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Editorial Style Guide

Do not print or store this document in any format—it is updated regularly.

In addition to this style guide, MCAD follows the latest editions of The Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. If Webster’s provides multiple spellings of the same word (such as “tee-shirt” and “T-shirt”), MCAD uses the first spelling. Email editor@mcad.edu with any style questions or concerns.

 


2D, 3D

no hyphen


academic courses

Names of courses are capitalized and use only arabic numerals. Ampersands, plus signs, quotation marks, and italicization are not used in official course titles:

Students are required to take Reading and Writing 1.
He registered for History of Web and Multimedia.

not
Her favorite course was “Introduction to Art + Design History I.”

General references to an area of study are lowercase unless they include proper nouns:

Students are required to take two drawing courses.
He plans to study writing, English, and American history.

In official course descriptions, use present tense ("In this course students learn to" not "students will learn to"), and refer to class participants as "students." In marketing materials, class participants should be referred to as "you."


academic degrees

When spelled out in text, names of degrees are lowercase. There is no possessive in “bachelor of fine arts,” “bachelor of science,” “master of fine arts,” or “master of arts.” Shortened names use an apostrophe (e.g., “bachelor’s degree” and “master’s degree”):

She has a bachelor of fine arts degree.
She has a bachelor’s degree.

When abbreviated, use the appropriate article and capitalization:

a BFA
a BS
an MFA
an MA
a PhD

When used after a name, an academic abbreviation is set off by parenthetical commas:

John Jacob, PhD, spoke at the opening reception.


academic departments and offices

Capitalize:

Please contact the Admissions Department.
Contact the Admissions Office.

The following always include "MCAD" on the first mention:

MCAD Art Cellar
MCAD Bistro
MCAD DesignWorks
MCAD Gallery


academic years

Use a forward slash in academic years:

The 2015/16 academic calendar is online.
She received a 2014/15 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Visual Artists.


acronyms

The following acronyms are acceptable:

MCAD / an MCAD
a BFA
a BS
an MFA
an MA
a PhD

The acronyms MASD, GDC, or IDM should never be used in external communications as they are not widely recognized.


alum, alumni

All graduates are alumni, but not all alumni are necessarily graduates.

Use the singular “alum” and the plural “alumni.”

not
“alums” “alumna” “alumnae” or “alumnus”

“Alum” and “alumni” should not be used in combination with a class year:

Jane Anderson ’77 was awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board grant.
MCAD alum Jane Anderson was awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board grant.
Several MCAD alumni were awarded Minnesota State Arts Board grants.

not
MCAD alum Jane Anderson ’77 was awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board grant.

Only graduate degrees are noted after the class year; undergraduate degrees and post-baccalaureate certificates are not noted. If an alum earned an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree from MCAD, use the year he or she earned the graduate degree.

The name and class year are not separated by a comma, and the first two digits of the year are replaced by an apostrophe (’) not an opening single quotation mark('). Academic abbreviations are set off by parenthetical commas:

Stephen Rivkin ’75 was nominated for an Academy Award.
Teri Fullerton ’07, MFA, received a 2010/11 MCAD–Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists.

not
Jane Anderson ‘77, ‘82
Aaron Miller ’92, BFA, ’96, MFA
Sarah Johnson, MFA ’75
John Mueller, ’88

See quotation marks


a.m.

lowercase, periods, preceded by a space

The MCAD Service Bureau is open at 9:00 a.m. on Saturdays.

not
The cafeteria opens at 8am.
The class ended at 11:30 AM.

See time


ampersand (&), plus sign (+), and

Ampersands and plus signs are not used in "Minneapolis College of Art and Design," course titles, majors, areas of study, certificate names, department names, or headlines.

The only exception is when writing a proper name:

Her clients include AT&T and Target.

not
MCAD Continuing Education offers evening & weekend courses.

Ampersands and plus signs are acceptable in exhibition and event names so long as each choice remains consistent.


art and design, artists and designers

MCAD is an art and design college. This should be reflected in all communications:

art and design students
art and design college

not
art students
art college


artist’s books, artists’ books

The number of people responsible for creating the book or books in question determines the usage. The apostrophe goes between the “t” and “s” when referring to the work of a single individual:

She will have a show of her paintings and artist’s books.

The apostrophe goes after the “s” when referring to the work of several artists or a collective work:

The panel will address issues related to production of prints and artists’ books.


artwork titles

Artwork titles are italicized and use no quotation marks:

Michael Kareken’s painting Stripped portrays the character of the car and the evidence of its deconstruction.

