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Writers' Center

Eastern Washington University

Journalistic Writing

Numerals

Spell out numbers less than 10 and use numerals for 10 and above. If you begin a sentence with numbers, always spell out the number.

Ex.: Nine cats, 30 birds, five baseball bats, 20 bags

Titles

When a formal title comes before the name, each word in the title is capitalized. When the title is placed after the person’s name, offset the title with commas and each word is lowercase. If the title is not a formal title, each word is lowercase. If the title is long, offset it with commas after the name or place it in front of the name with a comma.

            Ex.: President Barack Obama; Mary Cullinan, university president,

Dates/Months

Do not add suffixes like “-st,” “-th,” “-rd,” or “-nd” to dates. Abbreviate months with longer names with dates (Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.). If no specific date is included with the month, spell out the month.

            Ex.: March 1, April 5, Jan. 31, Dec. 15, August 2007, February 2014

Punctuation

Commas and periods always go within the quotation marks.

Ex.: He said, “I can’t believe my dog ran away.”

Ex.: “I need coffee,” she said.

Do not use Oxford commas (commas at the end of a list).

           Ex.: He saw parrots, giraffes, elephants and monkeys.

Ex.: She loves oranges, apples and bananas.

Time

Use numerals for time, and when the time is on the hour, don’t include :00. Spell out noon and midnight to not confuse the reader. Include periods between p.m. and a.m. and a space before and after in the middle of a sentence.

            Ex.: She went to her appointment at 2:30 p.m. downtown. He went to the store at 5 p.m.