line of the return address in some circumstances.

Always leave off the 1- before telephone or fax numbers, with the exception of toll-free numbers.

AFROTC, Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
Samford University's unit is Detachment 012.

athletic and athletics
Use athletic as an adjective to describe someone or something with athletic ability. Use athletics to describe someone or something related to the field of athletics.
He is an athletic individual.
He is the director of athletics.
The athletics program includes 17 sports.


board of trustees
The full name of the university’s governing board is capitalized as follows:
The Board of Trustees of Samford University

Short forms of the name are not capitalized:
The board of trustees met Monday.
The university’s board of trustees will meet Monday.

Capitalize the names of other boards of trustees only when you use the complete, formal name:
Auburn University’s board of trustees met with Samford’s board of trustees last week.
He has served on the board of trustees of that corporation for several years.
The Board of Trustees of Samford University voted Monday to add degree programs in medicine and engineering.

buildings, names of See Building Names

Bulldog Days
Samford's orientation program.

See lists.


Don’t capitalize short forms of the names of university programs and facilities: the law school, the library, the financial aid office, etc.

Use capitalization only for official names of programs or departments, not for the names of disciplines, to prevent confusion. If you capitalize a word such as an academic discipline, a reader may take that to be the official name of your department or organization. Exception: do capitalize those words derived from proper nouns, such as French, English and American.

Capitalization may suggest that a word has some meaning for your department or field other than the widely recognized meaning. Rather than conveying importance, excessive capitalization may thus make your copy look jargony. Keep your prose as serviceable and accessible as possible.

Capitalization does not confer prestige or importance—it’s what you say about a discipline or program that conveys quality or prestige to the reader.

When in doubt, consult a current dictionary, which will reflect current usage and the spellings and forms your readers will understand.

See certificates and forms; departments; disciplines; divisions; programs.

certificates and forms
The following guidelines apply to the titles of academic and professional certificates (as in Class AA Professional Certificate); visas; government forms; specialized forms, such as financial aid forms; and other documents referred to by name.

Terms that are more descriptive than anything else—such as application for admission, declaration of intent or application for admission to candidacy—should not be capitalized.

Capitalize the first word and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs in the name of the form:
Class AA Certificate, Class AA certification
Class A Professional Certificate
the “A” Certification in School Psychometry
Form I-20AB Certificate of Eligibility
IAP-66 Certificate of Eligibility
Free Application for Federal Student Aid

When a number is part of a form’s name, use the numeral and omit any punctuation:
Wrong: Form 1,040EZ
Right: Form 1040EZ
Wrong: Form Two-A
Right: Form 2A

chair, chairman, chairwoman, chairperson
Use the organization’s official title or that preferred and used by the individual. Samford University officially uses chair for most positions. It is more important to be consistent and accurate than to be nonsexist. If the chair is male, call him chairman unless he prefers another designation. Avoid chairperson unless it is the official title for the office.

class year
Don’t capitalize freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate, postgraduate, postdoctoral, nondegree or any similar designation, unless it is part of a title, a headline or the official name of an organization.

See hyphens.

colleges and schools, Samford University
See divisions.


company names
Drop Inc. or Ltd. in most informative publications, particularly if the name of the company clearly indicates that the entity is a company. If the company’s name is also the name of a product, however, including Inc. or Incorporated might clarify matters. In legal or technical documents and directories, Inc. and Ltd. may stand if needed. In all cases, be consistent: if you use Inc. with one company’s name, use the equivalent abbreviation for all.

Friday Lumber Company, Friday Lumber
Norfolk Southern Corporation, Norfolk Southern
Capstone Title Services, Capstone Title
but Newsweek Inc. (to avoid confusion with the name of the magazine)

see hyphens

Core Curriculum
Capitalize Samford University Core Curriculum and University Core Curriculum, but lowercase curriculum in other uses:
undergraduate curriculum
graduate curriculum
business curriculum
liberal-arts curriculum

course level
a 300-level course
a senior-level course
a course at the 400 level
a course at the freshman level

course numbers and titles
When a course number and title are given together, give the alpha symbol and number followed directly by the title. There is no intervening punctuation, nor should there be any abbreviation of words in the title.
ART 231 Painting I
RELG 211 Preaching
HIST 334W Folklore: Europe to America

Do not use alpha symbols when speaking generally of a department or program’s courses or of an academic discipline.
Wrong: Students may count up to 18 hours in SOCI, POLS or PSYC toward the major.
Right: Students may count up to 18 hours in sociology, psychology or political science toward the major.

