In making the plural of figures and letters, do not use an apostrophe.


He graduated in the 1980s.

The computer has dual CPUs.

Punctuate years of college classes with an apostrophe.


Class of ’99
Abel Magwitch ’86

Associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees should always be written with an apostrophe, then an “s.”

Bulleted Lists

In bulleted lists in running text, the bullet is the punctuation. No other punctuation, such as commas or semicolons, is required at the end of each item.

If the term in the bulleted list is a complete sentence, capitalize the first-word and place a period at the end of the sentence. Avoid mixing sentences and non-sentence items in bulleted lists.


Use the serial comma when listing three or more items in running text.


        She is studying physics, math, and biology.

Place a comma after digits in numerals signifying thousands.


        8,300 graduate and undergraduate students

When writing a date, place a comma between the day and the year as well as after the year in running text. Do not use a comma when the day is omitted.

August 10, 1976
July 4, 1776, was warm.

December 1980


Use an en dash with no space before or after to indicate continuing or inclusive numbers, dates, times, or reference numbers.



January-February 2007

6 a.m.-3 p.m.
Chapters 1-8

In running text use an em dash with a space before or after to indicate a break in thought, or in defining or enumerating complementary elements.


No doubt she could see — who could not? — the look on my face.

The methods of three masters — Arthur Lydiard, Mihaly Igloi, and Renato Canova —had a profound impact on his career.


The following prefixes do not need a hyphen:

Ante, anti, bi, bio, co, counter, extra, infra, inter, intra, macro, micro, mid,mini, multi, neo, non, over, post, pre, pro, proto, pseudo, socio, sub, super,supra, trans, ultra, un, under

Use a hyphen when the phrase modifies the noun.


He followed the decision-making process.

It is a well-built house.

Do not use a hyphen for simple verb phrases.


He is good at decision making.

The house is well built.

Hyphenate compounds in which one component is a numeral and the other is a noun or adjective.


20-mile run
12-year-old child (but 12 years old)

Hyphenate part-time and full-time when used as adjectives.

Quotation Marks

Use single quotation marks for quotations cited within other quotations.

Set quotation marks after periods or commas and before colons or semicolons.Punctuation not part of the quotation should be set outside the quotation mark.


“But the best of luck always happens to people who don’t need it,” said Jack Burden.

He had two objections to “The Bear”: It was too long, and it was hard to read.
Can you believe he said, “Give me the money, or else”?

Place in quotation marks the titles of presentations, lectures, dissertations and theses, book series, film series, radio and television episodes, songs, essays, lectures, parts of volumes (chapters, titles of papers), and short stories.