Artwork captions use a consistent format (Artist Name, Artwork Title, year, medium, dimensions or runtime). Inches are displayed as "in."; Feet (if longest side is 100 inches or more) are displayed as "ft." For runtime of time-based works, hours are displayed as "hr."; Minutes are displayed as "min."; Seconds are displayed as "sec.":

Steven Accola, Bag, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 in.
Sarah Thompson, Once, 2014, archival inkjet print, 12 x 7.2 ft.
Dylan Roby, Midnight, 2018, 16mm film, 1 hr., 2 min., 30 sec.

When including edition information in the caption, specify after the medium:

Maria Bamford, Activity Book, 2017, mixed media on paper, edition of 8, 5 x 7 in.

If there are only two items for the medium, they should be separated with a comma rather than "and." Example: "oil, acrylic" and not "oil and acrylic"

Untitled works are lowercase and use no italics or quotation marks:

Robert Arneson, untitled, 1964, glazed ceramic, 13 x 11 x 11 in.

Exception: Untitled works are treated as titled works when given a descriptor in parentheses:

Robert Arneson, Untitled (Green Vase), 1964, glazed ceramic, 13 x 11 x 11 in.


award titles

Award titles are capitalized and use no italics or quotation marks:

Stephen Rivkin ’75 was nominated for an Academy Award.


cities and states

Do not abbreviate the names of states in text:

Andy Scott ’10 is a graphic designer at Tremendous Entertainment in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

The following cities are well known and do not require states or provinces:

Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Duluth, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Montreal, New Orleans, New York City, Oklahoma City, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Quebec City, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Paul, Toronto


class standing

first-year student (not freshman)
sophomore
junior
senior


college

When referring specifically to MCAD, do not capitalize “college.”

See MCAD, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design


commas in a series

Always use a serial comma:

Students will complete writing assignments, research papers, and in-class examinations.


commonly misspelled names

Use the preferred spelling and punctuation for the following faculty members:

Jessica M. Dandona (not Jessica Dandona)
Zak Sally (not Zachary Micheletti)
Piotr Szyhalski (not Piotr Szychalski)
Elisabeth Workman (not Elisabeth Workman Brandt)

See names


course titles

See academic courses


courtesy titles

Avoid using “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” “Miss,” and “Ms.”


credits

See numbers


dashes: hyphens, en-dashes, and em-dashes

A hyphen (-) is often used in a compound word or phrasal adjective (post-baccalaureate program; early-bird special; four-year program)
An en dash (–) is often used in number ranges, or to symbolize "to" or "through" (1:00–2:00 p.m.; pages 62–65; University of Wisconsin–Madison)
An em dash (—) is often used to set apart an element in a sentence, in place of commas, parentheses, or colons (The influence of three impressionists—Monet, Sisley, and Degas—is obvious in her work.)

Do not include a space before or after the dash.


dates

Use only cardinal numerals when writing dates:

Classes begin on August 29.

not
Classes begin on August 29th.

Do not abbreviate the names of months when used in running text. When only month and year are given, do not use a comma:

The exhibition opened on April 5, 2011.
The conference will be held in December 2012.


days of the week

Do not abbreviate the names of days of the week in running text.


dorm

When referring to MCAD student housing, use “student apartment.”

not
“dorm” “dormitory” or “residence hall”

Exception: the word "dorm" may be used in Pre-College Summer Session communications.


email

no hyphen, lowercase


exhibition titles

Exhibition titles are italicized:

Her work was displayed in the Fall 2015 Commencement Exhibition.


fellowship titles

Use the correct titles for fellowship names:

McKnight Artist Fellowship for Visual Artists
MCAD–Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists

Note that an en dash is used in the Jerome title.


filmmaking, filmmaker

one word, no hyphen


gender pronouns

Plural: they / them / their

The students chatted about how much they enjoyed their winter break.

Singular: they / them / their; or the individual's pronoun of choice if it is given (he/him; she/her; ze/hir; person's name; etc.)

Sam recently applied for for an internship at their favorite creative agency.


Internet

capitalized


italics

Use italics for names of books, magazines, newspapers, artworks, and exhibitions:

A photo of his painting Scolded was published in the New York Times.

Italics, underlines, and quotation marks are not used for the names of galleries, museums, festivals, conferences, colleges, restaurants, hotels, etc.


majors, areas of study

Names of majors and areas of study should not be capitalized in body text:

She is majoring in web and multimedia environments.