When listing courses by number, repeat the alpha symbol with each number.
Wrong: The required courses include ENGL 200, 205 and 301W or 302W.
Right: The required courses include ENGL 200, ENGL 205 and ENGL 301W or ENGL 302W.

Any two distinct courses, no matter how closely linked, should be indicated by and instead of a colon.
The required courses include ENGL 200 and ENGL 205, ENGL 303W and ENGL 304W, and ENGL 301W or ENGL 302W.

credit hours
Use numerals for credit hours, no matter how small the number.

If the number begins a sentence, headline or title, it should be spelled out.

When writing a statement such as he earned 5 hours’ credit, always include ’s or s’ with hour or hours, or use of:
You need 36 hours’ credit to graduate.
For my senior thesis, I earned 6 hours’ credit.
For the independent study, he earned 1 hour’s credit.
She earned 15 hours of credit for her work at RISE.



There are three kinds of dashes used in university publications, each with its own uses. Most word-processing and page-layout programs can produce all three.

1. Hyphen ( - ). Used to separate the elements of a hyphenated compound or to break words at the end of lines of copy. See hyphens.

2. En dash ( – ). Used to indicate duration: 1974–77. See duration. The en dash also is used to separate the elements of a hyphenated compound in which (a) at least one of the elements is composed of two or more words or (b) both elements are hyphenated compounds. Do not put a space on either side of the en dash. See hyphens for clarification. When you can’t create an en dash, a hyphen will do.

3. Em dash ( — ). Used to introduce an explanatory or emphatic element; to indicate a sudden break in thought or speech; to create a break in continuity greater than that suggested by the comma; and to set off multiple nouns, when the nouns are the referents of a pronoun that is the subject of a summarizing clause. Do not put a space on either side of the em dash. In applications and formats that don’t allow em dashes, use two hyphens (--). Don’t overuse em dashes—never use more than a single em dash or pair of em dashes in a sentence. Consider commas and parentheses as alternatives.

UCCA 101 Communication Arts I—an introduction to college-level communication—is required of all Samford University freshmen.

She proofed the brochure copy—copy that could help recruit a generation of Samford University transfer students—for the sixth time.

He was able to surmount every obstacle but the last—a greased wall 50 feet in height.

Iceland, Malaysia, Peru—these are just some of the countries from which Samford University students come.

When em dashes fall between two clauses that normally would be separated by a comma, drop the comma.

Because some departments could not provide results by the deadline—for a number of good reasons—publication of the survey was delayed.

Use the sequence month-day-year. In a sentence, the year is set off by commas:
On September 15, 1995, she bought her first car.
On the day of her birth, Wednesday, June 12, 1974, it rained in Montgomery.

If the date is not given, no commas are needed:
She bought her first car in September 1995.

In invitations, flyers and similar announcements, give the day of the week before the date. The year is not necessary in many such publications, particularly if the name of the event includes it.

See also duration.

decision making (n.), decision-making (adj.)

degree programs
See programs.

On first reference, use the official name of the academic department: the Department of Art.

Capitalize a department’s name only when using the full, official name. If necessary, recast the sentence or use a vertical list to avoid confusion.
He teaches courses in the departments of physics, chemistry and biology.

Students may take courses in several departments, including physics, chemistry and biology.

Credit may be earned in courses taken in other departments, such as physics, chemistry and biology.

Scholarships in the sciences are available through the Department of Physics, the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Biology.

On second reference, it is acceptable to use a short form such as art department, but do not capitalize such short forms. It is also acceptable, when writing about only one department, to use department as a short form:

The symposium was sponsored by the Department of English; five members of the department’s faculty made presentations.

Some department names may be shortened to just the subject name:

He is a member of the history faculty.
She was a member of the speech communication and theatre faculty; now she teaches in the psychology department.

Don’t use a short form when it might confuse your readers.

Confusing: He is now part of the French faculty.
Better: He is now part of the French department faculty.

Confusing: She has been teaching in history and political science for seven years.
Better: She has been teaching in the Department of History and Political Science for seven years.

