A standardized test for graduate school entry. On first specific reference, use GRE General Test (2010 or earlier) or GRE Revised General Test (2011 and later), with no periods; can stand alone in a list with other standardized tests for context. Although this was formerly an acronym for Graduate Record Examinations, it is now a registered trademark of the Educational Testing Service, which administers the exam.


For news headlines, capitalize the first word and proper names only.

home page

Write out as two words, lowercase. The term refers specifically to the first page of a given Web site or department within a site.

CSUEB's home page is at
The CLASS home page is at


Avoid starting sentences with "however" when you mean "but" or "nevertheless." As a modifier, "however" emphasizes the preceding term and is best kept behind the text it is modifying. Avoid creating run-on sentences when using "however" between long phrases; choose another word or rewrite the sentences.

Most students, however, do not share this view.
OR: But most students do not share this view.
NOT: However, most students do not share this view.


Compound modifiers: When two or more words together are used to modify the meaning of another word, the modifying words should be hyphenated to improve clarity.

one-way street, long-term contract, five-year-old computer

If the first of the modifying words is an adverb (ending in "-ly"), a hyphen is not used; the adverb already explicitly modifies the following word. If the second word is an adjective, the hyphen should link the first two terms.

softly spoken words, gently folded blanket, pet-friendly apartment

In line breaks: When proofreading printed text, words broken by hyphens must have two letters before a line break and three letters after. Do not allow more than two end-of-line hyphens in a row; revise the paragraph or create a manual line break.

Prefixes: Follow the spelling of re-, pre-, co-, and other compounds as given in Webster's dictionary, but do hyphenate re- words when there are back-to-back e's or when the lack of a hyphen could cause confusion.

re-examine, re-elect, re-creation (vs. recreation)

Intercollegiate Athletics, Athletic Department

See entry for Athletics.


Capitalize this term when using as a noun or an adjective.

Connecting to the Internet wirelessly
Using an Internet-enabled cell phone

it's / its

The former is a contraction of "it is," with the apostrophe standing for the missing space and letter. The latter is the possessive form, belonging to "it," which can cause confusion since many other possessive forms do use an apostrophe. These are commonly used improperly, so verify you have chosen the correct form by substituting "it is" for "it's" and checking the meaning.

Correct: It's time to leave = It is time to leave
Incorrect: The University and it's employees = The University and it is employees


Use after a full name on first reference only, with no comma preceding.
John F. Kennedy Jr.

may, might

If there is potential for confusion, use might to mean "maybe" and may to mean "allowed to."

Meiklejohn Hall

Note the correct spelling. Usually pronounced "Mick-ell-john."

Morishita, Leroy M.

Cal State East Bay's fifth president, 2011 - present. Note correct spelling. Morishita took office July 1, 2011 as interim president and was appointed to the position permanently by the CSU Board of Trustees on Jan. 25, 2012. 

On first reference, use his full name and title:

Cal State East Bay President Leroy Morishita
Leroy Morishita, president of Cal State East Bay

In subsequent references, use last name only or Dr. Morishita.

Mr., Mrs., Ms.

Omit courtesy titles in most contexts, including news articles. Acceptable in quoted material.

George and Jane Jetson, NOT Mr. and Mrs. Jetson
"Mrs. Jetson is a stylish dresser," said Rosie.


This term refers to the user identification code assigned to all CSUEB students, staff, and faculty. It should be capitalized and written as one word with no spaces. It stands alone and does not require a modifier.

Your NetID and password
NOT: Your NetID number and password

not only... but also

When using the phrase not only in a sentence, always introduce the next clause with the phrase but also, the correlative conjunction. Because the clauses depend on each other to form the complete sentence, each must be written in the same parallel manner, with the conjunction preceding the same type of phrase (e.g., verb or noun).

This will not only enhance our reputation, but also restore our confidence. (verb)
The cafe offers not only coffee and tea, but also milkshakes and sodas. (nouns)

Other examples that must always be paired in text include "either... or," "neither... nor," and "if... then." A more complete list appears in the Chicago guide.


In general, spell out single-digit numbers and use numerals for all others. (This is an exception to Chicago style.)

Ages: When expressing age, always use numerals for people and animals. Hyphenation rules apply for adjectives:

She was 5 years old; the 5-year-old dog

For inanimate objects, such as buildings, regular numeral rules apply.

The stadium is two years old. The library is 50 years old.

Money: Always use numerals and the dollar sign for amounts larger than $1. For smaller amounts, use numerals followed by the word "cents." For amounts over six figures, spell out million/billion/etc.

5 cents; $4; $29,500; $5 million

Percentages: Always use a numeral, followed by the word "percent" spelled out. Percentages take a singular verb when standing alone or when expressed as a percentage of a singular entity, but take a plural verb when expressed as a percentage of a plural entity:

50 percent of the class is failing.
5 percent of the students are failing.