The bachelor of fine arts program comprises the following thirteen majors:

Advertising
Animation
Comic Art (not Comic Arts)
Drawing and Painting
Filmmaking
Fine Arts Studio (not Fine Art Studio)
Furniture Design
Graphic Design
Illustration
Photography
Print Paper Book (not Printmaking)
Sculpture
Web and Multimedia Environments

The master of fine arts program is interdisciplinary; graduate students do not have majors. 


MCAD, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design

On the first reference, use “the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.” For each subsequent reference, use “MCAD.”

In body text and at the beginning of a sentence, always use “the” before the full college name:

At the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, students come first.
The Minneapolis College of Art and Design is governed by a board of trustees.

not
Minneapolis College of Art and Design announced the appointment of nine new trustees.
She earned an MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Do not use ampersands or plus signs in the college name.

not
The Minneapolis College of Art & Design
The Minneapolis College of Art + Design

See college


names

Use italics for names of books, magazines, newspapers, artworks, and exhibitions:

A photo of his painting Scolded was published in the New York Times.

Italics, underlines, and quotation marks are not used for the names of galleries, museums, festivals, conferences, colleges, restaurants, hotels, etc.

On first reference, use a person’s full name. For each subsequent reference, use only the last name

See commonly misspelled names


nonprofit

one word, no hyphen


numbers

In text, spell out only whole numbers from zero to one hundred and certain round multiples of those numbers:

She taught for forty-six years.
The book has 389 pages.

Exception: when referring to credits, numbers should be written as a numeral (e.g., 3 credits).


online

one word, no hyphen, lowercase


parentheses

Periods go outside the second parenthesis unless the parentheses enclose a complete sentence:

Applications are due February 15 (the scholarship priority deadline).
Applications are due February 15. (This is the scholarship priority deadline.)


percent

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.

More than 90 percent of MCAD students receive financial aid.


p.m.

lowercase, periods, preceded by a space

The opening reception began at 7:00 p.m.

not
The office closed at 4:45pm.
The class ended at 8 PM.

See time


post-baccalaureate certificates

hyphenated, lowercase

MCAD offers professional post-baccalaureate certificates.

See alum, alumni


professional titles

Capitalize titles when they appear before the name:

President Jay Coogan

Do not capitalize titles when referring to former staff or faculty:

former president Jay Coogan

In lists, capitalize and italicize following a comma:

Jay Coogan, President

Lowercase in all other cases:

Michael O’Keefe was named president in July 2001.
Jay Coogan, president of MCAD, was inaugurated in 2010.


quotation marks

Keyboard shortcuts for smart quotes:

’ Option-shift-]
‘ Option-]
“ Option-[
” Option-shift-[

See alum, alumni


seasons

Do not capitalize “winter,” “spring,” “summer,” or “fall” unless part of a formal name:

He competed in the Winter Olympics.
She began during the Spring 2005 semester.


semesters

Lowercase semester names, such as “fall semester.” Capitalize when used as a proper noun:

He enrolled at MCAD for the Spring 2015 semester.


states

See cities and states


student apartment

When referring to MCAD student housing, use “student apartment.” Do not use “dorm,” “dormitory,” or “residence hall.”


teacher

When referring to MCAD faculty, use “faculty,” “instructor,” or, if applicable, “professor.” Do not use “teacher.”


telephone numbers

Use periods to separate numbers. Use a comma and “ext.” before an extension number:

612.874.3700
800.874.8700, ext. 567


"the" preceding a name

A the preceding the full name of an institution, group, newspaper, or company, even when part of the official title, is lowercased in running text.

the Minneapolis College of Art and Design
the Beach Boys; the Beatles; the Who
the New York Times
the McKnight Foundation


time

Use figures and a colon. In a range, use an en dash unless preceded with “from”:

5:00 a.m.
6:30–8:00 p.m.
An artist panel discussion will be held from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

not
5am
6:30-8 PM
An artist panel discussion will be held from 6:30-8 pm.

Always use “noon” and “midnight” in place of “12:00 p.m.” and “12:00 a.m.”

See a.m. and p.m.


website

The word "website" is written as one word, with no hyphen, in lowercase letters.

When printing website URLs, do not include "www." If the URL is unreasonably long, contact webmaster@mcad.edu for a shortened version:

For more information, please visit mcad.edu/bs.

not
For more information, visit www.mcad.edu/academic-programs/entrepreneurial-studies.