Disability Support Services


Do not capitalize the names of academic disciplines or major or minor areas of study, except those derived from proper nouns. When the name of the discipline is used as part of a title, such as that of a department, capitalization is necessary, but don’t use it when speaking of the discipline in general terms:
Wrong: I studied History and English at Yale.
Right: I studied history and English at Yale.

Wrong: Graduate students in Management must complete 6 hours of thesis or nonthesis research.
Right: Graduate students in management must complete 6 hours of thesis or nonthesis research.

Wrong: Following are instructions for applying to the doctoral program in Sociology.
Right: Following are instructions for applying to the doctoral program in sociology.

See departments; programs; capitalization.

When describing a college or school of Samford University, use the official names and second references/abbreviations given below. Note capitalization and punctuation.

Howard College of Arts and Sciences (first reference) or arts and sciences (second and subsequent references), but never just “Howard”
School of the Arts or arts school (second and subsequent references)
Brock School of Business or business school (second and subsequent references), but never just “Brock”
Beeson Divinity School (first reference) or divinity school (second and subsequent references), but never just “Beeson”
Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education or education school (second and subsequent references)
Cumberland School of Law (first reference) or law school (second and subsequent references), but never just “Cumberland”
Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing or nursing school (second and subsequent references)
McWhorter School of Pharmacy (first reference) or pharmacy school (second reference), but never just “McWhorter”

Each should be preceded with the name of the university on first reference, as in

Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law

double major (n.), double-major (adj.), double-major (v.)

For better typesetting, delete double spaces between sentences. It is acceptable, but unnecessary to use double spaces between sentences in business letters.

To indicate duration or continuing or inclusive numbers such as dates, times or reference numbers, use the en dash as shown below. Don’t put a space on either side of the en dash.
August–September 1940
fiscal year 1994–95

When indicating duration or inclusive numbers, use numerals for all numbers if using the en dash or if one of the numbers in the construction must be written in numerals:
The program accepts children age 0–5.
He sold 9–13 sets of encyclopedias each week.

When using a from . . . to construction, use to instead of the en dash, and include the first two digits of the second year:
Ronald Reagan was in office from 1980 to 1988.


email and web addresses
Present email and web addresses in roman, lowercase* type:

*Some systems are case sensitive. When in doubt, check with the owner of the email or web address.

If the numeral 1 is part of the address, use a typeface in which the numeral is clearly distinguishable from the capital I (i) and lowercase l (L).

Drop http://and/or www.from web addresses if unnecessary. (To ensure correct use of the shortest address possible, type it into a web browser and determine if the correct website displays.)

If possible, avoid breaking email and web addresses, especially at periods or dots. If the address will not fit on a line, don’t add a hyphen or other punctuation. Break after existing punctuation, such hyphens, slashes, double slashes, @ and tildes (~):

Go to the home page—samford.edu/
admission—for more information.

Contact the director via e-mail at jsmith@
samford.edu or by phone at 205-726-0000.

If you end a sentence with an email or web address, use end punctuation as needed:
For more information, email the director at jsmith@samford.edu.


See scholarships and fellowships.

fields of study
See disciplines.

See certificates and forms.

freshman, freshmen
Use freshman when writing of one first-year student, freshmen when writing of more than one. Use freshman as a modifier:
UCCA 101 is generally considered a freshman course.
She lives in the freshman dorm with 400 other freshmen.


Capitalize grades:
He earned a “B+” in that class.
A grade of “NC,” or No Credit, may be given in freshman English courses.

Place quotation marks around letter grades except in tables and charts.

The modifier pass/fail is not capitalized:
It was a pass/fail course, in which I earned a grade of Pass.
I took the course pass/fail.


Capitalize only when the year immediately follows.
Join us on the Quad for Homecoming 1996.
The homecoming bonfire will be on the Quad.

honor societies, honoraries
Never honorary society—use either honor society or honorary.

There are two acceptable uses of hyphens:

1. In hyphenation, to break words at the ends of lines of copy. Limit hyphenation as much as possible.

Don’t break a hyphenated compound in the middle of either of its component words. If the compound must be broken, break it after the hyphen.
Avoid line breaks that leave only one or two letters at the beginning or end of a line.
Avoid having more than three lines in a row end in hyphens.
Avoid breaking personal names, proper nouns, phone or fax numbers, e-mail or web addresses, and elements of street and mailing addresses. If you must break a web or email address, break it after a punctuation mark. See email, web addresses.

