About the Style Guide

Duke University-Specific Style Guidelines

Trinity College of Arts & Sciences (with ampersand, not “and”)
School of Medicine
Nicholas School of the Environment
The Graduate School
The Fuqua School of Business
Duke University School of Nursing
Duke Divinity School (Divinity School OK)
Duke University School of Law (Duke Law School or Duke Law OK)
Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy or Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University (the Sanford School or the school on second reference)
Pratt School of Engineering

Only capitalize name of season when it is directly followed by the year.
Fall 2013
fall semester
fall term
fall session
Summer Session 1
Summer Session 2
summer session

Course Titles
The subject and course number are always required when courses are mentioned in text, lists, charts or anywhere in the body of the bulletin. Always spell out the subject instead of using the subject code. (This style applies to all bulletins except the School of Medicine bulletin, which chooses to continue using subject codes).
Environment 101 (not ENVIRON 101)
The course title can also be listed, but isn’t required.
If the course title is listed with the subject and number, list the title of the course in parentheses after the subject and course number.
Environment 101 (Introduction to Environmental Sciences and Policy)

Course Credits
When identifying the amount of credits of coursework a student is taking or a class is worth, in most cases use the numeral and a decimal point, followed by the term “course credit/s.” (Per Inge Walther and Norman Keul on 1/30/14)
5.5 course credits
6.0 course credits
A normal load is 4.0 course credits.
Biology 499 yields 2.0 course credits.
However, the number can be spelled out when used as an adjective.
The student is taking a two-credit course.
The student is taking a half-credit course.

Advanced Placement credit
Always capitalize Advanced Placement and when abbreviating, use “AP credit.” (Per Inge Walther and Norman Keul on 1/30/14)

Areas of Knowledge (Arts, Literatures, and Performances; Civilizations; Natural Sciences; Quantitative Studies; Social Sciences)
Always capitalize.

Community Standard
Duke's official standard of conduct and honor code. Use instead of Honor Code, unless a professional school has their own Honor Code separate from Duke’s Community Standard. See Honor Code.
Always capitalize. (Per Inge Walther and Norman Keul on 1/30/14)

Course Credit
Always use instead of “semester course credit,” “semester hour,” or any other variation. (Per Inge Walther and Norman Keul on 1/30/14)

Dean’s List with Distinction

Always capitalize. Use slash instead of dash. (Per Inge Walther and Norman Keul on 1/30/14)

first-year student
Preferred over “freshman.”

Graduation with Distinction

Honor Code
Incorrect. Correct term is Community Standard, unless otherwise noted here. (Per Inge Walther and Norman Keul on 1/30/14)
Exceptions are the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Sanford School of Public Policy, which have their own Honor Code.

One word, no hyphen

Modes of Inquiry (Cross-Cultural, Ethical, Science, Technology, and Society, Foreign Language, Writing and Research)
Always capitalize. (Per Inge Walther and Norman Keul on 1/30/14)

Used by The Graduate School, Engineering Management, Nicholas School of the Environment, and Sanford School of Public Policy. Always capitalize. (Per Inge Walther and Normal Keul on 1/30/14)

Use this term for undergraduates instead of Pass/Fail. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory replaced Pass/Fail for undergraduates beginning in Fall 2010. Always capitalize.

Chicago Manual of Style

Academic degrees
No periods.

Spelled-out terms, often capitalized in institutional settings (and on business cards and other promotional items), should be lowercased in normal prose. A good working distinction is between running text (lowercased) and display copy (may be capped).
bachelor of arts
doctor of dental surgery
master of arts
a master’s degree
a bachelor’s degree

Master of International Development Policy (MIDP): The master of international development policy is designed for mid-career professionals who seek a master-level program and who are likely to dedicate their careers to policymaking and public service in developing countries and countries in transition. Part of the Sanford School’s Duke Center for International Development, the MIDP provides interdisciplinary training in policy analysis on issues related to long-term social and economic development.

  • Exception to the rule: Capitalize proper names of programs, even in running text.
    Master of International Development Policy Program

Academic subjects
Academic subjects are not capitalized unless they form part of a department name or an official course name or are themselves proper nouns (e.g., English, Latin).
She has published widely in the history of religions.
They have introduced a course in gender studies.
He is majoring in comparative literature.
She is pursuing graduate studies in philosophy of science.
Jones is chair of the Committee on Comparative Literature.

Courses of study
Official names of courses of study are capitalized.
I am signing up for Archaeology 101.
A popular course at the Graham School of General Studies is Basic Manuscript Editing.
His ballroom dancing classes have failed to civilize him.

Names of lecture series are capitalized. Individual lectures are capitalized and usually enclosed in quotation marks.
This year’s Robinson Memorial Lectures were devoted to the nursing profession. The first lecture, “How Nightingale Got Her Way,” was a sellout.

Scholastic grades
Letters used to denote grades are usually capitalized and set in roman type. No apostrophe is required in the plural.
She finished with three As, one B, and two Cs.