Spelling: Write out numbers expressed in quotes and at the beginning of a sentence.

"I expect nine hundred new freshmen this fall," she said.
Nineteen students attended the dinner.


Most non-academic, administrative groups on campus are called "offices" and not departments. Capitalize only when listing a department's full formal title:
Office of Academic Affairs, the Budget Office, Office of Financial Aid

Lowercase otherwise:
The president's office, the dean's office, financial aid office

on campus, on-campus (a)

Use a hyphen only when the phrase is used an adjective.

Visitors are welcome on campus. On-campus parking is available.

online, offline

Do not hyphenate these terms. They are generally used as adjectives, but each is acceptable in other uses. To avoid redundancy, do not use "online" with "Web."

The Web site provides tools...
NOT: The Web site provides online tools


A single word standing alone on the last line of a paragraph. Avoid in all printed material by rewriting or adjusting spacing earlier in the paragraph. Single words are not considered orphans if they comprise five or more letters.


This is the nickname and mascot for all men's and women's intercollegiate athletic teams of California State University, East Bay. The term may be used interchangeably with Cal State East Bay and CSUEB in identifying the team representing the University.

phone numbers

The preferred style for full phone numbers in official publications is periods separating the area code and exchanges. For clarity, always use the area code.

For on-campus publications, format on-campus extension numbers with hyphens as follows:
5-0000 (Hayward)
2-0000 (Concord)

For off-campus directories:
510.885.3000 (Hayward)
925.602.6772 (Concord)


In general, add "s" or "es" to pluralize a noun unless the plural has a form change. Consult a dictionary for specifics and proper usage.
dog, dogs; box, boxes; child, children; goose, geese

Do not use an apostrophe in plurals of nouns or acronyms:
CDs, DVDs, FAQs.

Exception: single letters, such as grades, take an apostrophe for clarity:
A's, B's


Add 's to form the possessive for all singular nouns, including proper names and words ending in "s."
President Morishita's speech; Tess's umbrella

Exception: the possessive of "it" does not use the apostrophe. See entry for it's / its.

For plural possessives, use the ordinary plural noun followed by an apostrophe only for those ending in "s"; for those ending in another form, add 's as for the singular.
The dogs' toys and the children's toys


When adding a postscript to a letter, use capital letters and place a period after each letter. Continue the postscript on the same line.

P.S. Your support is crucial to our goal of increasing funding for scholarships at Cal State East Bay.


It is acceptable to end sentences with prepositions (to, with, from, at) — despite what your grammar school teacher may have said.

I saved the check and the envelope it came in.
VS: I saved the check and the envelope in which it came.

As in the example above, prepositional phrases can be awkward when rewritten, bringing to mind the famous apocryphal line attributed to Winston Churchill:
That is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I shall not put.

If it can be avoided or rewritten easily, move prepositions from the end of a sentence; otherwise, relax.
I saved the check and the envelope, too.


As a title, capitalize before the name; lowercase otherwise.

See entry for Morishita, Leroy M. See also Qayoumi.


Capitalize when used as a formal title before a name, lowercase otherwise.
Professor Maria Nieto taught the class.
The professor lectured to students.

The title professor may be abbreviated when it precedes the first name or initials; spell out titles when they are used before the surname alone.
Prof. Harry Waters; Professor Waters

Do not abbreviate assistant and associate when used in a title.
Assistant Professor Charlie Yuan from the Department of Accounting and Finance
Ray Garcia, associate professor of educational leadership

When referring to Cal State East Bay faculty members, use the title or rank given to them by the University. When naming lecturers, instructors, teaching assistants, or staff members, verify their exact titles personally or by using the campus directory.

On second reference, use the spelled-out title and last name or last name only.


This is the title of the senior academic officer at a university. Capitalize when used before a name, lowercase otherwise. As of 2010, Cal State East Bay's provost is James L.J. Houpis. On first reference, use his full name and title.

Cal State East Bay Provost James Houpis

Qayoumi, Mohammad H.

Cal State East Bay's fourth president (2006-11). Note correct spelling. Indicate his former title for clarity:

Mohammad Qayoumi, former president of CSUEB; then-President Qayoumi

quarters, academic

Capitalize the season and include the year when appropriate. Do not capitalize quarter.

The Fall 2009 quarter; registration for Winter quarter; preparing for next quarter

quotation marks

These are placed around directly quoted speech or text. Use them sparingly to indicate a colloquial or unusual term.

Punctuation with: The period and the comma always go within the quotation marks. The dash, semicolon, question mark, and exclamation point go within the quotation marks only when they apply to the quoted matter. They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence. If a title or quote is contained within quoted material, use single quotes inside the double quotations, running single and double marks together if the quoted material comes at the end of a statement.

"She told me 'not in a million years,'" he said.

In headlines: use single quotation marks for terms and quotes.

President calls student 'awesome'

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