2. In hyphenated compounds, such as on-screen. When in doubt, consult a current dictionary.

Hyphens usually may be omitted after these prefixes:


Use hyphens with these prefixes, unless a current dictionary indicates otherwise:

Use hyphens with temporary compounds, such as those invented by the writer: quasi-realistic, post-homecoming. A compound is permanent when it can be found in a current dictionary or style manual.
Consult a current dictionary or style manual to determine whether to close or hyphenate common compounds, such as lifelong (closed) or life-sized (hyphenated).
Use hyphens to prevent misreadings—to link two or more words so they won’t be misread as linked to or modifying other words.
Unclear: finite element equation
Better: finite-element equation

Compounds with -like and -wide are usually closed, except for words of three or more syllables, proper nouns or other forms in which a closed compound likely would be confusing (such as words ending with -l):


Use the en dash ( – ) instead of the hyphen when creating a compound in which (a) one or more of the terms consists of two words or (b) both terms are hyphenated compounds:
San Francisco–New York flight
New York–Boston train
But use only hyphens in other instances:

non-English-speaking students
outboard-motor-powered craft
mental-health-care facility


in-state, out-of-state
Acceptable, but consider whether Alabama resident and nonresident would be more precise.


internet addresses
See email and web addresses.




Following are some general guidelines for the use and punctuation of vertical and run-in lists.

Vertical lists are set off from the body text so they catch the reader’s attention. A vertical list is also the best way to organize lists with items that are lengthy or contain two or more sentences. Vertical lists may be bulleted or enumerated.

In a bulleted list, the bullet takes the place of punctuation (such as commas or semicolons) between items in a list. Don’t use any punctuation at the ends of bulleted items that are not sentences. There is also no need for a concluding period at the end of a bulleted list, even when that list continues a sentence—that lone period will look lost down there.

When your bulleted items are sentences, capitalize the first letter of each and use appropriate end punctuation. When they consist of single words or phrases, lowercase is best.

It is usually best to indent your bulleted list from the surrounding copy. Consider the density of the surrounding copy and whether your list might get lost, even with bullets.

Keep your bulleted lists consistent. If some of the items in a list are sentences, make all of them sentences. If some items begin with verbs, begin all items with verbs. In short publications, such as brochures, try to structure all your lists the same way—either sentences or not. In longer works, some variance is acceptable.
The benefits of membership include the following:
• special invitations to all Samford University sporting events
• membership card
Bulldog News, the Athletic Foundation’s newsletter
• luggage tag
• Samford Athletics T-shirts

Join now to experience all the rewards of Athletic Foundation membership.

To help make your college experience a pleasant and successful one, keep these suggestions in mind:
• Register for classes.
• Show up for classes.
• Buy the required books.
• Don’t get expelled.

See colon.

In an enumerated vertical list, each item is preceded by a number or letter followed by a period. Use enumerated lists when you want to refer back to specific items (e.g., as in item 15 above). Numbers (as opposed to letters) are best used when sequential order is important, because that’s what numbers imply to readers.

Following are some guidelines for punctuation of numbered lists:

Align letters or numbers vertically along the periods that follow them (usually called decimal alignment or decimal tab), and align the text one space to the right. Second and subsequent lines of text should be aligned under the first letter of the first line of text (hanging indent).
Reserve the (1), (2), (3) or (a), (b), (c) format for run-in lists.

A run-in list should suffice if your list is short or if the items within the list are short. Run-in lists take up less space than vertical lists, but they’re harder to read.

If you plan to refer back to specific items in the list, enumerate the items with letters or numbers. Otherwise, simply separate the items with commas or semicolons.

Enumerate the items in a run-in list with numbers or letters enclosed in parentheses. There is no period or other punctuation enclosed within the parentheses, and there is no space between the number or letter and parentheses. Put one space between the closing parenthesis and the word that follows.

Use commas or semicolons to separate enumerated items exactly as you would if there were no (1), (2), (3) or (a), (b), (c).


magazines, Samford University–based
See publications, Samford University–based.

major, minor
Avoid overusing major in place of student majoring in.

Also: double major (n.), double-major (adj.) and double-major (v.)



Give money amounts in figures—$2, not two dollars. Do not include .00 except in tables or if figures in the same publication include cents: $4.00, $5.45, $6.72 is better than $4, $5.45, $6.72. In expressions such as a dime a dozen, or terms that describe currency, such as five-dollar bill, it is acceptable to spell out numbers below 10.