US states and territories
In running text, the names of states, territories, and possessions of the United States should always be spelled out when standing alone and preferably (except for DC) when following the name of a city.
Lake Bluff, Illinois, was incorporated in 1895.

“US” versus United States
In running text, spell out United States as a noun; reserve US for the adjective form only (in which position the abbreviation is generally preferred).
US dollars
US involvement in China
China’s involvement in the United States

Phone numbers
(919) 681-5832 not 919-681-5821

Month and day
When specific dates are expressed, cardinal numbers are used, although these may be pronounced as ordinals.
May 26, 2008, was a sad day for film buffs.
The Watchmaker’s Digest (11 November 2011) praised the new model’s precision.
When a day is mentioned without the month or year, the number is usually spelled out in ordinal form.
On November 5, McManus declared victory. By the twenty-fifth, most of his supporters had deserted him.

Italics for book titles
Chicago prefers italics to set off the titles of major or freestanding works such as books, journals, movies, and paintings. This practice extends to cover the names of ships and other craft, species names, and legal cases. Quotation marks are usually reserved for the titles of subsections of larger works—including chapter and article titles and the titles of poems in a collection. Some titles—for example, of a book series or a website, under which any number of works or documents may be collected—are neither italicized nor placed in quotation marks.

Italics for emphasis
Use italics for emphasis only as an occasional adjunct to efficient sentence structure. Overused, italics quickly lose their force. Seldom should as much as a sentence be italicized for emphasis, and never a whole passage.

Chicago’s general rule—zero through one hundred
In nontechnical contexts, Chicago advises spelling out whole numbers from zero through one hundred and certain round multiples of those numbers.
Twenty-one through ninety-nine hyphenated; others open.

Except at the beginning of a sentence, percentages are usually expressed in numerals. In nontechnical contexts, the word percent is generally used; in scientific and statistical copy, the symbol % is more common.
4 percent

Adverbs ending in “ly”
Compounds formed by an adverb ending in ly plus an adjective or participle (such as largely irrelevant or smartly dressed) are not hyphenated either before or after a noun, since ambiguity is virtually impossible. (The ly ending with adverbs signals to the reader that the next word will be another modifier, not a noun.)

Words formed with pre-fixes (non, re, co, pre, etc.)

Compounds formed with prefixes are normally closed, whether they are nouns, verbs, adjectives, or adverbs. A hyphen should appear, however, (1) before a capitalized word or a numeral, such a sub-Saharan, pre-1950; (2) before a compound term, such as non-self-sustaining, pre—Vietnam War (before an open compound, an en dash is used; see 6.80); (3) to separate two i’s, two a’s, and other combinations of letters or syllables that might cause misreading, such as anti-intellectual, extra-alkaline, pro-life; (4) to separate the repeated terms in a double prefix, such as sub-subentry; (5) when a prefix or combining form stands alone, such as over- and underused, macro- and microeconomics. The spellings shown below conform largely to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Compounds formed with combining forms not listed here, such as auto, tri, and para, follow the same pattern.

Refer to this chart for specific information: https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/book/ed17/part2/ch07/psec089.html


Punctuation in lists
All items in a list should be constructed of parallel elements. Unless introductory numerals or letters serve a purpose—to indicate the order in which tasks should be done, to suggest chronology or relative importance among the items, to facilitate text references, or, in a run-in list, to clearly separate the items—they may be omitted. Where similar lists are fairly close together, consistent treatment is essential. Visit https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/book/ed17/part2/ch06/psec130.html for detailed information.

Titles and offices—the general rule
Civil, military, religious, and professional titles are capitalized when they immediately precede a personal name and are thus used as part of the name (typically replacing the title holder’s first name). In formal prose and other generic text (as opposed to promotional or ceremonial contexts or a heading), titles are normally lowercased when following a name or used in place of a name).
President Lincoln; the president
General Bradley; the general
Cardinal Newman; the cardinal
Governors Quinn and Paterson; the governors

Titles—Exceptions to the general rule
In promotional or ceremonial contexts such as a displayed list of donors in the front matter of a book or a list of corporate officers in an annual report, titles are usually capitalized even when following a personal name. Exceptions may also be called for in other contexts for reasons of courtesy or diplomacy.
Maria Martinez, Director of International Sales
A title used alone, in place of a personal name, is capitalized only in such contexts as a toast or a formal introduction, or when used in direct address.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Prime Minister.
I would have done it, Captain, but the ship was sinking.
Thank you, Mr. President.

African American
No hyphen

cell phone
Not cellular telephone or cellphone

comprise; compose
Use these with care. To comprise is “to be made up of, to include” {the whole comprises the parts}. To compose is “to make up, to form the substance of something” {the parts compose the whole}. The phrase comprised of, though increasingly common, is poor usage. Instead, use composed of, consisting of, or made up of.

Not course work

health care
two words (per Merriam-Webster)

One word, no hyphen

Online references
Internet, World Wide Web, web, website, web page, email, e-book
(website is preferred over web page)

Not towards