See hyphens.

nonsexist language
Make your writing as inclusive and nonsexist as possible when representing Samford University or its programs or services. Here are three ways to make your language nonsexist:

1. Use plural nouns and pronouns. If you choose this option, be sure to change verbs and other nouns and pronouns as needed.
2. Use the second person (you and your).
3. Use he or she, him or her, his or her, etc. (This is the least-favored option. Try either of the first two options if at all possible.)

Following are some examples of sexist and nonsexist language.
Sexist: Each student must choose his major during the second semester.
Nonsexist: Students must choose their majors during the second semester.
Nonsexist: You must choose your major during the second semester.
Nonsexist: Each student must choose his or her major during the second semester.

Avoid the redundant 12 noon. Use 12 p.m. in schedules that list precise times.

To indicate a range, consider using numerals and the en dash rather than from…to construction.

Millions, billions, trillions, etc., are expressed as follows:
one million
two million
12 billion
$40 trillion

When spelling out large numbers, consult the examples below for correct punctuation:

one hundred thirty-seven
two thousand one hundred thirty-seven
thirty-seven hundred

For percentages, always use numerals unless the number begins a sentence. Use percent instead of %, except in places where space is limited.

She took a 5 percent pay cut.
Seven percent raises were offered that year.

For credit hours, use numerals: UCCA 101 is a 4-credit-hour course.

Use numerals for SAT, ACT and similar test scores. Use Arabic numerals in constructions such as SAT-1. Do not add commas to SAT or other scores that reach into the thousands:
His SAT score was 1100.
Her GRE composite score was 2070.

Express most common fractions in words, except in the case of quantities consisting of whole numbers and fractions: 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper.

Express ordinals—first, second, 11th—in numerals or words, as appropriate. To create the ordinal for a number ending in 1, use st. For a number ending in 2, use nd; 3, rd; 4, th; 5, th; 6, th; 7, th; 8, th; 9, th; and 0, th. No space is needed between the numeral and the ordinal letters, and no period is needed after the ordinal letters: 25th, 32nd, 74th, 81st, 100th.

Use numerals for grade point averages, and always include the decimal point and carry to at least the 10th place: 2.0. If several averages are cited in a table, carry all of them to the same place: 3.01, 2.18, 4.00, 1.80. The abbreviation GPA may follow the numbers if they are not described in the rest of the sentence: Sam earned a 3.98 GPA. Mary’s GPA was 3.89. His high school grade point average was 3.1.

Use numerals in tables and charts. In tables and charts that include a total at the bottom, align the decimal points in each column. In other tables and charts, decimal alignment is preferred, but it is acceptable to align all figures along the left or right margin, particularly if the numbers used are a mixture of percentages, straight figures and/or fractions.

See also credit hours.


off campus/off-campus, on campus/on-campus
Standard hyphenation rules apply to these terms: when used as a modifier, either term must be hyphenated. When campus is used as a noun, drop the hyphen.
At Samford University, on-campus housing is plentiful and convenient.
Students who live on campus also find it affordable.
Off-campus apartments range in cost from $180 to $880.
That building is located just off campus on Lakeshore Drive.

Capitalize office only when it is part of an official name:
Office of Admission
Office of University Advancement
Stop by the university relations office for details.

Do not capitalize when used in a general sense or on second reference. Capitalize only when part of the name of an event or program.

Samford's orientation program is known as Bulldog Days.


See hyphens.

pre–health information management
pre–occupational therapy
prephysical therapy
preveterinary medicine

See hyphens.

In general, do not capitalize the names of academic programs; Samford-specific exceptions follow. Capitalize the names of programs in headings, subheadings, titles of works and tables of contents, as needed.

When an academic program is one of several closely related programs in that department, and the department markets that program under one specific name (i.e., uses that name in advertisements, catalogs and departmental or school publications), usage may dictate its capitalization.

Try not to use program in place of major or department. Program often implies a separate administration or faculty. When describing a student’s activities, it may be best to use department, major or degree program rather than simply program.

Should you choose for whatever reason to capitalize the full name of an academic program, do not capitalize program when used as a short form.
Interim Program
M.F.A. program in creative writing, master of fine arts program in creative writing
the Ph.D. program in applied statistics
the doctoral program in mathematics
Multiple Abilities Program
Scholars Program
Women’s Studies Program


the Quad, the Quadrangle
In either its short or full form, this term refers to the central open green space bordered by Beeson Divinity Hall, Beeson University Center, University Library, Brooks Hall, Reid Chapel, Russell Hall, Ingalls Hall, Samford Hall and Buchanan Hall.


room numbers and names
Usually, it is acceptable to drop the word room from addresses, as long as you do so consistently throughout the publication:
Our office is in 314 Samford Hall.
212 Brooks Hall
129 Chapman Hall
N101 Divinity Hall

Don’t capitalize room when it is followed by a number, unless it is the first word in a sentence.


scholarships and fellowships
Capitalize only those words that are part of the full official name of a scholarship or fellowship—scholarship or fellowship may or may not be included in that package. Below are some examples of well-known scholarships and fellowships.
Rhodes Scholarship, Rhodes Scholar
Fulbright Scholarship, Fulbright Scholar
Graduate Council Fellowship, Graduate Council Fellow
Truman Scholarship, Truman Scholar

Do not capitalize the names of semesters or academic sessions or periods (such as registration, orientation or schedule pickup), with the exception of Jan Term.

Social Security number, SSN
Avoid SS# and the redundant SSN#.


telephone numbers
See addresses, campus.

that and which
Use that to introduce a restrictive clause, which to introduce a nonrestrictive clause. How to choose? Consider whether the meaning of the sentence would be changed if the clause were removed.
Restrictive: Steinbeck wrote the book that made us want to move out west.
Nonrestrictive:The Scarlet Letter, which I read in high school, has been made into a movie.

Use a comma or pair of commas to set off a nonrestrictive clause:
Of Mice and Men, which is banned by many school districts, is generally considered an American classic.

If that appears earlier in the sentence, it is acceptable to use which in place of that to introduce a restrictive clause, but use no comma.
Is that the Steinbeck book which made you want to move out west?

that and who
Use that for objects, who for people.
Avoid: He is the student that went to work in the White House.
Better: He is the student who went to work in the White House.

Use instead of the standard American spelling theater to remain consistent with university proper names:
Harrison Theatre
Samford University Theatre
Department of Theatre

Keep theater in proper names as used by non-Samford entities.

Write time of day as follows: 3 p.m., 2:15 a.m., 4:05 p.m. Don’t use the 24-hour method: 13:20, 23:01, etc. Avoid o’clock, except in quoted matter and some formal copy, such as invitations.

Give a.m. and p.m. when the surrounding copy doesn’t clarify that point, but avoid redundant constructions such as 12 noon, 1:15 a.m. in the morning, an afternoon nap at 3:15 p.m. In a construction such as from 2 to 4:30 p.m., it is not necessary to use p.m. twice.

Express duration with a from . . . to construction or an en dash: 2:30–4:15 p.m. If you use from, you must use to—don't combine the two forms.
Wrong: from 2–4 p.m.
Right: from 2 to 4 p.m.

If desired in lists and schedules, give the minutes for all times: 1:15 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:20 p.m., not 1:15 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:20 p.m.

When writing a statement such as he earned 5 hours’ credit, always include the ’s or s’ with hour or hours, or use of:
You need 36 hours’ credit to graduate.
For my senior thesis, I earned 6 hours’ credit.
For the independent study, he earned 1 hour’s credit.
She earned 15 hours of credit for her work at RISE.

titles of works
Capitalize and set in italics the titles of the following:
collections of poetry
long poems
magazines and other periodicals
motion pictures
operas, oratorios, motets, tone poems and other long musical compositions
paintings, drawings, statues and other works of art
plays, regardless of length
television and radio series, including miniseries

Capitalize (but don’t italicize) the titles of the following:
book series
untitled musical compositions (e.g., Symphony in B Major); sharp, flat and natural are lowercased (e.g., Symphony in E-flat)
computer software, languages and hardware

Capitalize and enclose in quotation marks the titles of the following:
articles and parts of books
short poems
short stories
television and radio programs that are not continuing series and individual episodes within a series
theses and dissertations


University Core Curriculum
See Core Curriculum, Samford University.


vice president
Do not use the hyphen in compounds with vice.

Use Visa, not VISA, when writing of the credit card.


website addresses
See email and web addresses.

who, whom
If you can replace the word with him, her or them, use whom.
If you can replace the word with he, she or they, use who.

WVSU-FM 91.1
Use this complete listing for the university-based radio station.